On WMAL this morning, a caller said that President Bush shouldn’t go to California to see the damage from wildfires because, “that uses energy, and our troops are in Iraq fighting for oil.” The host, Chris Core, noted that Bush was criticized for not going to see damage in New Orleans fast enough; now the California lieutenant governor is saying Bush shouldn’t visit for a photo-op.
I just want to point out, if Hillary Clinton is elected, you’ll see more of the same inane partisanship for four to eight years. Republicans feel their man got unfairly smeared in the aftermath of Katrina, and that Blanco and Nagin escaped accountability. (Hell, Nagin got reelected!) The first time some disaster victim says that FEMA didn’t act fast enough under Hillary Clinton, you’ll see a lot of the same complaints, coming from the other side. You’ll see a lot of the same defenses, this time from a different administration. Hillary will be accused of exploiting tragedy for a photo op; etc.
The thought of it is exhausting and depressing. I think Obama might have been able to break this cycle, but there’s no way Hillary does it. I’m skeptical that any Republican would be able to dial down the unthinking, reflexive outrage out there. Maybe because the current crop of contenders, all better communicators than Bush, would be able to defend their records and reputations better than this administration has.
This sort of ties in to Jonah’s comments in the Corner this morning.