St. Charles Herald-Guide

We've had embarrassing moments since Katrina

By Allen Lottinger - January 31, 2007

Pres. George W. Bush did goof when he did not mention the continued resurrection from Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast as one of the nation’s major concerns. But it wasn’t really a big deal. Words will not heal us.

After all, the administration is providing us with many billions of dollars to do the job. As we see it, the main problems have been on our end in making use of it.

It was an embarassment right after Katrina when our senators in Washington demanded that the federal government give us $250 billion to recover from the storm. That was far too much to want and it probably turned off many people around the country.

Now we have a governor, a Democrat, who is running for re-election and appears to be playing politics by accusing the Republican President of a partisan response to the storm. And Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu was quick to jump to her side.

From all appearances, what the President offered us was not partisan. The blame for not making good use of it yet should be shared by the the state and local governments as well as the U. S. bureaucracy which has never been an efficient entity. Pointing fingers at each other does not provide the cooperation needed to correct the situation.

A lot of the dinner theatre play, “Voices of Louisiana” at Destrehan Manor Wednesday night, made fun of Governor Blanco and her ineptitude in governing the state. Maybe it was written by a Republican. But maybe that is the concensus of opinion around the country.

One thought that came to mind would be for Governor Blanco to resign her post and let Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu take over. He could make a great governor with his vision and energy. Of couse, he would only be in office long enough to campaign for a full term. And there are others waiting in the wing for the job.

We wish the President had said a little bit about our recovery in his speech. But, as we said, it is not a big deal. Words will not make us recover.

Our own determination with some help from the outside working in unison is the way to go.

And we should leave politics out of it.