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Day By Day by Chris Muir.

9.09.2005

More or Less, "Less is More"

In many ways, your humble pundit agrees with some of the fundamental tenets of this callous demand made by Mrs. Clinton. Callous? Yes, callous. Her intentions are seen as blatantly impure as this is a transparently opportunistic move on her part being an early presidential contender. One must question her intentions and timing in this situation of desperate need; however, one might begin to ponder whether Mrs. Clinton truly realizes the ramifications of her pontification.

"The slow pace of relief efforts in the face of a mounting death toll ... seems to confirm that our ability to respond to cataclysmic disasters has not been adequately addressed," she said. Clinton has decided at least one thing without waiting for any commission reports. She said she plans to introduce legislation to split the Federal Emergency Management Agency out of the Department of Homeland Security and give it back a cabinet-level director like it had in her husband's administration.

It is inferred from such rationality behind her rhetoric that the response to Hurricane Katrina would have been much more thorough and much more efficient precluding the arduous chain of command befallen are federal government. Not to say there was not any incompetence along this chain. Many have noted, including those that are generally supporters of this administration this unfortunate disposition:

"The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Michael Brown, deserves most of the blame for the federal government's inaction. He and his agency seemed as paralyzed and disoriented as the drowning inhabitants of New Orleans. Brown has been correctly portrayed as a political hack lacking the real world experience necessary to be proactive ahead of an impending disaster. His curriculum vitae lists as his last position enforcing rules relating to the breeding of Arabian horses. The reorganization of FEMA under the Homeland Security department must also be evaluated in light of this tragedy."

Yet, it cannot be and should not be promulgated that it is entirely one individual's culpability at stake within this situation. Surely, the party that generally seeks solutions that expand the government cannot be uttering counterintuitive principles now foropportunisticc gain. The device (FEMA under the guise of the Department of Homeland Security) now under fire by Mrs. Clinton was not even a concoction of a conservative republican. What is not the Democratic Party, via Senator Joseph Lieberman,that demanded the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security? I must admit that this demand interjected by Mrs. Clinton emulates much in the ways of conservatism. One of the bedrock principles of conservatism postulates that smaller governments tend to maximize efficiency.Shearingg off the levels of management and peeling back the levels ofbureaucraticc red-tape allow for a more fluid management; correspondingly, this premise states that it will aid the ability ofgovernmentt to act in a more dynamic, efficient manner. It is somewhat naive to conclude that conservatives are not highlydisappointedd and aggravated by the inability of government to provide in such a demanding time of need. It is not a dogmatic defense of President Bush's reaction as much as an aggravation with the system that President Bush must deal with. Hence, this mindset explains why conservatives look towards the leaders of the respective city and state governments in times such as this. Conservatives demand more from those leaders for they believe these leaders are in a better position to maximize the aforementioned efficiency; to better meet the needs of those they are closer to. As Hillary demonstrated, they are better able to control the situation for they are in a better situation to control and manage those under them. Hillary, in essence, is demanding the same accountability for FEMA that conservatives are demanding for their localgovernment'ss response. It is not an "attack" per se on these localized governments as much as it is adisappointmentt in their abject failure to realize the intimate relationship with their citizens. These governments know theircitizenss better than any President or any Congress or any federal government agency; and these local governments should not look at their role as 'blaming upwards' as much as they should be looking at themselves as the first and best response to a localized catastrophe. As Mrs. Clinton demonstrated, officials are better able to attentuate their constituents needs once they are in a closer, more intimate relationship with those needs.

Could this be why President Bush is calling for an investigation as well? It is clear that he is not happy with the response made by the government agency under his watch. But, that's just it, he was dealt the hand given him via the Department of Homeland Security. Many others, including Mrs. Clinton, are making calls for an investigation, and we will need them to better understand why things went the way they did. No one is asserting that this was handled, on any level, in a perfect manner. It is somewhat idealistic to demand perfection, much less, to demand perfection from government, nothing is ever carried out in a perfect manner. I believe many conservatives are angry with some of the rhetoric surrounding the calls for investigation, but they should not be with what the investigation will probably reveal.

Investigations should occur, and we should implement better management techniques for the future. Though, I think the answer has already been revealed for us all. Mrs. Clinton has already demonstrated the mentality that should be implemented in all levels of governmental management. Once you peel off the levels of government, you will begin to see more flexibility in the response time; efficiency, if you will. America understands the magnitude of the federal government and how much it takes to get the behemoth into action. Why does a minority of politicians berate one individual, as if this great biggovernmentt that is at the heart of their own ideology, were to be his fault? Does this not demonstrate hypocrisy? America understands that mistakes were made, but they also see that President Bush, under the circumstances he was given, did the best job under those circumstances. The latest poll numbers bolsters your humble pundits assertion.
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