Friday, September 02, 2005

On leadership

Maggie says:
Last night my mom was Bush-bashing. This is a big deal. I wouldn't say she's apolitical, because she's well-informed and always votes, but she rolls her eyes when my dad and I start talking politics, hates public radio, and once commented that she would read m-pyre more if it "wasn't always about politics." My mom respond to politics from her heart, from what's right, and that's a great way to be. Last night, she was mourning the lack of leadership we've seen during Katrina and the aftermath. Actually, mourning isn't really the word for it. She was pissed at the lack of leadership. And with good reason.

Did anyone see Bush's "briefing" with governors this morning? Lots of "atta boys," Bush looking like he wasn't even paying attention, and not much else. No direction. No forcefulness. He seemed, simply... lost. And I was so reminded of 9/11, when Americans were not asked to sacrifice or work together or do anything for the victims of a homeland tragedy. We weren't asked to do anything until it was to blindly accept the administration's desire to bomb a country that had nothing to do with 9/11. And now we're expected to be proud that we have soldiers dying over there. But the question remains: what about when people die at home for no good reason? Shouldn't we be doing something then? How sad that we have a president who's only able to act presidential when he's given a script reeking of political strategy and hidden agendas. In a real crisis, in a real tragedy, in an event that once again will change the American cultural landscape, we get nothing. We fend for ourselves. God knows the hurricane refugees fend for themselves. Every person on their own until someone can make a profit or strategic win by rounding up the troops (in this case, us). I hope like hell that Bush goes to his grave having to explain why millions of New Orleans citizens were left there in the flooding for so long to die. To die.

I can't watch the news anymore. I simply can't. I become way too emotional and mostly, I want to be home and a little closer to where I could do something to help. My dad tells me not to turn on the TV. My mom's raising money to host families in NC until they can get back on their feet again. But me? Doing nothing. The pictures are too much for me. The personal stories send me over the edge. But from a political perspective, I've gotten something out of both of these:

  • Where's Huey Long? Greg Palast points out in this great piece that Bush actually played golf this morning. Can you imagine? An entire region of the country devastated, people starving and dying and conditions unimaginable in New Orleans, regular Americans looking around for what they can possibly do to help, and our president plays golf. More Palast:

There is no such thing as a "natural" disaster. Hurricanes happen, but death comes from official neglect, from tax cuts for the rich that cut the heart out of public protection. The corpses in the street are victims of a class war in which only one side has a general.

Where is our Huey Long? America needs just one Kingfish to stand up and say that our nation must rid itself of the scarecrow with the idiot chuckle, who has left America broken and in danger while he plays tinker-toy Napoleon on other continents.

I realize that the middle of rising flood is a hell of a bad time to give Democrats swimming lessons; but it's act up now or we all go under.

  • Vacation is Over. Michael Moore is right-on in this letter to President Bush. Among the highlights:

Any idea where all our helicopters are? It's Day 5 of Hurricane Katrina and thousands remain stranded in New Orleans and need to be airlifted. Where on earth could you have misplaced all our military choppers? Do you need help finding them? I once lost my car in a Sears parking lot. Man, was that a drag.

Also, any idea where all our national guard soldiers are? We could really use them right now for the type of thing they signed up to do like helping with national disasters. How come they weren't there to begin with?