Thursday, June 19, 2008

The State of the Union, June 19, 2008

"I really don't have much of an opinion of his coming," said Lashawn Baker, 33, whose family was just starting to clean her flooded home in a southwest Cedar Rapids neighborhood. "It took him a long time to get to New Orleans and he didn't help any of those people, so I don't think he's going to do anything to help Cedar Rapids now that he's here."

I find it astonishing that this quote would be featured in a news article so prominently, and would so utterly and completely knock down the legitimacy of a presidential administration.

We are living in a time when the President of the United States of America can visit an American city that has suffered from a natural disaster and a news organization runs a story that says, basically, the President of the United States is a worthless figurehead who doesn't care about the American people...

President Bush, surveying the aftermath of devastating floods during a lightning-quick tour of the Midwest on Thursday, assured residents and rescuers alike that he is listening to their concerns and understands their exhaustion.

"Obviously, to the extent we can help immediately, we will help," said Bush, still mindful of criticism that the government reacted slowly to Hurricane Katrina three years ago.

"You'll come back better," the president said while being briefed by state and local officials at a cinderblock emergency operations center set up at a community college here, part of a three-hour tour. "Sometimes it's hard to see it."

Bush was in Europe when tornadoes hit and heavy rains sent rivers surging over their banks, killing at least 24 people, the majority in Iowa. Flooding forced tens of thousands across six states to flee their homes and washed out millions of acres of prime farm and grazing lands. He made a point to try to show his deep concern while overseas and traveled to Iowa just two days after returning.

...and the reaction to that fact is a collective "so what?" Not only is it not news, it's not even the point of the story.


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