|Man Without Qualities|
Monday, September 12, 2005
Why is Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu so mad that she's threatened to "punch" the president (a possible federal crime)? Why is Democratic National Committee head Howard Dean screaming "racism" in a crowed emergency zone? And why is Louisiana Democratic Governor Kathleen Blanco so emotionally upset that she refused to sign over Louisiana National Guard control to the federal government and her office refused to return calls from the White House, resulting in her not knowing that Bush was coming to her home town for a second visit until told by reporters? Yes, yes, there's lots of finger pointing going on and lots of agendas in play. But doesn't it all seem a bit, well, unusually emotional on the Democratic side in Louisiana these days - even for a big emergency? Why is that?
Well, this Financial Times article may help explain the fury:
As the flood waters gradually recede in New Orleans, local Democrats are starting to worry that the storm may have washed away their strongest political base in the state. .... The key to the Democrats' strong position in the state has been the black community of New Orleans. If many choose not to return, local Democrats fear, their natural majority in state politics could be swept away. ...Sad, that. Big hurricane comes to town and washes away one's ATM of votes. All the Democrats lose their jobs even if the federal government gets most of the blame for problems in the relief effort. What Louisiana voter gets back to town and when in the hands of the Republican administration. Makes sense that all those Democrats are upset. Really upset.
Even Hillary Clinton should be upset - Bill carried Louisiana both times.
UPDATE: One wonders what the reactions of Louisiana Democrats and Senator Clinton were to Bill Clinton's Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt's suggesting in the New York Times that New Orleans be rebuilt only as an island surrounded by miles of open water. That is, miles of open water covering miles of formerly dry land once inhabited by hundreds of thousands of Democrats.
That's quite a vision you've got there, Mr. Babbitt!
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