Sunday, September 04, 2005

Who's to Blame for Problems with Katrina Recovery?

One problem with being in Alaska is that all of the Sunday talking heads shows are on waaaaay too early.

Apparently, the main theme today (other than the death of the Chief Justice) was playing the blame game on Hurricane Katrina. There have been plenty of complaints about the federal response, or lack thereof, or problems therewith, coming mainly from congressional Democrats, and the Democrat Governor of Louisiana and Mayor of New Orleans. A lot of it seems to be gratuitous Bush-bashing.

Brit Hume on Fox News Sunday probably got it about right. While there are certainly elements of the Federal response after the disaster which are worthy of criticism, it would seem that blame the scope of the need for response can be squarely attributed to local authorities. Not enough resources to evacuate those who stayed? Thanks to Shaun Kenney for this link to 250 submerged New Orleans school buses.

Could someone explain to me how George W. Bush was responsible for moving them out of harm's way so that they could be used for evacuation? Can you imagine Rudy Guiliani whining like the Mayor of New Orleans?

It seems to me that the Federal role is, by its nature, limited. Moreover, it was the responsibility of local authorities to evacuate the residents before the storm hit, to the extent that it wasn't the responsibilities of those individuals themselves.

And it seems to me to be a mistake to make rescue and recovery a function of the Department of Homeland Security. DHS has enough responsibilities for anticipating, preventing, and recovery from intentional attacks upon the Nation. Making it responsible for similar activities in response to natural disasters strikes me as confusing its mission.

To his credit, I caught Mickey Kaus talking to Larry Kudlow, and Kaus did not join in the chorus. It's pretty bad when a denizen of the blogosphere is more reasonable than elected Democrat politicians.

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