Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The "Blame Game"

I just finished watching the White House Press Secretary on C-SPAN. He's stepped up him normal tack of not answering any questions and having a few catch phrases that he used to silence any unfriendly questioning (don't you have to be at least a little unfriendly to write a journalistic piece??).

He echoed the same phrase that Bush has been using. They say something along the lines of "Now is not the time to play the blame game, it's the time to save lives." Nobody of any political position is going to argue that "Now is not the time to save lives!" (Of course, it begs the question, "Why wasn't last week the time to save lives?")

But this should not be a forcefield to any sort of criticism. Is this really how people run their lives? I'm sorry, I critique procedures mid-process all the time. I do it for those I hire, but most of all I do it for myself. If you hire someone to build a house for you and they show utter incompetence, who says, "Well, now is not the time to play the blame game, it's the time to get the house built!"

I understand that people from different perspectives have different tacks on just how bad things were and are in New Orleans and elsewhere Katrina's wake--that's to be expected. But I think the people who say that "liberals are just exploiting this to get at Bush" are showing a lack of perspective and empathy. After all, isn't it perfectly reasonable to want to see the President held accountable (along with many others) after a preventable disaster that killed thousands of his nation's citizens? In the case where his appointments are shown mid-crisis to have no expertise at what they are doing, shouldn't he be expected to immediately find someone who does?

This is not the case where there were some minor mistakes and some partisan folks want to scapegoat someone on the other side of the aisle. There are tons of corpses here. If I'm flying in plane, mid-flight we find out that the pilot doesn't have a license and there's a licensed plane on board, I want them to switch. If I'm flying in a plane and the pilot has lost control half a dozen times and she/he doesn't have a license, I want a new pilot.

If I'm in a plane and the pilot has accidently clipped two other planes, killed a sizable portion of the passengers and is easily replaced, I don't care if the flight attendants also were responsible for the deaths of a few passengers, I want a new pilot.

I'm not real bright, but I can recognize incompentence across party lines, can those who insist that I'm "playing the blame game" really not recognize it? Or do they just not care about how the rest of the crisis progresses?

As an added perspective, Typhoon Nabi hit Kyuushuu this weekend killing 21. As you pray/hope/wish for the safety of those affected by Katrina, please keep in mind the familes affected by Nabi as well.

3 Comments:

Blogger michael said...

nice post.

11:01 PM  
Blogger Ironcheffie said...

i will tell you this:

I'm on these other message boards. If I hear one more White person compliain about how minorities have "all these advantages" and how the rich are being "discriminated agasint" with the estate tax I'm going to hurt soembody

8:01 AM  
Blogger xian said...

michael: thanks for reading.

chris: I feel the same way, but if I hurt someone everytime white folks exaggerated their own burden based on their racial privilege, I'd have been locked up a long time ago...

But it is telling that people can't even take a week out to mourn the dead poor before they are redirecting more wealth to the rich...

3:21 PM  

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