Bush steals the Coast Guard’s success…again


Today Bushdefended his response to Katrina by pointing to the success of the Coast Guard rescues. It’s not the first time he has done so and it is bullshit. To explain why that is so, here areexcerpts of a Dec. 2005 post which I wrote when Bush had previously claimed their success as his own and I suggested to keep it in mind as he would do so again…and he has, of course.

This isn’t the first time that Bush has invoked the imagery of the Coast Guard. He used them for aphoto op
on Friday September 2 (BTW the “chopper drivers” were diverted from
rescue missions for this) He also cited them almost at the top of hisJackson Square speech. He pulls out the Coast Guard often and for good reason. There is a general belief thatthe only agency that responded with success in the Katrina tragedy was the Coast Guard.“Basically, the Coast Guardwas one of the only success stories coming out of Katrina,” said Alane Kochems, a national security policy analyst for the Heritage Foundation.

So
of course Bush wants to plant that success in the people’s minds rather
than all the miserable failures we watched play out on tv.However Bush had NO role in that success. In fact the success of the Coast Guard is attributed to the fact that they are quite autonomous and asCBS News reported
“That is why the Coast Guard succeeded. Unlike many other federal
agencies, the Coast Guard was able to cut through bureaucratic red tape
with a simple philosophy:Act first and get permission later.”


Time magazine explained it further…

In fact, the Coast Guard has no primary mission–and it may be its eclectic history that explains its success in dealing with Katrina.
SNIP
But perhaps the most important distinction of the Coast Guard is that it trusts itself.
SNIP
That
kind of decentralization is essential if a large organization is to
move quickly, as any good CEO knows. But the rest of the government has
been moving in the opposite direction, centralizing dozens of agencies
into the giant DHS bureaucracy.

On the Gulf Coast, this autonomy and flexibility mattered well before Katrina hit.
On Aug. 27, the day before the mayor of New Orleans ordered a mandatory
evacuation, the Coast Guard began moving its personnel out of the
region. Officers left helicopters and boats in a ring around the area
so that they could move in behind the storm, no matter which direction
it took.“We have extraordinary autonomy to move assets,”explained
Allen during a flyover of the Mississippi Gulf Coast region a few weeks
after Katrina. “I don’t think any other agency has the ability to do
that.”

The only ones who have a right to take credit for the success of the
Coast Guard is the Coast Guard which acted on its own initiative. Yet I
am sure Bush will continue to conflate the Federal (ie Bush) response
with the Coast Guard’s in the way he does with 9/11 and Saddam. When
you hear it in the future just remember it for what it is…Bullshit.

The future is now. Not only does he not take responsibility for his failure but he steals the success of others. That is pathetic and despicable or… typical behavior for the worst prez ever.

Today he asked–“But when I hear people say the federal response was slow, then what are they gonna say to those chopper drivers?” Well if we are honest we would say…Thanks for doing a great job in spite of a total lack of leadership from your Commander in Chief.

11 thoughts on “Bush steals the Coast Guard’s success…again

  1. Them federal chopper drivers sure did a great job saving all those folks who wouldn’t have been flooded if the FEDERAL levees hadn’t busted

  2. ignoring the ones who couldn’t get to their roof, or EVERYBODY ELSE. and NOLA recovery PERIOD. but fux gnew told georee he did a fine fine job, so georgee is happy.

  3. ignoring the ones who couldn’t get to their roof, or EVERYBODY ELSE. and NOLA recovery PERIOD. but fux gnew told georee he did a fine fine job, so georgee is happy.

  4. ignoring the ones who couldn’t get to their roof, or EVERYBODY ELSE. and NOLA recovery PERIOD. but fux gnew told georee he did a fine fine job, so georgee is happy.

  5. Not to mention those trapped at the stadium and those who local sherrifs fired at them as they tried to evacuate.

  6. Dumb comparison: How did the Coast Guard do in previous disasters and emergencies? My recollection is that they did well in S&R and also in previous hurricaines, even going back to Camille.
    Bush left the Coasties alone and didn’t change much with them.
    At the same time, FEMA had done relatively good. Bush reorganized it. How did it do with Katrina?
    Is there a correlation between Bush’s involvement and whether an agency does better or not?

  7. What a crock- the Coast Guard worked for the Commander-in-Chief at the time of Katrina- last I checked that was President Bush. When others hesitated, they didn’t wait and they pushed in and saved lives- thousands of them. You are right on one account- the Coast Guard did their job. Regardless of the criteria you use to evaluate their performance, the credit for the Coast Guard response must be connected to the Bush administration. You seem to have no problem connecting the failures of other agencies to the same administration. The President was right to be irritated at the press conference- when you paint the Katrina response with a broad brush that it was a failure, you insult every member of the Coast Guard who was out there risking their lives over Mississippi and Louisiana before the hurricane had even passed. In your constant push to blame the Feds you deliberately overlook where the lion’s share of the blame belongs- that would be the people of NOLA and Louisiana and their elected state and and local govenment officials. Never in the history of the U.S. has a state and city government so poorly handled a major incident. It should have been no surprise- New Orleans and Louisiana have a long and proud history of electing corrupt and incompetent government officials, and then accepting it as part of their culture. The people of Louisisana need look no further for a positive example than their neighbors in Mississippi. Same or worse damage, and a completely different response and result. Makes you wonder…

  8. I will be happy to give Bush credit for following up on the promises he outlined in his inspirational speech @ Jackson Square 2 weeks after the Federal Flood. After all, shouldn’t he gt credit for the election of Barack Obama?

  9. The Coast Guard just said “Fuck all ya’ll, we going to do our goddamned job.” What a concept.
    A week from now Bush will be gone. Oh happy day!

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