Why Can't The Democrats Tie Iraq To Katrina?
You’ll recall that converting Iraq’s government-controlled economy overnight to a free-market, natural resource-plundered Disneyland was one of Paul Bremer’s objectives and Bush’s recipe for "liberating" the Iraqi people from the shackles of Saddam Hussein. As he and Dick Cheney saw it, an essential part of showering the benefits of democracy upon the Iraqi people would be to transform the country overnight to a place where capital and private ownership were king, rather than to do so over a period of years while the necessary economic and political institutional changes were implemented.
Since the same crew has done so well here at home, it is no wonder that the Bush/Cheney liberation has caused misery on a huge scale for Iraqis, who now cannot afford food, medicine, or even find gas and obtain reliable electricity in a country sitting on the world’s third largest deposits of oil. And that assumes it is safe enough for them to venture outside to find food, which it isn’t. Sure, the wingers will say that things were bad for ordinary Iraqis under Saddam, but if that is the measuring stick we are now using, then Bush is still a failure if Iraqis have less food, no gas, little if any electricity or water and sewer services after they were shown the blessings of western style democracy. And if we are standing down as the Iraqis can stand up for themselves, then it is clear we are pinning our hopes on a security force that won’t be able to keep the country from falling apart if they cannot prevent the locals from looting a British base that was turned over just 24 hours before.
Yet we should not be surprised that Bush and Cheney have failed overseas in Iraq, when we have evidence of such gross, and yes, even criminal negligence and mismanagement much closer to home. It has been a year since the Bush Administration sat by and watched Hurricane Katrina destroy an American city populated largely by African Americans who aren’t in the GOP’s base. Yes, Katrina was Exhibit A for many people of everything that is wrong with this administration on a daily basis, and yes, the administration has largely failed to help New Orleans or the city’s now-former residents, no matter how many shows Charlie Rose wants to do on reconstruction efforts without having a single black guest. Worse even still, the Bush Administration is no better prepared now to handle a similar catastrophe than they were a year ago.
But what is even more troubling is how inept the Democratic Party is at tying Iraq to Katrina in a single overwhelming indictment of the Bush Administration and the modern GOP. Is it really that difficult for Rahm Emanuel and Chuck Schumer to run simple ads in critical races of Iraq and Katrina images interspliced with a reminder that such negligence and willful indifference have been enabled by GOP members of the House and Senate through one-party control of the United States government? If the Democrats are looking for ways to nationalize this election and the messages to do it, this would be a good place to start.