9/13/2005

GOP's new 9/11: Katrina has turned into an-all-you-can-eat-right-wing-policy buffet

GOP thinks Katrina is it's new 9/11: No GOP pet project is too unconnected to Katrina to push now -- law

Arianna Huffington: The GOP Finds the Silver Lining in Death and Destruction

The GOP message machine has now moved into the latest stage of its Katrina response: gleeful opportunism.

First there was denial. The lowlights of this stage included Bush strumming his guitar, Condi taking in Spamalot, and Cheney shopping for luxury digs -- all while New Orleans flooded.

This was followed by the clueless stage, which will be best remembered by the president telling Michael Brown “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of job!”, his mother saying of Katrina’s victims, “This is working very well for them,”
Tom DeLay asking young evacuees in the Astrodome, “Now tell me the truth boys, is this kind of fun?”, and the president vowing to rebuild Trent Lott’s house, “I’m looking forward to sitting on the porch”.

Next came head-ducking. Repeat after me: “This is not a time for finger pointing,” “We are not going to play the blame game.”

But after staggering through those stages, Republicans have regained their footing and are now hard at work finding the silver lining within all the death and destruction – i.e. a chance to trot out their pet shibboleths and push for their pet projects.

‘The question is,” said Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski, commenting on the now-abandoned plan to issue $2,000 debit cards to Katrina victims, “how do you separate the needy from those who just want a $2,000 handout?” Actually, Governor, the question is, among hundreds of thousands of evacuees are there any who are not really “needy” -- but somehow managed to have their lives destroyed so they could score a $2,000 handout?

Then there was Fox News’ Tony Snow who crowed: “This would be a marvelous time to push in a serious way for school choice, dramatic regulatory reform…even more thoroughgoing tort reform, privatization of everything from the Department of Commerce to many FEMA duties, and so on.”

David Sirota lays out a few of the top opportunities the GOP sees arising from Katrina, including the suspension of the 74-year-old Davis-Bacon Act requiring federal contractors to pay workers “prevailing wages”, the chance to offer more giveaways (and fewer regulations) to oil companies, and -- proving that no issue is too tangential to link to Katrina -- the chance to try and get the president’s derailed attempt to privatize
Social Security back on track.

But wait, there’s more. Pete Domenici is looking to ease environmental requirements on oil refineries, and George Allen wants to permanently repeal parts of the clean air act.

Two weeks in, Katrina has turned into an-all-you-can-eat-right-wing-policy buffet.

Arianna Huffington: The GOP Finds the Silver Lining in Death and Destruction - Yahoo! News

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