Republicans Shifting Blame... Again?

The far right website WorldNetDaily.com is running an article today titled "Chertoff clueless about hurricane." Echoing criticisms that have been made here and elsewhere in the blogosphere, the article blasts comments Chertoff has made over the past few days that the impact of Katrina was unpredictable and unexpected.

Chertoff argued that authorities actually had assumed that "there would be overflow from the levee, maybe a small break in the levee. The collapse of a significant portion of the levee leading to the very fast flooding of the city was not envisioned."

He added: "There will be plenty of time to go back and say we should hypothesize evermore apocalyptic combinations of catastrophes. Be that as it may, I'm telling you this is what the planners had in front of them. They were confronted with a second wave that they did not have built into the plan, but using the tools they had, we have to move forward and adapt."

But New Orleans, state and federal officials have long painted a very different picture.

"We certainly understood the potential impact of a Category 4 or 5 hurricane" on New Orleans, Lt. General Carl Strock, chief of engineers for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

In 2002, the New Orleans Times-Picayune ran a five-part series exploring the vulnerability of the city. The newspaper, and other news media as well, specifically addressed the possibility of massive floods drowning residents, destroying homes and releasing toxic chemicals throughout the city.

But Chertoff seemed unaware of all the warnings.

Of course, none of this is news to any of us. That Chertoff repeatedly had to be lectured on air by journalists about the situation in New Orleans as well as the prior predictions of Katrina's power was nothing short of embarrassing. But this isn't a liberal blog post I'm referring to. It's not even an article in the establishment media. This is a story running at one of the most strictly partisan Republican websites on in the internet, home to columns from the likes of Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, David Limbaugh, Pat Buchanan, and Dennis Prager.

It's for this reason that I'd argue that World Net Daily's criticism of Chertoff indicates that the GOP-led government may have recognized the patent stupidity of blaming state and local Democrats for what were obviously federal responsibilities. Also at the site is another story detailing the resume of FEMA head Michael Brown, especially his firing from the International Arabian Horse Association, writing that "the Republican Party activist, had no significant experience that would have qualified him for the position."

I don't mistake this for actual accountability yet, but it could be a sign that the White House is ready to eat some of its own. If they do choose to scapegoat Chertoff and/or Brown -- who certainly ought to be fired, but aren't the only officials responsible -- it should very well backfire on them. After all, both men were appointed to their positions by Bush. Therefore, their failures are also ultimately his.

Tags: Republicans (all tags)

Comments

13 Comments

Sure...
"Therefore, their failures are also ultimately his."

I think we've all learned by now that Bush never has to be held accountable for his failures, even when they are patently obvious to anyone willing to look.

by craverguy 2005-09-05 08:04PM | 0 recs
Shift & Hide
The canal flood walls that broke are the sole responsibility of the US Corps of Engineers. The Corps says the flood walls were designed for a category 3 hurricane and that a 0.5% probability storm toppled them. But, a 4 or 5 category hurricane tracking east of the city was not unanticipated. Both Camille and Ivan were pointed out as strong hurricanes that passed close by.

The Corps, Congress and the President of the United States determined that they did not need to spend more money to provide a higher level of protection for New Orleans. The money was spent elsewhere, including Iraq or tax cuts were given to the wealth. They were wrong and the Corps, Congress and the President are solely responsible for Lake New Orleans. This is hidden by the GOP and corporate media. The Democrats for what ever reason have been coopted and don't raise hell over this failure of leadership and planning.

by VietVet 2005-09-05 08:32PM | 0 recs
This is a bit naive
Many times scapegoating underlings works for deflecting blame, particularly with the right spin.

But Shrub's problem is that he is working in an environment that already made him unpopular for other reasons, which are only getting worse.

by Cyt 2005-09-05 09:04PM | 0 recs
They've Never Done This Before
The only people they've ever blamed are those who've tried to tell the truth.  Blaming their own is something new. So it carries real risk for them.

