Sunday, September 04, 2005

The Real Problem

The real problem that Katrina exposed is not the Bush Administration's zeal to kill black people. It's that municipal elections like those for New Orlean's office of the mayor select professional politicians, not leaders. The collective punditry seems to think it reasonable to expect the federal government have anticipated the disaster, while surely the local political leadership understood the gravity of New Orleans altitude and lack of resources to conduct an entire evcuation. Why didn't Nagin use the school buses and public transit buses to evacuate the poor. If he knew that the city did not have adequate resources for an evacuation, why didn't he get Blanco to declare a state of emergency ex ante?

Governor Blanco has still not called for a state of emergency, and the federal government is still only playing second fiddle to a state bureaucracy that has already failed to protect its constituents. This is what she had to say before Katrina made landfall:
"We know we're going to have high wind damage. We're hoping we're not going to lose a lot of lives."

There's leadership for you.

Apparently the WaPo got the story wrong, and Blanco did declare a state of emergency. That doesn't change the basic problem with her decisions before Katrina hit and her political jockeying afterwards.