Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Romney, Sandy, and FEMA

Dear Readers,

Remember when Mitt Romney said in an earlier campaign speech that FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) should be done away with? Same old story from the Romney and neo-con camp as always: The states should take care of those pesky little emergencies.

So now, as Hurricane Sandy has hit the east coast, flooding big cities and little beach towns, people are wondering what Mr. Romney thinks about FEMA lately. The candidate did attend some kind of made-up "relief" effort earlier today. In Ohio. Promising that he would put the goods people brought on a truck which would take them to someplace where they're needed, "probably New Jersey."

What does New Jersey Governor Chris Christie think about this? He declined, every so politely, Madame L is sure, Mr. Romney's offer to visit the stricken communities of his state.

Meanwhile, after the big relief event in Ohio, reporters tried to get Mr. Romney to comment on FEMA. Here's how that went, from the pool report:

     “Gov are you going to eliminate FEMA?” a print pooler shouted, receiving no response.

     Wires reporters asked more questions about FEMA that were ignored.

     Romney kept coming over near pool to pick up more water. He ignored these questions:

     “Gov are you going to see some storm damage?”

     “Gov has [New Jersey Gov.] Chris Christie invited you to come survey storm damage?”

     “Gov you’ve been asked 14 times, why are you refusing to answer the question?”

Here's what's Joan Walsh had to say about that:

     "Romney won’t answer because he can’t. We saw him pivot to the center, to become the white Barack Obama, in the three debates, as he realized his unpopular policies and his contempt for 47 percent of the country was dooming his presidential bid. He’s got no standing now to talk about how he’d handle this disaster. The heroes of Sandy, so far, are the first responders, the cops and firefighters and emergency technicians, the folks evacuating patients from hospitals and trapped citizens from flooding. These are the people who’ve been demonized by Republicans for the last two years:  the public workers who have become the new 'welfare queens.' When Obama pushed a jobs bill that would have helped states and cities avoid laying off such workers, GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell derided it as a 'bailout,' and Paul Ryan, of course, voted against it.

     "To top it all off, George W. Bush’s laughable FEMA director, 'Heck of a job, Brownie' Michael Brown, is criticizing Obama for reacting too quickly to Sandy. Are Democrats paying Brown to remind voters of the contrast between Obama’s quiet competence and Bush’s disastrous handling of Katrina?"

Now, there's a conspiracy for you: Pres. Obama probably arranged to have this storm hit when it did, so he could "act presidential" and Romney could act like the light-weight hollow man he is.

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