Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Floating Bodies, Political Points

The MSM and the blogosphere is awash (sorry) with pundits trying to either place blame or absolve responsibility for the effects of Katrina. Granted, I think it's pretty clear that the response has been less than stellar. But what's got my back up today is the rash of (generally liberal) columnists that are accusing (mainly) the federal government of exacerbating to the devestation because of the ideological notions of the current administration. The thrust of the argument is that these "anti-government" conservatives have weakened the federal government to the point that it was unable to respond effectively to the catastrophe. There isn't a lot with which I see eye-to-eye with the current residents of the White House, and I'm certainly not going to spend any time defending them (there's enough people doing that). But first off, the problem of levee stregthening goes back far longer than just Bush. It's been something like 40 years that this has been de-prioritized by all levels of government. I don't think Bush helped at all (and the restructuring of FEMA within Homeland Security also likely slowed the response to the crisis), but it's more than just his fault. More broadly, though, I have to take exception to the idea that the Republican party as it is currently configured, has any notions of "small government" beyond some rehetoric to keep the libertarian side of the party happy and hoping. This administration is the exact anthisis of limited government. Bush has not vetoed one spending bill during his entire tenure. Government spending is way up over the past 5 years. They essentially believe that government can do anything and everything! For God's sake, they thought they could create a democratic government from the ground up, out of nothing! (If that's not faith in the power of government, I don't know what is). What I think these columnists are avoiding saying is that the "big government conservatism" that we have today just has different priorities than the "big government liberalism" they would prefer. But trying to pin the problem on an ideology of stripping away at the power of government just doesn't wash. The current administration might be able to be accussed of being "bad government" but they can't be accused of being "small government".

UPDATE: Tim Lee at the Bit Bucket has a good post on this same subject.

UPDATE II: Here's an even more severe condemmnation of the Bush administration. Greg Newburn isn't impressed.

UPDATE III: It just keeps coming...what's most offensive about this is that one, he's denouncing a "libertarianism" that, as stated above, isn't what Bush has been doing at all; and two, the insinuation that a "libertarian" sees no role for the government in the protection against natural disasters. Almost every libertarian I know would see that as one of the few essential jobs of government.


At 12:30 AM, Blogger Johnny Canuck said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:33 AM, Blogger ddassoc said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9:47 AM, Blogger Speedy said...

Your blog is really one of the most interesting reads. I can honestly say that I never ever bothered to take the time to understand any part of politics. Although I certainly enjoy reading your posts I'm left feeling intellectually inept! Meh, I'll survive ;)


Post a Comment

<< Home