Some things never change.. some things do. The paraphrased line from The Matrix‘s “Morpheus” can be applied to the hypocritical nature of some in politics.
When Hurricane Katrina, a massive category 3 storm, hit the Gulf coast, politicians could do nothing but blame the sitting president for slow relief response. There was no blaming relief groups, the poor judgement of a city mayor that didn’t forcefully stress evacuation, the lacking effort on the part of citizens to prepare or the inadequate provisions made by local leaders at the Superdome. Nope, all the blame was heaped on President Bush.
Now, a force one storm hits the Northeast – a tragedy for sure – and the blame is placed squarely on .. the Red Cross? While the Red Cross is not as efficient as charities such as the Christian-based Salvation Army, they didn’t cause the storm – just as George Bush didn’t cause Katrina. Neither the Red Cross nor the former President forced those people to stay in the wake of the storm instead of evacuating – and they all had ample warning.
On Friday morning, Borough President James Molinaro decided to boisterously attack the Red Cross for not providing food and water fast enough for those that stayed in the city as he pleaded, “Where was the Red Cross? Isn’t that their function? They collect millions of dollars.”
Most reasonable people would have thought that those individuals, having heard that a massive storm of historic proportions, would have left the city knowing that food, water and electricity would not be available for days if not weeks. If they didn’t want to leave, perhaps they should have gathered 7-10 days worth of water and food as many news outlets had suggested.
The Red Cross is clearly not where the blame should be focused nor should it be placed on the President. The people that decided to ride out the “frankenstorm” or “storm of the century” or “monster storm” should shoulder the entirety of the blame for failing to take care of themselves and their families.
Now we see New Yorkers dumpster diving, Mayor Bloomberg trying desperately to shuttle food and water into the projects and leaders looking for anyone else to blame. Heck.. the mayor went so far as to tack on a charge against global warming – as if that was why citizens in his city were struggling. Wasn’t he the one that decided to only evacuate a small portion of the city?
The hypocrisy is thick as we watch political figures attack the Red Cross for this storm after having laid the blame on President Bush for the last. When is the blame to be placed on the individuals who clearly made the poor choices to both stay in the path of the storm and to have no provisions ready when it came?
** story has been updated as the original incorrectly identified James Molinaro as a member of the Democratic party.