Panhandle (W.Va.) Grassroots for Democracy

The Panhandle Grassroots for Democracy is working to improve our corner of eastern West Virginia, our state and our nation.

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Monday, September 05, 2005


As I think of the dereliction of duty from President Bush and his administration, when I think of the Corps of Engineers officials who quit in disgust over the Bush administration's gutting of the levee funding to pay for their tax cuts for the wealthy, when I think of the president vacationing and strumming an air guitar as people died last Monday, when I think of the inaction by his administration when state and local officials ssked for federal help in preparation of the hurricane, when I think of the administration now blaming the state and local officials for not asking for help, bald-faced lies easily laid bare by the official record and FEMA's own statements, when I think of the lives lost because helicopters were grounded for Bush's photo ops, when I think of all of those things, my fingers cannot help but tremble with rage.

In 2004, three major hurricanes struck Florida. The federal government responded quickly. It was an election turning point for some people.

Now we see the results of tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. Now we see the results of the National Guard being deployed to fight an unnecessary war in Iraq, now we see what happens when Bush appoints political cronies to head important government agencies when they have zero experience at emergency management, now we see the results of four years of so-called preparations and billions of dollars spent preparing the nation for disasters after Sept. 11th: a total, inexcusable disaster.

Say what you will about Bill Clinton, the federal government responded quickly and efficiently to disasters, from the right wing terrorists striking Oklahoma City to hurricanes and earthquakes across the country. Help was on the way.

The Republicans have spent the past 25 years telling the American people the government is never a solution. That's a lie.

The government can save lives in emergencies. They can organize relief and construct projects to lessen the results of disastrous, from preserving wetlands that act as a natural buffer to natural disasters to building levees to channel flood waters away.

Bush said it is not a time for finger pointing - and then he immediately began to blame state and local officials for not doing more.

Yet it's in FEMA's own mission statement for the federal government to step in under those circumstances that would overwhelm local governments. If this had been a terrorist strike and the state and local leaders had been killed in the initial attack, who would Bush have blamed then? When Harry S Truman said "The buck stops here" he was stating the obvious. The president is supposed to be the leader of the nation.

President Bush has been called the personification of the ideal Republican leader. We see the results of their policies in New Orleans. He was warned on Aug. 6 before Sept. 11th attacks that bin Laden was determined to attack the United States but he stayed on vacation and did nothing. He was warned before Hurricane Katrina that a catagory 3 or higher hurricane would flood the city and he stated on vacation and did nothing.

The commander in chief of the United States could have ordered troops and equipment to be pre-positioned to respond swiftly to the scene. The commander in chief of the nation could have ordered airdrops of food and water just as done after the tsunami or in Afghanistan and other stricken places on Earth.

None of those things occurred. It is a dereliction of duty beyond comprehension.

The worst deaths on United States soil have occurred under this president. Many of the deaths could have been prevented with properly leadership. It is time for President Bush to step aside for the good of the nation.


At Wednesday, September 07, 2005 3:54:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The inadequate response to this disaster should come as no surprise to democrats who have followed this administrations failures over the past five years and counting. It's just another example of the terrible govt. we have been dealt over the past two elections and it doesn't look like it's gonna get any better any time soon until we get these tyrants out of office. The fact that this administration is so out of touch with the common folk seems to resonate with the voting public as they continue to elect these chickenhawk pretenders into office.


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