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.