Everything — everything — eventually becomes fodder for a partisan food fight.

In some ways, the nation’s response to Katrina is cleaving the public down partisan lines as a domestic issue, just as Iraq has on foreign policy. Both issues have become polarizing, rather than unifying, issues for the country, said Glen Bolger, a pollster for Hill Republicans.

According to a poll this month for the Hotline political newsletter, which asked whether Congress should tackle Iraq or the Katrina recovery first in 2006, Americans wanted the Gulf Coast rebuilt by 58 percent to 28 percent.

Democratic and independent voters generally agreed on addressing Katrina’s problems, while self-identified Republicans chose Iraq, 46 percent to 37 percent.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Update [2005-12-26 11:10:29 by David Roberts]: Also, don’t miss the extremely thorough L.A. Times rundown on the history of bureaucratic feuding that doomed New Orleans’ levees.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.