Skip to comments.Four years on: Politicians still don't get it
Posted on 09/11/2005 4:53:58 AM PDT by billorites
FOUR YEARS after terrorists took down the Twin Towers, smashed a hole in the Pentagon and met their match in an airliner over the fields of Pennsylvania, our government has failed to protect us from another disaster that was forseen by the experts. What can be done to break this pattern?
The Bush administrations domestic response to 9/11 to consolidate federal emergency avoidance and preparedness services into a giant bureaucracy staffed with politically loyal but not necessarily expert hands has proven a dismal failure. The administration that had preached smaller, more efficient government did not take its own rhetoric seriously. And now we have an even larger and less nimble bureaucracy to fix.
Though the Bush administration shares some blame for the terrible response to Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans still would have flooded under the administration of a President Gore or Kerry, and residents still would have died waiting for the states flawed rescue plan to be implemented. The failure goes much deeper than the patronage jobs at FEMA and the refusal to give the Army Corps of Engineers every dime requested.
The root of the problem is that the political game in America remains geared toward bread and circuses. Politicians get elected and re-elected by handing out favors, frills and government entitlements, not by building flood walls and capturing terrorists few Americans have ever heard of. (See James Pinkertons column on the opposite page for more on this.)
Despite constant warning signs, federal officials in several administrations ignored the growing threat from militant Islam in general and al-Qaida in particular. Similarly, neither the state of Louisiana nor the Army Corps of Engineers had any real plan to shield New Orleans from a Category 5 Hurricane until the late 1990s, even though experts knew of the citys vulnerability since at least the 1960s.
Even if the Bush administration had fully funded the Armys flood protection plan for New Orleans, which it should have, the work would not have been completed for decades. Furthermore, the administration and Congress easily could have funded both the War on Terror and the levee project. They just had to cut the pork. But the pork was their real priority, as it has been for political leaders of both parties for decades.
As Congress and multiple administrations showered federal funds on agribusinesses, midnight basketball, local arts centers, bridges to nowhere and suburban bike paths, Louisiana politicians built sports stadiums, convention centers and unnecessary canals. All the while, radical Islam spread and the flood walls and levees of New Orleans remained insufficiently protective.
What most politicians in Washington and throughout the country still have not perceived is that government cannot function as needed while the bulk of its resources and attention are devoted to the next election.
Until it is in politicians best interests to see that the people are well protected, they wont. Americans can change this only if they stop demanding handouts from their government and start demanding core services. Until the voters insist that politicians fulfill their essential duty to provide for public safety and national security, we will never have government that focuses more on its primary responsibilities than on frills designed to win votes.
"Until it is in politicians best interests to see that the people are well protected, they wont. "
Uh, it's called 'voting them out of office'. Too bad that is a concept unknown in American government and political culture. Politicians use our money to bribe people who vote for them, plain and simple.
IMPOSSIBLE TASK FOR ANYONE OR ANY GOVERNMENT!
People must do whatever is necessary to first protect themselves.... But No governemnt can assure that everyone is "well protected" at all times and in every situation.
Several lawyer jokes come to mind.
Per numerous reports, flight 93 was heading for the white house.
Republicans have been just as bad, if not worse than the Dems. A recent "highway bill" comes to mind ...
Problem is, we did vote "them" out of office and replaced them with people who promised to reduce spending and to make the government more financially responsible.
And we got more of the same.
Uh...forgive me if I'm wrong, but didn't Congress mandate the consolidation of all of those agencies into the new Department of Homeland Security against strong Bush Administration opposition. How is that President Bush's fault?????
1) Bush doesn't preach small government.
2) The administration went along with it, but the choice to expand the government was that of Congress.
3) Congress allocates money.
4) The people of LA could have protected themselves from incompetant corrupt politicians by not voting for welfare handouts and along party (D) lines.
5) It was a damn Hurricane you fools! Now Bush controls the weather I take it.
There are crucial differences between political parties for the discerning eye. The obvious clear and present danger is The Democratic Crime Syndicate. We VOTE them into extinction. That shot heard around the world will be a warning to all.
(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
A lot of things are just business as usual no matter who is in charge. The highway bill could be better described as highway robbery.
Many conservatives just don't understand that the Union Leader...a once great conservative (read honest) newspaper...has degenerated and now is not much better than the NYT.