The catastrophe of human suffering that has erupted in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina has riveted the attention of the world on our state and our greatest city.
What is unfolding before us will, undoubtedly, become the largest natural disaster that our country has ever faced.
But, this disaster is not solely the work of nature.
Eric Holdeman, director of the King County, Washington, Office of Emergency Management, says the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been dismantled by the Bush administration. He levied this charge in an op-ed piece in Tuesday's Washington Post.
Editor & Publisher points out that Bush's FEMA has specifically turned down requests for levee improvements in the New Orleans area over the past three years. This sorry tale was documented by the New Orleans Times Picayune as it was happening.
Tonight, on MSNBC's Scarborough Report, Louisiana's Junior U.S. Senator David Vitter delivered a thinly veiled threat of criticism against Governor Kathleen Blanco's leadership in this during this crisis, saying "there will be plenty of time to look at these issues more closely in the future," when Scarborough asked him to criticize Blanco.
GOP Congressman Bobby Jindal also said there will be an appropriate time to examine this.
Fine! Accountability all around! But, to do so will require a thorough review of the policy decisions of Vitter and Jindal's party leadership. After all, the policy decisions made during the past five years regarding FEMA and other issues, have come with Republicans in control of the White House, the Senate and the House.
Republicans should not dare raise the questions about accountable leadership unless they are willing to include their own leaders in the review as well!
Who refused to fund levee building? Who eliminated FEMA's program to mitigate threats? Who cut the operating budget for the New Orleans office of the Army Corps of Engineers?
The answer on each count was the Bush administration and the Republican-controlled Congress.
If Governor Blanco has to answer for her judgment, so, too, does the leadership of the party running this country!