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National Reactions to Bush Admin on Katrina

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In an earlier comment, Kate wonders about how the national mood is reacting over the failure of the Federal response to Katrina... I perceive the national mood definitely shifting to see the Federal response as what it was: confused and weak and inadequate as people were dieing. More below:

From ABC News:


"Unquestionably, the signal political development of the last 24 hours has been the coalescing of a consensus view among elites that the federal response has been inadequate.

The images and the tone of the network TV coverage are problematic for the political leadership at all levels.

Even the Bush administration overnight stepped back from fully defending the quality of the effort, with White House aides telling at least one news organization that the president is angry over the slow response... a sure sign that the administration realizes that they need to "turn the page" on the perception that they haven't done enough.

Some conservative voices have turned in whole or in part against the Bush effort:

The Washington Times, in a scathing editorial: "We're pleased [the president] finally caught a ride home from his vacation, but he risks losing the one trait his critics have never dented: His ability to lead, and be seen leading..."

And elsewhere, Tim Russert writes:

"And it's not as if we didn't know this was coming. There were studies after studies. There were tests after tests. As recently as a year ago there was a tabletop disaster scenario played out as to what would happen to New Orleans in a major hurricane. And the results of those studies have now been proven to be true.

So the questions that have to be asked are:

Why weren't the poor people evacuated? They don't have SUVs. They travel by public bus. Could they have been evacuated?

Secondly, in terms of pre-positioning, where were the troops, where were the National Guard? If people were to be sent to the Superdome, why weren't there cots and water and food there?

Second-guessing is easy, but it is also, I think, a requirement of those in a free society to challenge their government, when the primary function of the government is to protect its citizens and they haven't been protected."

Others have asked good questions such as if this is how we are handling this type of national emergency, how would we respond to a major terrorist attack?
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