Thursday, September 08, 2005

Oh, Scottie..

Yesterday, the spokesweasel McClellan gave a few variations of this answer:

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, that's getting into all the after-action analysis, Ed. We're going to remain focused on solving problems right now and supporting the work that's ongoing to help people in need.

My comment to the spokesweasel: Mr. McClellan. You are holding a press conference. You are not bailing water out of the streets. You are not distributing food or water. You are not locating shelter for refugees. Answer the &^%$(!# question.

Meanwhile, back in the real world

What is the use of "political reporting" and "political analysis?" These things always seem to be based in some alternate reality.


Other Democrats, lead by Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) have been far more strident than the Clintons -- so much so that both Republican and Democratic strategists said yesterday the opposition party is in danger of overplaying its hand. The harsh rhetoric, the strategists said, could create a backlash among the public and engender sympathy for a president who has been on the defensive much of the past week.

So. We in the public are going to say to ourselves: "Bush and his cronies really screwed the pooch with this hurricane. Lots of people died and suffered who didn't have to. But those critics sure are being mean about him. I sure do feel sorry for the guy."

I'm no psychologist, but who in their right mind is going to follow that line of thinking?

Only in the world of political reporting and analysis.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

On the one hand...

In the pages of today's Washington Post, these guys don't get it:


Not that anyone would wish such massive death and destruction on Louisiana and Mississippi, but [liberals] now have a rare opportunity not just to criticize George W. Bush, but to paint his response to Katrina as a metaphor for his presidency.


...Facing a divided nation, the president has eschewed unity in both his governing strategy and his political blueprint. ...opponents argue that he has favored confrontation over conciliation with the Democrats while favoring a set of policies aimed at deepening support among his conservative base at the expense of ideas that might produce bipartisan consensus and broader approval among the voters. His allies and advisers, while acknowledging that polarization has worsened during the past five years, say the opposition party bears the brunt of responsibility. Democrats, by this reckoning, have rebuffed Bush's efforts at bipartisanship, put up a wall to ideas that once enjoyed some support on their side, and, even in the current crisis along the Gulf Coast, are seeking to score political points rather than joining hands with the president to speed the recovery and relief to the victims.

This guy does get it:


The world looks on in stunned amazement, unable to understand how a once great nation has grown so indifferent not just to its poor and its blacks but even to the most rudimentary self-preservation. Some of it is institutional racism, but the primary culprit is the economic libertarianism that the president still espouses whenever he sells his Social Security snake oil. It's that libertarianism, more than anything else, that has transformed a great city into an immense morgue.

"Let's put politics aside," one hears. OK, I'm all for that. Let's make it about the people, and about competence, and about results. Strike one, two, and three. President Bubble Boy, resign.

These are the days of our lives...

The Bubble Boy administration's lives, that is. Shoes, baseball, PR work. Pay no attention to the death and misery, please. The boss is on vacation - why shouldn't the rest of them be? That's leadership, after all.


"Run like a business"

Link (via Josh Marshall)

...Fire Chief Jon Ritchie said his crews would be a "little frustrated" if they were assigned to hand out phone numbers at an evacuee center in Texas rather than find and treat victims of the disaster.

Also of concern to some of the firefighters is the cost borne by their municipalities in the wake of their absence. Cities are picking up the tab to fill the firefighters' vacancies while they work 30 days for the federal government.

Shift the budget. Treat incomparable goals as the same (flacking for FEMA and actually saving lives). Not recognizing the skills of the personnel.

In business, people don't typically die from mistakes. President Bubble Boy, please get out of that job. You have killed too many already.