Saturday, September 03, 2005

Two More Katrina Observations

1. I strongly suspect that the reports of lawlessness, violence, and anarchy on the streets of New Orleans will turn out to be exaggerated, driven by racism and by a subtle Republican effort to blame the victims.

Consider this: Over the past few days, we've seen plenty of film of conditions inside and outside the Superdome and the Convention Center, of stranded people on rooftops, of people sleeping or trying to flee on highway overpasses, of the largely deserted French Quarter, and many other scenes around the city. Why is it that we haven't seen film of the bands of armed thugs who are supposed to be terrorizing the city? And if the Convention Center is supposed to have been the setting for numerous rapes and other crimes, why is it that NBC cameraman Tony Zumbado, in his lengthy account of life inside the center on Keith Olbermann's Countdown Thursday night, emphasized how peaceful, cooperative, and law-abiding the trapped citizens were?

2. How do I get a job like George W. Bush's--a job where I get credit for anything good that happens on my watch (including things I had nothing to do with, such as the emergence of a new government in Palestine following the death of Arafat) but bear no responsibility for anything that goes wrong?

The same Republicans who blamed (and blame) Jimmy Carter for everything from inflation and lines at the gas pump to hostage-taking in Iran now absolve Bush of blame for any of the series of disasters that have befallen America during his administration. Evidently Carter must have been nearly omnipotent, while Bush is apparently a helpless victim of circumstance. But then again, wouldn't that call into question the preferred image of Bush as a macho, take-charge kind of guy? Darn, there I go being logical again.
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