Monday, September 05, 2005

White House Enacts Plan to Shift Blame

A veritable campaign to show Bush as a pseudo God benificently commanding a rescue and 'hug fest' to the grateful people of New Orlean has been crafted by Karl Rove and another top Bush aide.

The Plan includes Photo op after photo op capped by another visit by the magnificent one on Monday.

Refusal to look at anything they might have done wrong.

And the typical Bush White House tendency to smear anyone else they can politically destroy with impunity. Luckily for them the Governor of Louisiana and Mayor of New Orleans are both Democrats.

In many ways, the unfolding public relations campaign reflects the style Mr. Rove has brought to the political campaigns he has run for Mr. Bush. For example, administration officials who went on television on Sunday were instructed to avoid getting drawn into exchanges about the problems of the past week, and to turn the discussion to what the government is doing now.

"We will have time to go back and do an after-action report, but the time right now is to look at what the enormous tasks ahead are," Michael Chertoff, the secretary of Homeland Security, said on "Meet the Press" on NBC.

One Republican with knowledge of the effort said that Mr. Rove had told administration officials not to respond to Democratic attacks on Mr. Bush's handling of the hurricane in the belief that the president was in a weak moment and that the administration should not appear to be seen now as being blatantly political. As with others in the party, this Republican would discuss the deliberations only on condition of anonymity because of keen White House sensitivity about how the administration and its strategy would be perceived.

In a reflection of what has long been a hallmark of Mr. Rove's tough political style, the administration is also working to shift the blame away from the White House and toward officials of New Orleans and Louisiana who, as it happens, are Democrats.

"The way that emergency operations act under the law is the responsibility and the power, the authority, to order an evacuation rests with state and local officials," Mr. Chertoff said in his television interview. "The federal government comes in and supports those officials."

That line of argument was echoed throughout the day, in harsher language, by Republicans reflecting the White House line.
White House Enacts a Plan to Ease Political Damage

A campaign they can do.

It's all a sham to divert attention to how they let so many people die.

But the locals did order an evacuation, Mr. Chertoff. And the DHS website says major emergencies such as the ultra emergency that happened in New Orleans are the responsibility of DHS as shown below.

See toon at link:

See how Bush's Emergency Declaration of August 26 moved responsibility for alleviating the effects of Hurricane Katrina to the federal government.


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