Monday, August 28, 2006


Drowning In A Bathtub

"My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”- Grover Norquist, if his infinite wisdom

One year ago, Katrina touched down. One year ago today, we watched as that which had been predicted for years happened, as a Category 5 hurricane threatened to turn New Orleans into the American Atlantis. We saw one of America's largest and most memorable cities submerge as the levies broke, just as had been predicted.

And during the week after that, we saw as the federal government bungled it all to hell. We saw as people spent days in the Superdome, fearing rape and assault, while the government ferried others out of Sheratons. We watched as the Red Cross was told to stay out of the city, as aid from Mexico was turned away, as firefighters who showed up to help were forced to sit through fucking photo ops and sexual harrassment seminars. And most importantly of all, we saw as the people in charge of this clusterfuck patted each other on the back, engaged in verbal fellatio, and feigned ignorance of their failures. And from this cacophony came the occasional cry: "This is why we can't trust big government."

No. Very, very no. The fiasco following Katrina was not why we couldn't trust the federal government to help us out; the people behind that fiasco were the reason why we couldn't trust the federal government to help us out. We expected the people of New Orleans to be saved by a government that engaged in cronyism, rampant corruption, graft, and the regular fucking over of the poor. The government is run by a group of people who, like Norquist, wish to dismember the government and send the savings on to... well, themselves.

This is not a secret. This is out in the open. This is the mission statement of politicians like DeLay and Norquist: to scrap out environmental protections, educational funding, urban housing, and workplace protections from the federal government. To leave the government crippled and begging for money, while the rich get richer and the poor get screwed.

Well, guess what? They're getting what they want. The American Society of Civil Engineers has given the American infrastructure a "D". Next time a disaster like Katrina happens, if something does not happen and happen soon, we will be left watching CNN helplessly and once again wondering, "Why?"

And then we will see Barbara Bush, or at least her equivalent, talk about how those displaced by the disaster are better off now, and we will think, "Oh, yeah. That."

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