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September 02, 2005

The Clueless Andrew Sullivan

This may be about the stupidest thing I've heard in a long, long time. Here's the crucial part:

"After four years, they are still incompetent, unprepared, unable to have made the real changes that we need to have made. In the case of New Orleans, criminally negligent. People have died because of their inability to plan, to spend wisely, to set real priorities, to respond quickly. That goes for New Orleans. And it also applies to Iraq."

What a pathetic and ignorant statement. The city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana have had corrupt and incompetent governments for decades, and yet it's George W. Bush's fault that this happened. Say what you like about the administration's response - it could have been better but it hasn't been awful - but to suggest that the disaster itself is the fault of this administration is remarkably foolish. Sullivan should know better, but apparently he doesn't.

Now is not the time for analysis, whether from pundits or victims. Pundits don't know what they're talking about, and most evacuees aren't in a place of enough clarity to provide a serious opinion.

So Andrew, do us all a favor. Keep quiet.

Posted by Matt at September 2, 2005 11:37 PM

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Critics of Bush are not suggesting that he caused the disaster; they are asserting that his administration bears some responsibility for needless suffering as a result of poor planning, misallocated resources, and a slow response.

In a previous post I deferred to you and other conservatives when you said that a discussion of the topic of responsibility and accountability should wait. But at some point our country needs to have that discussion. When do you think an appropriate time should be? Because the longer conservatives say "now is not the time", the more it looks like conservatives are planning to say "we need to move on" when the topic is forced to the forefront of discussions about the catastrophe at a later date. I hope that is not the case. We need to learn from the shameful mistakes that were made during this crisis to prevent people from suffering again in the future.

Posted by: dem at September 3, 2005 08:01 AM

Just an FYI; critics of Bush are indeed suggesting he caused the disaster (descriptions of such are here and here, and here's the classic.) It's as though they believe that global warming has increased so much in that last 5 years that it had enough effect to cause or substantially worsen Katrina.

You will find those on the Right properly critical of the response. But a lot of the punditry on the Left is outright hysterical. The overall reaction of the Left is not just a case of trying to figure out who's fault any perceived slowness of reaction is. It's incredibly over the top, from all over the world.

Sullivan's caustic blame game isn't helping anything, not until all the facts, or at least a substantial number of them, are made available. He may not be blaming Bush for the weather, but he's still hysterical.

Posted by: Doug Payton at September 3, 2005 10:28 AM