Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Bush on Katrina: "I Take Responsibility"

President Bush said at a press conference this afternoon that "I take responsibility" for failures in dealing with Hurricane Katrina and said the disaster raised broader questions about the government's ability to respond to natural disasters as well as terror attacks.

"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government," Bush said at joint White House news conference with the president of Iraq. "To the extent the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility."

If your jaw just dropped or you fell off your chair, be advised: you read correctly. If you are a conservative who has spent the last two weeks vigilantly trying to convince others that only Democrats -- New Orleans Mayor Nagin and Louisiana Governor Blanco -- were to blame, be advised: what Bush said today doesn't match your spin.

In all honesty, my respect level for Bush just rose a notch. The entire purpose of this blog is to react to the constant drumbeat of empty spin and propaganda from the Bush Administration and its far-flung cadre of political and pundit supporters.

Today's admission by Bush may have been scripted by Karl Rove, and it may have been made simply to stop the freefall Bush's popularity has taken since Katrina hit. But even it serves a political purpose, Bush's statement today is far better than patronizing the press and the American people, by suggesting that questioning -- let alone criticizing -- the administration is playing some unfair "blame game."


The president was asked whether people should be worried about the government's ability to handle another terrorist attack given failures in responding to Katrina.

"Are we capable of dealing with a severe attack? That's a very important question and it's in the national interest that we find out what went on so we can better respond," Bush replied.

He said he wanted to know both what went wrong and what went right.

As for blunders in the federal response, "I'm not going to defend the process going in," Bush said. "I am going to defend the people saving lives."

He praised relief workers at all levels. "I want people in America to understand how hard people worked to save lives down there," he said.

On this, JABBS and the president agree.


Americans are a forgiving people. Some conservatives portray Bush Administration critics -- this blog included -- as "Bush haters," or worse, "America haters." The suggestion that criticizing the president is un-American is ridiculous; dissent is an important component of free speech, and without dissent, we cannot claim to live in a free country.

Democrats and liberals aren't rooting for Bush to fail -- certainly not when people's lives are at stake, either along the Gulf Coast or in Iraq or Afghanistan.

No one expects Bush to offer mea culpas on every administration failure or disappointment. But a bit of honesty can go a long way in opening a dialogue with administration critics, in Congress and in the dreaded (among conservatives) media.


Anonymous Rolandc said...

"Americans are a forgiving people"

After 5 years of brown-nosing "yes men" in the WH who couldn't tell the Truth if their lives depended on it, I would advise you to be careful in your praising of the stupidest people on Earth! What is your devious goal?

We're #1! We're #1! In stupidity that is!
How can billy-joe-bob down thar in the Appalachians establishments of higher edjukashun be stupider than the throngs in India who worship cows?!
Well, let me 'splain!

How many $Billions$ were spent on schooling the moronic masses?
Thar ye go!

At least in India they know better than to give books to starving book-eating kids.

Bart and Nelson are role models for the very stupid, idiotic, uneducated, moronic people. You are definitely confusing "forgiving" with being too stupid to remember what happened a few seconds ago.

Not to worry mate, I can see that the whole human race is the same. What a vile, dangerous and self- glorified mutated virus we turned out to be.

And of course I am talking also about your "Intelligentsia" .. remember that you cannot blame the morons ... by your own definition they are too stupid to "get it".

What about the brainy ones who still do not get it and cannot cancel out/stop the doings of the dangerously stupid?!

How long would it take a Witten or a Twain, better yet a Bierce to come up with a plan to cancel out the moronic doings of the masses.

Do you think the brainiacs should come up with such a plan in the first place or are you an "egalitarian"?

Why let the doofus cancel your vote because you are too full of shit to take his right to vote away?

Wouldn't you think that a couple of geniuses would have come up with an idea to put in check the inmates at the open-sky asylum that the good ol'U.S. of A. has become?

Wake the fuck up man!!! Look at the stupidity around you and savor it ... you let it happened ... your boob tube has just blown up in your face ... a lil' martha anyone?

Your very point shows the stupidity of a person "calling off"/brushing off the stupidity of his peers. What is your sucking up to the morons supposed to accomplish? It is all right to say they are stupid .. at the very least you would be honest in your statement ...

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad to see Pres. Bush own up to the shortcomings of the Feds. Now if only Mayor Nagin could come to grips with reality...now that would be refreshing. Stone Phillips asked the saavy mayor what he would have done differently...he replied "Yell Louder". Jeez louise....quoting Joe Scarborough..instead of yelling louder, how about "Doing your job?"

6:50 PM  
Blogger Snoop said...

“Democrats and liberals aren't rooting for Bush to fail,”

I’ll give your blog credit, you may not be one of the attacking blogs but if you doubt that the goal of the democrats and liberals is to destroy this president and his legacy you are mistaken. I’m serious who must not read many liberal blogs. If you do you can’t possible believe that statement.

As far as Bush taking responsibility why, would that surprise you?
Any move by any politician is calculated. He will pump billions of dollars into the south, make a number of trips to the area, oversee the rebuilding of the area; his home state is hosting a good number of the evacuees gettin’ good ole fashion Texas treatment. Eventually his numbers will rise.
However, I being one of those conservatives targeting the blame (where it really was, Blanco and Nagan and that idiot Senator Mary L) won’t change our tune. Democrats desperately want to frame this as a race issue (they need the black vote), they will also make this a class issue (evil rich SUV driving republicans).

