UPDATE: Does the response to Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy look any better than Hurricane Issac? Nope, not to me either. I still hold to my earlier statement, the first politician to show genuine effort (not political effort), gets my vote. FEMA is effectively doing nothing for the folks on the ground, other than contacting the people that actually are helping. Don’t believe me? Watch this…
It takes a time like this to put the state of our politics into proper focus. As contentious as the political climate, the elections, and what is at stake are, the country is facing a natural disaster. You remember natural disasters, they are the things that we send money around the world to protect people from and help them recover.
So when a tsunami wipes out large swaths of Japan…we respond.
Similarly, when an earthquake devastates Haiti…we respond.
Or when rivers overrun their banks and completely flood Joplin, Missouri…we respond.
But probably most ironic is that such a disaster, as we face now has happened before. It has happened in the same place before. It happened in the same place and at the same time before. Today marks the 7-year anniversary of when Hurricane Katrina made landfall. Isaac is poised to hit the same areas and what are our leading politicians on both sides doing? They are holding political rallies. The most powerful Republicans in the country gathered in Florida for their convention and their disaster response (for the people) was to simply postpone the start of their event. The President will give a speech about the hurricane but has planned to go on a campaign tour starting immediately. If the horrific should happen, again, these same politicians will blame everyone from the State governments of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas to FEMA to the Coast Guard…all so they can deflect attention from the fact that they were doing self-service instead of civil service.
Find me a politician who will go to the site and build a levee, bail flood waters, and lead refugee planning and they’ll have my vote immediately.