The President finished speaking not that long ago about the ongoing descent into barbarity that is occurring right now in New Orleans and I’m still dumbfounded.
He couldn’t have given a more defeatist, more disheartening, more lukewarm and detached speech to America had he tried.
Really, I mean it. Look at the very first action item on his list of What Your Government is Doing.
I have directed Secretary of Homeland Security Mike Chertoff to chair a Cabinet-level task force to coordinate all our assistance from Washington.
No kidding? A for-real Cabinet-level task force? Man, that’s sure going to stop New Orleans from turning into Bartertown, isn’t it? I’m sure that’s going to be great comfort to the woman I saw in a photograph today, who was stretched out on the middle of I-90, being comforted by her daughter after she had suffered a heart-attack (the 11th photo in this gallery). Look, we don’t need a weepy President right now. We already have the Governor of Louisiana telling people that what they’ve experienced is “totally overwhelming” and barely holding it together on camera. Those folks don’t need more of a reminder of their hopelessness. They know how bad things are.
What they need is action. What they need is hope that an army of help is right around the corner. What they need to know is the government that practically demands our dependence on it is coming through on its part of the bargain. They don’t need sighing assessments of disaster. They need to know when they’re going to get some food and fresh water, a place to sleep tonight, and where to get some medical attention.
Sure, the President read down a laundry list of things the government is bringing to the relief efforts, but what he didn’t include there was resolve. Yeah, we all know that it may well take years to restore the greatness of the Crescent City. It’s not helpful to tell that one more time. We can’t afford to reflect on the magnitude of the disaster. That comes later, when the living are safe and the dead are gathered and buried. Then everyone can look around and say “Man, this was one hell of a mess, wasn’t it?”.
All the President had to deliver was hope and he failed. There was no real hope in his speech – only a long sad look at miles of tragedy. We needed a President and we got Oprah.
Category: The Good Old US of A