I Pledge Allegiance

Politicizing the hurricane.

Do you know how many times I have been told by some Conservative hack I have forgotten about 9/11 because I disagreed on some point about Bush? These hacks, most of whom support the war in Iraq but would never fight themselves and most of whom have never been to NYC, are telling me, a NYC native, that I have forgotten 9/11. So you’ll forgive me if this pisses me off more than usual and If I take this somewhat personally. I may not be able to do much, but I aim to do what I can to prevent George W. Bush and his Conservative boosters from doing to the people of Louisiana and Mississippi and Alabama what he did to the people of New York and the rest of the country after 9/11. Namely, I will not, if I can help it, allow him to politicize the tragedy, portraying himself as some sort of savior when in fact he failed to do his duty. I will not sit back and watch as Bush goes around the nation and uses these people as political pawns, as he did New Yorkers, when the reality is he failed them.

So to any Conservative hacks out there who want me to stop “politicizing the hurricane,” I understand what you really mean is you want me to stop trying to prevent Bush and his cohorts from politicizing the hurricane. But it’s not going to happen. Bush isn’t going to be getting a free ride this time.

The government of these United States created agencies to manage and mitigate natural disasters like this, to guide and comfort those in need, to seek out help from other nations, to work with the citizens affected so that their lives might not be wiped out by a violent act of man or nature. When those agencies, their expected response, that fucking compact between the government and her people implied in the creation of such agencies, absolutely and utterly breaks down, that is political.

When a president, who should have been receiving reports hourly on the situation in New Orleans, says no one could ever have imagined anything like this, five days after the gates of hell opened on a city, that is political.

When people call for help and cannot hear an answer, when they cry for food and cannot be fed, when they starve and die in the streets of America, America the beautiful, America the powerful and generous and free, because we cannot find the boats fast enough nor the planes nor the buses to save them, that is politcal. Our saying does not make it so. It is.

Our response to the hurricane is already political. Government agencies are being mobilized, tax dollars are being spent. Our fellow citizens are suffering. Our leaders made us a promise when the took the oath of their office. They held up their hands and they said, “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

When an American city descends into anarchy and chaos, when a man dies in a lawn chair on a grassy median, garbage strewn at his feet, when gunshots prevent rescuers from taking the hands of the helpless, that is political. Our leaders take an oath to defened this country against all enemies. Even if the enemy is the rising of the tide.

Call your congressional representatives. Remind them of their responsibility to ensure Americans are safe. Tell them you want this horrific situation remedied. Tell them about the stories you’ve read here and elsewhere, the pictures you’ve seen. Tell them what you want them to do.

A.