Undoubtedly, the administration announcement that they'll investigate what went wrong in the response to Katrina is a result of the tremendous political pressure they face in light of the suffering of our fellow citizens. I don't think the administration is the right group to investigate, but at least they're acknowledging that an investigation is needed.
Given the endless comments about the political brilliance of the administration, you would think that the announcement of an investigation might reference the grief we feel as a country over our failure to meet the basic needs of those devastated by the storm - food, water, shelter, and safety. But nope. Maybe these guys have lost their political sense of smell. Because instead of a commitment to protecting its citizens and a steely resolve to never let it happen again (Bush likes that steely resolve thing), we instead heard this:
"What I intend to do is lead a -- to lead an investigation to find out what went right and what went wrong. And I'll tell you why. It's very important for us to understand the relationship between the federal government, the state government and the local government when it comes to a major catastrophe. And the reason it's important is, is that we still live in an unsettled world. We want to make sure that we can respond properly if there's a WMD attack or another major storm. And so I'm going to find out over time what went right and what went wrong." (Bush)
I could slam Bush for not caring about the people who suffered but I think he cares. I could slam him for paying more attention to the boundaries of federal power than the needs of Americans, and I'm tempted, but I'll leave it to you to decide if his focus is off. My point here is that the vaunted political genius of Bush/Rove is sorely missing here. And I think it's been off for a while. The campaign for privatizing social security is a waste of money. A defiant insistence on a five week vacation. The refusal to meet Cindy Sheehan and prevent the birth of a new anti-war movement. The failure to visit Ohio when so many soldiers from the same unit died on the same day. Giving a prime time speech to defend his Iraq policies and not offering one new thought. These are all political gaffes. I think they're losing their touch.
Of course, that doesn't mean that we, the loyal opposition, ease up. It means that his is the time to keep the pressure on - in getting all of the Roberts documents, in fighting the repeal of the estate tax, in protecting the courts from an extremist bias, in demanding a clear and executable exit strategy from Iraq, in ensuring that our veterans are cared for, in the follow through on the Katrina evacuees and the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast. Despite the endless laments from the conservative punditry, we do have clear goals. We need to keep the pressure on.