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.
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.
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…
But perhaps the most important distinction of the Coast Guard is that it trusts itself.
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
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.