‘This Country Is Better Than That'

Great New York Times editorial today:

There are dozens of questions Americans will demand to have answered once this emergency has passed. If the Homeland Security Department was so ill prepared for a natural disaster that everyone knew was coming, how is it equipped to handle other kinds of crises? Has the war in Iraq drained the nation of resources that it needs for things like flood prevention? Is the National Guard ready to handle a disaster that might be even worse, like a biological or nuclear attack?

One thing is certain: if President Bush and his Republican Congressional leaders want to deal responsibly with a historic disaster of this scale, they must finally try the path of honestly shared national sacrifice. If they respond by passing a few emergency measures and then falling back on their plans to enact more tax cuts, America will have to confront the fact that it is stuck with leaders who neither know, nor care, how to lead.

The pre-Katrina plan for this Congressional season was to enact more upper-bracket tax cuts for the least needy, while cutting into the safety-net programs for sick and impoverished Americans. These are the very entitlement programs most needed by the sudden underclass of hundreds of thousands of hurricane refugees cast adrift like Dustbowl Okies. Will Congress dare to go forward with these retrogressive plans in the face of the suffering from Katrina? Its woeful track record suggests that, shockingly, the answer may be yes. [...]

Washington's inspiration must now be the individual rescuers in New Orleans, who have labored so bravely and selflessly, as well as the charitable deeds of local and state governments. Houston's offer of shelter at the Astrodome has put self-regarding national politicians to shame.

Congress and the president had better get the message: an extraordinary time is upon the nation. The annihilation in New Orleans is an irrefutable sign that the national tax-cut party is over. So is the idea that American voters cannot be required to accept sacrifice or inconvenience, no matter how great the crisis. This country is better than that.

Tell it like it is.

Previous Comments


I love it when Mother Earth says "Hey Biotch, I don't know what you arrogant butt suckers have been thinking...but, I'M in charge. Everything you thought the world was about...well, heh, its about to change, kids." Consciousness shift...party of four million...table for two. This is where it starts. We are at Ground Zero. But, it isn't the kind of Ground Zero that can be marked with flags and memorialized. It is the Ground Zero that we will look back on in ten years and say, "Yeah, that's when people finally *got* it". If anybody else gets that. PLEASE BE MY FRIEND. :) (Excuse me, I've been without power and internet for a week...I'm positively GIDDY that I'm even able to write again.)

Lori G


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