It’s no wonder that Republicans hate government. They are so bad at it!
We in Los Angeles have many enduring images of the Northridge earthquake but one of them surely is that of President Clinton, standing at the edge of a broken freeway only an aftershock away from being pitched over the side. Democrats were in charge in 1994. Government worked in 1994. FEMA worked in Los Angeles and the city, having suffered a historic earthquake, recovered quickly and well.
Surely one of the abiding images from Hurricane Katrina is that of President Bush, staring out the window of Air Force One at the stricken city from 30,000 feet above. Republicans were in charge in 2005. Government didn’t work in 2005. FEMA didn’t work and New Orleans is still trying to recover from that disaster.
In the past week, the East Coast was struck by a 5.8 earthquake and by Hurricane Irene. The hurricane didn’t do as much damage as it could have done but what it did was bad enough. And now, in 2011 Democrats are in charge. Government is working in 2011. FEMA is working and the East Coast, though still struggling with flooding, is recovering.
Except FEMA is running out of money. And the Republican Grinch has his fingers on the purse strings.
The epicenter of the earthquake struck in Eric Cantor’s district. His state of Virginia, though not hit the hardest by Irene, suffered damage. Eric Cantor’s district is getting help from FEMA…and he agrees that this sort of help is a proper function of government. He doesn’t want government to pay for it, of course. Well, at least not entirely. “Offsets” have to be found to make up for the money found to pay for the disasters. In other words, he wants to take money from the rest of us in California, Colorado, Ohio, Louisiana, etc. to pay for the damage to his district and state.
One wonders why Republicans just don’t get it. The Grinch really isn’t a good role model for government. Not at a time when millions of people are suffering from the combined effects of the hurricane and earthquake. They don’t want to hear about “offsets” to pay to help them rebuild their lives. They want food and water. They want help to rebuild or repair their homes. They most especially don’t want the cynicism of Eric Cantor, taking other people’s money to rebuild his district.
In the wake of disaster, people want to see Bill Clinton on the broken freeway. They don’t want George Bush at 30,000 feet. The day Republicans get that they might understand how to govern.