Because the federal government was not prepared and still is not.The triumph of Grover Norquist, plain and simple.
That ought to be our discussion
He has turned Texas into a laboratory for bad government (Molly Ivins' observation, not original with me). Is it a coincidence Bush came from Texas?
Everything wrong with Bush doesn't begin and end with Karl Rove. (Did you even realize Norquist founded the "K Street Project" with DeLay? His fingerprints are on more crime scenes than Cheney's.) Is it a coincidence DeLay is from Texas, too? I think not.
Since Reagan's era, we have heard a steady drumbeat of how useless "big government" is. Even Nixon wasn't such a mossback (and he was plenty conservative!)
Well, we listened to the siren's song, and now we have crashed on the rocks. New Orleans is just the canary in the coal mine, as Scout says.
Whenever a country as rich and powerful as the United States loses an entire city, a major city, one of the great cities of the world; well, how "powerful" are we, really? What is the use of our "power"? What is it we have been so proud of, for so long?
Why is it a surprise that hubris has once again caught up with us?
Scout has the pictures. But, better than Anderson Cooper or Brian Williams, she has the questions we have to ask.
And we could begin here: how dare we simply excuse this complete failure of response because of an "Act of God?" Have we already forgotten the Mississippi flooding of 13 years ago? I saw whole towns that had been moved to higher ground because of that flooding. No major city was lost, but we knew then how to respond to disaster.
But one query to Google reveals that New Orleans is not the only city at risk flooding, and that hurricanes are not the only danger.
Have we forgotten so much in just my daughter's lifetime?