The wacky right was never at a loss for words when George W. Bush was criticized for being a lousy president—perhaps the worst in American history. (Look to your laurels, James Buchanan!) Those who pointed to Bush's many failures were accused of suffering from “Bush derangement syndrome.” It was, you see, irrational to denigrate poor old George for traipsing into Iraq with no valid reason in hand and no exit plan in mind, allowing financial institutions to cheat their clients and each other to the point of meltdown, and slashing taxes for his “base” in an orgy of deficit-building.
I mean, what's to criticize in those minor missteps?
Now that Barack Obama is president, there are real outrages that must be denounced in the strongest terms possible. After all, when the occupant of the White House is an enemy of America (and maybe even a communist!), eternal vigilance is called for. A recent letter writer to the Sacramento Bee identified the president's latest example of hatred for his fellow citizens.
No aid for U.S. quake victimsMr. Van Zandt is right! (Probably extreme right.) The earthquake in southern California was a tenth of a point worse than the Haitian temblor, yet the emergency services response to the two incidents could scarcely have been more different.
Imperial Valley and Northern Baja had 7.2 earthquake on Easter Sunday. President Barack Obama has done nothing. This is in his own country. He has done nothing for us, no word about it. Haiti had a 7.1 earthquake; 18 minutes later he is giving all kinds of aid to a foreign country.
—Mike Van Zandt, Brawley
It may—just possibly—have something to do with the results: Two people were reported killed in the Mexicali/Calexico quake. Two hundred thousand were reported dead in Haiti, with the counting still continuing. (We can blame government interference with acts of God: building codes are much stronger in the U.S. and Mexico than in Haiti.)
As head of state, it naturally fell to President Obama to extend the nation's sympathy to the people of Haiti and to initiate our relief efforts. In the case of the quake on the border between California and Mexico, Governor Schwarzenegger is the chief executive who issues (and did issue) a declaration of emergency. The day after the quake, the Federal Emergency Management Agency reported that “No request for Federal assistance has been received.”
FEMA was on hand, however, when the California Emergency Management Agency asked for its participation in surveying and assessing the earthquake damage.
Of course, that was ten days after the quake occurred. If Obama really loved America, he would not have waited. He would have flooded Imperial Valley and the border region with federal troops and agents.
I'm sure Mr. Van Zandt and others of his ilk would have greeted them as liberators.