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Friday, September 02, 2005 

The Failure of Washington

For all of the pomp and circumstance that surrounds Washington, at the root of it politicians are basically powerless jesters in the media spectacle. I will not attempt lay specific blame on any one of them (there is more than enough to go around), but instead, I will lay blame on all of them.

New Orleans, rich in culture and history now lays a quickly decaying heap in southern Louisiana. For all of our power and resources, there are (as you read this) elderly men, women, and worst of all, children dying because of thirst and starvation.

There are armed mobs roaming the flooded cityscape raping, murdering, and pillaging anything they please in the absence of any law enforcement structure. The Superdome, an engineering marvel, has degraded into a third world prison camp. The people can not leave. They are forced to sit in a feces and urine filled cell block clinging onto two 9 oz bottles of water a day.

News crews can sit on Canal Street, “reporting live from ground zero”, but we cannot get a pallet of water into the city to keep people alive. I will not profess to be an expert on crisis management or disaster relief, but surly if Fox, CNN, and MSNBC can get there, so can some water.

Regulations, legislation, bureaucracy, agencies, etc...

All of it mean nothing as the people in New Orleans have degraded into a state of dark age anarchy. I have no doubt that the people involved in the rescue/relief efforts are giving their absolute best. I have no doubt they are getting no more sleep than any refugee. I have no doubt that every death they see rips their heart out. However, I have serious doubts about any of our “representatives” in Washington.

Press conferences, radio addresses, TV interviews, and op-ed pieces in the paper do NOT save anyone’s life. They do not feed a 2 month old dying from dehydration in her mother’s arms. They do not get dead people, slowing rotting, out of the flooded waters. They do not solve anything.

The President, his cabinet, Democratic Party Chairman, Republican Party Chairman, Senate Majority Leader, Senate Minority Leader, House Majority Leader, House Minority Leader, Speaker of the House, and any other elected official of Washington: Where are YOU?

What have you done, past, present, or future to stop this? What have you done to relieve this horror unfolding?

The answer my fellow Americans is nothing. For all of their power lunches, prepped speeches, and massive campaigns; they, like us, are left utterly powerless. I think now is a time to reflect on who we vote for, why we vote for them, and what we expect of our government.

Once, long ago, the government was nothing more than a collective extension of the people. In the face of this crisis, they’ve become a publicity seeking leech on the people. Remember New Orleans when you vote next time. Remember not who gave the best speech, or who directed the blame the best. Instead, remember who did something. Remember who inspired you and those suffering. Remember that your vote is not for a Party or a political organization, but for the people. Your vote is who you want to represent the American people.

God Bless those suffering, may some relief come soon.