What’s more shocking than FEMA’s failures in the days after Katrina?
That we are talking about and debating those failings …
We never talk about governance. We have 24 hour networks that dedicate a huge portion of their broadcasts to political issues, yes. But we only cover politics.
Why did W win the last election? Because he ran better. Don’t kid yourself. We analyzed debate performances and word play and the latest political ads. That’s what we do. His policy wonks are not treated like super heroes. His political strategist is.
Politics is what we debate. They are what we worship. We fixate on the sport of politics. We ignore governance.
And that’s why it shouldn’t surprise us when our politicians can’t govern or lead. That’s not what they’re trained to do. And except in wildly unusual and traumatic moments, that’s not the yardstick by which they are measured.
So next time you see a headline about the way in which the hurricanes are impacting W’s favorability numbers, skip it. That’s the line of thinking, that as much as any cronyism or delays related to made-for-television, denim shirted concern, that cost lives when the waters rose.