The media is in a tizzy as Alberto, the first tropical storm of the season, heads toward Florida’s Gulf Coast. Perhaps they expect this disaster to be another Katrina which, they believe, will demonstrate the president’s incompetence.
Former President Clinton has even joined the chorus hyperventilating over the hurricane, using the occasion of Alberto’s approach to tell a Florida audience that “Republican environmental policies will lead to more severe storms.” That Democrat is just recycling his erstwhile Vice President’s junk science. The latest report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found “no significant trends” indicating changes “in tropical and extra-tropical storm intensity and frequency . . . over the 20th century.” Like the gay left, it seems Clinton would rather attack Republicans than deal in facts.
Indeed, it is not clear the media had a similar motive in its coverage last summer of the Katrina Disaster; “virtually all of the gripping stories from Katrina were untrue.” While the MSM focused on failures in the recovery (inevitable in any disaster, particularly one of Katrina’s magnitude hitting a major American city), they failed to report the amazing work that the National and Coast Guards had done (before the media developed their Katrina narrative) and were doing (even as the MSM kept repeating its anti-Bush mantras).
To be sure, the president and his appointees made their share of mistakes. But, if he is as incompetent as his adversaries and their MSM allies contend, how come we didn’t see a similar failure when other hurricanes, many of greater magnitude than Katrina, hit? Perhaps that’s because “when natural disasters strike, it is the primary responsibility of state and local governments — not the federal government — to respond.” And the governors of other states (and not just the Republican ones) proved themselves better prepared than Louisiana’s Democratic Governor Kathleen Blanco.
Floridians should be grateful today for two things: first, it looks like Alberto will make landfall far from the population centers of the state’s Gulf Coast and second, the president’s younger brother Jeb is the Governor of the Sunshine State. He has proven himself a master of emergency preparedness:
Bush, after handling eight hurricanes and four tropical storms in 14 months in 2004 and 2005, has become the undisputed national leader in emergency management. Imagine if he had been governor of Louisiana when Katrina hit last summer. Does anyone doubt that the recovery would have gone far, far better with Bush in charge?
The younger Bush is now “regularly consulted by governors on how to handle natural disasters and emergencies.” My guess is that Louisiana’s Governor was not one of those governors who sought their Florida counterpart’s advice.
We now know that the media exaggerated the horrors after Katrina while downplaying the failures of local and state officials in order to craft a story of the president’s incompetence. There is no doubt the president (and his team) made a number of mistakes; his public relations effort was particularly ham-handed. But, his mistakes were not nearly as grave as the media’s narrative suggests.
It’s just too bad his brother wasn’t running things in New Orleans when Katrina hit. We may remember the name of that storm. But, only those who experienced the storms which hit either Florida coast during Jeb’s term remember their names. All Americans should be grateful that the younger Bush is chief executive of the state where the first tropical storm is expected to make landfall this season. Unlike Halle Berry, we may not be able to control the forces of nature, but some leaders know how to manage a response to nature’s fury.
Let’s hope other governors watch and learn.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com
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