Friday, September 09, 2005

Yeah, But Then What?

As I wrote yesterday, the media, including the internets, has been caught up in a tornado of spin from left and right over Katrina's aftermath. The theme from Bush's critics is "Impeach Bush!" and from his supporters it's Tsk tsk, what a shame that some people are playing the Blame Game while so many are suffering and dying.

Well, yeah! What a shame that a lot of folks aren't buying a ticket to your guilt trip anymore! But impeach? Hey, it's not like there's an avuncular Gerry Ford waiting to step in to finish W's term. If you impeach Bush, you get Cheney, who is maybe Uncle Satan.

And the Democrats still need to eat their Wheaties. I don't think they're ready to take over yet. It'll be another "lost moment" for them, like it was with the Carter Administration. I hope to be proven wrong by 2008.

As a New Yorker, I don't claim to be a bastion of mental health, but I do think the healthiest course of action is to consider this current crew a bunch of lame ducks in every sense of the term, and look ahead to what kind of leadership we want next.

Today's column by David Ignatius in the Washington Post has been quoted by a couple of my favorite political blogs. And yes, it praises Newt Gingrich. If you never thought you'd live to see the day, I'm beginning to think you'd have to have the lifespan of a fruitfly to miss getting shocked by anything nowadays.

You need to register to read the whole thing, but here are a few relevant paragraphs:

Gingrich argues that the values debate that has divided America so sharply during the past decade is over.

Now he tells us.

There's a broad consensus about most issues, and anyway people realize that the country's big problems aren't about morality but performance. "We're not in a values fight now but over whether the system is working," Gingrich told me. "The issue is delivery." And that's true at every level -- city, state and federal.

Gingrich's critique of the federal response is as devastating as that of any Democrat. "For the last week the federal government and its state and local counterparts have consistently been behind the curve," he wrote fellow Republicans this week. "The American people overwhelmingly know that the current situation is totally unacceptable," and for that reason, "it is a mistake to get trapped into defending the systems and processes which clearly failed." He observes in another memo, "While the destruction was unprecedented, it was entirely predictable."

Gingrich suggests Rudy Giuliani to oversee the management of rebuilding the Gulf Coast as a "Zone of Recovery, Reconstruction and Prosperity," offering a "25 percent tax credit for all job-creating investment in the region over the next three years."

And he wants to create a cadre of "entrepreneurial public managers" who can replace the leaden public bureaucracy and get things done on Internet time, with the reliability of FedEx or UPS.
Hmmm...I'm all for getting the lead out, but doesn't it sound like they want to "privatize" a lot of government functions? Especially ones by local government? Maybe I'm misreading things here. I certainly do think we need a hell of a lot more efficiency in bureaucracies.

And Giuliani's a popular choice and a good one. Even though I'm pissed at him for some of the stuff he said when he was shilling for Bush last year. (Hey, Rudy, remember that a lot of those Upper West Side liberals you were making fun of crossed party lines to get you into City Hall in 1993 and 1997.) Even though I was chanting "Rudy is a hoo-wah, Rudy is a hoo-wah" while watching his speech at last year's Republican Convention.

I don't agree with everything in the column, but I do agree with this sentiment:

This is the moment for the Party of Performance to take center stage. The breakdown in public life was obvious before Katrina. We have a government that can't control its borders, can't find a viable strategy for its war in Iraq, can't organize the key agencies to address the terrorism problems it has been trumpeting. The yearning in the country for something different has been palpable this year.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

nyc bloggers map