In fact, the federal response was faster than Hurricane Andrew, and the much-maligned FEMA head Michael Brown actually began moving Federal resources to the area two days before the hurricane touched down! And as has been reported elsewhere, the Coast Guard was in action less than 24 hours after the storm hit. This in addition to the fact that federal resources were on the ground and in action 48 hours after the storm hit, despite the failure by state and local officials to follow The City of New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. Said plan, by the way, DOES NOT MENTION any asssistance from the federal government. State asssistance is mentioned, and the main responssibility rests with the mayor's office, but the feds are not even referenced! I wonder if anybody in the so-called mainstream Media has even read the plan? Apparently not.
As Ben Johnson of the Front Page Magazine shows, the City of New Orleans' own disaster plan clearly bestows the responsibility for disaster planning and evactuaion on the Mayor of New Orleans. Not the Federal government, not the United Nation, but on the Mayor. And the Mayor failed his city badly. It was his responsibility to get the people out who could not get out by themselves- he failed. It was his responsibility to control the city in the aftermath of the storm- his Police Departmnent, for which he is ultimately responsible, failed. And it was his responsibility to follow his own disaster plan- which he completely failed to do- see Captain Ed Morrissey's coverage of the bodies in a New Orleans hospital for evidence of just how badly he failed his constituents.
However, he was not alone. And it appears that the students at Louisiana State University (congratulations, by the way on the great win at Arizona State this weekend) understand their governmental system better than either the politicians who tried so hard to pass the buck or the Exempt Media who tried to let them off the hook due apparently to their party affiliation. As the LSU student paper, The Reveille accurately commented,
We live in the era of massive federal government. Yet, this doesn’t change the fact that America was not designed to function through one huge central government. Our federalist system gives states and municipal governments the responsibility to protect and care for their citizenry.
Two days before Hurricane Katrina made landfall near New Orleans, President Bush took the extraordinary step of declaring the state of Louisiana a major disaster area before the disaster was a reality. Through this declaration, medical supplies, food, water and National Guard units were sent to be on call just a short distance from New Orleans.
The Reveille went on to scour Governor Kathleen Blanco (D-LA), saying,
According to Colonel David Hunt, a Fox News military analyst, Blanco had 6,000 Louisiana National Guard and 1,000 state police at her disposal, but Blanco didn’t send them in. Nor did she call her fellow governors to mobilize Guard units from other states.
In my estimation, Governor Blanco also deserves blame for her decision to block Red Cross workers from delivering relief supplies and who dithered before actually calling in the feds to help. She is a political hack, and deserves impeachment for her utter lack of leadership, along with the main hack, Mayor Nagin. Not that any of this has stopped the Left's attack dogs from claiming that George Bush is somehow responsible. Does the Left live in the real world?
So let's review. In 1992, the Democrats and their media friends sold us a draft-dodger by saying that it was time to move on from Vietnam and that draft-dodging didn't matter. But when a Republican with less-than-heroic military credentials ran, they claimed he was a draft-dodger! When Bill Clinton sent our military into Kosovo on a bleeding-heart whim (we are still there, by the way), they had no problem with the lack of UN credentials or with using the US military. And they certainly didn't hover like vultures waiting for the next day's death list! (And I do not recall many Republicans claiming Clinton was making us less safer. They questioned his motives, but not his actions). But when George Bush goes into Iraq in pursuit of actually making the United States safer, somehow a lack of UN credentials is criminal and our soldiers are suddenly imperialist baby-killers again. When a Senate voted 99-0 against Kyoto, they said nothing. But when a hurricane hits, instead of pulling together and trying to rebuild, they can only try to use this disaster to destroy the President! Whatever happened to the idea of loyal opposition? Or is that one more just ideal consigned to the scrapbin of history?