How to Make Political Hay Out of Tragedy

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Adam's Apple, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Probably show go in the HUMOR column. I can just visualize Sidney Blumenthal, Paul Begala, James Carvelle, or even Howard Dean being the responder to this telephone call.

    Political Profit in Tragedy
    By Tom Purcell, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
    Sunday, September 11, 2005

    "Hello, Katrina Help Line, I phoned in response to the terrible disaster in New Orleans and across the Gulf Coast. What can I do to help?"
    "You want to help? The very first thing you must do is exploit the tragedy to advance your political agenda."

    "Pardon me?"

    "If environmentalism is your cause, then claim that Katrina was a direct result of global warming and President Bush's failure to agree to the Kyoto accords. That's what Robert Kennedy Jr. did."

    "But hurricane activity has dropped in America since 1940 - which doesn't matter at the moment. What matters is that thousands are dead and thousands more are suffering. Shouldn't we focus our energies on relieving their suffering?"

    "If you wanted to prevent suffering, you never should have voted for Bush. It's clear he doesn't care about poor, black inner-city folks. That's why he took his good old time sending federal assistance."

    "That, sir, is an outrageous claim, and not worthy of a response. The initial response surely was pitiful - the Bush administration may prove to deserve its fair share of the blame, along with state and local governments - but shouldn't we be more concerned now with bringing order to the problems down in the Gulf?"

    "If you wanted order, you should have spoken up before Bush sent so many National Guard troops to Iraq. There weren't enough troops to get into New Orleans to prevent the breakdown and the looting. The looting was Bush's fault."

    "That, sir, is absurd. Looting for water and food is one thing, but big-screen televisions? But that doesn't concern me just yet. Like most Americans, all I want to do is help, but your anger and finger-pointing is making it more difficult to do so."

    "You want difficult, try this on for size. The Bush people, says Clinton friend Sidney Blumenthal, cut funding from a flood control project down in the Big Easy to pay for the war in Iraq. It's because of Bush's lousy war that the waters rose!"

    "But the levees broke in an area that had already been upgraded. The Army Corps of Engineers never expected the breaks to occur where they did. Besides, the levees were designed to withstand only a Level 3 category storm - not one as powerful as Katrina. But again, discussing this right now is not why I phoned. I phoned to find out what is needed."

    "I'll tell you what is needed: a Senate investigation led by someone really objective - Hillary Clinton. Then we can carefully pinpoint everything Bush did wrong, and if we string out the hearings long enough, we can beat down the president and Republicans so completely that maybe Democrats will finally regain political power!"

    "Goodness gracious, why does everything have to be viewed through a political lens! The fact is a natural disaster has occurred. Natural disasters have happened before. They will happen again. Our government failed, at all levels, to adequately protect and aid our citizens, and we clearly need to learn from our mistakes."

    "You got that right, and a good place to start is for Republicans to get fired."

    "But I find it abhorrent that so many people have so shamelessly exploited the suffering of so many to advance their own ends, particularly while the suffering is still going on! The world has been watching us, after all. Terrorists have been watching. I worry about the messages we are sending."

    "That Bush is responsible?"

    "No, that by staying united as a country we will stand, but divided we will fall. If we can't keep together to aid victims of a natural tragedy, I worry how we will respond in the midst of a large-scale terrorist attack."

    "That's easy. Blame Bush."

    http://pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/opinion/columnists/purcell/s_372584.html
     
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