When these Two Agree...
One of the following two quotes was written today by Paul Krugman, bete noir of the right. The other is by Andrew Sullivan, not the most ideological of righties, but hardly a good Michael Moore man. See if you can tell which is which.
The complete collapse of effective government and of emergency procedures four years after 9/11 mean only one thing. We do not have an administration capable of running the country during the war on terror. They have bungled homeland security; they have mismanaged Iraq; they have dropped the ball in New Orleans. In each case, a conservative government does not seem to understand that law and order are always, always, the first priority. The glib self-congratulation of government official after official made me retch listening to them. Chertoff mouthed bureaucratese. Only today did the president say that the response was "not acceptable." Notice again the distancing: you, Mr Bush, are the man responsible. It is your performance that is not acceptable. Of course, we have to live with this president for three years - and one can only tremble at the thought of what that means in the event of another terror strike.Two
At a fundamental level, I'd argue, our current leaders just aren't serious about some of the essential functions of government. They like waging war, but they don't like providing security, rescuing those in need or spending on preventive measures. And they never, ever ask for shared sacrifice.
Yesterday Mr. Bush made an utterly fantastic claim: that nobody expected the breach of the levees. In fact, there had been repeated warnings about exactly that risk.
So America, once famous for its can-do attitude, now has a can't-do government that makes excuses instead of doing its job. And while it makes those excuses, Americans are dying.
(Okay, it wasn't that hard, but you get the point.)