Tropical Storm Isaac, expected to become Hurricane Isaac, is bearing down on Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Because of the government entities, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and the National Weather Service (NWS), those Americans who are in the path of this powerful oncoming storm have had days of warnings to prepare and evacuate if necessary. After Isaac hits and causes its destruction in communities and cities, the government agency, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will arrive quickly to provide aid and relief to those hardest hit.
And in the shadow of the GOP Convention, despite the hollow words and political expedient prayers, Republicans stand with Isaac.
The Continuing Resolution that House Republicans passed in 2011 to apply to the national budget would have slashed funding for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA), which is the parent agency for the NWS and the NHC, by $454 million dollars from its 2010 budget. The National Weather Service alone would have been cut by $126 million. It also would have slashed FEMA funding by $24 million for management services and $783 million for FEMA state and local programs.
So, de facto, the Republican Party supports natural disasters and increasing the devastation and hardship they bring. They want Americans less prepared and more on their own when devastation hits because maintaining the current level of assistance, let alone doing better at it, interferes with reducing the taxes of the wealthy.
It is really astounding that Republicans could be so blatant about telling 99% of America, “Let them eat hurricanes!” but in the end, that is indeed what they’re saying.
America was founded on the concept of community, justice and striving for the public welfare of its citizens. The greed-inspired nihilism that now characterizes the Republican Party couldn’t come into clearer focus when the public’s welfare is threatened. There is a kind of allegory here, with this serious threat approaching so many Americans, the Republicans offer shallow concern while chiefly focused on how they can party and advance their money and power hungry agenda without the public seeing them for the uncaring and selfish group that they are.
Isn’t that what we typically see every day in US politics, anyway? Republicans putting on a facade of concern for the public to cloak their actual, greedy agenda?
Imagine the America we would be living in with a President Romney and a Republican Congress who voice such disdain for a government that helps out the vulnerable and needy. Like an economic hurricane, the Paul Ryan budget would devastate millions of poor and elderly, blow away the social safety net for seniors and educational support for children and college students. Hurricane Ryan would tear up the financial landscape for 99% of Americans and flood the wealthy with unprecedented seas of money.
Republicans believe in destruction, remember the pride Mitt Romney took in touting “creative destruction” with regards to his time at Bain? Republicans have no more conscience about wreaking destruction on America than a hurricane does, nor cleaning up after it…as we’ve seen in the years since George Bush left office.
It is a huge irony that the GOP is having its convention damaged and overshadowed by a natural disaster, one that likely has been intensified by the very Climate Change they deny for economic reasons but stay tuned for their Hurricane Hypocrisy which will gather strength and lash the nation after Hurricane Isaac has inflicted its destruction. The Republicans can’t admit the value of government so it would seem likely that Republicans are already poised to attack Obama, FEMA and other government agencies for failing to help Americans as they should. Expect absolutely no mention from Republicans of how they seek to cut NOAA and FEMA, instead, be prepared to hear how incompetent Obama and government are and how they let down Americans in need…which Republicans would never do in a natural disaster.
Just ask George Bush and the city of New Orleans.
Republicans have no shame at exploiting the suffering of others in their long term quest to make them suffer more. Obama can’t afford to be seen as politicizing this oncoming disaster though because since he’s President, it would look heartless and self-serving.
And we all know, only Republicans get to look like that and get away with it.
I expect President Obama to look presidential throughout this natural disaster, helping all Americans and states, Republican and Democrat, as best as he can. But the subtext of all of this could be very helpful to Obama, people may think about the comfort they have in him as a compassionate leader in times of trouble, in contrast with the superficiality and elitism of Romney.
Add to that, the GOP convention is unquestionably diminished in its impact due to its shrinking from four days to three and having to compete for airtime against Hurricane Isaac. Meanwhile, the DNC Convention will occur with concern for those harmed by Isaac a factor but the MSM will likely be devoting more focused coverage on their convention than they will have on the Repubs. And Isaac gives Obama and the Dems the opportunity to express their concern for their fellow Americans and explain to America how government is there to help them.
This needs to be done thoughtfully so as not to come off as exploitative but it is indeed a real and vital issue for Americans to consider, whether America should be a country that comes to the rescue when people are in trouble or if America should be an Ayn Rand utopia where it’s survival of the wealthiest and those who suffer are on their own.