Blame before relief? I don’t think so.
President Bush made his way to Louisiana and surrounding states to view the devastation firsthand, but many are questioning why it didn’t happen earlier. Why did the President fly by on Wednesday, but not actually tour the leveled cities?
That is a sound question, and whether we’re Republicans, Democrats, or anything else, we expect our President to bring strength and hope in horrific situations. Liberals chomped at the bit after Katrina, waiting with bated breath as they looked to expose the President as uncaring, aloof, and on vacation. Many Web sites published photos of the President playing a guitar the day after the hurricane — not noting the context, but who cares about minor details like that when the desire is to spin, manipulate, and self-propagate?
The fact remains, however, that the relief effort just wasn’t getting the job done. People were hungry, dying, getting shot at, and in many cases being raped. Can you imagine being a young woman who had just lost her husband, trying to keep your children as more than memories from the past? And then you walk into a putrid bathroom only to have some thugs try to play spin the bottle with your exhausted body. Unfortunately, there were such women, and authorities just didn’t have the manpower to do anything about it. Begin the blame game…
Democrats blamed the President, the mayor of New Orleans blamed everybody and succinctly stated that all who could help should “get your a** over here,” and even Republicans took shots at FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security. So whose fault is it?
At this point it doesn’t matter, in my opinion. When people are able to get a meal, a shower, and some rest, then we can talk about where to cast blame. To be clear, someone must be held accountable for this mess. If 9/11 showed us what can go right with emergency services, Katrina is showing us what can go terribly wrong. But before we start throwing stones, let’s make sure we don’t forget the tens of thousands of lives forever altered by Hurricane Katrina.