He Knows Where His Bread Is Buttered
As White House Anxiety Grows, Bush Tires To Quell Political Crisis - NYT
While Bush Fiddles, New Orleans Dies - Newsday
Bush Administration Puts Katrina PR Campaign Into Overdrive - Komo News
He can move hell and Earth to put his perception back in place with cardboard sets, soldiers standing on bleachers behind him and short speeches in front of broken levees with temporary pumping equipment that is then removed when he leaves. (this is sadly true, and not a flashy made up story - here's the link.)
But that's the best he can do. He can only make a move if he has to try to make up the distance between his uncaring to himself perceived as caring. There's nothing past that. That's the top of his ladder, his best 120%. Perceived as caring. Becasue there is no caring. We've seen it time and time again, but this time the frat boy's selfish insular world cut off not just real suffering, but a cataclysmic chain reaction that progessed day to ignored day. But his self imposed isolation and denial is why there is no planning, no forethought, nothing proactive ever done to thelp the county. He's chasing after his own idea of himself in the history books for someday, trying to pretend his way through the last 1000 or so days of his temporary employment, while the middle class die, the poor get poorer, his donors and friends grab everything they can get in a feeding frenzy, and now part of our country literally dies over night.
Let's see him run from this into the history books.
Ezra Klein puts it best:
He's neither able to effectively deploy government or call on his friends outside of it. He's just incompetent, as I said before, a small man in a big office. He speaks the language of small government conservatism because it gets him elected, pushes big government solutions because they prove easiest, but is so separated and uninterested in the whole enterprise that the result is a wreck of incoherence and unexpected outcomes. So when something like Katrina comes around, he's neither creative enough to deal with it in an innovative way or competent enough to deal with it in the old way. So he just doesn't really deal with it.
My prediction with Katrina, with the last few years generally, is that it's going to help discredit this form of government, and create a yearning for a reformed big government. Americans know their federal administration they pay for should be able to work better than this. They know that, during future crises, it's going to need to work better than this. Someone, probably from the business world like Warner, will gain a lot of traction running on a platform to make government work again, with Katrina and fear of terrorist attacks being the primary arguments for the campaign. The media coverage has settled on a sharp attack against government incompetence and out-of-touch politicians -- seeing Cooper flay Louisiana's Mary Landrieux for being so emotionally off-key may well have been a crystallizing confrontation. Seeing reporter after reporter goggle at Michael Brown's professed ignorance that anyone in the Superdome was uncomfortable means this is breaking through.
Government is failing. They're doing it obviously. And reporters and citizens alike are smart enough to extrapolate that if they failed here, they could do it again during a crisis that their hometown. Bush is discrediting small government conservatism by not mobilizing the private sector and he's highlighting the need for an effective big government to pick up the slack. Mark y words, in 2008 (and, if we're smart, 2006), someone will make Katrina, and the lethargic, dumb government it revealed, the message.
For Gosh sakes, even Newt's hade it. You know things are bad.
"I think it puts into question all of the Homeland Security and Northern Command planning for the last four years, because if we can't respond faster than this to an event we saw coming across the Gulf for days, then why do we think we're prepared to respond to a nuclear or biological attack?" said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Read more.