The Corner

The Cost of Cronyism

It would be very wrong, I believe, to let

the ignominious Michael Brown be the scapegoat for FEMA’s sins. Check out

this front-pager from the

WaPo. Turns out that a raft of FEMA’s top leaders have little or

no emergency management experience, but are instead politically well

connected to the GOP and the White House. This is a scandal, a real scandal.

How is it possible that four years after 9/11, the president treats a

federal agency vital to homeland security as a patronage prize? The main

reason I’ve been a Bush supporter all along is I trusted him (note past

tense) on national security — which, in the age of mass terrorism, means

homeland security too. Call me naive, but it’s a real blow to learn that

political hacks have been running FEMA, of all agencies of the federal

government! What if al-Qaeda had blown the New Orleans levees? How much

worse would the crony-led FEMA’s response have been? Would

conservatives stand for any of this for one second if a Democrat were

president? If this is what Republican government means, God help the poor

GOP Congressmen up for re-election in 2006.

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