Friday, January 22, 2010

Bush admin's response to tsunami better comparison for current efforts

After listening to the last few minutes of Pat Kenny's show today I'm ready to explode. Okay, his panel was stuffed with Obamaphiles, but I'm just so sick of people comparing President Obama's handling of Haiti with President Bush's handling of Katrina.

President Bush made one big blunder in New Orleans and two less crucial blunders. The biggest error Bush made was not treating the New Orleans government, especially the mayor, like an ineffectual, tin-head, tin-pot third world leader that he actually imagined himself to be. Bush and the governor at the time should have jointly ousted him because he was a nincompoop.

I know the relief effort was bogged down and troubled, but I don't believe anyone died due to it. People were discommoded and upset, but what upset those the people whose homes and cities had been ruined were issues on a different scale from what the people of Haiti are putting up with now.

Bush's biggest political blunder, although only a small error really, was not decamping from Washington to set up a temporary White House in the region. It wouldn't have made a damn bit of difference to anyone's life, but the media would have been satisfied that at least he was 'doing something.'

Of course Pat Kenny and seemingly everyone else in RTE hasn't grasped that the media performed worse than did the Bush administration. And that was Bush's second minor error - not calling the media out on the lies they peddled at the time.

And, Dan Boyle - who I actually have a sneaking regard for - I'm sorry if you don't like that the United States has to defend itself, but you could have at least acknowledged the massive effort by the American navy and other forces to get supplies to the people of Indonesia. I hate that sort of 'knowing', 'little-smile-on-the-lips', 'amusing-to-all-euro-hipsters', snide anti-Americanism that Boyle displayed today when he said, "It's the best use of the American military I've seen in at least two decades." (I may not have it verbatim, but that's pretty close.) I thought he was better than that.

A better comparison with today's relief effort was the United States' response to the 2004 tsunami, which the Bush administration handled well.Not perfectly, of course, just as I'm sure today's relief effort is not going perfectly. Nothing goes perfectly.