And that's an opportunity for us.  Anticipating that they may cut loose of someone or other, we should be stressing how many incompetents are out there, and how their presence reflects incompetence at higher levels... all the way up to the top.

Oh, and by the way, that Roberts fellow... he's an incompetent, too.  Otherwise, they wouldn't be trying so hard to hide his record, and demonize anyone who wants to ask him tough questions.

by Paul Rosenberg 2005-09-05 10:50PM | 0 recs
But... Bull Clinton
says "this is not the time to point fingers" whereas the GOP are not only pointing fingers but toes as well.

It is crystal clear why Democrats have lost it's majority status since Clinton... because he is complicit with the GOP ideologies. The first time Dems lost control of the house was when Clinton pushed through NAFTA at the cost of Democratic constituencies...

F@k the Clintons.... Dean 08*

by Parker 2005-09-05 11:16PM | 0 recs
Re: But... Bull Clinton
There is a time a place for everything.  I agree with Clinton---put our energy into rescue and recovery and then let the oatmeal hit the fan.  FEMA is worthless.  When you have charities, churches, individuals, and kids from Duke rescuing people and providing food and shelter, our government has failed.  Our president is only  interested in photo ops and our vice president is in points unknown.
by Marie Smith 2005-09-06 05:06AM | 0 recs
Re: But... Bull Clinton
Some people can chew and walk at the same time...

This is bullcrap... the GOP are pointing fingers  and toes... AND trying to pass MORE tax cuts while people are not looking...

Bull Clinton made a horses ass out of himself... it was dispicable... Gore helped and many other Democrats are helping  ...but you did not see them kissing Bush ass

by Parker 2005-09-06 06:29AM | 0 recs
Pointing the Finger at the Victims
Sometimes the far right's complete and total moral depravity becomes painfully obvious.  This moron's column is proof positive:

http://realvalues.blogspot.com/2005/09/i-have-found-deeply-disturbed-man.html

by realvalues 2005-09-06 03:21AM | 0 recs
Actually
As an irregular reader of WND, I can tell you that they have been hammering away at the FEMA issue for close to four years. They've regularly said that the nation was unprepared for a major terrorist attack, like a dirty bomb, or a massive natural disaster like this one, even though BushCo has been supposedly rebuilding preparedness in the wake of Sept. 11. So, I wouldn't really dig too deep into this. As well, the diary title is a bit off ... not everyone on the site is a "Republican." Many of them are Big and small L libertarian, and have correctly questioned whether billions spent on homeland security would actually prepare and protect the homeland. It has not, as we have seen.
by politizine 2005-09-06 04:06AM | 0 recs
Gov. Blanco's letter to Bush
http://gov.louisiana.gov/Disaster%20Relief%20Request.pdf
Read the letter Blanco sent to Bush 8/28/05 to see what she asked for before the hurricane hit Louisiana.
by Marie Smith 2005-09-06 06:12AM | 0 recs
Bill Kristol
Bill Kristol said that every Republican he's spoken with his very disappointed in the Federal response. The blame shifting is very transparent, and won't help Bush in the end.
by elrod 2005-09-06 07:29AM | 0 recs
Dems need to jump on this
The Dems need to frame this as:  "is Bush appointing the right people to the right job? If he could appoint such glaringly incompetent people to these key posts, what are his standards?"
This speaks particularly to the supreme court appointments, of course -- no wonder they wanted a vote quick quick.  Well, they shouldn't get one.
by CathiefromCanada 2005-09-06 07:55AM | 0 recs
Operation Pretending to Give a Shit
That's what the administration is doing in New Orleans now.

This is a political crisis for them. Not a human tragedy. That's why Rove and Bartlett are in charge of the operation now.

Putting Rove and Bartlett in charge makes it plain this is a political operation. Democrats should respond accordingly.

Blaming Blanco for the mess is right in line with their inability to take responsibility for anything.  It's the "I Didn't Do It" presidency.

by mysteve 2005-09-06 08:15AM | 0 recs

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