Are they really _this_ clueless?

I'm sitting in a "business center" in a resort hotel in Orlando, FL. The TV's on nearby, tuned to MSNBC. Apparently today is the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina hitting New Orleans. Hardball was just on with the tagline on the screen: "Will Katrina sink Bush in the fall?" which is a stupid question [oh yeah, I forgot, "there's no such thing as a stupid question, just stupid people"] for many reasons. First of all, how can a storm a year ago cause our President "to lower in standing or reputation" in a few months? No new information came out today, or is projected to come out in "the fall" that would have this effect on Bush's "standing or reputation." Of course, they are probably referring to elections this fall, but I'm sure someone's told them that President Bush will not be a candidate in this fall's elections, nor will he be a candidate for President in 2008, and probably not a candidate for anything else, either.

No, they must really mean, "Will the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina hurt Republican U.S. Congressional candidates' chances in November's elections?" Surely, the people at Hardball, a national political news show, realize that President Bush is not the Republican party. Yes, he is a member of that party, and is currently the one who holds the highest position, and, yes, looked at simplistically, more Republican congressmen will probably help Bush get the laws he wants passed, but it reveals a certain mentality when the word "Bush" is used to mean the Republican party. Based on my experience, it seems a lot like BDS, "Bush Derangement Syndrome," a malady that causes ostensibly intelligent people to lose any critical thinking skills when the subject is President George W. Bush, the evil super-genius, moronic chimpanzee that controls everything and will destroy anyone who disagrees with him, or, at least, he would if the courageous people like Dan Rather, Kos, and George Soros didn't get the message out before he had them silenced. To someone suffering from BDS, _everything_ is about Bush, literally. Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 is about sinking Bush in fall of 2006.

The woman hosting Hardball then talked to some idiot named Joe Scarborough [evidently, he even has his own show]. I tried to turn my music up load enough not to have to listen, but I did catch him saying how the Republicans had built this myth since 1968 and 1972, that the Democrats couldn't be trusted to govern, and that Hurricane Katrina destroyed that myth. Huh, come again, Joe? I assume he thinks that Republicans did a poor job of governing after Katrina hit New Orleans, since they controlled the federal government, but I don't see how that shows whether the Democrats can govern or not. In fact, the actual cases of Democrats governing during that time are the Democrat mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana who had horrible evacuation plans and then didn't even activate them. See this post from Mike N. for more on that. Mike brings up the most important point here:

All in all, the documentary shows that all three levels of government failed at the task of disaster prepardness [sic], and relief. I was a little disappointed though, that the question "Should the government be in the business of disaster prepardness and relief?" was never asked. It is just assumed that such is the government's natural role. But Charity Hospital had lost power and for several days staff were hand ventilating some of the critical patients. When it became clear that the government-at any level- wasn't going to transfer them to another hospital, they appealed to CNN who did a report. Seeing the report a private air-lift ambulance company volunteered its services and quickly transported the patients to other hospitals. To me, the the [sic] utter incompetence of government compared to the efficiency of private enterprise was glaringly obvious. Yet it is the government we are told to depend on. It makes no sense.

But for the media, and much of "Blue America," a hurricane is just a way to try to score political points. Just the fact that they're wondering if it will "defeat" or "sink" Bush [in some weird, unspecified way] without mentioning the millions of people who are currently trying to kill us just strikes me as a huge non-sequitur. I can't believe that anyone can take these guys seriously, and it's one reason why I can't watch TV news.


At 11:18 AM, Blogger Mike N said...

Thanks for the link John. I agree with you in that I no longer get my news from the TV either. What little bit of truth you do get has to be deciphered from the false and even then it's only about 20% of what you need to know to make a rational evaluation.

At 6:49 PM, Blogger John Stark said...

While I do agree that TV news is very biased in presentation and in choosing what to present and what not to, my point is more that this news analysis program offers such patently absurd and illogical "analysis." How can anyone hear these "arguments" and be convinced, unless it's only by hearing phrases they emotionally respond to and howling in agreement, "Yeah! You tell it! Bush sucks!"

I guess I expected a little higher level of discourse here. One that wasn't patently nonsensical if you actually tried to follow their argument. Instead, I hear: "Katrina sucked. Bush didn't make it not suck. Therefore Democrats really can be trusted to govern." Either Scarborough really is a moron, or he isn't even trying to build an argument here, just getting people agreeing with him about President Bush, and then attaching another statement on that they're supposed to agree with because he uttered it right after the first part. My post title could also be taken to be aimed towards the target audience of this approach.


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