The Culture of Blame

Friday, September 16, 2005

On assigning blame for Hurricane Katrina:

"Let me make this clear: Everything which has happened as the result of Hurricane Katrina is my fault. Mine. Alone. No one else's. Stop wasting energy pointing fingers and put your hands to work helping out. It was me. Got it? I was a United States Senator from Louisiana in 2001 when the levee at Lake Pontchartrain was declared unsafe and I didn't have enough clout with my Senatorial brethren to get sufficient money appropriated to fix it. It was my fault.

"Oh. I almost forgot. I was the Commander in Chief of all United States Armed Forces in the 1960s which includes the Corps of Engineers. The cost benefit analysis? My fault.

"It is my fault that, as the Governor of Louisiana, I didn't foresee the need to have enough Louisiana National Guard troops-the vast majority of whom are NOT currently in Iraq, or Afghanistan or, for that matter, Indiana-pre-positioned and ready to preserve order. I, frankly, forgot that there is a portion of the population which will steal anything from anyone given any opportunity and then will blame it on me because I didn't-in spite of ample warnings by sociologists from large Eastern Universities-foresee the need to have 27" flat screen television sets available to every family in the New Orleans city limits as soon as the electricity went out. That one WAS my bad.

"It is my fault that, as Mayor of New Orleans, I was boogying down Bourbon Street the night before the hurricane hit rather than being where I should have been-on the roof of the Superdome pounding in extra nails to hold the roof on. As the architect of the Superdome, it was my fault for claiming that the Dome could survive 200 mile per hour winds. It couldn't even handle a relatively gentle 160 mile per hour zephyr. Strap me to my rafting table and set me adrift.

"Global warming? My fault. despite the fact that nearly every serious climatologist in America has stated over and over again that there is no clear evidence tying human generated greenhouse gasses to global warming, and even if there were, there is no evidence tying global warming to hurricanes in the Atlantic basin, I was opposed to the Kyoto treaty and so it is my fault. It is also my fault that during the administration of Bill Clinton the U.S. Senate rejected the terms of the Kyoto protocols by a vote of 950. That would be zero, zilch, nada, nil, bupkis.

"As the Grand Poohbah in Charge of all TV Coverage, it is my fault that there is constant video of looters and almost none of humanitarian activities. I am the person who issued the statement: 'No more rescue footage UNLESS the person rescued complains about how long they had to wait or, if he shoots at the rescuers.'

"And, finally, as Chairman of the National Association of Gasoline Producers it is my fault that I had the bad judgment to put so much of my drilling, refining and transportation assets in a hurricane prone area like the Caribbean basin. What...was...I...thinking? If I could redo that whole thing, I would have put all that equipment in Lake Erie and Lake Michigan. There may not be any oil there, but hurricanes are very rare.

"So. There you have it. Everything that has happened is my fault. Now. Shut up and help."

~Rich Galen


Leeann said...

Call me a politician, I probably deserve it, but I had to rebut something said early on in this statement, saying that Louisiana senators hadn’t been able to amass enough money to address the broken levees. Au contraire.
Over the five years that President Bush has been in office, Louisiana has received far more money for Corps of Engineer civil works projects than any other state. Louisiana has received about $1.9 billion; California was a distant second with less than $1.4 billion, even though its population is more than seven times as large.
While some of Louisiana’s money was spent in an attempt to preserve the watery borders of New Orleans, hundreds of millions of dollars went to unrelated projects. For example, the Corps had launched a $748 million construction project on the New Orleans Industrial Canal right before Hurricane Katrina hit, but the project had nothing to do with flood control. The Corps was ready to build a new lock for the canal, in spite of the fact that barge traffic on the canal has been steadily decreasing in recent years. Earlier this year, the Board paid $2.4 million for a “Mardi Gras Fountain” which has nothing to do with levees or flood control. The Board also provided $15 million for two overpasses to help gamblers get to Bally’s riverboat casino and $90,000 to investigate a critic of the Board’s activities. Therefore, the accusation that funds have been cut for levee projects is wholly inaccurate. The problem lies in how that money was actually spent by those responsible for the safety of the Gulf Coast area.

Kelly Sauer said...

*chuckle* I think that might have been the point... Sarcasm, anyone?

Leeann said...

Sorry... sorry... I deal with too many constituents who don't know the meaning of sarcasm :-P

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