The headline may as well be "AP calls Bush an incompetent boob." This is the least gentle mainstream press article I've yet seen regarding Bush and his administration and their abominable response to the hurricane and subsequent flooding in New Orleans and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast. There's a timeline comparing Bush's planned events to the onset of disaster, making clear that he either didn't get how bad this could be or didn't care. His post-hurricane actions are listed one by one and dismissed as failures, from his first speech on the subject to his PR visit on Friday, during which he waxed poetic about Trent Lott's future porch rather than showing any concern for the hundreds of thousands who were still stranded and getting no help from Bush's government. As Bill Maher put it Friday night:
[Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff] said, 'The critical thing was to get people out there before this disaster. Some people chose not to obey that order. That was a mistake on their part.' And this is what I call 'unintentional racism.' Because this guy - that's the whole thing with the Bush people. They just can't imagine, 'Why don't you just pack up your Range Rover, grab a case of Poland Spring water out of the garage, and go to your summer home? What is the problem?!' They just don't get it.On the same show, it was fun to watch Anderson Cooper's indignant response to the adminstration's repeated suggestion that there will be time later for accountability:
All these politicians all this week are saying, 'Well, you know what? This is not the time to point fingers; this is not the time to, you know, quibble about things.' Well, you know what? When is the time, because I'm happy to write it down in my engagement book. And make an appointment, because, to me, the time is now, when the world is watching."The White House claims it has no time for politics right now, but something tells me someone is there right now, with a name that rhymes with "stove," trying to figure out how to spin this in the president's favor. For the first time since taking office nearly five years ago, Bush and Rove may not be able to find a way around firing some folks for this mess. If both Michael Brown and Michael Chertoff still have jobs in two weeks...let's just say the press will be even more emboldened than it already has been by this tragedy to call Bush to account.