Your side people like Dick Gregory:

Gregory intensified Edwards' conspiracy charges, accusing the government of orchestrating the evacuation to access oil under the city.
"It (Hurricane Katrina) didn't hit, it went down the Gulf," Gregory said. "And nobody is asking, if it missed, where's this damn water coming from? Who shut them pumps off and who's going to investigate those two barges with dynamite on them that hit that levee," he said in reference to the failure of the city's levees and water pumps, which were intended to protect the city from flooding.”

Pure lunacy, then Mary L.

“I am not going to level criticism at local and state officials. Mayor Nagin and most mayors in this country have a hard time getting their people to work on a sunny day, let alone getting them out of the city in front of a hurricane. And it's because this administration and administrations before them do not understand the difficulties that mayors — whether they are in Orlando, Miami, or New Orleans — face”

Yes Bush needs to score political points, he can take responsibility, but that won’t keep liberals from attacking him.

7:11 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Snoop, It hurts me to agree with you (ouch!) but at least I only agree with one small statement in your post: Yes, "politicians are calculating."

Unlike David, I can't give Bush credit for making any sort of noble admission of guilt -- it was a political calculation 100%. Rove must of shown him the polls, showing his ratings plummeting and the majority of Americans wanting an independent investigation, and (just as in other times) when his back was up against it, he suddenly embraces the winning side. Vote chasing for his panicky republican cohorts, nothing more.

As far as "Democrats trying to make it a race issue," read the poll yourself Snoop: it's Blacks themselves who overwhelmingly believe the response had a racial bias. As for me I at least have to wonder if it wasn't a class issue when they (local and federal) didn't bother to evacuate those without cars from N.O.

Ah, it feels good to disagree with Snoop again :-)

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Carol deProsse said...

I do not accept politically expedient apologies or politically motivated acceptances of responsibility. They are far too common in today's cheap political life. I saw Bush live when he made his remarks and I thought he didn't even make an effort to sound sincere. The words just came kind of slithering out of the side of his mouth, clearly getting them over with as quickly as he could in order to move on to New York City where the dumbest man this country has had as a president will address the United Nations. I bet the ambassadors sit there and wonder where the hell we drummed up this fool.

8:17 PM  
Blogger THE MATERIAL BOY said...

It's been a while since Dubya gained my respect. It's good that he finally decided to stop passing the buck and own up to the tragic aftermath of Katrina.


9:02 PM  
Blogger Ditto said...

It was, as it has always been for the professional politician W; per the script he was handed.

He's a better actor than leader. And he's not really that-good an actor. But he has damn good handlers. Good at their job, of course, not good in the moral sense.

9:19 PM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

I think David put things in the proper perspective:

"Today's admission by Bush may have been scripted by Karl Rove, and it may have been made simply to stop the freefall Bush's popularity has taken since Katrina hit. But even it serves a political purpose, Bush's statement today is far better than patronizing the press and the American people, by suggesting that questioning -- let alone criticizing -- the administration is playing some unfair 'blame game.'

Clearly, Bush did this for political gain. But, like David said, a breath of fresh honest air does more good than harm. It's better than what we usually get from this president.

11:53 PM  
Anonymous P.O. Box 02134 said...

I find it hilarious that both liberals and conservatives had a problem with JABBS' post.

Isn't a rule of thumb that when a journalist pisses off the left and the right, he's doing something right?

11:55 PM  
Blogger B2 said...

I just don't know what to think of this guy. Does W really think this helps his credibility?

1:20 AM  
Blogger Snoop said...

AD, remember Snoop said it here first. FIRST, I don’t know what black people they have been polling but amongst the black folk that I know NONE, thinks it was race related.
Furthermore, black folks rarely if ever get POLLED about anything so don’t read too much into that.
Remember most of the people displaced were with the liberal entitlement crowd.
Like I said Bush will pump billions of dollars in the NOLA and anywhere these people ended up. After they get shinny new homes and cars!!, most will forgive old G Dub. This will infuriate the lib dems because if G Dub is to get all the blame her sure as heck will get all the glory for hooking up those Po’ folks.
Just think of the slave reparations crowd. “Slavery was terrible and should never be forgotten!”

Until you give a brotha a check....... yo’ dog, slavery? What u talking about?

10:26 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

I can't decide if I should laugh or cry.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Snoop said...

Hey AD, JABBS guys check this out: In case you missed
Five days after Katrina hit the Gulf Coast — Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., who represents New Orleans and is a senior member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, was allowed through the military blockades set up around the city to reach the Superdome, where thousands of evacuees had been taken.
Caviar and Camaraderie Found a Place Inside the New Orleans Convention Center
Military sources tells ABC News that Jefferson, an eight-term (Democratic) congressman, asked the National Guard that night to take him on a tour of the flooded portions of his congressional district. A 5-ton military truck and a half dozen military police were dispatched.
Lt. Col. Pete Schneider of the Louisiana National Guard tells ABC News that during the tour, Jefferson asked that the truck take him to his home on Marengo Street, in the affluent uptown neighborhood in his congressional district. According to Schneider, this was not part of Jefferson's initial request.
Feel free to read the rest Here:
Or ABC News.
I know stuff like this does not matter, but hey it boys being boys huh.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty lame, Scoop, if you consider this a scandal.

If you were in the same situation, wouldn't you want to know if your house had been destroyed?

Did Rush devote half his show to this? Did Sean?

2:30 PM  

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