Over the last couple of weeks, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has used some careful (and chill-inducing) modal verbs to weigh in on the idea that race was a factor in the Katrina mess. Last week, she fumed that “Nobody, especially the president, would have left people unattended on the basis of race.”

And yesterday, meeting with the New York Times, she acknowledged that race and poverty do still collide in this country. She added, “The United States should want to do something about that.”

Yes. Shouldn’t it?

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