If you thought Katrina represented the pinnacle of storm-related fail for right-wing politicians … well, you're right. But that doesn't mean they don't really reach for the crazy when a lesser storm hits the East Coast. Current and former Republican presidential candidates and their little dog Fox were all whipped to great heights of lunacy by Irene's winds, and they busted out some grade-A artisanal tomfoolery over the weekend.
First up, Ron Paul thinks we don't need a FEMA response to destruction from Irene. Hey, makes sense to me — they didn't help much in Katrina, did they? And unless that had to do with gross mismanagement and underpreparation, it must be an indictment of the agency itself! Oh wait, it did? Well, never mind, Paul wants to kill it anyway.
After a lunch speech today, Ron Paul slammed the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, and said that no national response to Hurricane Irene is necessary.
"We should be like 1900; we should be like 1940, 1950, 1960," Paul said. "I live on the Gulf Coast; we deal with hurricanes all the time. Galveston is in my district."
For those of you who attended the Paul/Palin/Bachmann School of All Subjects Minus History and Most Other Subjects, here's what happened in Galveston in 1900.
Oh whoops giant hurricane killed more than 6,000 people and left 30,000 homeless! We should go back to those halcyon days.
But sure, doing away with FEMA assistance after a disaster is all well and good, but how can we keep people from preparing for the disaster in the first place, in order to maximize destruction (and thus, maximize resemblance to 1900 Galveston, that pinnacle of functional disaster response)? Well, Fox News would also like us to scrap the National Weather Service, because why would you need to be warned about weather events?
As Hurricane Irene bears down on the East Coast, news stations bombard our televisions with constant updates from the National Hurricane Center. … Although it might sound outrageous, the truth is that the National Hurricane Center and its parent agency, the National Weather Service, are relics from America’s past that have actually outlived their usefulness.
"The NWS is keeping people updated about a giant storm coming their way. Does that really sound like something we need?" Yes. Next!
(Incidentally, the op-ed suggested that the NWS could be replaced by "private-sector competitor[s] including the Weather Channel, Intellicast, and Weather Underground." Here's what Weather Underground had to say about that.)
Finally, there's everyone's favorite presidential candidate until you start really thinking about what it would mean if she became president and then your eyes start bleeding spontaneously, Michele Bachmann. She thinks God did it because Congress eats too many fat people, or something:
I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We've had an earthquake; we've had a hurricane. He said, "Are you going to start listening to me here?" Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we've got to rein in the spending.
So … the smallish quake originating in Richmond and the largeish storm that mostly drowned Vermont are God's way of telling congresspeople in D.C. to cut the budget? God, seriously, send an e-card. Or at least improve your aim.