The light that Katrina shone on American reality burned brightly and petered out quickly. Bush was a legitimate target, but he was also a convenient one. His policies had accentuated America's fault lines but they had not created them. Katrina revealed the problems with his Administration. But the past year has also exposed the left's inability to formulate a coherent progressive agenda in response, galvanize a constituency for it and then sustain a campaign around it.Read the rest
To truly grasp how events in New Orleans unraveled, America would have to grapple with its ahistorical understanding of race, ambivalence toward class and antagonism toward government. But those rabbit holes proved too deep and too ugly, and in the end it was a journey the country had neither the will, curiosity nor leadership to make.
I'm beginning to think there are too many big problems to deal with, and we will simply make ourselves insane trying to. The great engineering efforts of the 19th century which made places like greater New Orleans habitable cannot be equalled by great social engineering, or even political, efforts in the 21st century. We've got to back up and try another road. Which one?, is the question.