They consciously and deliberately assumed an attitude of powerlessness and hopelessness in the face of New Orleans' woes that directly contributed to the lawlessness, chaos and disorder.Podhoretz goes on to contrast the actions of the Louisiana pols to those of Mayor Giuliani and Governor Petaki in New York. Giuliani and Petaki were not only bitter political foes but also harbored a strong personal dislike for one another. But 9/11 caused them to band together to face the crisis with nary a cross word nor finger pointed at each other, let alone the federal government. Not so in Louisiana.
What did they do? They gave angry interviews. They screamed and yelled about the federal government being bad. They cried. They delayed. They said they didn't care very much about looting, and then said they cared a lot about looting, and then didn't do anything about the looting. And they didn't coordinate with each other at all.
Now we're hearing that part of the problem is Nagin and Blanco don't get along, that Blanco never forgave Nagin for supporting her Republican challenger in her gubernatorial bid in 2003.
Rather than project an attitude of calm determination, of steely purpose, as Haley Barbour did in ravaged Mississippi, Nagin and Blanco contributed to the panic. They fed the despair. They encouraged the anger. And they indulged their petty personal grievances rather than rising above them for the common good.TAGS: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, Ray Nagin, Kathleen Blanco, incompetent
They did themselves, their constituents and their country a monstrous disservice.