Friday, September 09, 2005

Finger-pointing

Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post assigns blame for the Katrina catastrophe in the following order: Mother Nature, Mayor Nagin, Governor Blanco, President Bush, Congress & the American people. Not surprisingly, Paul Krugman in the NYT lays all blame at the feet of President Bush and ties it to Iraq. Also in the NYT, conservative commentator Nicholas Eberstadt argues disingenuously that the poverty rate in the United States is not an accurate reflection of reality and that the gap between haves and have-nots in this country is nothing to worry about. This is the tired old amoral argument that the poor in America are better off than the poor in developing countries. Obviously Mr. Eberstadt hasn't spent much time in Louisiana. Finally, Mort Kondracke, columnist for The Hill, broadens discussion of the disaster response and suggests the fiasco means the U.S. isn't ready to face a terrorist attack, even four years after 9/11. Of course none of these pieces offer any new insights, but it's interesting to see certain arguments appearing in predictable contexts. Indeed, my column on Wednesday observed that the direction of the finger-pointing is directly connected to political predispositions pre-Katrina. There's only more of this ahead.