The Polite Liberal

A rant-free discussion of liberal philosophy and policies.


The Polite Liberal is the pseudonym of a "nontraditional" graduate student in mathematics (for nonacademics, "nontraditional," is a polite way of saying, "older than 25.") The Polite Liberal is an attempt to spur real policy debate, instead of partisan insults and conspiracy theories. Conservatives (and liberals, of course!) are welcome.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

diddley, Diddley...


OK, politeness goes on vacation for a day. This has nothing to do with policy. This has to do with basic competence at making the government do what it's designed to do.

We're now five full days after the hurricane hit. People are dying of thirst and starvation in the very places they WERE TOLD TO GO IF THEY COULDN'T GET OUT OF NEW ORLEANS.

Remember five or six years ago, under Clinton, when FEMA could get the job done? You're telling me that in a week we couldn't get food and supplies in to these folks?

Remember after the tsunami? Remember all the snarking about how other countries never pony up to help us when we're in trouble?

Well, they're trying. Canada, Russia, and Israel have all offered assistance. The Bush administration, for whatever brilliant reasons they've come up with, WON'T COORDINATE WITH THEM. Louisiana had to cut a separate deal with Canada to get help in from Vancouver.

We're all donating to the Red Cross, but the Red Cross can't contain looting and get supplies to starving people without military help. Every online message from an Army pilot that I've read has them chomping at the bit, wondering when they'll flipping get the order to go do their jobs.

Again, this isn't policy. This is disastrous incompetence by the folks whose job it is to coordinate the response.


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