Blame game and tribal speech
There is no way todiscuss apportioning blame for the
outcome of the Katrina disaster, because we as americans
have become so divided into tribes of differing beliefs,
with different a priori assumptions and effective communication
is no longer possible between different tribes.
Political discussions could be as between Sioux and Mohawk,
with a few common words such as "Tatonka" and "Watahe",
but almost all other words are charged with different meanings
to different tribes, and this quickly leads to wars of words
and arrows, and almost no topic is safe but baseball.
I'm listening to CNN playing in the other room, and it sounds
like Nancy Pelosi is shrieking about how bush is at fault, it seems
to me he is at fault whenever a sparrow falls or a flower fails to
bloom according to Pelosi.
But if he were to extend his hand and try use the power
necessary to protect all sparrows and flowers, then she would
call him hitler and a nazi.
Senator Pelosi is from the tribe that wants continuous 24/7
federal protection from all ills. But without being too intrusive,
eg, not in the bedroom or in abortion clinics, etc.
I might be a tribe of one, but my tribe thinks that the federal
government will be mostly incompetent at any task it puts its
hand to. I think power should be devolved as low as possible, so
that if I have a problem with a government policy, I can go and
throw a rock at somebody to get their attention.
It's difficult to discuss these ideas though with the other tribes.
They say government and think 'saviors', whereas I think " hide
the women and the whiskey, here comes the government".
One way to finally divide up the blame using tribe-free words
would be to conduct a thought experiment: Imagine the storm
had struck new orleans head on instead of a glancing blow. All
the people in the dome would have been killed as it was peeled
open like a big can of tuna. The levees would have been breached
during the storm, instead of the next morning. Tuesday morning
would have dawned on tens of thousands of people floating dead
in the water. (This was what I was expecting to happen, as I sat
on my drilling rig it was with dread and apprehension that I
connected to the internet monday morning)
NONE of this would have been George Bush's fault. The job of
getting people out of the city belongs to the mayor and the
governor. The military would have gotten there as quickly as
it could, instead of the slow motion arrival that it used for Katrina,
but it really wouldn't have mattered. The Mayor and Governor
should have gotten as many people out of New Orleans even if
it meant dropping them off in a field outside Lafayette. It
would have been much easier for FEMA to feed
and water and protect people in an open field accessible by
highway, than in New Orleans where 3 of the four entryways
to the city aren't usable.
If we continue the thought experiment, Bush would have tried
to make a speech or two, but since he is not Clinton and can
not feel anyone's pain, Bush would have been excoriated as he
is being excoriated now.
So, to sum up:
Bush is at fault for being bush. He is not Bill Clinton, and he
refuses to fire people that should be fired. Those are perfectly
valid reasons not to vote for him, but he shouldn't be impeached
or censured or continually attacked in the press.
Governor Blanco was panicky and emotional when steely
hardness was what was called for.
She blocked transport of food and water to the
superdome after the storm but before the levee broke, because
it was thought that would just attract more people to the
Mayor Nagin was most at fault, he had the authority to evacuate
earlier and more vigorously, and he dropped the ball.
To those of the other tribes, you might have just heard me say
'tatanka' and 'watahe' and disagreed completely, but we can just
agree to disagree. There are more important things to do now,
the Red Cross had plenty of volunteers on monday, but they did
say that next week they'll need more as enthusiasm wanes.