When I criticized the Bush White House for tacitly supporting Ray Nagin for re-election as mayor of New Orleans, providing the crucial difference in his slim victory over Mitch Landrieu, a few people ignored Nagin’s record of incompetence and outlandishness and demagoguery to say, well, Bush was right because the national Dems (those evil meanies!!!!) were all in line with Landrieu, and it was better to beat back the Dems. Well, well, well. I’d rather be in bed, politically speaking, with Mary Landrieu and the DNC than with Jesse Jackson. Look at page A-6 of today’s Washington Post and you’ll see just who it is who got an honored spot at Nagin’s (re-)inauguration: The Rev. Jesse himself, in a photograph laughing with Nagin and with incompetent Gov. Kathleen Blanco — after Jackson and others of his il.. well, his reputation, rescued Nagin with a massive vote turnout by displaced New Orleanians bused back into town.
Nagin, it must be said, was a breath of fresh air at first in that he tried legitimately to clean up the corruption endemic to New Orleans city government. But he’s a chameleon and a demagogue (“chocolate city,” “people who look like us”,) he can’t keep competent people on his staff, he let the police department fade back into incompetence and corruption, and he lies down with unsavory characters. In his second term, poor New Orleans will reap the pain that Bush helped sow when Bush helped Nagin get re-elected.
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