New York Times: 'A Big Storm Requires Big Government'

The Grey Lady trolls libertarians with this morning's editorial. Let's just focus on one sentence that–all political philosophy aside–is Exhibit A for how politics makes people stupid:

Disaster coordination is one of the most vital functions of "big government," which is why Mitt Romney wants to eliminate it.

Which is why Romney wants to eliminate it. It's not that the GOP nominee thinks that federal disaster mitigation and response is frequently less effective than locally directed efforts. No, it's the opposite--because federal coordination is "vital," this Republican wants to euthanize it, because that's just how venal he and his party are.

This is the mirror image to the ludicrous right-wing claim that because President Barack Obama is the son of an anti-colonialist, he therefore governs with evident malice towards America. Rather than trying to understand why people might disagree with their public policy preferences, adherents of this rhetorical tack are instead trying to circle the wagons around their own tribe, consigning everyone else to the category of Evil or Stupid. This isn't an argument, it's an admission that you've given up arguing.

In the event, the Times' assertion about Romney's desire to "eliminate" the Federal Emergency Management Agency rests entirely on this exchange at a GOP primary debate last year:

As David Frum has advised,

Watch without prejudice, though, and you realize...he evaded a question from CNN's John King about FEMA by offering an answer that generically endorsed federalism without committing Romney on FEMA either one way or the other.

It's a familiar politician's trick. 

In a shock to no one who actually attempts to understand one of the two major-party candidates running for president in the United States, the Romney campaign announced yesterday that, no, he won't eliminate FEMA.

BTW, the federal government spends about $10 billion a year on disaster coordination and relief. So the New York Times is defending "big government" by sticking up for 1/380th of its annual cost. It's less than persuasive. 

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  • Bee Tagger||

    This isn't an argument, it's an admission that you've given up arguing.

    There's no time for arguing, there's an election in 7 days.

  • RBS||

    This why we had the president play weatherman yesterday.

  • Question of Auban||

    Maybe he could get a gig at the Weather Channel after January.

  • ||

    As a chaiwala, maybe.

  • Question of Auban||

    He couldn't be a chaiwala - he is too used to being served. And the only actual skill he has is reading a teleprompter.

  • ||

    I'm sure he could lend his exceptional oratory skills to a counseling group for mental defectives with speech impediments in a distant South American village somewhere.

  • Question of Auban||

    Excellent idea! I will compose a letter to his good friend Hugo Chavez and I am sure he will have ideas for Obama’s post election employment.

  • RBS||

    If I have learned anything from the MSM's coverage of Sandy it's that NYC has been destroyed in a disaster 100 million times worse than 9/11.

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    That would make 297,700,000,000 victims. I suspect some double counting may have occurred there.

  • ||

    Which an MSM journalist minted in public school wouldn't have noticed.

  • ||

    because President Barack Obama is the son of an anti-colonialist, he therefore governs with evident malice towards America.

    The son of a murder-minded communist, right?

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Oh noes, this is really going to hurt Romney's chances to win New York.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Yep, corruption and incompetence of governments dominated by democrats is clearly caused by radical republican small government rhetoric.

  • GRBW||

    +1

  • Whiterun Guard||

    When David Frum is the smartest guy in the room it's time to lock the doors and start playing with matches.

  • ||

    David Frum is a great American. When he's not slaying dragons in the name of Cyrodiil, he's opening our eyes to the truth of the universe.

  • ||

    +Elder Scrolls

  • ||

    The Empire is law. The law is sacred.

    PRAISE BE AKATOSH AND ALL THE DIVINES.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    You need to leave.

  • ||

    Don't tell me you went for the Stormcloaks.

  • Gene||

    Agreed. And on behalf of Canukistan I apologize for his existence.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    What's so essential about FEMA?

    That was the organization that prevented donated relief from reaching post Katrina LA in 2005.

    Is the NT Times saying that the governments of New York City and State are so corrupt and incompetent that they are incapable of providing emergency service for their constituents?

  • ||

    "That was the organization that prevented donated relief from reaching post Katrina LA in 2005."

