Yes, Barack Obama, with an election hanging over his head, is suddenly taking a disaster seriously and getting high marks on his response. In other words, he’s finally doing his job. But this is just about the first time he actually has responded well to a disaster, as I outline here.
When Nashville suffered horrific flooding in 2010, where was Obama? Nowhere to be found. He certainly didn’t visit, and didn’t do much to urge the rest of the country to come to Nashville’s aid.
Where was Obama when Hurricane Isaac devastated several parishes in Louisiana? Unfortunately, making racial issues out of hurricane response is a favorite pastime of the President’s…and despite his earlier standard of the imperative of “waiving the Stafford Act,” hestill refuses to waive the Stafford Act for Isaac victims.
When the BP oil spill happened, even James Carville blasted Obama’s apparent lack of interest or energy in responding, and Obama was quickly at loggerheads with Gov. Bobby Jindal, and he proceeded to defy even Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu by putting a moratorium and then still slow-walking permits on new Gulf drilling — in defiance of a federal judge’s order, so egregiously that the Obama administration was found officially in contempt of court.
And so on.
Maybe somebody should waive the Stafford Act so that the White Hous itself can get aid without putting up any of its own matching funds — because, Lord knows, this White House is a real disaster area.