September 03, 2005

Ignorant And Confused 

This morning I woke up early and could not sleep, so I turned on the TV and watched Breakfast on BBC. Apparently a lot of newspapers are asking why Bush did not do enough for Katrina relief, or where he was when the disaster struck and alot pf similar questions. Some even played the race card: why it's all blacks that are suffering in a flooded New Orleans? (Maybe because NO was mainly a black city?)

Asking these questions - and not once, but obsessively - implies thinking that the President of the USA is a sort of dictator that can and does manage everything in the USA down to a county-scale, and can happily bend and break the laws and the Constitution sending the Army to operate in the territory of the USA, overriding the authority of state Governors etc.

It does not work like that. I'm no expert of American law, but the USA is a strongly federal and de-centralized country where States, and thus governors have a fairly large autonomy. It is the Governor that summons the National Guard, for example - not the President. There are precise rules for when the Federal Government can eventually override a State Government, and breaking them would be a major constitutional crisis.

So, before asking about Bush, serious journalists should ask about Ray Nagin, the Mayor of New Orleans, and Governor Kathleen Blanco. How did they perform in the face of the storm and its aftermath?


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?