September 16, 2005

President Bush's Speech - The Rebuilding of New Orleans

In President Bush's speech last night, he unveiled his commitment to rebuild New Orleans:

President Bush promised Thursday night the government will pay most of the costs of rebuilding the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast in one of the largest reconstruction projects the world has ever seen. "There is no way to imagine America without New Orleans, and this great city will rise again," the president said.

Standing in Jackson Square in the heart of the French Quarter, Bush acknowledged his administration had failed to respond adequately to Hurricane Katrina, which killed hundreds of people across five states. The government's costs for rebuilding could reach $200 billion or beyond.

"Four years after the frightening experience of Sept. 11, Americans have every right to expect a more effective response in a time of emergency," the president said. When the government fails to meet such an obligation, Bush said, "I as president am responsible for the problem, and for the solution."

It is incredibly refreshing to me to hear politicians take responsibility when they do not perform as well as can be expected. Too often, politics becomes infested with a culture of blame and defensiveness. Look, even our leaders are human... mistakes will happen and they do need to be rectified. Rather than spending the next few weeks discussing whether or not the federal government's response was adequate, President Bush accepts responsibility and we can now move on to rebuilding New Orleans.

So, what is the Democrat's response? Very predictable:

Bush repeated a hotline number, 1-877-568-3317, for people to call to help reunite family members separated during the hurricane. Moments later, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., criticized Bush, saying "Leadership isn't a speech or a toll-free number."

"No American doubts that New Orleans will rise again," Kerry said. "They doubt the competence and commitment of this administration." House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, in a joint statement, said, "We are concerned by Bush administration initiatives this week waiving wage protections, environmental safeguards and protections for veterans, minorities, women and the disabled."

Do the Democrats stand in solidarity with the administration? Nope. Do the Democrat offer any programs or initiatives to assist New Orleans? No, of course is politics as usual. Rather than applaud the President's vow to rebuild New Orleans, the Democrats decide to call his administration incompetent and complain that the administration is destroying the environment, hurting workers, veterans, minorities,women and the disabled. I wonder if Pelosi and Reid left out any other Democratic special interest group?? Well, I guess there are the teachers...

Matt Margolis of Blogs for Bush has a great take on John Kerry's comment: "I couldn't help but laugh, because during the campaign last year I could have said to Kerry, "Leadership isn't saying 'I have a plan' and telling people to go to your website."

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