Wait a minute, the people of New York and New Jersey are still struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy? Didn’t Barack Obama already take care of this?
Shortly before the election Hurricane Sandy tore through the northeast and many people–myself included–felt the effects of this storm. Many people had it much worse than I did after this devastating storm ripped through the region and left images of destroyed homes, flooded out houses, long gas lines, and people struggling to get the food and water they needed for survival which was eerily similar to Hurricane Katrina during the Bush years.
But at least the federal government learned from Hurricane Katrina and the response would be much better than it was in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when that hurricane wreaked its vengeance on the gulf region, right? After all we have Barack Obama in change now and not the inept and uncaring President Bush so we didn’t have to worry about this being turned into a political issue or anything like that.
Two days before the election Barack Obama put his sympathy face on and appeared in the destroyed region with his new buddy Chris Christie and promised the people they would not be left behind like the people of New Orleans were–he was there for them, he felt their pain and he would cut though any red tape to to make sure they had what they needed.
What I told the governors and the mayors is what I’ve been saying to my team since the start of this event, and that is we don’t have any patience for bureaucracy, we don’t have any patience for red tape, and we want to make sure that we are figuring out a way to get to yes, as opposed to no, when it comes to these problems,” Obama said
And damn! Didn’t he look presidential while he was doing this? With the problem solved in New York and New Jersey Barack Obama was then free to head back on the campaign trail knowing FEMA was in control and the good people would not have to be worried about a government slowed down by bureaucratic red tape.
So imagine my surprise when I read this story today about the situation on the ground in New York and found out that nothing has changed, FEMA is still inept, and the president has done nothing to cut through the red tape.
We are the people – we are the middle class, and we are getting the finger,” said frustrated resident Scott McGrath, who personally spoke to President Obama and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo when they came to Staten Island to inspect storm damage earlier this month. “You were there when I met Obama, and I told the president … that the middle class was getting the royal finger. And he said, ‘FEMA works for me.’”
“FEMA ain’t doing nothing,” McGrath added. “They keep going around in circles.”
For all of his bluster and his posturing nothing has changed since the days of Hurricane Katrina–other than the fact that Barack Obama made the appearance of being move involved in the situation–because this is what happens when people are reliant on the federal government and big, bloated federal bureaucracies for help in times of need.
The sad irony here is the fact that part of what might have cost Mitt Romney the election in the end may have proved he was right. Hurricane Sandy provided the Democrats with a perfect opportunity to use Mitt Romney’s position on FEMA against him. During one of the primary debates Mitt Romney alluded to the fact he would cut FEMA funding and send disaster relief back to the states, the localities, and gasp, the dreaded private sector.
Hurricane Sandy provided a contrast between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on this issue which was undeniable at this critical time before the election, and while Barack Obama promised to cut the red tape and help the people those very same people were reminded that Mitt Romney wanted to cut funding to FEMA.
In hindsight it looks as though Mitt Romney was right because we can see that the federal government can not be counted on in a time of disaster and these people might have been better served if the states and the localities were in charge of the situation just as Mitt Romney had advocated.
And just think, these are the same people who will be in charge of our healthcare soon enough…..