But you knew that.
NORFOLK, Va. - Rudolph Giuliani, who guided New York City through the dark days after Sept. 11, said there is no place for second-guessing during an emergency, and he is not interested in criticizing the way government officials handled Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.
The former mayor said before a speech Tuesday that it is too soon to draw any conclusions about whether the agencies that responded took too long or who was responsible. When the situation stabilizes, Giuliani said, the nation can examine the rescue efforts.
Too soon. We have to wait. How long? Until the Media and a lot of the public are focused on something else and we can hold an "investigation" that will exonerate George Bush and his cronies from blame and scapegoat the Mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana, that's how long.
The Daily Show's Jon Stewart said that every Republican who does not publicly condemn George Bush's criminally incompetent response to the hurricane risks losing credibility.
But Republicans who do condemn George Bush, publicly or privately to the wrong tattle-taling ratfink, risk losing things that matter to them more than credibility---money and support from the Republican Party power brokers.
Michael Bloomberg has come out and said the obvious, but Bloomberg doesn't expect he'll ever be the Republican nominee for President and he has a city to run and worry about and New Orleans gave him a horrific preview of what he can expect from the Bush Leaguers if New York City suffers another terrorist attack.
Trent Lott knows. Trent Lott of the soon to be rebuilt front porch George Bush has already invited himself over to sit on. Trent Lott knows, although he can't bring himself to come right out and say it.
Republican Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi, just back from a week surveying damage in his home state, allowed that "mistakes are being made" but tried to counsel restraint Tuesday as calls for Brown's removal escalated. But even Lott displayed some of the potent emotions spawned by the horrific conditions on the Gulf Coast.
"If somebody said, `You pick somebody to hammer,' I don't know who I'd pick," he told reporters. "I did threaten to physically beat a couple of people in the last couple of days, figuratively speaking."
If now is not the time to criticize---Republicans---or seek to assign blame---to Republicans; criticizing Democrats and assigning the blame to them is Karl Rove's emergency plan---then there never will be a time.
The Bush Leaguers do things for only three reasons.
1. To get votes.
2. To accrue power.
3. To make money for themselves and their friends and their base, which not the Religious Right, whatever the Fundies themselves think; it's the worst of the corporate rich.
All three reasons are really the same reason. To rule and grow rich while ruling is their dream, their intention, and their current reality.
If they are not made to feel that their criminal negligence and murderous incompetence will cost them votes, power, or money, they will not change anything.
And criticism from Democrats will not make them feel it. They despise the Democrats and laugh at them.
And the disapproval and outrage of the American People will not make them feel it. They despise us and laugh at us too and on top of this they think they can always play us for suckers. That's why Bush is running around playing at being a firefighter again instead of back in the White House firing people. Karl Rove is pretty sure we'll all fall for the masquerade. He may be right.
The only criticism the Bush Leaguers will listen to has to come from a unified front of powerful Republicans.
Mavericks, renegades, rebels, and heroic loners will be ignored or crushed by the Party Machine.
But Giuliani isn't keeping quiet out of politeness, despair, timidity, or a pessimistic pragmatism.
He's keeping quiet because he's ambitious.
Lots of people have been suggesting that Bush should appoint Giuliani to direct the rescue and recovery. There's no reason to suppose that he would be especially good at the job. He has tremendous executive experience, of course. He was in a habit of hiring competent people to do important jobs. Well, there was Bernie Kerik, but still. If Giuliani himself didn't know what to do, he'd know how to find and recognize people who did.
But the main reason for putting him in charge is the reason he won't be put in charge. The same reason that he wasn't made head of Homeland Security. He is seen as the man who led the country through its worst moments on 9/11. Nobody, nobody, is allowed to upstage George Bush.
So Giuliani was overlooked twice for the job.
There are some people who think that Giuliani deliberately and malciously foisted Bernie Kerik on Bush just to pay him back for the snub.
Ah, would that it were so!
Giuliani says he doesn't want the job of taking charge of cleaning up and rebuilding after Katrina.
He puts it curiously though, according to AP:
Giuliani said he would be willing to take a role in the relief effort but was not seeking a position.
Told by a questioner after the speech that he seemed the ideal candidate to head the, Giuliani said: "Maybe in a few years. Right now, I'm not a candidate for anything."
In a few years? Be specific, Rudy. You mean in 4 years, right? When there's a new President? A new Republican President who'll remember which other Republicans were loyal and which ones put their consciences and what was good for the country ahead of what was useful for George W. Bush?
I guess this means he's given up the idea he can be President himself.
(Revised and corrected Friday morning, thanks to a heads up from Kathy Flake. I had written that James Lee Witt, Bill Clinton's director of FEMA, whom George Bush had praised before taking office, was still on the job on 9/11. But Bush didn't reappoint him despite his supposed high regard for the man and gave the job to his campaign manager, Joe Allbaugh. Allbaugh left in 2003, having found his true calling in life as a war profiteer. See Slate.)
No administration could credibly investigate such an immense failure on its own watch. And we have learned through bitter experience - the Abu Ghraib nightmare is just one example - that when this administration begins an internal investigation, it means a whitewash in which no one important is held accountable and no real change occurs.
Michael Brown should begin polishing up his resume update: The New Zealand Herald reports that Trent Lott was less circumspect about criticizing Brown than he appears to be above:
Senator Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican who lost his coastal home in the storm, Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael Brown's job was in jeopardy.
"If he doesn't solve a couple of problems that we've got right now he ain't going to be able to hold the job, because what I'm going to do to him ain't going to be pretty."
Link courtesy of Deborah White at About: Liberal and Progressive Politics