Every so often I run into a post on TMP, Democratic Underground, Daily Kos or Huffington Post, to name a few, in which the writer expresses herself so well, that it bears repeating on other sites. The following is one such post:
I can understand the frightwingers frothing at the mouth to make this comparison. For one, it diminishes the actual events of the Katrina disaster by comparing apples to oranges. Number two, the best way to take Obama down is to make sure everything he does, is as bad as the worst president this country has ever known. That is the ironic part, everytime the right tries to paint Obama as Bush, they are admitting the absolute disaster that Republican administration was. But now for the meat and potatoes of the argument, there are some major differences that people (and the media) need not ignore.
First, we did not have weeks of warning that an oil rig was going to explode unlike the much hyped hurricane coverage. The government knew far in advance that Katrina was going to be one of the most dangerous hurricanes the gulf had ever seen, They knew the dangers New Orleans faced before the disaster. Unfortunately with the oil gusher, it was just common knowledge something like this would never happen, so no need to have any kind of a contingency plan in case it did. Heck even if you suggested that the oil rigs in the gulf could pose a major risk to the delicate waters, you were just some anti-oil tree hugging lefty. I mean look, no spills during Katrina, right?
Number two, a greedy multi-billion dollar corporation did not cause the Katrina catastrophe. Mother nature, along with an inept government, and poorly maintained levee system killed thousands of people. And yes don’t forget that people DIED, no matter how bad the oil gets I’m going to go out on a limb and say that no one, other than the workers on the rig will die from this disaster. And again, those workers died at the hands of the greedy company that chose to take shortcuts and make cheap decisions. I guess making a million dollars a minute isn’t enough for these people.
And lastly, the government knew how to save drowning people. During the aftermath of Katrina the government knew what to do and how to do it, they just didn’t do anything for too long. In the case of the oil it seems no one knows what to do or how to do it. That’s a hell of a lot different than having ice trucks sent up north when the ice was needed in the south. That’s a lot different than leaving people to drown when there were mulitiple ways of saving them. We knew how to rescue people after Katrina. We knew how to give people food and water. It just didn’t get done. Right now we don’t know anything for sure about removing god knows how many gallons of oil from the Gulf or how to stop its flow.
So I would like to suggest to my progressive friends and the reckless media, please think about the true comparisons of these two disasters. No doubt there were government failures in oversight and regulation. And a bright light has been shown on the corrupt connections between government workers and dangerous corporations. Perfect examples of how the country would operate under small, ineffective, weak Republican government. But to say they are equal catastrophes plays into the hands with the Katrina blood on them. People in the gulf coast died because the government refused to save them, not because they didn’t know how.