The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Dean in New Orleans

Adam Nagourney's piece on Howard Dean's visit to New Orleans is a strange one, and disturbing in a couple of ways.

First, the title (and yes, I know that editors are usually responsible for them): "Democrats Try to Use Katrina as GOP Used 9/11." You could write an entire essay on that line alone. First, it pretty much undercuts everything in the story by immediately supporting the GOP's predictable accusation of 'political stunts.' Yet it also suggests that Republicans 'used' 9/11 for political gain, which no rightie would ever admit to publically. We all know by now that they shamelessly pimped the attacks and continue to do so, but that doesn't do anyone any good now, does it? At least it shows that the accusations of being 'anti-American' for not wholeheartedly supporting the Bush agenda are no longer effective.

The article isn't quite as blatant in its findings, although the snarky tagline makes it pretty clear that Nagourney accepts the notion that politicians could never do anything out of genuine concern.

In the Lower Ninth Ward, Mr. Dean put on a white hazardous-materials suit and, more than a little winded, helped gut a house. He needed barely a nudge from reporters to declare the federal effort here a disgrace that would cost Republicans control of the government.

"This is a searing, burning issue," Mr. Dean said, "and I think it's going to cost George Bush his legacy, and it's going to cost the Republicans the House and the Senate and, maybe very well, the presidency in the next election. People will never forget this."

Pointing to two abandoned hulks of cars, he added, "I hate to be partisan at a time like this, but this is why the Republicans are going to be out of business."

I was really glad to see Dean in New Orleans. A Democrat couldn't have gotten within 500 miles of New Orleans without being accused of pulling a political stunt, so why not march right in and demand that the press show America what a mess the place still is, more than six months after the storm?

As I mentioned in my last post, political discourse has been so cheapened by the righties that this national disgrace has become nothing more than another chance for the media to smugly assert that they're way too sophisticated to but into it-- as though the abandoned autos and rotting houses of a city in ruins are somehow props placed there by campaign workers.

What's gotten lost in the shuffle is the fact that this security-obsessed administration, when faced with a massive crisis, found their own restructured Homeland Security Department totally unfit to deal with it then, and totally unwilling to deal with it now.