Like many Americans, I am overwhelmed by the scope of the catastrophe on the Gulf Coast. Let me follow up on pieces that Bruce and I have posted recently, encouraging you once again to support charities providing relief.
While many bloggers, on the left as well as the right, have similarly used their cyber soap boxes to encourage their readers to support relief efforts, others, bloggers as well as members of the MSM and other longtime opponents of President Bush have used this disaster as just another excuse to attack him. As the Anchoress puts in an excellent post detailing the disaster relief and reaction to the president’s efforts:
But it doesn’t really matter. No matter what the President did before disaster struck, no matter what he has done in the aftermath, no matter what actions he takes in the next three years, his actions will always be the wrong actions, they will always be politically motivated, and everything will always be his fault. That is just the way it is for some.
Given the scope of the catastrophe, those providing relief at all levels are bound to make mistakes. The imperative now is to address those errors and provide relief. As my friend Lynda (no Republican she) “everybody screwed up big time, but they need to stop finger pointing and start getting stuff done.”
It provides little help when Ray Nagin, the Mayor of New Orleans, takes to the air waves to lash out at federal officials. He should be leading the efforts to save his city and provide specific requests for what the federal government can do. He should try to pattern his response to this disaster to that of New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. That good man did not whine, but projected and image of strength and confidence while detailing what he and his team were doing in the wake of this disaster.
Those who blame President Bush for the response to this disaster need to realize that local governments also have a responsibility to handle such events. But, since all too many are unwilling to consider how those officials slipped up, it seems that many of those criticizing the president are more interested in attacking him than in understanding the situation on the ground in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.
The Anchoress has done an excellent job detailing all that the federal government has done in the wake of the hurricane, much of it likely directed by the president and his advisors — and much of done without the president making a public statement. (Had he made such statements, his critics would likely have faulted him for grandstanding.)
Let me conclude by returning to the comment of my friend Lynda. It’s time to stop finger-pointing and to get things done. So, I encourage y’all to help out. Bruce suggested that if you live near the disaster area and have space in your home, please register with “Homes for Katrina Victims.” If you can’t open your home, please support one of the charities listed here.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com
ADDENDUM: I join other Republicans in encouraging the President to appoint former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani to take charge of the relief efforts in the Gulf.