Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Blame Game

Tired of all the criticism over the mismanagement of the Katrina response, the White House is ready to let bygones be bygones.

There has been heavy criticism of the government's response to the hurricane, and city and state officials, Republicans and Democrats have assailed the Federal Emergency Management Agency led by Michael Brown. Bush, during an inspection tour of the devastated region last Friday, praised Brown, telling him, "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."

McClellan said Bush was not satisfied with the response and that there are problems that need to be addressed. But he would not talk about Brown or say whether any officials had offered their resignation because of the widespread criticism.

"This is all looking at the blame game," McClellan said. "We're not going to engage in the blame game."
The “blame game”? Is he serious? This isn’t an argument about who forgot to take the trash out. This is about determining why the federal response to Katrina was so badly botched. The Bush Administration’s unfaltering refusal to ever admit a mistake boggles the mind and turns the stomach.

But unwilling to stop at dismissing the quaint notion of government accountability, Mr. McClellan takes the nonsense one step further.

He also rejected suggestions that the poor, and particularly blacks, had been abandoned when New Orleans was evacuated. "I think most Americans dismiss that and know that there's just no basis for making such suggestions," McClellan said. "We are focused on saving and sustaining lives of all those who have been affected."
“No basis for making such suggestions,” huh? How about the hours and hours of news footage showing makeshift refugee camps filled with African Americans? How’s that for a basis?

--Matthew McCoy