There’s a helluva lot of rhetoric flying by… and precious little leadership still
What I want to hear is a leader — one in the White House or one who wants to be — with a clear agenda to learn and protect: Here’s what we did wrong at all levels and both sides; here’s what we should learn; here’s what we’re going to do to fix it. But I’m hearing none of that. Instead, the people in power are giving us rhetoric: just so many words, just so much acid.
: In a spot-on commentary on On The Media, Bob Garfield said the Bush administration is ducking responsibility by complaining that everyone else is playing “the blame game.”
Nevermind the irony — the explicit abdication of accountability by the ‘accountability President.’ In the throes of a humanitarian crisis, the Bush administration contends we have nothing to blame but blame itself.
DEAN: No. I do not think that this president cares about everybody in America….
It’s not enough to be a nice guy. I’m not disputing the fact the president is a nice man, and maybe he’s compassionate in his personal life. The truth is that Americans have suffered deeply under this presidency, 80 percent of Americans, and that black people, Hispanic people, and poor people and old people have suffered disproportionately….
BLITZER: You made a very powerful, serious charge against the president of the United States, that he doesn’t care about everyone in this country.
DEAN: I believe that’s true. Because look at his policies. It does not matter what they say, it matters what they do. Americans have suffered under this presidency, 80 percent of them, income has gone down on average of $1,700.
He goes on to wonder whether John Roberts cares.
So blame is the Republican word. Care is the Democratic word.
And race is now Nagin’s word:
While Nagin has previously said he didn’t think the slow response was related to the demographic of the overwhelmingly poor, African-American crowd that needed rescuing, his thinking has evolved.
“Definitely class, and the more I think about it, definitely race played into this,” he said. “How do you treat people that just want to walk across the bridge and get out, and they’re turned away, because you can’t come to a certain parish? How do resources get stacked up outside the city of New Orleans and they don’t make their way in? How do you not bring one piece of ice?
“If it’s race, fine, let’s call a spade a spade, a diamond a diamond. We can never let this happen again. Even if you hate black people and you are in a leadership position, this did not help anybody.”
But, of course, they are all trying to avoid the word that matters: incompetence.