I’m frustrated. And not just by the tragedy that past political indifference has exacerbated in New Orleans, or by the obvious fact that the U.S. is as ill-prepared for serious trouble at home as it is anywhere else in the world, or even by the fact that–well before Katrina–the U.S. economy was, if not on the verge of disaster from gross mismanagement, then at best, going to hell in a hand basket.
I’m frustrated because I thought all of President Bush’s chickens were finally coming home to roost.
All that money his Republican cronies made off of 9/11 fears, all the profligate sums paid into their friendly war machine’s gaping, indiscriminate maw—on technology and bodyguards and spying and weapons and occupations and war and all the other security approaches that shore up every engine of war profitability and make us all less secure, all that expensive marching off to all corners of the earth to push people around and tell them what to do—I thought all that bad business had finally caught up with them.
They’ve soaked the poor and given gobs to the rich. They’ve neglected the environment. They’ve failed to create good jobs. They’ve exacerbated the energy crisis. They’ve propped up favored industries and neglected others. They’ve endangered our economy by irritating people all over the world, who finally wearily resist buying American whenever they can, and take their vacations elsewhere.
For once, I thought, all their stupid policies were going to land squarely on their own doorstep.
Then along came Hurricane Katrina.
And now all of sudden, none of it is anybody’s fault. Our administration’s hands are tied—by Katrina.
Without a doubt, Katrina has added immeasurably to the many enormous problems that the U.S. already had before the storm turned her wrathful face upon our citizens.
But along with her destruction, Katrina has provided President Bush and his Republican pals the perfect blanket excuse for every failure that was about to be firmly laid to their door.
The budget deficit? Unimaginable government overspending? Blame it on Katrina.
Our ill-conceived war going badly? Sorry—must divert our efforts to Katrina
Dysfunctional international relationships? Too distracted by Katrina.
Health care collapsing? Gotta spend the money on Katrina.
Lack of energy reform and high heating oil and rising gas prices everywhere? Katrina.
Global environmental catastrophes and dangers at every hand? Katrina.
Crumbling national infrastructure? Katrina.
Underfunded education? Katrina.
Terrorism? WMDs and weapons proliferation? Katrina. (Say what?!)
Stock market tumbling, real estate buckling, economy faltering? Katrina.
For years, the Republican administration has neglected domestic problems and aggravated international ones. Now it’s too late to do anything about any of them.
Because, you know. Nature’s power and unpredictability and all that. Shrug shrug. Wink wink. Because…. You know.