Monday, September 05, 2005

Bush and Katrina: Lethargy, incompetence, irresponsibility

Kevin Drum has a nice round-up of the latest Katrina-related news from a variety of sources. Let's just say that it looks like things could have been done better. Much, much better.

Also, President Bush's approval rating for his handling of Katrina -- or, rather, Katrina's aftermath -- stands at an amazing 46%, according to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll (with an intensely partisan divide: 74% of Republicans approve, while only 17% of Democrats do). I would have expected a lower approval rating for the president, given that a solid majority of respondents said that all levels of government responded too slowly to the crisis and that the federal government has handled most aspects of the crisis poorly. But I suppose that, like me, many people are holding back their criticism of Bush (and government generally) until a more appropriate time. Rescue and evacuate, then blame.

As I've said before, now is not the time for politics, let alone the brutal, blame-the-other-side-for-everything partisanship of American politics. Still, it's obvious that there's a lot of criticism to go around -- starting with Bush and his atrociously lethargic response to the crisis, as Andrew Sullivan forcefully argued in yesterday's (London) Times and as he has repeatedly stressed at his own blog (see here, here, here, here, here, and here, for example -- all fairly short posts).

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