LIke so many other citizens, I've been dismayed at the poor performance of our government in New Orleans and the Gulf. I share the shocked response of so many: "this is America?" I've read news reports and endless blog entries and this is the one that stayed with me.
From Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish, I read this email from one of his readers. I've excerpted it here giving you the start and end of the post, but you should click over and read the whole thing. Really - go read it.
"I've considered myself a socially libertarian, fiscally conservative Republican for a very long time. I got along with the idea that I wasn't going to get a whole lot of help. College wouldn't be free. Job training would cost money and time. And I'm probably a decent example of up-from-not-much.
But after watching what's happening in New Orleans-an American city that I've loved, visited and have always wanted to return to - I can't ever vote for these people again.
I've had it. I'm done. And if the other bunch of assholes can't figure out that what's important is that babies don't starve to death here (and I'm not talking some metaphorical goo-goo thing with school lunches and welfare, but real, actual starving) and we get people out of harm's way, we'll get rid of them too. And so on.
Because this is about leadership, not about bitching on CNN how no one's in charge, or listening to Peggy Noonan furrow her brow at the Governor's performance, or bragging that we've sent in one National Guardsman for every 200 people, or actually having the audacity to say that "we had no idea the levees would break."
Today, I saw my country favorably compared to Indonesia and Thailand, (always our traditional benchmarks of infrastructural success) while the elderly die of thirst in the street. We sneered at France when this happened during a heat wave.