Skip to comments.Democrat Hurricanes Versus Republican Hurricanes
Posted on 01/08/2013 5:25:58 AM PST by Kaslin
Just a few days after Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, the New York Times' Paul Krugman crowed triumphantly about the federal government's response to the disaster. "[A]fter Katrina the government seemed to have no idea what it was doing; this time it did. And that's no accident: the federal government's ability to respond effectively to disaster always collapses when antigovernment Republicans hold the White House, and always recovers when Democrats take it back."
What a fairy tale. Mature adults understand that earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters are an unfortunate fact of life. They further know that government agencies are, by their very nature, slow and lumbering animals.
Krugman was right about one thing, though. Sandy would not be Obama's Katrina because the press is on his side. President Obama parachuted into New Jersey after the storm and declared that he would not tolerate "red tape" or "bureaucracy" by the government. He then hopped back aboard Air Force One and resumed his campaign schedule. His admirers, including, alas, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and the besotted Krugman, swooned.
Six days after Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, President Bush's presidency had been declared a failure and a disgrace. It was all FEMA's fault we were given to understand, and by extension, Bush's fault. It wasn't the incompetence of local and state officials or the levee collapse (a failure, by the way, that impartial observers lay at the feet of another government agency going back years, the Army Corps of Engineers). No, within a few days of the storm's impact, Bush was an enemy of the people.
Six days after Sandy hit the East Coast, most of the press had utterly lost interest in the human toll, though thousands of people went without food, water, gasoline or electricity for the better part of two weeks. The Washington Times reported that two weeks after Sandy, "Bodies are still being recovered in Staten Island. Chaos reigns in the streets of the outer boroughs. Residents have taken up arms -- baseball bats, machetes, shotguns -- as crime and looting soar."
When New York Senator Chuck Schumer visited Staten Island four days after the storm hit, a desperate constituent begged him, "Where is the government? We need gasoline! We're gonna die. We're gonna freeze."
It took three days for the Red Cross to reach Staten Island -- ditto for FEMA. For those without power or water, that's a very long time. What happened to the "lean forward" strategy FEMA had supposedly put in place? What became of the prepositioning of supplies like water and blankets? Prepackaged meals and bottled water languished in Georgia and Maryland warehouses, reported Breitbart.com.
Other obstacles hampered the relief effort, as well, including the insistence by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers that linemen from other states join the union before being permitted to pitch in with power restoration. Red tape apparently sidelined as many as 500 others. Some 50 power generators and 150,000 blankets were sent to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, a FEMA staging area in central New Jersey, but had still not been deployed 9 days after the storm due to bureaucratic inertia.
Perhaps most damaging were the policies of the governments of New York and New Jersey forbidding "price gouging" on gasoline. As Russ Roberts of the Hoover Institution noted drily, "There was no gouging, and there was no gas." Had stations been able to raise prices even temporarily, it would have been cost-effective to lease generators to pump the gas out of in-ground tanks, where it sat, untapped, for more than a week. Instead, people could not stir from their frozen homes even to pick up supplies at the supermarkets, far less to reach medical care or help stranded elderly relatives. Lack of gasoline significantly prolonged the suffering caused by the storm.
Rather than permit prices to rise temporarily, residents of New Jersey and New York sat on lines for as much as three hours hoping to fill their tanks -- sometimes only to find at the end of the ordeal that the available gas was gone. In New York, where the government decided to give gas away for free from the few working stations, there were scenes of desperation, fist fights, and worse.
This is not to say that government has no proper role in disaster relief, merely that there are clear lessons from the failures of the Sandy response that are being missed as the Krugmans of this world strain themselves applauding Obama.
I was making the same point here. Price controls even when they are made to sound ‘compassionate’ like these deter the laws of supply and demand correcting the problem.
But I bet most in NY+NJ would tell a poll that they would rather have nothing than allow prices to price.
Blanco and Nagel (both Democrats, of course) were utterly incompetent in taking decisive action prior to Katrina and responding decisively afterward. To wit - the famous photo of the multitude of stranded buses which could have been used to transport people out of danger. In contrast, Christie, Cuomo, and Bloomberg comported themselves well.
Blanco was the white equivalent of Prissy in GWTW.
Bush should have told Blanco and Nagel to shove it and taken over the emergency preparedness. That was his primary mistake. Normally, conservatives should leave this to the states, but the utter incompetency of Blanco and Nagel was so apparent, they needed to be relieved of duty.
Bush received all the the blame for Blanco and Nagel’s ineptness.
Sandy: all the Republican-controlled Congress' fault!
It's simple really.....
As someone who lived at almost Ground Zero of Sandy. Those of us who:
1. Purchased food prior to the storm.
2. Filled our gas tanks prior to the storm.
3. Had a battery operated radio
4. Stayed home for the first few days
5. Stayed calm.
Survived relatively unscathed.
That said, there were people who were totally screwed by circumstances beyond their control. The MEDIA focus was on the beaches. New Jersey is more than the shore.
So where you were the major problem was no electricity?
Which closed the local stores too?
How about floods?
We personally didn’t have electricity for 8 days.
There were other parts of our town didn’t lose electricity at all.
Flooding was bad along the river. The tidal surge was 13’. The local river has a tide differential of 8’, so 13’ over that was rockin’. The river overflowed it’s banks up to a mile in some places BUT this area makes the Netherlands look like Colorado.
Absolutely. He never fought back about anything.
Krugman is wrong. The federal government spent billions on disaster relief after Katrina. Katrina was a propaganda victory for the Democrats, who succeeded on blaming the whole thing on Bush.
WE were luck in Maryland as Sandy turned up your way, we got wind and rain. The news and state made sure everyone here thought we would get it and we didnt.
Back around July 4th 2012 we got a freak thunder and lightnight storm that was so windy that many parts of my county here lost power for over 8 days(thousands were affected) , and that time of year it gets quite hot and humid without AC. Naturally the food went bad, but a few stores have generators to stay open.
Those were neighborhoods with above ground power lines and lots of trees that had it bad > 8 days no power, newer developments with underground power lines faired much better
Nagel = Nagin (Ray)
That said, there were people who were totally screwed by circumstances beyond their control.
A relatively small number -- vastly smaller than those harmed by Katrina. And most of these could have mitigated the heartache they're suffering now if they had only taken out flood insurance.
Don’t forget, “Map Points” on a Democrat Map turn into “Crosshairs” on a Republican Map.
I think it’s a Physics question on the SAT.
It’s not all about flood insurance though. New Jersey is a small state with a lot of coast line. Problem was lack of mobility from area to area. Rumor and scuttlebutt didn’t help either.
I did the same and I also filled the bathtub with water just in case the water company went out and the toilets wouldn’t flush. Someone on the news mentioned it. I’m glad I did, I was out of electricity for a week. I heard some old lady on 77 WABC talking to Mark Simone complaining about how she hasn’t gone to the bathroom in 3 days because she had no water, obviously, she didn’t listen to the news the day before the hurricane.
I noticed that the day after the hurricane there were gas lines which means they didn’t heed the warnings by filling up their tanks, it’s people like that you don’t want living in your neighborhood. They had no gas, no food and no batteries and were scurrying around for supplies during an emergency.