Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Brown said, Blanco said, etc.

The New York Times has published an article based on an interview with the erstwhile head of FEMA.

It seems that Brown realized how disorganized Louisiana was at an early stage. On Monday, he expressed his worries to superiors. On Tuesday night, he asked that the White House take over the response coordination.

Governor Blanco's spokesman says it ain't so:

A spokesman for Ms. Blanco denied Mr. Brown's description of disarray in Louisiana's emergency response operation. "That is just totally inaccurate," said Bob Mann, the governor's communications director. "Everything that Mr. Brown needed in terms of resources or information from the state, he had those available to him."

Well, that certainly clears up things. Everything was available. All Brown and FEMA had to do was figure out where it was.

Louisiana's politicians seem not to understand that disaster response works best as a three-horse team: Local, state, and federal agencies must pull together. When two members of the team act like stubborn donkeys -- sitting and braying rather than pulling their share of the load -- progress doesn't occur as quickly.

FEMA cannot take over the responsibilities of the state and local governments. They have neither the legal authority nor the personnel.

Blanco seems to believe that she need only say to the President or any other federal officer, "give me everything you've got." She doesn't appear to have the cognitive ability to grasp the fact that something more is needed from her.

Would she call 9-1-1 in an emergency and simply yell, "give me all you've got," then complain when the person on the other end of the line asked for a little more information than that?

Maybe so.


Blogger cc said...

I love your analogy about the 911 call. I have used it numerous times (with credit to you) when libs start the blame game. It shuts them up immediately. Thanks!

September 18, 2005 10:33 PM  

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