Here’s why Bush’s reaction (so far) has been
inadequate. I watched the CBS Evening News just now. They broadcast a
jaw-dropping report from refugee encampments atop the interstates in New
Orleans. Folks, it was one of the most heart-wrenching thing I’ve ever seen.
I can hardly believe this is our country. There were plenty of desperate
people stuck there under the boiling sun, with no food, no water, no nothing
– including mothers with babies. There was an elderly woman sitting on the
curb next to the covered body of her husband, who died waiting to be
rescued. She said that she’d flagged down a passing cop to ask for help, and
all he could tell her was to move the body of her husband of 53 years out of
the way, so the smell of his decomposition didn’t bother people. CBS showed
the covered corpse of a man the refugees said jumped from the interstate to
his death in despair. These people have NOTHING, and they’re growing
desperate. The human drama playing out in Louisiana now beggars description.
We don’t need mere emoting — the hapless Gov. Blanco shows how useless that
is. But we do need our president to make an emotional connection of some
sort with his suffering countrymen. You can be tough, competent AND
emotional. It’s called Giuliani 101.