Friday, September 09, 2005
Washington tried the two lane approach, but Baton Rouge had turned it into a one-way route.
lackjack, one of The Hole Card's
contributors, was way ahead of the media with this question
- Sure, we can change laws. What I'm asking is a practical way of implementing federal takeover during major disasters when state and local officials can't handle the job. If we just implement a blanket "Bush and FEMA run all major disasters" law, doesn't that screw over the 40 governors who could handle things? Do we want to go there? I don't know -- that's why I'm asking. . . . Personally, I don't think we need to tinker with laws and expand the power of the federal government. I can understand the mindset of those who do after the NO debacle. However, I think that is a decision we might come to regret later.
Only now, two days after Blackjack posted them, are the media beginning to explore (in their own uniquely fumbling way) some of these same questions.
In response to Blackjack, I believe that under our federal system the only way you can keep the federal government from messing up clear chains-of-command and any good, pre-planned procedures in the competent states, would be to stay with the system we have now. Washington sends a state whatever supplies, tools, and rescuers it requests, and the state decides where and when each of them would be most helpful. Since it's a competent state, its officials undoubtedly would be willing and able to coordinate their efforts with all relevant federal agencies.
As for the clueless states, I wouldn't want to relieve them of what are ultimately their sovereign responsibilities. Washington can try to deliver what's needed and try to coordinate with them. However, if they just want to play politics or run around like chickens with their heads cut off, all we can do is either plead and hope they'll let Washington help or watch as the horror unfolds until reality forces them to come to their senses. The people of each state still have power to prevent any repeat of such a horror: Use the general elections to put into office truly competent public servants.
All this, of course, applies to natural disasters. If our country's invaded, section 4 of Article IV of our constitution grants the national government blanket authority to do whatever it decides is necessary to repel that invasion, regardless what any state asks or does.
I submit that the people of Louisiana now have a solemn duty to perform, in order to ensure that BlameCo, Nagligent, et al. run nothing larger than a popsicle stand after the next general elections. It's a wait of two more hurricane seasons, unfortunately, in Mistress BlameCo's case; but mercifully next February 4th in Maybeor Nagligent's. Unless enough of its citizens want to petition for their immediate recall.
Finally, in response to the DeMediacrats' initial jeernalistic handling of these questions, my advice is keep trying. You're bound to figure out one of these days that you'll never be able to reconcile your calls for even greater bureaucratic controls — by some even larger version of FEMA — with your unending, utter hatred for Anything Bush, specifically, and Anything Republican in general. Your best bet at this point is a consensus to maintain the status quo with respect to state and federal roles and their relationship, while asking those in charge of the state role those famous Tough Questions™ of yours whenever they'd rather piddle and paddle in place and weaken that relationship than Put Their People First®. But you better hurry. Once this starkest example of Diddlecrats' complete, miserable failings in times of real crises more fully sinks in with the American electorate, there won't be any of them in charge anywhere anymore to be in another position to have to ever answer any such questions ever again. You can count on the people making sure of that.
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