The Fifth Horseman: On Rehnquist and the Hypocrisy of the Katrina Response

Sunday, September 04, 2005


On Rehnquist and the Hypocrisy of the Katrina Response

Well, unless you live in a cave somewhere, you've already heard the news.

Chief Justice Rehnquist is dead. Rest in peace. I may not agree with the man, but I can at least wish him peace.

That said, things are going to get increasingly interesting in the next couple weeks. Not only do we have John G. Roberts nomination to think about, we now have to fill the post of Chief Justice.

Quite frankly, this change frightens me. I know it's in poor taste to speak badly of the dead, but honesty will be necessary in this entry.

I am frightened of another justice in the mold of Rehnquist. From abortion to affirmative action to gay rights, Rehnquist has made a point of opposing any decision that could possibly increase the rights of the citizens of this nation.

Another Justice in the mold of Rehnquist could be potentially disastrous for a woman's right to choose (among other things), especially since the positions of Roberts are virtually unknown. The idea of two brand-new, anti-choice justices on the Supreme Court should be very unsettling to principled Left-Wingers everywhere.

Now, on to some Hurricane news.

By this point, all intelligent people know that Bush and the Chickenhawk Brigade don't actually give a shit about the people in New Orleans. In case you still haven't got the picture, I present you this quote by Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff. In response to a question (video clip here) about the Administration's sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina, Chertoff said:
"You don't normally tell the National Guard to pack up and move within 24 hours unless it's, ya know, a huge emergency."

So apparently, to the Chickenhawk Brigade, the thousands of American citizens in mortal danger on the Gulf Coast don't constitute an "emergency". Sorry folks, you're not important to the White House. Maybe things would be better if you lived in a swing state.

Which brings me on to my next topic. On Friday night, Bush finally signed a $10.5 billion aid bill for Hurricane Katrina. Bush also visited some affected on Friday, taking time for a photo-op that tied up rescue operations and diverted rescue workers from their task of saving people, so they could stand at attention behind the President.

But I digress. That's not my main point. What I really want to do is draw a comparison between Bush's response to Florida, after it was hit by four hurricanes last year, and Bush's response to Hurricane Katrina this year.

Last year, when four hurricanes slammed into Florida, Bush was on the ground at the site almost immediately for a photo-op with his brother Jeb. Also, he awarded $31 million in disaster relief to Florida residents who didn't even experience hurricane damage.

Is it a coincidence that Florida was a swing state in an election year, while Louisiana was not? Could this have something to do with Bush's speedy response to Florida last year, and his sluggish response Hurricane Katrina this year?

I think we're all intelligent enough to know the answer to that question.
Unless helping you will win him votes or money, Dubya doesn't care if you live or die.

A real "compassionate conservative", huh?

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