Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Not So Easy

In the wake of tragedy, it seems unfair to pile on. I have thus resisted the urge to post anything on The Hurricane, at least until now. I will, however, point to other written material that I find most illuminating.

First, one must peruse the magnificent, and much reviewed, piece in the Wall Street Journal by Bob Williams, the former state legislator who represented the legislative district most impacted by the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980. He says it best, and puts the lie to the fatuous Left, that will blame Bush for everything, from the hurricane itself to the slow response. Williams is a guy who has been through it before, and knows how it works.

Next, the great Mark Steyn gives his two cents, without the usual humor but, as usual nails it.

On to Ralph Peters, the New York Post's rock steady military analyst, chimes in with a criticism of everyone with a dog in this fight, and does not spare the feds. He points out that there is plenty of blame to go around, but singles out the Department of Homeland Security for special derision. As a military guy, Ralph knows what the military can do, and what they can not do.

Finally, I am amazed at the lack of criticism of Michael D. Brown, the head of FEMA, in the articles linked above. While I promised not to pile on with my own criticisms of the failures of our "leaders" in this mess, I found it instructive to take a look at Brown's background, training, and the way that he got his job. A taste:
Brown ran for Congress in 1988 and won 27 percent of the vote against Democratic incumbent Glenn English. He spent the 1990s as judges and stewards commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association. His job was to ensure that horse-show judges followed the rules and to investigate allegations against those suspected of cheating.

"I wouldn't have regarded his position in the horse industry as a platform to where he is now," said Tom Connelly, a former association president.

Brown's ticket to FEMA was Joe Allbaugh, President Bush's 2000 campaign manager and an old friend of Brown's in Oklahoma. When Bush ran for president in 2000, Brown was ending a rocky tenure at the horse association.

Brown told several association officials that if Bush were elected, he'd be in line for a good job. When Allbaugh, who managed Bush's campaign, took over FEMA in 2001, he took Brown with him as general counsel.

"He's known Joe Allbaugh for quite some time," said Andrew Lester, an Oklahoma lawyer who's been a friend of Brown's for more than 20 years. "I think they know each other from school days. I think they did some debate type of things against each other, and worked on some Republican politics together."
Obviously, cronyism at its best. Grow up with a pol, get responsibility for millions of citizens as a reward. If Bush does not fire this guy, I may start asking for his impeachment. There has got to be a limit, and there has got to be responsibility. All those dead and homeless souls down in The Big Easy need to see something from their chief executive, and firing the most visible and the most culpable member of a less than stellar federal cast is a good place to start. Otherwise, we can expect the Rebublicans to pay a dear price next year in the mid-term elections.