A Pre-Katrina Worldview

In a speech last Friday, White House political advisor Karl Rove laid out the Republican battleplan for the 2006 elections, saying that:

Republicans have a post-9/11 worldview and many Democrats have a pre-9/11 worldview. That doesn’t make them unpatriotic — not at all. But it does make them wrong — deeply and profoundly and consistently wrong.

Today, to just about nobody’s surprise, we get official confirmation of what has been widely reported for months: in the days before Hurricane Katrina destroyed most of New Orleans, the White House was fully and thoroughly briefed on the oncoming disaster. Eric Lipton of the Washington Post reports:

A Homeland Security Department report submitted to the White House at 1:47 a.m. on Aug. 29, hours before the storm hit, said, "Any storm rated Category 4 or greater will likely lead to severe flooding and/or levee breaching."

The internal department documents, which were forwarded to the White House, contradict statements by President Bush and the homeland security secretary, Michael Chertoff, that no one expected the storm protection system in New Orleans to be breached.

"I don’t think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees," Mr. Bush said in a television interview on Sept. 1.

So the President was misleading. That’s not really news. But what is still not appreciated, both by the public and the press, is how deeply and profoundly and consistently wrong the Bush administration is and has been on global warming, which is as great a menace to this nation and the world as terrorism. Katrina is a spectacular example of how things can go wrong for us when we bump up against the processes of the natural world, but this adminstration refuses to open its eyes to a thousand or more warnings from scientists in this country and around the world, saying that even the modest provisions of the Kyoto Protocols "didn’t suit our needs" and would have "wrecked the economy," as Bush claimed in an interview at the G8 summit in July.

Fortunately, we do have Tom Toles to keep our eyes on the big picture, and amusingly so.


Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

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