In a not-really-surprising-when-you-read-the-details move, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff removed FEMA Director Michael Brown from onsite relief efforts pertaining to Hurricane Katrina. Bravo should be in order, but it’s not since Director Brown is still Director Brown instead of Former Director Brown. Better to push the offending mess into the background than to fix it. Lazy, one-armed bachelors have work harder to sweep up potato chip crumbs than the Bush administration works at enforcing any form of accountability. And yet, in something that comes as no surprise, Michelle Malkin wastes no time in praising President Bush. Consider:
Question #1: Does this make President Bush a member of the “bed-wetting right,” too?
Answer: No. It makes him someone who has put accountability over cronyism in a time of crisis. Good for him.
How does it make President Bush “someone who has put accountability over cronyism”? Director Brown is still in charge of FEMA. As Secretary Chertoff stated, Director Brown will “oversee the government’s response to other potential disasters.” I don’t want Director Brown in charge of the government’s response to Hurricane Terrorists Bomb the Fuck Out of an American City. Do Ms. Malkin and the other Bush-apologists who will no doubt come out swinging for their man want Director Brown in charge of the government’s response to that?
But as long as we pat ourselves on the back and pretend like the president listened to our concerns, we can ignore this:
Earlier, Brown confirmed the switch. Asked if he was being made a scapegoat for a federal relief effort that has drawn widespread and sharp criticism, Brown told The Associated Press after a long pause: “By the press, yes. By the president, No.”
Director Brown not only screwed up FEMA’s response to Hurricane Katrina (even if it’s nothing more than creating poor public perception with idiotic statements – idiotic statements in times of crisis worsen said crisis), he appears to have fudged his resume. Does removing him from the current relief effort while keeping him in his position seem like it came from a president “who has put accountability over cronyism”? Anyone? Anyone?
3 thoughts on “The glad-handing begins…”
Funny: it’s standard practice in our organization to FIRE someone for lying on an application. Too bad the U.S. government doesn’t have the same practice.
You know, I think everyone is being too hard on Mike Brown. His lack of formal “credentials” is just not that big a deal. Consider:
– When Einstein came up with Relativity, he was a patent office clerk. He had no training whatsoever in physics.
– Thomas Edison had no formal education.
– Andrew Johnson was taught to read by his wife.
– Isaac Newton could not count past ten and had a umbrella embedded in his skull.
Now, if Brown couldn’t read, for instance, that would be cause for criticism. Although even then, like Johnson, he could still learn. Of course he had to learn some things on the job. Who among us hasn’t?
But I’m sure he’s picked up some tips recently. It doesn’t make sense to fire him now that he some experience. Give the guy another chance.
Believe that if you want, but we both no that none of the examples you provided are relevant to Director Brown. He’s not working independently on a hobby (Einstein, Edison), nor has he already learned the skills he needs for his job (Johnson). Director Brown is showing specific incompetence in the job he currently possesses. That’s why he should be fired.
Another red herring thrown about is that FEMA always responds this poorly to disasters. I don’t disagree with that, but I am saying it’s no longer acceptable. We’ve never had a test run for a real, unexpected catastrophe of this magnitude before, a magnitude akin to a man-made (terrorist) catastrophe. Now that we have, we see (or will discover through later analysis) exactly where the system failed. However, Director Brown showed he can’t even grasp how bad the situation is to understand how to respond. Perhaps that’s just his inability to manage perceptions, but it’s still incompetence. Is that acceptable?
For President Bush to hire Director Brown as head of FEMA is politically negligent, magnified by his campaign promise to keep us safer and to offer better response through the behemoth that is DHS. To leave Director Brown as head of FEMA after he exposed his incompetence is criminal.
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