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August 14, 2006

I Know You Are, but What Am I?

Wheel_1 [published on September 7, 2005 in my previous blog, "The Flatland Oracles"]

The Washington Times, grandly mixing sinister animal attributes,  has the 'venomous vultures' of the left in its crosshairs. 

Wait....do they mean me? 

If  Pruden (or The Washington Times) thinks that any lefty or left-tilting moderate like me in America views this disaster as 'great good luck' out of political opportunism, his perception is as screwed up as his metaphors.  I give you this quote (which is far from the most vitriolic that he offers up).   

He's getting it as well from his critics, many of whom can't believe their great good luck, that a hurricane, of all things, finally gives them the opening they've been waiting for to heap calumny and scorn on him for something that might get a little traction. Cindy Sheehan is yesterday's news; she couldn't attract a camera crew this morning if she stripped down to her step-ins for a march on Prairie Chapel Ranch.

No, dear, it's those on the Right who are past masters of finding political opportunities under every tragedy.  Projecting much, Mr. Pruden? 

He's just mad that he can't do it this time.  But it was his own team  that let him down and I think in the end that's going to still be true no matter how much blame gets shifted downward onto other public officials. 

The people who are being critical are just looking at the facts (as in the actual facts).  I'm sure there has been incompetence; I think it occurred at more than one level; and I'm sure that some of it was at the very top.    As I wasn't one of the people  who were especially impressed by Bush's handling of 9/11, I wasn't as grieved and surprised as The Washington Times that he didn't come flying in,  red cape streaming, to save the day.   

That's probably why I'm not feeling angry and defensive or inclined to attack U.S. citizens who have the temerity to criticize the Chief elected official.  I'm really not sure what he did after 9/11 that earned him so much good will---it doesn't seem like the ensuing gestures accomplished all that much---but I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on that one.  My mom got teary eyed over "We'll get those folks" or whatever it was he said and over his hard eyes and squared jaw.  I got a bit teary myself, but it was over Tony Blair's speech.  I never did like westerns.   

As for this Administration, its motto is apparently 'The buck passes here.'  Whatever.  The rest of America and the rest of the world are rushing to the aid of the people of New Orleans.  Right now, I couldn't care less who's to blame. 

But if hardline conservatives----who went after Clinton with torches, pitchforks, and any blunt instrument they could find---think they can now shut people up by hissing that nobody should ever criticize a temporarily elected public official, they are seriously under-estimating the intelligence of (at least half of) America.  And it wouldn't surprise me a bit of at least some of those in the other half are also starting to catch on.

For more, see Tim Grieve's column at Salon.com. "The president as hurricane victim."

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