Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A Final Blow

There are some things that one would believe are above politics. A tragedy as enormous as that of Hurricane Katrina would rightly be considered to be among these few, but, unfortunately, it is not. Whether President Bush deserves it or not, whether he is personally at fault or not, whether the government discriminated or not, this hurricane has become a political firestorm much larger than Katrina itself, a raging inferno of anger and accusation that is on the verge of permanently sinking an already beleaguered Administration. In the week that it's taken the Army to fully occupy New Orleans, Mr. Bush has been accused of racism, of deliberately ignoring the suffering the hurricane victims simply because they were black.
The idea that a U.S. president, no matter how reactionary, incompetent, stupid, or even outright unscrupulous, would intentionally stand by while thousands of his own citizens died is preposterous and a disgrace.
Rappers such as Kanye West (who declared anrgily at the VMA's that, "George Bush does not care about black people.") are quick to cry racism, when in fact they themselves are the racists for categorising most whites as intolerant and for meeting any criticism of their culture whatsoever with exclamations of, "Discrimination!"
The only racial issue that needs to be addressed in New Orleans is why so many of the looters (that is, those taking things other than food and water) are black.
Of course, it does not matter that Mr. Bush did not do these awful things. What matters is that the public perception has been firmly fixed by an scandal-hungry media that invented the issue and a community of racist African-American intellectuals who seized on yet another opportunity for exploitation and indiginity.
This is not to say that the Administration's response wasn't slow, that FEMA performed inadequately, because the reaction was hopelessly insufficient. This is to say that lack of organisation, rather than racism, was responsible for the sluggishness of the federal agencies.
Whatever actually went on, the American people have had enough. The President's approval rating is at 31% and dropping like a stone. All of his other mistakes (and they are many and grievous) have been at once magnified by this, the ultimate failure. It is one thing to see images of ruin in Iraq; it is quite another to see it here.
The Administration, like New Orleans, has sunk, and the back of the Republican majority has been broken.
Even prior to this, Democrats were expected to make fairly significant gains in 2006. Now, it would not come as a terrible surprise if they gained a majority in Congress, and that a Democrat will win the White House in 2008 is a near certainty (discounting, of course, a run made by a moderate like John McCain).
The United States on the verge of a dramatic political realignment. The majority now in power owes its existence to nationwide constituencies that are largely evaporating. Any type of mandate is gone. All we can do now is wait and see.


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9:24 AM  
Blogger RightDemocrat said...

Republicans are vulnerable now due to poor handling of the economy and Iraq. Still, I think Democrats need to develop a positive agenda and make some adjustments on social issues in order to gain a governing majority. The sad reality is the Democratic Party just isn't viable in most of the Red states and will have to reconnect with Middle American values to start winning again.


7:29 PM  
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11:25 AM  

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