A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Monday, September 12, 2005

Emergency Powers and Duties

Thanks to all for your concerns about my back troubles. I`m not quite up for telling the whole sordid tale-it would actually be quite funny if it happened to someone else-but I promise to give you the whole story sometime this week. Suffice it to say that I`m doing better, but still have a ways to go. My blogging may be a bit lighter than normal; please be patient!

I was wondering how many of you, my wise and noble readers, caught New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin on Meet the Press? In an effort to stir up trouble, Tim Russert asked Mayor Nagin his opinion of George Bush`s response to the Hurricane. Nagin spoke rather kindly of Bush, saying he thinks the President initially didn`t have proper information on what was happening. He stated that the President responded immediately to any requests from his office. His attitude changed dramatically when asked about Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco; he was visibly trying to control his anger at the Democratic Governor. Interesting, no? The Democrats and the Media have tried to pin the slow response to this disaster on the President in one of the most shameful partisan displays we have yet witnessed. The reality is that the Governor has control of her state-not the President-and her timid and vacillating response was largely to blame for the problems. SHE asked for twenty four hours to think over the President`s offer of troops. SHE failed to put her State`s evacuation plans in motion. She fumbled the ball-and Mayor Nagin understands that clearly.

I would say that the Democrats may rue the day when they called for an investigation of this except that the press will probably bury it. Congress will issue a report which the MSM will cover half-heartedly and they will stress that mistakes were made on both sides of the aisle. Don`t expect any political fallout from this-unless someone turns something up which makes the Administration look bad.

In fact, the President handled this properly. His only mistake was not rushing to Louisiana immediately, biting his lip ala Bill Clinton and ``feeling their pain`` (as well as a few of the more nubile refugees fannies.) In the modern theraputic culture, the President is supposed to be ``our Freud``, the Psychiatrist-in-Chief, who listens sympathetically to our woes. Clinton was the perfect man for the Jerry Springer/Oprah culture of the `90`s. President Bush just isn`t cut from the same cloth; he believes in listening when he should listen and acting when he should act. He does not speak first and ask questions later. This makes him a more effective administrator, but it costs him P.R. points. Modern America wants a ``Great White Father`` in Washington; they want someone to hold their hands.

This Hurricane is going to have serious long-term effects. We are going to see a move to further weaken the autonomy of the States, with the Federal Government running the show whenever any disaster strikes. I fear that Federal involvement will no longer be at the request of the state, but at the pleasure of FEMA and Congress. How much longer will we even bother with the notion of ``states``? Soon we will be calling them provinces.

Further, the move is afoot to move FEMA out of the DHS and make it a cabinet level position. Liberals are actually saying this will cut through the red tape (when has a new layer of beaurocracy ever REDUCED red tape?) We don`t need another layer of beaurocracy in Washington. The Republicans need to oppose this.

In the final analysis, government starts at home. Many of those hurt by the Hurricane failed to heed the warnings, and are angry at the government because they have come to depend on government to babysit them. The City of New Orleans did indeed fail to execute their evacuation plans properly. The State failed to act decisively. A cabinet level Department of Emergencies would not have been able to act any faster than the local or state governments-or the people.

First and foremost, people must learn self-reliance. The world is a dangerous place, and survival starts with the individual. For too long we have sought the solutions to our problems in Washington, and everyone in this crisis waited for the Feds to act first. This monarchial mentality, this idea that power flows from the King downward, has cost numerous lives here. America has lost the spirit which made a Republic possible. One hundred years ago no one would have made a fuss about the failure of Washington to act. We have become conditioned to the idea of, well, servitude. Too many among us view our condition as one of serfdom, where the Lord (Government) provides for us and protects us while we render our yearly tribute (on April 15th, as it happens here.)

Our system was never designed for such a servile attitude; America was built by the self-reliant, and our system of government was predicated on that principle. America cannot last in its current form with the continual feudalization of society.

If hard cases make bad law, what does a disaster of this magnitude create? Any proposals which grow the authority of government to deal with this crisis will doom more people in the future.



Blogger TJ Willms said...

"Further, the move is afoot to move FEMA out of the DHS and make it a cabinet level position."

I don't see removing FEMA from under DHS as adding another Layer to the Washington bureaucracy machine. FEMA has always been a stand-alone agency that has little to do with DHS activities unless it is called on to respond to a terrorist attack.

Their mission is far more wide ranging than just the aspects that brush up against the DHS mandate. It never made sense to me to lump them into the "security apparatus", that DHS has become. Think of the other components of DHS and FEMA really doesn't fit. FBI, CIA, DEA, Coast Guard, Border Patrol all of them make sense, but FEMA?

2:55 PM  
Blogger Tran Sient said...

The bureacracy in DC can't get in gear to do anything in less than a week. Anyone whos been around here should be shocked that they were able to move as fast as they did.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

I, too, marvel that the feds were able to move as fast as they did. It's one awkward snail.

When my mother-in-law's house burned down in the Altadena Wildfires of 1993, settlement took years. She finally sold the charred lot.

6:21 AM  
Blogger Aussiegirl said...

I agree with TJ -- FEMA should not have been folded into the gargantuan bureacracy of DHS. It was leaner and meaner as a stand alone. As for Naggin' Nagin -- Blanko never forgave him for endorsing a Republican over her - so she gave him the cold shoulder at every turn -- and it cost lives.

9:30 PM  

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