Monday, September 19, 2005

Hurricane Katrina and our National Image

Philippe Grangereau in Paris wrote in the paper, Liberation that Hurricane Katrina revealed the true character of George W. Bush, the least hard-working American president in history, who continued playing at his Texas ranch while his fellow citizens drowned and starved in New Orleans. He noted that most Americans get only two weeks of vacation, if that, but the president had been riding his bike, chopping wood and fund-raising for five weeks.

When he finally grudgingly cut his revelry short by a couple of days and traveled to the devastated Gulf Coast, it was too late. America, and the world, had already seen that the superpower's leader lacks leadership.

It's been said that Bush's staff were afraid to suggest that he cut his vacation short because he tends to be irritable (side-effect of the drug he's on) and I would add that if Bush had been watching or reading the news, he'd have learned what the rest of us knew about the suffering in the wake of Katrina and the need for some engaged, compassionate behavior from a leader who doesn't have leadership skills. It should be noted too that his brain, Karl "Slime" Rove was in the hospital with a kidney stone.