Tuesday, June 8, 2010

 

Peggy Noonan on the Deepwater Horizon spill:
I wonder if the president knows what a disaster this is not only for him but for his political assumptions. . . .

Katrina did at least two big things politically. The first was draw together everything people didn't like about the Bush administration, everything it didn't like about two wars and high spending and illegal immigration, and brought those strands into a heavy knot that just sat there, soggily, and came to symbolize Bushism. The second was illustrate that even though the federal government in our time has continually taken on new missions and responsibilities, the more it took on, the less it seemed capable of performing even its most essential jobs. Conservatives got this point—they know it without being told—but liberals and progressives did not. They thought Katrina was the result only of George W. Bush's incompetence and conservatives' failure to "believe in government." But Mr. Obama was supposed to be competent. . . .

How could there not have been a plan? How could it all be so ad hoc, so inadequate, so embarrassing?