John Edwards’ Katrina fix: rhetoric vs. reality

Former Sen. John Edwards, a Democratic candidate for the presidency of the United States, has proposed, with the exquisite timing of a politician, on the cusp of the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a six-point plan to “Help Get New Orleans Back on its Feet.”

His proposals would address nursing and other medical shortages, safety on the streets, efforts to return all former residents to the city, appointment of a “chief recovery officer” (can you say “czar”?), appointment of a special Gulf Coast inspector general, and enactment of “Brownie’s Law” to insure that political hacks don’t get jobs they can’t perform.

We should be pleased that at least one presidential candidate has a devastated American city on his or her mind. But I’d rather hear his answers to a few questions missing from his Web site’s proposal:

How much will it cost?

Who’s gonna decide how the money’s spent?

Who’s gonna pay for it?

Rhetoric will not resolve New Orleans’ issues. Answers to those questions must accompany proposals imbued with political vagueness.

6 replies »

  1. If I agree that these are all good questions that deserve detailed answers, will you grant that Brownie’s Law is a heckuva idea?

  2. Sure, if you want another bloated bureaucracy that vets said candidates for said jobs.

    (I wonder if Brownie could sue for slander if the law gets named after him.)

    Given that politics runs on patronage, I give this proposal zilch change of being adopted by Congress.

  3. I’m starting to see – around the world – that any environmental disaster exists, not to be solved, but as an opportunity for politicians to raise their profiles and attack the ruling party.

    How pleasant it must be, when the cameras are filming the dispossessed, bewildered victims of disaster, to run in front of them and declare that you have answers, the government is doing an appalling job, and things would be so much better if people just voted for you.

  4. Yes, how strange that a politician would attack the failures of the ruling party that let the disaster unfold. They shouldn’t do that. It might hurt someone’s feelings.