Thursday, July 05, 2007

Caught flat-footed...again!

In one of his weekly commentaries for the Jim Lehrer news hour, Mark Shields once said that the current administration campaigned on a platform that government is bad, that government doesn't work--and then went on to give startlingly effective evidence of the truth in that platform. That's one way to describe the series of bad decisions the Bush people have taken in recent years...but even the least ideological of observers would admit that the administration has great difficulty with coordination, anticipation and advance planning, kind of a serious drawback in the most powerful nation on the planet.

--In Iraq, they assured us that the US military would be greeted as liberators, with cake, flowers and the delirious happiness of the newly-freed citizenry. When it turned out that the part of the citizenry who had been deposed as the ruling group did not wish to accept this arrangement, well, there was no plan for combating an insurgency. No plan B for Iraq, which accounts for a lot of the security lapses, difficulties in rebuilding and, um, most of the Iraqi and American deaths to date. No armored humvees, not enough body armor, endless tours and then frequent redeployment...you remember the litany.

--In NOLA, 2005, they failed to anticipate the damage a category 5 storm could do to the New Orleans levees, then once the disaster was complete, no action was forthcoming for days, which stranded people on rooftops, sent thousands into the NOLA superdome without much food or water, destroyed whole neighborhoods...this was almost a bigger disaster than Iraq, and its effects are still evident to everyone who visits the area.

--Now, we're faced with "millions of furious complaints from US citizens and calls for investigations from irate lawmakers," because the Bush Homeland Security bureaucracy decreed that everyone going to Mexico or Canada would need a passport rather than just an ID or drivers' license after January 1 to cross the border. The rush from Canada and Mexico-goers to get that first passport completely overwhelmed, even melted down the State Department consular office, which apparently hadn't been consulted or given much warning about the coming tsunami of apps. Secretary of State Rice has had to pull some 350-400 foreign service officers off their current projects for several months of intensive passport-issuing, potentially costing the US taxpayers lots of $$$. Once again, no one thought through the consequences of a big endeavor. What else is new?

I'm beginning to think that the winning campaign slogan for 2008 might come from Martha Stewart Political Consultants, inc: "Competence--it's a Good Thing!" These current guys are a piece of work.

2 Comments:

Blogger LaPopessa said...

This President doesn't THINK, he FEELS. He KNOWS the right thing - the voices in his head tell him that. And the details? Well you know, that's where the devil is.

Great post, as always Bucky - keep up the good work while I'm off on the beach trying to remember what peace & quiet sounds like :).

9:26 PM  
Blogger TomCat said...

Excellent article, Bucky, but bush does have one successful program: No Millionaire Left behind.

3:59 PM  

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