I don't think this is a simple tale of incompetence. The reason the military wasn't rushed in to help along the Gulf Coast is, I believe, the same reason nothing was done to stop looting after the fall of Baghdad. Flood control was neglected for the same reason our troops in Iraq didn't get adequate armor.We have a can't do government because Bush and his friends believe the role of the government is not to do anything — except limit individual liberties when they are inconvenient for him and distribute public money to his rich buddies. I wonder how much Halliburton is going to make from federal rebuilding projects?
At a fundamental level, I'd argue, our current leaders just aren't serious about some of the essential functions of government. They like waging war, but they don't like providing security, rescuing those in need or spending on preventive measures. And they never, ever ask for shared sacrifice.
Yesterday Mr. Bush made an utterly fantastic claim: that nobody expected the breach of the levees. In fact, there had been repeated warnings about exactly that risk.
So America, once famous for its can-do attitude, now has a can't-do government that makes excuses instead of doing its job. And while it makes those excuses, Americans are dying.
Friday, September 02, 2005
A Can't-Do Government
Paul Krugman echoes the point I have been making about Bush's disdain for the role the federal government should play in our lives.