Okay, Now Can We Get Rid of Him?

The Hurricane Katrina Report has been released, and surprise, surprise... Bush isn't looking too good.
"The preparation for and response to Hurricane Katrina should disturb all Americans," said the report, written by a Republican-dominated special House committee chaired by Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va.

"Passivity did the most damage," it said. "The failure of initiative cost lives, prolonged suffering, and left all Americans justifiably concerned our government is no better prepared to protect its people than it was before 9/11, even if we are."

The hard-hitting findings allocated blame to state and local authorities and concluded that the federal government's single largest failure was in not recognizing Katrina's likely consequences as it approached. That could have prompted a mobilization of federal assets for a post-storm evacuation of a flooded New Orleans, the report said, meaning aid "would have arrived several days earlier."

It also found that Bush could have speeded the response by becoming involved in the crisis earlier and says he was not receiving guidance from a disaster specialist who would have understood the scope of the storm's destruction.

"Earlier presidential involvement might have resulted in a more effective response," the inquiry concluded.

House Democrats who participated in the inquiry could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday night. But in a 59-page response released last Sunday, Reps. Charlie Melancon and William Jefferson of Louisiana said that while they largely agreed with its conclusions, the report falls short of holding "anyone accountable for these failures."

Despite its accomplishments, the committee "adopted an approach that largely eschews direct accountability," Melancon and Jefferson said in their assessment.

The report finds fault with Chertoff for failing to activate a national plan to trigger fast relief, and with Homeland Security for overseeing a bare-bones and inexperienced emergency response staff. It found that the military played an invaluable role in the response but lacked coordination with Homeland Security and other relief agencies.

It was a massive explosion of incompetence. If you need a refresher on just how bad this was, I invite you to take a look at Think Progress' excellent Katrina timeline. While going over it again, all the rage and helplessness that I was feeling at that time came bubbling up inside of me again. The arrogance and the reckless disregard for anything resembling compassion, concern, or leadership was shockingly absent in Bush, even when people were begging him directly for help.

Monday, August 29th- (After the leavee was breached)
8PM CDT – GOV. BLANCO AGAIN REQUESTS ASSISTANCE FROM BUSH: “Mr. President, we need your help. We need everything you’ve got.” [Newsweek]


Meanwhile, Rumsfeld was taking in a Padres game, and Condi was taking in Broadway shows and shoe shopping.

And the next day, Bush went back to his vacation.

I'm beginning to think that the strongest "accountability" we're going to see with this administration is the seven dollar fine that Cheney paid after his little shooting spree.

Ask any critic of Bush and his administration for an example of why he should be removed from office, and I'm sure you'd get a laundry list of examples. But if the Iraq war isn't enough to get Americans to begin demanding that Bush step down, this should be. The response to the hurricane, and the continued marginalizing of the victims of the disaster point to a "president" that doesn't give a good goddamn about the citizens he is supposed to serve.

If impeachment is not a possibility, we need to demand that Bush step down. Bush is bad for America. Bush is destroying our country. However, the fact that most Americans displayed more outrage over gas prices than the horror of Katrina doesn't fill me with a lot of hope that any of this will happen.

What's it going to take, America?

Update: Pam has more.

More Update: Apparently, Yahoo changed the original story that I linked to and blockquoted; I'm trying to find it again.

(Let it all out... these are the things I can cross-post without...)

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