I’m so relieved, aren’t you? Dick Chaney, The Man, will be landing in the Gulf – oh, I mean the Gulf States – on Thursday. And it’s not surprising that he’s been dispatched to assess the situation because, as the New York Times reported today, Halliburton is already gearing up for major contracts to fix all that oil patch infrastructure mess. Someone has to identify the targets for their sales effort and who better than their very best friend in the world? Many displaced people are being given shelter in Houston which is commendable, but there will be compensation, if not for the victims then certainly for Bush’s city. The Times says Houston is looking forward to a “business boom.” Wow! What surprising good fortune. That’s part of why I’m so relieved, but the least of it.
Here’s what’s really making me feel better. George W. Bush, the man with such an impressive record of disciplining the incompetent in his administration, is personally taking on the job of investigating what the government did right and did wrong in the aftermath of Katrina. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Brownie get the Freedom Medal or even a cabinet post when this assessment is complete. Let’s see, ah yes, Secretary of Human Services, perfect. A BBC reporter on the scene (the President in two trips still hasn’t set foot in New Orleans) was asked by the anchor to detail what Bush might find was done right and without missing a beat answered with what was done did wrong. Nancy Pelosi had the right advice for the commander-in-chief (he loves that title so), “start by looking in the mirror.” I’m sure the President sees his announcement as a signal that he is really taking charge. I see a conflict of interest. Remember the howling of his administration when UN officials proposed investigating their own mismanagement of the Iraqi food program? How can the guy who couldn’t even mobilize himself in the wake of what was an obviously a historic catastrophe evaluate performance? Where did Harry Truman say the buck stopped?
I’d love to feel better about this place we call home, our country. I want to be proud of it what it does, of its decency. I really want to be relieved. But here we are in year five of the new century and so many of us find ourselves frustrated and depressed. How could so much be going wrong, continue to go wrong? Hurricanes are random. Leadership can’t be random, human response can’t be random. It’s time that those who spend so much time espousing Intelligent Design, knocking randomness in how we evolved, start delivering on their ideology. Fat chance, with them it’s all talk.