Re-Criticism now



I was away in Maryland for a few days and my teeny-tiny Sony laptop
was not conducive to blogging unless I wanted to develop witch’s
crone fingers. Back in NY now, where I’ll be appearing this afternoon
on Air America’s Al Franken show early in the 1 PM hour (EST) with
guest host Rachel Maddow, who knows what Tucker Carlson is like
off-camera but probably won’t tell, which is no doubt for the best.
I have the funny feeling the names Katrina and Bush will be
threading through the conversation.

Over at DailyKos, Armando is cautioning liberal lefties to holster
the fickle fingers of blame.

"This is not a time for politics — not only for moral and ethical
reasons, but for political ones as well. That is, politics itself
mandates that these days not be political."

Stop right there. First of all, "politics" mandates nothing. It’s an
abstract noun. It’s like beginning a sentence "Morality dictates that…" Morality dictates nothing. It’s how people interpret morality, and how they apply it in certain situations which evolve over time. Politics are people, and what they make of their political situation, and when the realities of their lives demand that the political and economic circumstances of their lives change. It isn’t something to put on a shelf and used only when the climate of opinion permits. Armando again: "Yes Bush and his administration have much to answer for. But what of the government of the State of Louisiana? The government of the City of New Orleans? I for one believe all have to answer for this. But not now. Maybe next week. But not today."

I don’t mean to pick on Armando, but has he learned nothing
under Bush? There is no "next week" when it comes to getting
answers and fixing accountability for failure under this president.
Next week never comes.

Look at 9/11. There were tough questions about the breakdown of
communications at Ground Zero, the lateness in scrambling fighter jets once the hijacked planes were heading toward NY and DC, Bush’s strange behavior on that day, etc., and in the aftermath those questions were considered inappropriate, "divisive." We needed to grieve first, heal; and then the tough questions could be raised.

But they weren’t. As months passed, the focus was on overthrowing the Taliban and avenging 9/11, and tough questions were taken off the table as the drumbeat was about the Nation Moving Forward. The media fell into zombie lockstep behind the invigorated Bush agenda. It took the 9/11 widows and esp the "Jersey Girls" to push and shame the Congress, the media, and the administration into launching a proper investigation, otherwise it would have all slid into the memory hole apart from the iconic images of the smoking towers before their collapse.

No, this is the time for politics, none better, because I can tell you just
from being out of NY a few days that a lot of people in this country are
shocked and sobered by New Orleans, but they’re also worried and pissed off. They’re making the connection between the money, manpower, and resources expended in Iraq and how raggedy-ass the rescue effort has been in the Gulf. If you don’t say it now when people’s nerves are raw and they’re paying full attention, it’ll be too late once the waters receded and the media-emoting "healing process" begins.

This is a read-only blog. E-mail comments directly to Bob.