Monday, January 18, 2010

Obama's Haiti

Cogent argument:

Angry mobs, starving people wandering aimlessly, corpses piling up in the streets, international criticism, people shouting wild conspiracy theories about how the President doesn't really care about the victims? Cripes, is anybody ever going to get all of those poor people out of the Superdome?

Presidentin', as it turns out, is hard work, and the institutional failures in Haiti are killing people in real time. The very best efforts of a lot of good people, as it turns out, aren't nearly enough to overcome the obstacles in front of them. However, you can expect little media comment on the topic beyond this post on a Newsweek blog, because those obstacles are not really Obama's fault, anymore than they were Bush's. Disaster management is hard, especially when you're trying to do it in a place where the infrastructure and local institutions have utterly crumbled, or, in Haiti's case, where they barely existed in the first place.

Actually, some people would say that about Louisiana, too, but I digress.

George Bush hates black people. I still hear that Katrina bullshit.

When you look at it that way, it would only be fair if Obama were scapegoated just the same, wouldn't it? After all, Democrats claimed that it was unreasonable to blame local officials during Katrina because the disaster was just "too big" for them to handle, and the federal government should've been expected to take total responsibility. Putting aside that we now know Blanco explicitly blocked Bush's efforts to do just that, Democrats can hardly duck out of this one by simply claiming that Haiti's disaster is "too big" for the world's leading superpower. Even under Bush, we were supposed to be able to save everyone in New Orleans, so there's no good reason that Obama shouldn't be able to save everyone in Port-Au-Prince, is there? Can't he fly around the Earth in reverse and unwind the earthquake, like in Superman?

The truth of the matter, is that the difference between Obama's Haiti and Bush's Katrina will be the carefully massaged messages that come out of the White House and the MSM who are still willing to carry O's water.