Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A sense of perspective

By Carl 

It's been interesting reading the national press coverage of Sandy. I haven't had much opportunity to review what you all have been saying about us behind our backs until this morning.

I like that Romney's bullshit about FEMA has come back to haunt him and that the bold and brave words he spoke in the quietude of calculation have become hot button panic topics for his campaign.

I understand the need to pander to your base and to attract leaning voters, but my thinking is, if you say something, have the guts to stick by it when gut check time comes. President Ford told us to drop dead when it mattered most. Yes, he regretted it and yes, ultimately he had to eat them, but you'll notice he still battled Jimmy Carter to a virtual tie, despite pardoning Nixon.

Maybe he had more latitude. Still, it's been an exercise in evolution to watch Romney wriggle like a catepillar on a hot grill.

Similarly, the "turn" in polling towards Romney seems to underestimate the damage that Sandy created in the telephone networks in the east, as well as being premature to Obama's handling of the crisis. When Governor Sammich Chris Christie, an erstwhile vice president name and likely candidate for the nomination in 2016, praises Obama not once but frequently, that's going to have a lot more import than any six Jeep ads either campaign can run, given Christie's "independent, tell-it-like-it-is" perception.

Finally, a few people have asked me for an assessment as to whether the national news has the coverage underreported, overestimated or just about right. I think it's safe to say that the true damage, the true horror of this event, is only just now being reported. Even this morning, another dozen homes went up in flames, 36 hours after the worst of Sandy had passed, because first responders couldn't get to the site.

Canals that contain enough toxins to qualify for Superfund sites overflowed into residential neighborhoods. The very real threat of typhoid, TB, and other afflictions of neglect (cholera leaps to mind) is now looming over large swaths of the city. The residents of lower Manhattan, poor and rich, have raw sewage drying in their streets and basements. The health effects of this crisis will not unfold in a manner consistent with a 24 hours news cycle. 

(Cross-posted to Simply Left Behind.)

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