I haven’t written much about this because I feel very torn about what the appropriate way to handle this is. I tend to agree with Drum in the sense that it’s not appropriate to lose sight of what’s really happening here—one of America’s cities is dangerously close to being washed off the map. But at the same time, I think both sentiments can exist in the same head simultaneously. Having compassion for the victims of this truly unbelievable disaster can indeed be mutually exclusive from the anger felt at an administration that diverted human and fiscal resources from the region. And although it should be noted by way of clarification that the funding changes to which D. referred would have not made a sliver’s worth of difference in this instance, as they wouldn’t have come into effect until this October (a widely repeated misunderstanding that I myself didn’t understand at first), the larger point about a laissez-faire attitude toward the area’s needs is still valid.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s exactly because I feel so terribly bad for the people struck hardest by this thing, people who will also be facing a horrendous time of hardship as their sources of income drown before their every eyes (inevitably made ever that much harder by a fucked economy preceding this time of struggle), that I feel so very angry about how this administration has repeatedly let people down. It isn’t about scoring political points; it’s about being a human, and feeling really shitty and pissed off. Right or wrong.
[UPDATE: Go read Rexroth's Daughter. Beautiful.]