I carry no water for Gov. Blanco or
Mayor Nagin, both of whom will, I am certain, come out worse than anybody
when the crisis moment passes and we examine the record of who did what.
That said, I was startled to see a quote from a “senior administration
official” in a Times story
today, explaining why
President Bush did not invoke the Insurrection Act and seized control of the
Louisiana National Guard:
“Can you imagine how it would have been perceived if a president of the
of one party had pre-emptively taken from the female governor of another
party the command and control of her forces, unless the security situation
made it completely clear that she was unable to effectively execute her
command authority and that lawlessness was the inevitable result?”
Excuse me, but what? Is it really the case that a Republican president was
so worried about the conniption fit the left would have if he told Gov.
Edith Bunker to stifle it, and sent in troops to save the lives of poor
black people who were being set upon by anarchists? Sure, the usual suspects
would have howled, but they would have howled anyway. The Normal-American
community, however, would have seen a commander in chief who was not going
to let political considerations stop him from overruling an inept governor
and moving in to save lives and prevent an American city from turning into
Mogadishu? And the Normal-American community would have cheered this
extraordinary example of firm executive leadership, and told the
Meathead-Americans to take a hike. But that didn’t happen, did it?