    Yeah, especially that enormous supply convoy from Walmart (PESTILENT CORPORATION@@@!). National Guard troops under orders from FEMA barred them from delivering the provisions, and it was the same with individuals rushing back to the disaster zone to help.

    God bless the federal titan.

    "Is the NT Times saying that the governments of New York City and State are so corrupt and incompetent that they are incapable of providing emergency service for their constituents?"

    My money's on their not having thought about it at all. They saw a negative comment about a federal agency, and their immediate, reflexive response was to defend it from Romney's pernicious anarchic assault.

    In other words, they're retarded.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Hopefully the Feds will come in and completely fuck up the immediate relief effort.

    It'd be a teachable moment, an opportunity for government worshipers to learn the true nature of their god.

  • RBS||

    I wouldn't expect them to learn anything, if they can't learn from Katrina then they can't learn at all.

  • ||

    They're likelier to believe a story about how libertarian centaurs, allied with the Dwarves of Ironforge atop their rams, ravaged the city for 30 days and 30 nights, obliterating the federal rescue effort.

    Admitting that their almighty state is a fuck-up would utterly unconscionable to them.

  • ||

    *be

  • VG Zaytsev||

    That's certainly true of educated proglodytes but I hold out hope that the general public will believe their lying eyes at some point.

  • ||

    libertarian centaurs

    I have had my suspicions about some of the people around here

  • ||

    Reveal nothing.

  • Xenocles||

    And yes, it is true what they say about my people.

  • db||

    You smell like horse?

  • Whiterun Guard||

    That whole peanut butter thing?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Crisitunity!

  • Question of Auban||

    "President Barack Obama is the son of an anti-colonialist"

    And I wish he and his father understood the difference between mercantilism and capitalism. What was wrought upon Africa and in many other places on Earth by European colonialism was NOT capitalism but mercantilism. Capitalism and mercantilism may superficially resemble one another but the difference is the same as the difference between rape and consensual sex – it is a CRUCIAL difference – consent. It is it forced upon an unwilling population at the point of a gun and if it is coordinated not by local merchants but by government appointed cronies it is not consensual and it is therefore NOT capitalism.

  • PapayaSF||

    It's like the famous New Yorker cover of the view looking West from Manhattan: everything not leftist just sort of blurs together.

    Long ago I had a friend who blamed the poverty of Haiti and the rest of Central and South America on "free enterprise." They weren't communist, so they must be the opposite. *Sigh*

  • Killazontherun||

    I had a friend like that. Unfortunately for him I was in pay for the secret police and he wound up in an helicopter drop two hundred miles from the mainland. 'Free enterprise' as he called it still paid better.

  • BigT||

    I suppose all those NYT commenters wait for the Federal Govt to remove that branch that comes down on the property line with their neighbors.

  • ||

    They'll charge the wind with cutting down a branch on a tree without a license.

  • ||

    It's on the list of the EPA's things to do.

  • ||

    Followed by a DHS-declared War on Wind.

  • ||

    why didn't Obama use his mighty powers to turn back Sandy?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Back ye tides!

    /King Canute

  • PapayaSF||

    Obviously because of racism and Republican obstructionism. Duh.

  • ||

    "...an opportunity for government worshipers to learn the true nature of their god."

    Yes, and opportunity for the likes of us to get enormous satisfaction watching it happen, except....

    "... if they can't learn from Katrina then they can't learn at all." this.

    Having been directly involved in the katrina efforts I can tell you that it was a clusterfuck of biblical proportion. No Monty Python skit was ever as over the top ridiculous as the things I saw done on an hourly basis during the relief efforts.
    Yet many of the same people who were frustrated to the point of tears at the time now squawk about how indispensable FEMA is. Somehow their ire is now directed at insurance companies that failed to wipe their asses for them to their satisfaction long after the fact.

