"Unfortunately, Ron, that makes the Alley a pretty good reflection of reality. The amount of space given to finger-pointing and blame-laying in the newspapers and on network news has been there since the beginning and grows every day. Probably one of the reasons of that is the grisly sights we saw immediately after the hurricane hit. We saw horrific footage of bodies in the water, people in squalor in the Superdome, stories of a rape and snipers and people got enraged, screaming, "How could this happen in America?" and looked to place blame. Democrats recognized this and immediately jumped on the opportunity to exploit that anger to their advantage. Republican milque-toast comments like the ones quoted above were more in RESPONSE to accusations than offered opinions. Bush has continously said during this time that the priority here is dealing with the tragedy and told congress directly to keep the politics out of it, that they would have plenty of time later for political attacks. Obviously, that hasn't come to pass. I believe the White House is acting the way you state should be done. If you weigh the negativity out there, I think you will find the scales tipped heavily on the left side."
I think it may be important to share how I first made a presence in this particular forum.
As you all are well aware, I was very shy when I first joined this site coming on five years now, in December of 2000. In fact I was so shy I was considering multiple times before to register but didn't have the courage to do so. Finally I did because I saw people who I became accustomed to in the poetry world, from a site called Mutington's Meadow, cross-over there, and so I felt comfort they were there to acquaint me with the community so I finally joined.
I went through several stages of doubt and sometimes a lack of confidence that I was being accepted here, and just as I have grown through adolescence I have grown here. There finally came the time I was motivated to skip from forum to forum...except one...here.
I would peak in this forum time and time again and I was just very sensitive. There was always argument here, and I know that we are all civilized and of wonderful heart but still I couldn't help but feel it echo like a bell tolled against my head and it almost made it sound like bitter argument sometimes. I was already quite opinionated, not so much politically but socially, and wanted to express myself, but I shyed away from The Alley because I felt small I guess.
Finally, the first post I ever made here was less than a year ago, last October, which was about Bush asking for even more money for the war in Iraq, and my obvious outrage of it. It was after Bush declared war on Iraq that became the catalyst for getting out in the public and having my voice heard, but it wasn't until a year and a half later that having my voice heard in The Alley crossed my mind and finally I knew I couldn't bear to remain silent so...I posted here.
The bottom line here is, I was shy at first being here because the atmosphere struck me as dingy, darker, competitive. I admit this is absolutely my least liked forum of all the site, but nonetheless the reason I keep coming back is so I can provide the other side of the story, kind of personify it I suppose, and there's few who regularly take part in the discussions here. If anything, we're more or less more like the poetic McLaughlin Group and less like a poetic United Nations student assembly club.
Anyway, to touch on your latest point, I do very much disagree with you that the Democrats have "exploited" the anger and that Bush and the administration are merely standing on the sidelines not playing politics here.
There was a point made earlier that I absolutely agree with...Everything a politician does is political.
The Bush administration just aren't practicing what they have preached. Immediately after they claim they don't want to have nothing to do with the blame game, Karl Rove and Dan Bartlett are doing just the opposite in putting all the blame on local and state officials and claiming absolute denial of the federal government having any folly in this. You may have heard "sources close to the White House" just saying the "woefully inadequate response," was the fault of "bureaucratic obstacles from state and local officials." Since Bush's speech at the Rose Garden, Bush has been playing this card too. Last Saturday, Bush himself said, "The magnitude of responding to a crisis over a disaster area that is larger than the size of Great Britain has created tremendous problems that have strained state and local capabilities. The result is that many of our citizens simply are not getting the help they need."
The Bush administration is being incredibly political in trying to keep an independent investigation from forming, while they want a much more unilateralized investigation.
Bush's general disdain of government is political all in itself. The FEMA agency, the whole administration in general, is filled with those who have loyalty to Bush and have little or no background in emergency management. I don't see what qualifications ever got him the job in the first place, perhaps it is because he is related to Allbaugh, who was a buddy of his and the first FEMA director he appointed, and now lobbies for Halliburton as well. Anyway, you can likely expect Brown to receive a Presidential Medal soon regardless.
I really can't help but feel sorry for the GOP right now. The main reason the party has been suffering such a backlash lately is because they support Bush. Bush is the central problem of the party right now, and now as his approval ratings are falling below the 40% mark, I believe we're going to see an increased isolationism of Republicans from Bush and his already soggy political capital will dampen worse. This party just is failing to govern right now because they have backed strongly someone who continues to purposely polarize this nation further and doesn't care whatsoever about the concerns of others outside his inner circles.
As I said before, I find the Democrats are making more of an effort for the positive in giving the victims of Katrina easier access to the basic qualities of life that will begin to help get them back on their feet. Without a doubt they are very much playing hard politics here, but I find them to have more of a positive force right now than this administration, and many Republicans who are following through with Bush again.
I really don't believe it's even been the Democrats who have influenced the shift in public opinion, where so many of them just aren't making any effort to challenge Bush directly. I believe most people are just finding it out for themselves, many's opinions have changed because they are feeling and recognizing the incompetence and greed of this administration in contrast to earlier administrations. Many moderate voices are probably thinking to themselves, "Yes, the Clinton era may have been sour, but this is just ridiculous!". They are figuring out that Bush has no plan for victory in Iraq, they are figuring out that he is no voice of consensus and is nothing but a dividing figure, and they witnessed his lack of leadership during Katrina. If anyone's winning here, it's the people, not the Democrats.
"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"