The Eight Days In April during which our President twiddled his environmental clean-up and emergency response thumbs in the face of what may be the worst oil spill "since the Great Depression."
Here is what Mr. Krugman worried about in the first moments that our President's failure became the focus of media attention:
Because it would be wrong to blame a President for a disaster the President did not cause, or a failure to predict when the disaster would take place, or a slower than ideal response.
The Oil Spill Is Obama’s Fault
No, I haven’t lost my mind — that’s not what I believe. But you know that’s what the talk-show hosts will be saying soon, if they haven’t already started. The only question is what the story will be.
Because to play the blame game would be -- dare I say -- un-American, unfair, and un-NY Times-like. Accordingly, the following columns were written by someone who had stolen Paul Krugman's identity during the Bush administration, not by the Paul Krugman we all know and love today:
- A Can't-Do Government, September 5, 2005 - "First question: Why have aid and security taken so long to arrive? Katrina hit five days ago - and it was already clear by last Friday that Katrina could do immense damage along the Gulf Coast. Yet the response you'd expect from an advanced country never happened.... Second question: Why wasn't more preventive action taken? ... Third question: Did the Bush administration destroy FEMA's effectiveness? .... So America, once famous for its can-do attitude, now has a can't-do government that makes excuses instead of doing its job."
- Katrina All the Time, August 31, 2007 - "Two years ago today, Americans watched in horror as a great city drowned, and wondered what had happened to their country. Where was FEMA? Where was the National Guard? Why wasn’t the government of the world’s richest, most powerful nation coming to the aid of its own citizens?"
- Katrina and Bush, December 30, 2008 - "When Katrina struck, however, everyone could see the reality on their TVs. So what happened with Katrina wasn’t that the administration started to fail; what happened was that for the first time its failures were visible to all."
- A Katrina mystery explained, May 17, 2009 - "One thing I remember about that time was the smear campaign carried out against anyone who suggested that the federal effort was inadequate. In particular, any suggestion that the military wasn’t doing its part was — you guessed it — denounced as an unpatriotic attack on the honor of our troops. And now we know the truth. The military wasn’t doing its part, because Donald Rumsfeld refused to deploy troops until almost a week after Katrina hit."
"Eight Days. In April. One day longer than the biblical story of creation. Eight days during which the President did nothing but hope the wind conditions in the Gulf would change. Eight days during which the President failed to deploy the military he had overstretched in Afghanistan. Eight days during which FEMA, neglected during the year-long health care fight, waited for orders which never came. Eight days during which the President made excuses, rather than making plans. Eight days at the end of which the failures of this administration became clear even to those who previously refused to see."I find it hard to believe that Krugman will be as harsh on this President as he was on that President.
Because Krugman is "The Conscience of a Liberal."
Update: Krugman was right, the right-wing talk radio hosts already are playing the blame game, those bastards:
... the administration should not have waited, and should have intervened much more quickly on its own initiative. ... What we do know is that we now face a huge disaster whose consequences might have been minimized with swifter action.
And there's more from those racist wingnuts:
[Obama's] administration has publicly chastised BP America for its handling of the spreading oil gusher, yet a review of the response suggests it may be too simplistic to place all the blame for the unfolding environmental catastrophe on the oil company. The federal government also had opportunities to move more quickly, but did not do so while it waited for a resolution to the spreading spill from BP.
Call it political death by timeline.