Monday, September 1, 2008

The Return Of The Scapegoat

I saw four different Michael Brown interviews yesterday. You remember Mike, the FEMA director who was cast as the villain immediately after Katrina. The scapegoat who was handpicked by the Bush Administration to run FEMA and also handpicked by the same administration to take the fall. That's right, that Michael Brown. There were more Michael Brown interviews yesterday than there are Lucy re-runs on TV Land in a night.

I saw him on CNN, Keith Olberman and FOX "News" and he was also interviewed by Hoda Kotb. Each interview contained the same question. Regarding FEMA performance during Gustav as compared to during Katrina, Brown was asked "What is the difference between then and now?" The twat gave different answers every time.

Answer One: Brown claimed the Department of Homeland Security is now properly running and funding FEMA and the agency is no longer hampered by political red tape.

Answer Two: Brown blamed state and local authorities for the mismanagement of their own affairs, essentially messing up his plans.

Answer Three: Brown claimed that this time, people followed orders and evacuated like they were supposed to.

Answer Four: Brown stated that FEMA was allowed to place needed supplies within reasonable reach of those who would need them.

Of course he left out the most obvious answer, which is that Mike Brown is no longer in charge of FEMA!

I admit that Brownie was made out as the scapegoat for FEMA's colossal failure in the weeks and months following Hurricane Katrina. My main problem there is that he wasn't the only reason everything went wrong. He had a lot of help fucking up the relief efforts in 2005 but he was the only person to suffer a severe penalty for his inaction. Let's take a look at his answers again:

On the charge that FEMA is now properly run and funded, he is wrong. Small increases have been made to FEMA's budget but it is still woefully under-funded and until the FEMA directorship is once again made a full cabinet position it will continue to be under-staffed and tied up in the red tape of Homeland Security.

Next we have the blame game where Brownie shifts the responsibility to the local pols. There's no question that Governor Kathleen Blanco was in over her head and we all know how Nagin and Broussard cracked under the pressure, but a lot of that pressure came from knocking on a FEMA door that simply wasn't being answered. Mississippi and Alabama had problems with FEMA too, but Brownie didn't call them out as being incompetent. Of course, they were never as vocal as our Louisiana leaders.

The next answer is just plain wrong. Brownie blames the victims for not evacuating. Was he even awake then? Hundreds of thousands of people fled Gulf Coast. It's true that many people stayed, but that was due to the fact that the City of New Orleans promised to take care of them, as did other cities. Big mistake there. This is as offensive to me as when a lawyer blames a rape victim for her assault. For this answer alone, Michael Brown should be sent to a federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison for the rest of his life.

Lastly, Brownie claims FEMA was allowed to place needed supplies within easy reach. I got news for you, Brownie… supplies were within reach during Katrina too. You just failed to move them the few miles they needed to go.

Now, there are a few more reasons why Gustav relief is working better than Katrina relief. First, as previously stated, Michael Brown is not a factor. That's a big one, but there's another more obvious reason, and that's the fact that Gustav was simply nowhere near as big a storm as Katrina. Less wind, less rain, less power, less surge, different track, etc, etc… the list goes on.

But there's still another reason why FEMA works better these days and it's a very interesting one. It's because Michael Brown taught the Gulf Coast and the rest of the country that we cannot rely on our government in a crisis. We need to take care of ourselves, much the same way our pioneering forefathers did long ago, before the days of gubmint cheese.

So thank you Brownie. It seems that after all is said and done, you really did do a heckuva job! You may now return to your life of infamy and obscurity, secure in the knowledge that you made difference at least once in your life. And you can stop blaming everyone else for your bad decisions.


Kevin Pierce said...


NEWSWIRE--New Orleans missed the worst of hurricane Gustav, escaping the flooding caused in 2005 by Katrina.

In Gustav, FEMA saw a chance:
They'd demonstrate there'd been reform.
Now, critics have relaxed their stance,
In spite of qualms before the storm.
Light verse, ripped from the headlines

M Styborski said...

Verra nice!