Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Bloggers believe Bush took responsibility for Katrina because of sinking poll numbers. Although there is probably a sea of truth, the drip-drip-drip of recent damning news was as responsible for his almost-confession.

Until recently, FEMA was blamed; and its director, Michael Brown, paid for his incompetence with his job--a very first for a Bush administration official.

As late as Tuesday, Bush had every reason to hope the maelstrom would eventually simmer down; after all, boy genius Rove would surely come up with a plan.

But the levee of blame by the White House was overrun by the storm surge of a Knight Ridder story.

The newspaper group's Washington Bureau acquired a memo with condemning evidence of failure from higher-ups. The document shows the person with authority to declare Katrina a national disaster was Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, not the hapless Brown; and he didn't get around to it until three days after the storm hit.

Oops...looks like more washed up driftwood needs to be tossed ashore.

The White House refused to say why "Chertoff waited some 36 hours to declare Katrina" a national disaster; but mere questions certainly sent crisis management bells off.

So the jig was up; a story was coming; nothing else to do but fall on your sword and say you're sorry. The Knight-Ridder story came out the same day Bush apologized.

Our infallible leader told the nation on Sept. 13, "And to the extent that the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility."

When Chertoff passed the buck to Brown the storm had already killed at least 11 people in Florida as a mere baby Category 1 and blasted the coast of Mississippi and Louisiana as a fatal Category 4 hurricane.

"It was a day of fear and destruction for Gulf Coast residents who faced Hurricane Katrina head-on in the path of the storm," cried the Houston Chronicle. "Shelters filled with fear and hope," was yet another byline.

For too many, the hope of survival met with cruel drowning. But let us thank the Maker. Our president finally takes responsibility, even if only "to the extent" he screwed up, which when you think about it, is ample plenty.

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