YOU WOULD think Republicans would be too embarrassed by the memory of Katrina to utter such obscenity, but you’d be wrong. Fox ran with this nonsense comparison, with Drudge doing his best to compare the situation in the New Orleans stadium with what’s happening in New York, Staten Island and New Jersey.
I could do a point-by-point — and it’s definitely worth it, if you’re curious, to revisit the 2005 Katrina timeline to get a sense of just how bad the response really was. But for me the difference is summed up in two images. One is the nightmare at the New Orleans convention center, where thousands were stranded for days amid inconceivable squalor, an outrage that all of America watched live on TV, but to which top officials seemed oblivious. The other is the scene in flooded Hoboken, with the National Guard moving in the day after the storm struck to deliver food and water and rescue stranded residents.
The point is that after Katrina the government seemed to have no idea what it was doing; this time it did. And that’s no accident: the federal government’s ability to respond effectively to disaster always collapses when antigovernment Republicans hold the White House, and always recovers when Democrats take it back.
President Obama’s response to Sandy was superlative and the Administration remains focused on aiding the victims.
The real issue is our unpreparedness on climate change, which means victims of nor’easter Sandy will remain stranded and even homeless in some cases, with the agony of recovery lasting into the New Year. Some people have to find new places to live, starting over from scratch.
SNL turned to humor on Saturday night, because it’s the only thing that allows you to survive when life turns random and cruel.