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Day By Day by Chris Muir.


Forgotten Principles From A Forgotten Governor

As Hurricane Wilma looms in the Gulf of Mexico with a trajectory taking it into the western portions of Florida, I think the following discussion warrants consideration. In lieu of the fact that just in the last year, Florida was sent virtually staggering as 3 ferocious storms sequentially hammered the state over the course of a summer. Inexplicably, with what seemed to be the devil's hand, the storms zeroed in on portions of the state previously unaffected, leaving in their wake a breadth of destruction spanning from the panhandle to the beaches of Miami.

However, as Florida began to pick up the pieces, what was not heard was any angst and gnashing of teeth from those within the leadership ranks of that state. Democrats, and those on the left, will be quick to scoff an any assertion since the President's brother, Jeb Bush, currently maintains the governorship of Florida, but his dynamic leadership permeates through all levels of government in that state. His actions, and the actions of agencies under his watch quickly and resoundingly met the challenges wrought by the storms of 2004. The people of Florida reeled from being incessantly lashed, yet those citizens emerged with the tools and resources needed to overcome these obstacles.

The fundamental tenets of federalism are undoubtedly intertwined as America discusses the issues spawned in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. As conservatives in the blogosphere reiterated consistently after the debacle, the resources available to meet the needs of the citizens of New Orleans and Louisiana were not utilized by the local authorities. Florida utilized similar resources, but the differences as to why these resources were not used can only be traced to the capability of the leadership to implement these resources. These resources and tools were at their disposal, but due to an inability to make any semblance of a decision, Governor Blanco and Mayor Ray Nagin led their constituents down a path of strife and turmoil. It was an imperfect combination of Louisiana being a liberal bastion for the latter half of the twentieth century and this liberal bastion producing such poor leaders that led to this travesty. Liberalism run amuck spawns a complete and utter dependency of constituents to their leaders, and herein these leaders failed their constituents in the worst possible way.

Contrast such reaction taken in Louisiana with the leadership exhibited by Governor Jeb Bush of Florida. This is not a Republican versus Democrat issue as much as it is a distinction between the mantra emanated by the liberal methodology versus the fundamental tenets of federalism. As this news story illustrates, Governor Jeb Bush emphatically rejects any notion that calls for expanding federal control of emergencies such as we have unfortunately seen over the course of these last few years. What is striking about travesty is even some conservatives such as President Bush have lost sight on these key principles, the problems of Louisiana can be distinguished by the brilliant record of Florida, and the ignored course of action taken by Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi. Both of these leaders exhibited leadership and what is required to lead citizens through times of turmoil. Local governments and local authorities are best able to attenuate the needs of their constituents. The crux of our constitution is formulated with such tenets and this nation has unfortunately forgotten this over the course of its life.

Congress should heed the words of Governor Bush as it wants to rectify the wrongs exposed by Hurricane Katrina. The model is Florida and Mississippi, it should not be more of the same. Why is Governor Bush's example of how to deal with emergencies being ignored?

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