Saturday, September 02, 2006

Katrina, dissipated

Digby beats himself up for being so wrong about the lasting effects of the Katrina disaster.

Well, I guess that should make two of us. Like Digby (well, ok, in a pale imitation of Digby), I railed at the tragic, incompetent indifference a year ago. And I wrote my outrage into a long piece, "The re-sinking of the Titanic,"that talked about the long-term effects of that disaster from almost a century ago, and about how Katrina would have similar echoes:

The press, miraculously emboldened by some fateful combination of outrage, fear and disgust, has finally found its voice. A real story is finally displacing endless loops of celebrity indulgences and missing white women. And that real story is tailor-made to help the press hold the government’s nose to the steaming pile of poo they have left in our home. Telegenic images of devastation and destruction will remain available for months, as will tens or hundreds of thousands of furious displaced residents. Reporters will not need to trek to far-off lands to bring back footage of failures and broken promises and dead Americans. The tragedy of New Orleans, a tragedy inseparable from issues of class and race, will haunt every living room in America.

Lest we grow tired of the story, the government’s transparent attempts to hide its failures and its apparatus of incompetence offer a seemingly endless supply of insensitivities and outrages that will only feed our anger. Now that skeptics hold the klieg lights, the President’s incompetence transcends the backdrops of his carefully staged photo ops. As Bush careens from one gaffe to the next, one cannot escape the impression that, had he been captain of the Titanic, he would, after reaching the bridge a few hours after first striking the iceberg, have ordered the ship to back up and ram it again.

George Bush’s hagiographic self-image was defined four years ago this week. When there was nothing to do but dig through the rubble and get angry, a dazed and frightened nation gave its new president tremendous credit for figuring out which end of the bullhorn to speak into. The fact that his response killed nearly two thousand mostly poor Americans while enriching Halliburton et al. has taken years to register.

Four years later, the captain of the ship of state has learned nothing. People are again suffering and dying due to the failures of his leadership – and Halliburton again benefits. But this time the bluster and misdirection are fooling no one. And so we may finally have reached a day of reckoning, which should lead to the most important Titanic parallel of all: though he is too craven to do it voluntarily, justice requires that the captain again go down with his ship.

So I , too, am an idiot.

Update: Jonathan Alter adds his mea culpa.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some cynic you are.

As Forrest Gump would say: "Cynic is as cynic does".

Or in the case of real cynics, "as cynics refrain from doing" (as in having hope or expectations).

Industrial strength cynicism? Is that like 99 44/100 pure?

TA

3:31 PM  
Blogger TOR Hershman said...

Hey! How comes yër Blue Meanie is green?

Orrrrrrrrrrr has moi just been MDA Teleoverdosed?

Stay on Groovin' Safari,
TOR

11:14 PM  
Blogger <-<--esoder<---<----<----- said...

"When there was nothing to do but dig through the rubble and get angry, a dazed and frightened nation gave its new president tremendous credit for figuring out which end of the bullhorn to speak into."

That remains my favorite quote about Bush.

Spike Lee's movie aired on HBO - subscription only.

The 9/11 propaganda movie airs on ABC - basic cable and broadcast.

Imagine if there were no blogs.

12:08 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home




see web stats