Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Where's New Orleans?

asks Tom Watson:
Two long debates, 18 candidates, four hours of naked ambition. No discussion of the great domestic failure of our times - the ongoing tragedy of the official national abandonment of New Orleans.

You would expect this from the Republicans; they posed as if angling for the mantle of Reagan at his tacky and Disneyesque "library" - all that's missing is the gruesome Leninesque attraction at the center - but they're really jockeying for the legacy of George W. Bush... [...]

Malign neglect is to be expected from the modern Republican Party, but where were the Democrats?

Why wasn't New Orleans front and center for the Democrats; why isn't a central issue on the campaign trail? Why don't all the candidate websites contain a plan, a proposal, the account of some working being done on behalf a great American city that is being allowed to die.

Here's a sad truth: American Idol did a better job in its recent fundraising campaign of highlighting the ongoing horror of southern Louisiana than did Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden Chris Dodd, Dennis Kucinich, and that talkative guy from Alaska in their nationally-televised first debate.
Personally, I'd give John Edwards at least a little more credit than that. From a Bob Herbert column in today's New York Times, reporting on an Edwards campaign visit to New Orleans:
[Edwards] said he would appoint a high-level official to take charge of the rebuilding, and he would have that person “report to me” every day. He said he would create 50,000 “steppingstone jobs,” in parks, recreation facilities and a variety of community projects, for New Orleans residents who have been unable to find any other work. And he said, “We’re also going to have to rebuild these levees.
But point taken. And not just about candidates, but about me.

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