Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Dubya's version of "Accountability"

Needlenose brought to my attention President Bush's statement an hour or so ago during his joint press conference with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani that "I take responsibility" for the failures in the federal response to Hurricane Katrina.

Bush has been harping on the issue of "accountability" since the 2000 campaign. We need to hold our teachers accountable for the pathetic level of education of so many of our graduating high school students. We need to hold bureaucrats accountable for their wasteful expenditures. We need to hold the President accountable for getting a little extramarital nookie in the Oval Office. But we don't need to hold anyone accountable for lying about WMD's in Iraq, for failing to plan before the invasion of Iraq, for failing to plan after the invasion of Iraq, and for diverting resources from the hunt for Osama bin Laden — thereby allowing him to walk free four years after the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Capitol Building attacks. [The Capitol appears to have been the intended target of the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania.]

We also focus more on the "disrespect" of photographing corpses that have been left to rot in the open in New Orleans, than on the disrespect of leaving them there in the first place. We couldn't get food and water to New Orleans in a hurry, but yet we have already issued open-ended no-bid contracts to Bush cronies to rebuild Naval bases. When money was sought to upgrade the ability of first responders to communicate in a crisis, it was rejected by the Bush administration. When money was sought to reinforce the levees, it was rejected by the Bush administration. Yes, the Clinton administration also rejected some proposals, but the fact that your predecessor made an error does not excuse your continuation of that error.

President George Walker Bush is personally and directly responsible for a great many of the problems in the United States and in the world today. Whether he will do anything more than make empty declarations that he accepts that responsibility, remains to be seen. Of course, it also remains to be seen whether Dubya is really a robot from a little lavender planet on the far side of Alpha Centauri. I'd give the two possibilities roughly equal odds.