President Barack Obama—while serving as the senator of Illinois—was vocally critical of then President George W. Bush Jr. when he called the him unconscionable for his lack of action during the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2005.
Senator Obama even said on the floor of the senate in 2005,
“We can talk about what happened for two days in 2005 and we should. We can talk about levees that couldn’t hold, a FEMA that seemed not just incompetent but paralyzed and powerless, about a president who only saw the people from the window of an airplane instead of down here on the ground.”
In a bit of irony, there are currently floods of biblical proportions which have been ravaging Louisiana for the past week, and they’re in dire straights.
So, where is Obama?
Well, he’s still on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard.
Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
The recent historic rains have submerged many sections of Louisiana. They were captured on a satellite video loop, showing one storm after another ravage the region, where up to two feet of rain fell in just a couple of days.
That is a lot.
And now a Louisiana newspaper is criticizing our Commander-in-Chief for continuing his vacation—golfing in Martha’s Vineyard—instead of being on standby and helping the Red Cross with whatever they may need that only he has the power to do.
According to reports, more than a dozen people are dead in Louisiana, at least 40,000 houses have been ruined and some 82,000 people have been forced from their homes.
The Baton Rouge newspapers said:
“Like his predecessors, Obama has no doubt discovered that crises keep their own calendar, even when commanders-in-chief are trying to take some time off the clock.
It’s an inconvenience of the presidency, but it’s what chief executives sign up for when they take the oath of office.
And if the president can interrupt his vacation for a swanky fundraiser for fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton, as he did on Monday, then surely he can make time to show up for a catastrophe that’s displaced thousands.”
Clearly President Obama feels his priorities are in the right place. And it’s not surprising to say the least.
One could make the argument that president Obama need not be in direct assistance during Louisiana’s time of crisis because he has people trained to handle these kinds of situations in his absence.
But guess what? That is not what is happening.
The Washington Post noted that 5 days after the rains and flooding hit the area, there are still thousands living with friends in shelters or campers.
The Advocate on Wednesday called on Obama to pay a personal visit, saying:
“We’ve been heartened so far by the active involvement of Craig Fugate, head of Federal Emergency Management Agency, a far cry from FEMA’s hapless Michael Brown in the days after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was slated to visit Louisiana today to assess the damage.
But a disaster this big begs for the personal presence of the president at ground zero. In coming here, the president can decisively demonstrate that Louisiana’s recovery is a priority for his administration – and the United States of America.
He should pack his bags now, and pay a call on communities who need to know that in a national catastrophe, they are not alone.”
President Obama should, but will he pack his bags and visit the area?
What do you think about Obama’s neglect of this situation?