Sunday, September 04, 2005

President Bush Has An Interesting Public Perception Issue To Address

I am attending a wedding in Atlanta and was just now riding back to the hotel from the ceremony. The group in my car truly believes that the cuts in funding for flood-related work in New Orleans were the cause of the flooding and the ensuing loss of life there. These are educated people. Bush-haters, yes, but educated professionals who should know better.

Now, if people like that think such things, what must the rest of the country-- the folks who rush home to watch "Jeopardy" every night-- be thinking? Especially while the MSM is performing its customary role as megaphone for Bush's critics?

For example, below, a commenter purportedly named Blanche Schwartz seems to think she has handily rebutted Ben Stein's piece by sharing some random, out-of-context excerpts from a description of the Department of Homeland Security's scope of duties and some press reports about criticisms of the FEMA director. I have no doubt that Ms. Schwartz (if that is indeed the commenter's name) really believes that what she posted is valid.

That kind of obtuse credulity is an interesting problem. John Hinderaker at Power Line thinks the White House has been ineffective at preventing such confabulated stories from becoming generally accepted. I must admit, I tend to agree, although there's so much smoke around the whole story it's hard to tell what really went on.

Things may be looking up. Polls suggest the public isn't buying the MSM's megaphone message. (Thanks, Power Line.)

UPDATE: Hugh Hewitt thinks fighting back is not the right strategy:

The folks who are trying to politicize the greatest natural disaster in the history of the country don't deserve a response while people are still trapped, lost, and reeling backwards. They will eventually inherit the scorn they deserve.
I hope he's right. Time to go downstairs for the wedding reception.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"educated professionals who should know better" -- what does this say about the state of American education? That is a rhetorical question, of course.

One of the reasons that the U.S. is fast losing its competitive edge in areas where "the facts" really matter--sciences, engineering, etc.--is because our educational establishment has bought into the idea that there is no objective reality. That mindset really gets in the way of confronting anything beyond about 2+2=4, but it gets masked by incessant yammering in all the softer areas. Legal "reasoning" (which has become little more than fancy posturing) has suffered a similar breakdown. 

Posted by BlueBuffoon

Monday, September 05, 2005 8:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The levees in New Orleans are no more the responsibility of the federal government than the ever shifting hillsides in southern California. Local evacuation, emergency shelter, police, local transportation and emergency preparedness are all the responsibilty of local and state elected officials and the heads of local law enforcement, fire, and health officials. The National Guard acts under the direct request from a state's Governor. FEMA's first priority is food, water, shelter, medical and immediate welfare, followed by rebuilding, financing and operational support.
Had elected leaders and public officials in New Orleans and the state of Louisiana reacted timely and forcefully when a cat. 5 hurricane was off their coast the federal government wouldn't have been put in such a position to pick up the tasks and the tab once the city and region were 10 feet under water. How can a city, region or state that sits anywhere from -15 feet below sea leavel to only +15 feet above sea level for miles inland be caught so damn flat-footed with a known storm surge of 20+ feet bearing down on them. Add to that at least two feet of rain and 160+ mph wind. "Gee, I hope the federal government is going to do something soon" seems to be their primary line of defense before and after the devastation. Inexcusable for a major population center located right in the cross hairs of hurricane alley.
Hillary wants a Katrina Commission! Bring it on.

Posted by Wagonboy

Monday, September 05, 2005 12:59:00 PM  

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