Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Gustav--We Hardly Knew Ya!
There was just a giant disruption in people's lives all up and down the Gulf Coast from Brownsville to Tampa. It wasn't Gustav, which was a tropical depression which briefly turned into a Category One hurricane before it broke up into a mass of rainy clouds. Bad weather, lots of rain. Bring the dog indoors and take the laundry off the line.
But the approach of this minor climatic event did not go unnoticed in the corridors of power. The geniuses who run our country would normally be indifferent to a few of their lowly constituents becoming more soggy than usual but three years ago a Category Four monster named Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and flooded a major city. The Governor of Louisiana had completely panicked as the storm approached and refused federal aid. The Mayor of New Orleans, in one of the most spectacular displays of cowardice in modern history went to pieces in a hotel room as his police force disintegrated and ran for their lives with emergency lights flashing and sirens screaming. Some of them were found in their police cars as far away as Florida in the next days. The feeble idiot in charge of FEMA spent a critical afternoon getting a massage and manicure and so wasn't available to take calls about Katrina until it was too late.
Helpless residents of old folks homes and tens of thousands of shut-ins and agoraphobics remained in New Orleans in the deadly path of the storm and either died or ended up on roofs waving desperately at the Coast Guard and Army helicopters which the hapless Bush finally sent to the stricken city.
The media, looking for a way to smack the detested Bush, accented the federal role in this catastrophic screw-up and completely downplayed the disgraceful role of the local Democratic officials in the not-so-funny comedy of governmental ineptitude. Katrina became a byword for Bush's aloof racist incompetence.
In the three years that followed we've been treated to a further display of reasons why we should be wary of government 'solutions' to urgent problems. People were parked, at taxpayer expense, in luxury hotels for years. Every house trailer built in the last fifteen years was purchased and dumped into muddy vacant lots in Arkansas and Tennessee to sink into the mire or be hauled off as scrap. There were enough of these empty double-wides to accommodate the population of New York City if the need arose but they were never used for anyone anywhere. People were handed cash-cards that some of them used to get lap-dances at strip clubs and God knows what else!
So as Gustav approached the Gulf Coast, after there being no significant storms for a couple of years. The pols panicked. No one wanted to be in the path of a political hurricane that could destroy careers and devastate political livelihoods. In Mel Brook's documentary about the functions of government, 'Blazing Saddles', the dimunitive Governor Lepetomane stands up and declares loudly, "Gentlemen! We have our phony-baloney JOBS to protect!" The watchword of modern government. The first step was to order the largest transfer of human population, at gunpoint, since Stalin ordered all the Germans out of East Prussia and Silesia. The roads were jammed leading inland from every part of the Gulf Coast for hundreds of miles. Then the media began to cite concerns about the levees in New Orleans holding up under this Category ONE assault!
Hang on a minute BabaLooey! This is THREE YEARS after Katrina and the feds have spent $160 BILLION dollars on post-Katrina fixes and those punks haven't fixed those danged levees yet? $160 BILLION dollars is ten times the amount spent on the Chunnel, the largest civil engineering project in human history. That means they had enough money to build five Chunnels, the Great Wall Of China, the Eiffel Tower and the Panama Canal and years to do it and those levees cant handle a minor tropical depression! And you guys are against waterboarding? We're just waterboarding the wrong people. Instead of abusing innocent Muslim Terrorists whoever is supposed to be fixing those levees should be the first to enjoy a session followed by the biggest money-hungry loudmouth in all of this business, that stupid cow Mary Landreau.
So Gustav spared us the Opening Night of the Republican Convention, and for that many thanks to God and Gustav. The blazing rhetoric of a Bush or even a Cheney is best enjoyed in the privacy of one's own fundraiser with the doors locked and the shades drawn, not in public where the leftist rats in the press can take a hearty swing at it. Those guys are mad since their shameless plugging of Obama's Euro Victory Tour made his poll numbers drop and they are looking for victims. A profile which Bush and Cheney fit nicely. I'll bet McCain's real upset that they dont get to show up and make Obama's point that he's just four more years of Bush. Real upset.
So, as the clouds that were Gustav spread out over Texas and Oklahoma, as they dump buckets of rain in Arkansas and Tennessee, as creeks run over in northern Mississippi and Alabama the Republicans will assemble this evening in Minneapolis, freed of their embarrassing obligation to laud the unpopular Bush, the author of the party's grievous state and bow down in tribute to the Fertility Goddess, the forty-five year old Grandma, our mistress of the Snowmobile, the Maiden Of The Oil Rig, the Working Class Heroine and The Wrinkly Old White Dude as they show up those sappy Democrats and their convention dominated by a terminal cancer victim and her two autistic children and show the libs what an upbeat, upsurge convention is supposed to be like!