Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Bush Stayed on Vacation

Many on the Right argue that we shouldn't play the "blame game" while Hurricane Katrina survivors still need help. Some have attempted to shift blame for the slow federal relief response away from George Bush. But they cannot avoid one simple fact: while thousands of Americans fought for their lives during the worst natural disaster in this nation's history, GEORGE W. BUSH STAYED ON VACATION.

Bush flew to Arizona to plug his Medicare program and eat cake with Sen. John McCain on the day Katrina made landfall and the levees failed in New Orleans.

Bush flew to California for a celebration of V-J Day the day after Katrina made landfall and the levees failed in New Orleans.

Bush announced he would cut his vacation short by two days, and returned to his home in Crawford, Texas for one more night of vacation.

Bush finally returned to the White House on Wednesday, two days AFTER Katrina made landfall and the levees failed in New Orleans.

To be fair, Vice President Dick Cheney stayed on vacation for six days after Katrina made landfall and the levees failed in New Orleans. And Sec. of State Condi Rice WENT on vacation for three days AFTER Katrina made landfall and the levees failed in New Orleans.

Imagine how the Republicans (and mainstream media) would have reacted if Bill Clinton and Al Gore had behaved similarly. Why is there no outcry from the mainstream media about this?

Recall that Bush has spent more time on vacation as president than any other president in the history of the United States. And he's done that in less than five full years.

Recall also that Bush justified his unprecedented five-week vacation by stating:

I think the people want the president to be in a position to make good, crisp decisions and to stay healthy.

Katrina struck and we've now seen what "good, crisp decisions", Bush-style, look like. Not very good, not very crisp.

Take for example Bush's claim that no one had anticipated breeching of the levees, even though everyone had anticipated that very breech. Bush is now trying to explain his earlier ignorance.
What I was referring to is this: When that storm came by, a lot of people said we dodged a bullet. When that storm came through at first, people said, Whew. There was a sense of relaxation. And that's what I was referring to.

And I myself thought we had dodged a bullet. You know why? Because I was listening to people probably over the airwaves say, The bullet has been dodged. And that was what I was referring to.

Of course, there were plans in case the levee had been breached. There was a sense of relaxation at a critical moment.

I'm sure all the sheep on the Right will applaud on cue their infallible president's clear explanation. But really, "sense of relaxation?" "Dodged a bullet?" John Aravosis at AmericaBlog has compiled the headlines screaming at us while Bush was feeling a "sense of relaxation." Go read them and see if you can find anything that resembles "we dodged a bullet", or conveys a "sense of relaxation." If you can point it out to me, I'll eat my words.

Oh, and in case you think these are mock-up front pages, you can find them at the Newseum.

Oh, and one more thing. Why is the President of the United States getting his information about the worst natural disaster in our nation's history from people on the airwaves? Doesn't he have tax-dollar-paid staff and advisors to keep him posted on such matters? Is this how Bush gets all of his information, from people over the airwaves?

America can do better than George W. Bush/