Thursday, September 22, 2005

Hurricane Rita: WHOSE state of emergency?

Part of the GOP spin in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was that it was Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco who dropped the ball in not declaring a state of emergency soon enough. Among others, the Washington Post (rapidly sinking into total irrelevancy) was suckered by such a claim as you can read here (note the correction at the top of that page where the WaPo had to eat crow after they learned they'd been bamboozled by the administration).

So how to explain what happens when it's Texas that's in the bullseye?

President Bush declared states of emergency in Texas and Louisiana. Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) urged residents along a 250-mile swath, from Beaumont to Corpus Christi, to leave.

Yes, it's Commander Chimpster himself who is declaring a state of emergency. Apparently, he had the power to do that all along. Gee. Who knew?

(Heck, even that schizophrenic dimbulb Andrew Sullivan figured this one out. Well, OK, he needed some help from a reader but, when it comes to Sully, you have to be charitable.)


OutEast said...

Hm, isn't it just as likely that it's just covering its ass now that its seen what can happen? Play fair - if it did nothing and there was another disater it'd be pilloried, and justly; you're setting up a damned-if-it-does, damned-if-it-don't condition here.

CC said...

Oh, there's no doubt there is plenty of CYA going on now but my point was that the Bush administration was previously defending their slow response to Katrina by arguing that it was the states' responsibility to declare a state of emergency and that the feds' hands were tied until that happened.

Now we find that the federal government did indeed have the right to declare a SOE on behalf of the states the whole time. How convenient.