No links, just a couple thoughts posted by Vynce at 5:14 PM
Barbara Bush is taking a lot of flak over her comments regarding the evacuation "working well" for the underprivileged, but in my opinion, none of that flak is well-aimed. The problem isn't that she said it. The problem is that the underprivileged were underprivileged enough that it is at all possible that she's right. There are poor people living in America. So poor that they are better off in the Superdome than the places they usually sleep. Tumbledown tarpaper shacks, ramshackle tenements, or just plain street grates are all some people have until there's a national, attention-getting disaster. Two thousand dollars to recover will make September a better month, financially, than they might have otherwise expected.
I mean, heck: $2000 a month -- that's above the official poverty line, I believe, even if it is a little bit shy of what it takes to buy a house, a car, and the wardrobe it takes to get and keep a job in this country.
Similarly, there is a fair amount of uproar over whether or not the president's reaction (or lack of reaction) was racially motivated. "It wasn't race!" cry many people who claim they are not racist but won't live in a "black" neighborhood. No? What was it? "It was much more about class. It was an economic divide."
It was an economic divide that was nearly indistinguishable from a racial bias. Does that even register when you say it? It raises the bigger question: why is it so close to the same thing? Have we gotten nowhere in the last 40 years? Oh, yeah, we have -- the rich are richer, the poor are poorer.
Actually, we have come a long way, baby. And I realize that. But we can't rest on our laurels now.
(Soemthing like 67 percent of white people interviewed said that Bush does care about black people -- and that's good enough? Can't we elect someone who 95% of people believe cares about 100% of the country?)
Finally, the Bush Approval Poll numbers. Think about how low they are. Think about how much his support fell out from under him. Now realize that the polls done since the disaster have probably mostly not even asked those in the most affected areas. One poll I read said as much; none that I've seen have directly said they did include the Gulf Coast. Why should they? They call until they get enough people -- the fact that every call to the affected region gets nowhere probably isn't accounted for by the computer programs. Statistical sampling -- it always works! Well, every professional pollster I've asked has claimed that it does, at least.
Of course, even if the phone lines weren't down, and people were at home -- a phone sampling is likely to have some failures, in that some people are too poor to afford a phone. But that's OK. They're probably too poor to bother voting, or get educated on the political system and why they should bother. But I digress.
Point being, I suspect that the president's actual approval is lower than the polls show. But unfortunately, as big a hit as Bush is taking on Katrina, he's getting off easy. Brown took most of the heat for FEMA's failure. Bush is deflecting a lot onto the locals (well, the Democratic ones, anyway -- whom he had stiffed in a number of ways before the hurricane struck). And the war in Iraq and travesties in Abu Gharib and Guantanamo are being ignored. We are still in a war, folks. A war that we shouldn't be in.