August 15, 2004
What a cynical, bitter analysis, right?
If John Kerry, or anyone else, were president right now, I'd expect him to be doing more or less the same things. Disperse the resources of the federal government to help rebuild: this is exactly the sort of thing our government should do and does best, that is, buffer people from catastrophe, be it natural disaster or health emergency or sudden unemployment. And he should generally provide comfort to the grief-stricken, which is one of the roles we call on our president to perform.
But of course we have this president, and this president would never try to exploit a tragedy for political gain, right?
The president promised rapid assistance for Florida, where officials estimated damages of up to $11 billion to insured homes alone.!
When asked about why he made such a quick trip to Florida in this election year, Bush said: "If I didn't come, they would've said we should have been here more rapidly."
The Federal Emergency Management Agency was sending teams of medical, urban rescue and communication workers; at least 60 semitrailers containing cots, blankets, meals, portable toilets, wash kits and other necessities; and truckloads of water and ice.
FEMA said the state has requested catastrophic housing for 10,000 people, and more than 4,000 National Guard troops have been activated.
"It's going to be awesome -shock and awe -that's our goal," said Gov. Jeb Bush, the president's younger brother.[Emphasis mine.]
In other news, the word "chutzpah" exploded today, wounding us all deeply.