  • Question of Auban||

    But - but – but- BUSH!!!!! It was the fault of Bush who was such a staunch advocate of small government that he created the Department of Homeland Slavery, No Child Left Behind, a new drug entitlement program and as a final insult before leaving office he actually signed the TARP bill thus creating a precedent that enabled Obama to justify his myriad of stimulus programs. Yes, it is was staunch small government advocate who caused all of the problems after Katrina.

  • ||

    You clearly require further education in a state school, fiend! You left out the part where Bush reinstated slavery and sent prepubescent kids to work in Halliburton's diamond mines.

  • Question of Auban||

    Interestingly enough, I see much the same in the way of emotions raging from the Right towards Obama as I saw roughly eight years ago from the Left raging towards Bush during the time of his reelection campaign. The parallels are striking. Of course, what most on the Right and the Left fail to realize is that they are nearly identical in terms of their actual policies.

  • Xenocles||

    The Grey Lady trolls libertarians with this morning's editorial.

    Trolling would require that libertarians actually read the NYT... so thanks, I guess.

  • ||

    well at least one does, if only so the rest of us don't have to

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    And thanks to him, I now know that rather than just inspiring Kos diarists, the NYT now hires them.

  • GILMORE||

    No no no. Its "evil AND stupid"

  • GILMORE||

    If there's any great lesson on how unbelievably awesome large public bureaucracies are during disasters are... its this

    Google, "MTA info"

    http://www.mta.info/nyct/

    MTA Weather Advisory
    Page not found

    The requested page "/nyct/" could not be found.

  • GILMORE||

    it gets better

    Google, "MTA subway status"

    http://www.mta.info/status/serviceStatus.html

    MTA Weather Advisory▼
    No status

    I really think its some kind of joke

  • GILMORE||

    the only useful source of info? private website

    http://www.nycsubwaystatus.com/

    working
    0

    not working
    (click for details)
    1 2 3
    4 5 6
    7
    A C E
    B D F M
    G
    J Z
    L
    N Q R
    S
    updated every minute (refresh)
    kurt guenther says hello.

  • GILMORE||

    by the way, there is no "0" line

  • ||

    Well then it certainly isn't working is it?

  • NeonCat||

    Shh! That's the one for Hogwarts North America!

  • GRBW||

    "It's not that the GOP nominee thinks that federal disaster mitigation and response is frequently less effective than locally directed efforts."

    OK, I'll say it: (a) federal disaster responses are undoubtedly less effective than local and regional responses would be, if members of local and regional groups knew that they would receive no federal aid. Federal "experts" are no smarter than local experts; in many cases, federal programs are redundant with local and regional groups; and federal programs arguably cost more; (b) we don't know that the extra money siphoned for the more expensive federal programs won't come from people who face just as tragic personal or family disasters, at the same time, but for which they will not qualify for federal responses; and (c) consistent salvation provided by the federal government results in people becoming complacent, apathetic, and dependent. They abdicate responsibility for their own lives and assume the position that "it's not my problem."

  • GILMORE||

    all the hype by public authorities has been nothing else but pre-excuses for total and absolute failure and abandonment of responsibility

    They knew they'd be sitting this whole thing out, and so told everyone to stay indoors until they decided to get their shit together. It is now tuesday, and they haven't so much as updated the fucking mta website, or offered anything better than saying, "the subway is really fucking old, you know" Yeah, we know. It makes the movie Brazil look like a goddam instruction manual. meanwhile, people are cleaning the streets. Themselves.

  • tagtann||

    Now this is a dude that knows what he is talking about. Wow.
    www.iz-anon.tk

  • Rick Santorum||

    Are we still pretending that the media are reinforcing the conservative narrative and liberalism isn't given a fair shake by those awful right-wing rags?

  • Question of Auban||

    Two questions:

    1.) How do you define liberalism? It means different things to different people.

    2.) To whom are you adressing this question?

  • Admiral Risty||

    Of course Mitt doesn't say he'd 'eliminate' FEMA. He won't under the Ryan Plan. Instead, like many other programs of importance, he will drastically cut it's operating budget and make it virtually useless. Of course, the Ryan plan doesn't have the courage to outline what the cuts would amount to either.

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