Another City Drowns and Bush Does Nothing

This is the face of smaller government.
Another city. More images of men hauling sandbags. More families driven from their homes in boats to be deposited in emergency shelters with nothing but the clothes on their backs. More images of Michael Chertoff spouting platitudes like "When officials tell you to leave, leave."

The floods in the Midwest have been going on for a month, and the first steps in a disaster declaration began only yesterday.

It isn't just black people and the white poor being ignored by the Bush Administration anymore. These are the farmers growing the corn that's fed to cattle and used to make ethanol. These are the very white heartlanders that Republicans have been using as campaign props for a generation. And even they are seeing the government that's supposed to work for them turn its back on them.

This is what smaller government looks like. This is what happens when you leave everything to the states and the states are too overwhelmed to handle disasters on their own. This is what happens when you shovel money into the pockets of military contractors and the defense industry and run trillion-dollar defcits. This is what happens when you elect someone you think you'd like to have a beer with instead of someone with a half a brain in his head who's oriented towards problem-solving.

That John McCain, who promises more of what we've endured for the last eight years, is even competitive in this fall's presidential race shows how the Democrats have failed in demonstrating to the people now trying to rescue their belongings that programs like federal disaster assistance and Social Security and Medicare are the product of the very liberalism that Republicans have derided for a generation. With a wide swath of swing states now under water, and $4 gasoline, and skyrocketing food prices, and a dwindling job base, and foreclosures up 48% this year, it's hard to imagine Republican supply-side, feed-the-rich policies as being anything but completely discredited.

And yet, there's John McCain, with a tax plan that once again shovels even more cash into the pockets of the wealthy (when DOES that stuff start "trickling down", anyway?); a tax plan widely derided by economists as being -- dare I say it? -- McSame.

I would hope that by now American voters have begun to do the math. Meanwhile, the Cedar River is expected to crest today at 32 feet -- a full eight feet above yesterday's projections.
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