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Democratic Voices

September 8th, 2005

Republicans Blaming Hurricane Victims

In a effort to shield the Bush Administration from justified and severe criticism concerning the failures of the federal government concerning the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Republican spin machine has gone into full spin mode blaming local government, state government and the poor citizens of the Gulf Coast.

The Republican spin machine has seemingly targeted the Mayor of New Orleans, the Governor of Louisiana and the poor citizens unable to evacuate. The list of scapegoats is very revealing. The Republican Governors of Alabama and Mississippi were not targeted in a similar manner as the Democratic officeholders of Louisiana. The attacks are definitely political and largely lack basic logic.

The states of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi were badly hit by the hurricane. Louisiana was faced a much worse disaster when the levees holding back the floodwaters failed. The destruction of these states greatly undermined the ability of state and local governments to respond. The buildings, equipment and personnel of these governments were often destroyed or damaged along with the civil population. Under these conditions, the only logic hope of quick action was the National Guard and the federal government.

Unfortunately, the Bush Administration had deployed a very large portion of the Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi National Guards to Bush’s Iraq War. These units were the normal mechanism used by state governments to deal with these kinds of natural disasters. Along with the cuts for levee improvement funding and disaster relief by the Bush Administration, the foreign deployment of the National Guard units likely contributed to the large number of deaths.

The federal government controls the entire nation. Most of the nation was not damaged badly by the storm or flooding. The federal government resources were not seriously damaged compared to the state government resources. The federal government should have been able to react quickly. Bad management was evident in the slow, inadequate federal relief efforts. The governments of Canada actually had rescuers on the ground in New Orleans before our own federal government had managed to mount a serious effort.

Fox News commentators and Republican pundits are attempting to blame local government which is faulty logic and ignores the facts. The bias is obvious! More outrageous is their efforts to blame the poor in New Orleans for not leaving before the hurricane struck. These victims did not own cars. They had no money for travel expenses, food or shelter. They stayed because they had to stay. They were trapped by poverty. The Bush Administration did nothing to make it economically or logistically possible for them to leave. The federal government could have provided transport and emergency housing if they had the will and competence. The federal government has the money and power to act on this scale unlike local governments.

Written By Stephen Crockett and Al Lawrence (hosts of ).
Mail: 234 Johnstown Road, Elkton, Maryland 21921. Phone: 443-907-2367
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