RantFever 4

I pontificate but not in the pejorative sense of the word.

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The Blame Game

by: Abinadi Ayerdis | on: 2005-09-02 00:00:00
A couple of days ago I saw a report on TV in the recent aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. A young reporter was talking with a man who had weathered the storm. He could not find his wife. "She is gone," he half-screamed at her in weary frustration, "I cannot find her." The reporter asked what had happened. The man recounted how he had tried to pull her onto the roof in the midst of the rising waters and couldn't. Before he let go of her hand, she looked up at him and told him to take care of their grandchildren. That was the last he saw of her. By this time, tears are streaming down his cheeks as well as the reporter's. The reporter asks him his wife's name, just in case...

There are hundreds and thousands of similar stories of hardship and duress. In the midst of this, certain politicians are playing the blame game. I can almost understand this. Almost. What really gets my goat are the rest of those looking to point a finger. Most recently is Ron Fournier who wrote this article for the AP called "Politicians Failed Storm Victims." Here are a couple of snippets from his article:

There's plenty of blame to go around - the White House, Congress, federal agencies, local governments, police and even residents of the Gulf Coast who refused orders to evacuate.

That's right, he is blaming everyone, especially the politicians.

Looting soon broke out as local police stood by. Some police didn't want to stop people from getting badly needed food and water. Others seemed to be overwhelmed. Thousands of National Guard troops were ordered to the Gulf Coast, but their ranks have been drastically thinned by the war in Iraq.

Of course, help would have been available if Bush hadn't gotten us into a war. This one is a big stretch. I guess he just couldn't resist trying to tie Iraq and Katrina.

On top of all this, Katrina is one of the worst natural disasters ever to hit the United States. The best leaders running the most efficient agencies would have been sharply challenged.

Ah, now we get to the truth of it. I'm surprised that this paragraph ever made it to final copy. No one could have predicted the level of destruction. Anyone in charge --no matter the quality of plan-- would be floundering trying to get ahold of the situation.

Experts had predicted for years that a major hurricane would eventually hit New Orleans, swamping the levees and filling the bowl-shaped city with polluted water. The politicians are doing what they do in time of crisis - shifting the blame. [...] But for anybody living - or dying - in the devastated region, there are far too many villains to name.

Which begs the question, if people have known for 200 years the volatility of living in New Orleans, why live there at all? That is neither here nor there.

"Bush, Congress, the mayor - each of them are symptoms of a bigger problem, that we don't have accountability for disasters or challenges of this scale," Lovin said. "That's all the public wants in trying times - accountability."

No. The public does not want accountability. The public wants those people helped. That is all. This is not the time to find blame. We should not be having this discussion at all. In times of crisis it is natural to want to find blame. At the same time, it helps nothing whatsoever. Stop whining. Stop scapegoating. Now is the time for action. Go and volunteer for the Red Cross. Donate time and money. Do something, just please stop talking, you're bringing us all down with your blame game.

This isn't just Fournier, either: Jim Henley of Unqualified Offerings, firefighter4bush of MarkLevinFan, and ReviewGuru of St. Louis Review are all doing the same thing. Oh, let's not leave off CNN.

On the other hand, Oliver North on Red States USA and Michelle Malkin make my point. To wit, the focus of the nation would be better placed on offering help than on placing blame. Focus people. We are the government. Blaming ourselves does no good.UPDATE: Check out the rundown of Left-wing vs. Right-wing bloggers' responses to Katrina at The Politburo Diktat


30dozen 2005-09-03 00:00:00

As always I am impressed by your ability to clearly see what is really important even though people try and obscure the view with invalid facts.
I totally agree that this blaming the politicians/Bush rage is not going to help anyone and we need to focus on helping the victims of Katrina.
By-the-by do any of y'all know of anyone who is going over there to help out?

el Seco 2005-09-03 00:00:00

I don't need to go over there to help. They are coming to my back door. I will help here. I'll rant about it soon.

Dubya 2005-09-05 00:00:00

That's right, we don't need to go over there; I've already helped out a lot here in Huntsville. There's close to a thousand evacuees here in Huntsville that all need help and that's what we've been up to. My church is putting on a fish fry this weekend for that exact purpose.

People are quick to blame Bush for not doing enough, but I ask them, what has Little Miss Liberal Louisiana Governer Mary Landrieu (sp?) done so far? What has the Mayor of New Orleans been up to (besides cussing up a storm on national TV)?

Rick Perry has done more than both of them put together.

UPDATE: Mary What's-Her-Face is the senator, and Kathleen Blanco is the governor.

But Mary Landrieu has threatened to punch anyone, including President Bush, if they criticize local relief efforts in Louisiana. That sounds like a threat to the president's safety. And if she wants a piece of me, I'm ready. YOU SUCK, lady.

cranston36 2005-09-08 00:00:00

President Bush had his press secretary provide us with a new phrase, “Blame Game.”
It was introduced at a press conference where it was repeated eight times.
In order to ensure that ‘No Child Is Left Behind’ (unlike the thousands of children left behind to drown in the Gulf Coast) here is a word game you can play with your children so that they can know and use the phrase.
First of all the purpose of the exercise is to ensure that children and you, as an adult, are able to repeat the phrase when it is needed.
As part of our Homeland Defense it should be repeated eight times whenever anyone says something like this, ‘Undersecretary of FEMA Michael D. Brown is apparently an incompetent whose inadequate preparations led to the needless death of thousands of Americans, the destruction of several towns and the loss of one American city.’
As soon as you hear something like that you should say, ‘Blame Game, Blame Game, Blame Game, Blame Game, Blame Game, Blame Game, Blame Game, Blame Game.’
Children should look at the ground and shuffle their feet.
Responsible bureaucrats would also like us all to practice this other word game.
When anyone says, ‘Michael D. Brown should be fired.’, you respond, ‘Why would I do that for?’
For full effect repeat, ‘Blame Game, Blame Game, Blame Game, Blame Game, Blame Game, Blame Game, Blame Game, Blame Game.’
Hopefully these instructions will be available soon on FEMA for kids :

el Seco 2005-09-08 00:00:00

Don't be hatin', Cranston36. By the by, I was using the term "the blame game" before Bush did. It seems that the left only smells political blood in the water. Instead of focusing on how they can help the relief effort, they zero-in on how they can discredit the President. Well, guess what, Bush isn't going up for re-election in '08, and even if his popularity zeros out, he'll still be president.

The fact of the matter is that there is enough blame to pass around to everyone. You can blame the President, the Govenors, the Mayors, and even the victims. But it doesn't change anything. Those people still need help no matter what blame you place on whom. My point is that we would all be better off helping instead of complaining and whining about whose fault it is. There will be plenty of time to do that later.

Dubya 2005-09-09 00:00:00

You're right, el Seco. And even though we may use a catch-phrase, the point still remains: the authorities closest to the damaged area were able to help the most and all we've heard from them is "it is not our fault, it is Bush's fault." They're eager to criticize everybody else's reaction, but if you give their actions the same scrutiny they threaten to punch your lights out.