First lady Laura Bush on Thursday denounced critics who say race played a role in the federal government's slow response to victims of Hurricane Katrina, calling the accusations "disgusting."No, Mrs. Bush; it is not the charges of racism that are "disgusting." It is the reality of your husband's response to this catastrophe.
It is the reality that on Monday, as the levees gave way in New Orleans, your husband headed West, to rally political support for his Medicare program one last time, and proceeded on to Sand Diego, to stand in a sea of white faces and white uniforms to commemorate war. That reality is disgusting.
It is the reality that, as New Orleans drowned and people crowded the now-disabled Superdome and the equally disabled Convention Center in New Orleans, or tried desperately to chop through roofs to escape attics clogged with rising water, your husband stood on stage with a guitar bearing a Presidential seal, and grinned like an idiot teenager enjoying all the attention he was getting. What attention were the people of New Orleans getting? That reality is disgusting.
It is the reality that, when he finally returned to Texas and decided he might need to go back to Washington, D.C., and actually do his job as President, the closest he could get to New Orleans was a fly-over. That reality is disgusting.
It is the reality that, when he finally came to New Orleans, several days too late and several rescues too short, he stood at the horror scene that was now the airport in Kenner, turned to the incompetent idiot responsible for this nightmare of suffering, and said: "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job!" That reality is disgusting.
It is the reality of asking Nancy Pelosi "What went wrong?," and thinking to twist that story into a macho boast with: "Oh, and you have conducted an investigation?" It is the absolute refusal to hold anyone in his government accountable for their abject failures in this matter. It is the clear reality that the entire government was "on vacation" in August and was caught flat-footed by a hurricane that even NOAA had warned about in apocalyptic terms.Tuesday, as the storm.
But most of all, it is your husband's continuous refusal to accept responsibility for doing the worst job of crisis response imaginable, that is disgusting. It is listening to the 9/11 operators recount phone calls from people trapped in attics and drowning because no one was coming to rescue them, of old women in nursing homes drowning in rising water a week after the storm, because no one was coming to rescue them; the story that even your husband didn't know there were people at the Convention center in New Orleans until Thursday, when the whole world was wondering by Wednesday when was someone going to rescue them, that is disgusting.
Is your husband also a racist? Well, Mrs. Bush, at this point, that is almost the least of his sins.