Friday, September 16, 2005

Live from Jackson Square

The president's choice of Jackso Square for his speech last night was strangely appropriate.

Those of you who have visited New Orleans know that Jackson Square plays host to a score of peculiar characters who delight on parting people from their money. Nothing different last night, evidently.

The one bit of good news is that the federal government has committed itself to the reconstruction of the Gulf Coast region. Unfortunately, that's where the good news ends.

For reasons known but to the President and his Creator, George W. Bush has decided to place Karl Rove in charge of the reconstruction effort. Keep in mind that Rove is a political operative. He has no background in disaster relief or recovery operations, no experience in public health, economic development or housing policy. He's a man whose role has been to safeguard George Bush's political interests, which aren't always the same as the broader public interest.

I won't even get into the fact thta the man is facing a possible federal indictment for releasing classified intelligence info in order to exact revenge on a Bush administration critic.

If anyone in Washington epitomizes what's wrong with the current political climate, it is Karl Rove. He's vindictive, hyper-partisan, and committed to cronyism. Why he should be allowed anywhere near the recovery effort is beyond me.

Here's a better idea.

First, form a governmental corporation to run the reconstruction effort. Get this process out of the hands of the White House spin-and-patronage crowd, and let the grown ups do the job. Appoint folks with backgrounds in economic development, human services, public health, infrastructure development and logistics to run this operation in a professional manner. Demand transparency and accountability, and whenever possible, require a fair and honest bidding process.

We can live with glib half-confessions. We can't live with the future of the Gulf Coast being placed in the hands of ethically deficient political hacks.

It was a good speech.
i didn't watch it
Rove was effective at getting Bush elected, twice even though the Democratic Team was peopled with smarter folks and the Democratic Party has more registered voters, and the candidates had more experience in governance. Being effective is key here, and Rove, if anything, is that. Certainly we can all agree that he accomplishes what he sets out to do. If he decides to reconstruct N.O., come hell or high water it will be reconstructed.
The hell and high water already came... and your logic is lacking. Just because someone is effective in getting people elected doesn't mean they're effective in rebuilding a region. That's like saying "Tom Brady has led the Patriots to a number of comeback wins. Surely he can lead the comeback of the gulf region." Huh? Two wholly unrelated skill sets.

Hell, even Brady probably couldn't even save the Saints...
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