Hurricane Redux


Massive tropical-storm damage to the lives and homes of politically charged constituents during a presidential election season (a presidential election season featuring a guy named Bush)?

If it sounds familiar, that's because it is. Read Reason Contributing Editor Glenn Garvin's account of 1992's Hurricane Andrew and Poppy Bush's pork-laden response here. A snippet:

First Hurricane Andrew was terrifying, rattling my windows with Druidic shrieks, shaking my doors with a lunatic fury. Then it was depressing, leaving behind a once-lovely neighborhood awash in shattered trees and twisted debris. Then it was tedious, trapping me in a blockaded house without electricity or water. And finally it was surreal. We reached that moment a week after the storm, when George Bush peered out of the grainy black-and-white screen of my tiny, battery-operated television and blithely promised to spend $480 million to raise Homestead Air Force Base from the rubble in which Andrew had entombed it, reanimating it like some Cold War zombie to stare vacantly at a Soviet threat that has ceased to exist.

Bush's pledge to rebuild Homestead?just one chunk of pork, albeit a meaty one, in an unprecedented $8-billion aid package?was the most grotesque act of political pandering I saw in the weeks after the hurricane, but it was hardly the first. Within minutes of Andrew's final howl, the screen of my television overflowed with the bovine faces of politicians taking credit and assigning blame, promising and demanding swag. The particulars varied, but there were a few constant themes: Someone else should have predicted the hurricane earlier, prepared for it better, provided more aid for its victims.

Whole thing here.

NEXT: Pseudoaddicts vs. Pseudopatients

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  1. Scarborough Country

    that guy’s an idiot.

  2. I’d put Scarborough Country below Cuba and above North Korea for places I’d like to visit.

    It’s a stupid ass name for a show too.

  3. Look at it from Bush’s point of view…

    Between the sputtering economy and things turning bad in Iraq after the end of the war, he needs to pander to swing states…

    …or Clinton’s going to kick his ass!

  4. joe,

    Back to talking about the economy again? Funny how liberals were quiet about economic news for about 4 or 5 months. When August economic news is good you’ll drop the economy again.

  5. The government subsidizes housing development in coastal areas in a number of ways; so the federal and state pork to come is a bit of double-dipping.

  6. Hey, Didn’t you folks at Reason run an article from someone in news (from over at ABC maybe?) about rich “welfare queens” who live on the coasts and get their houses rebuilt at our expense?

  7. anyone see the wsj front page today?

    left column:


    Now Under Homeland Security, FEMA Has Lost Clout, Managers on Ground Say

    Terrorist With 145 MPH Winds

    ok, that’s the last straw. when americans can’t resist making the metaphorical linkage between atmospheric phenomena and Terrorism, i give up.

    it has turned into the best-crafted, best-managed mass paranoia the american people have yet immersed themselves in. hopefully, such overreaching of the metaphor wil bring some people to a realization of the ridiculousness of it all.

  8. I am building these mobile home units as fast as I can so we can get those that were blown into toothpicks replaced. God I love these hurricanes, great for business. And those government checks, their always good at my bank!

  9. Skeptikos, that was an excerpt from John Stossel’s book. Nice and topical, perhaps they should put a new link to it.

    gaius, good luck on that ‘realization of people’ thing. I suspect most people will see it, figure ‘well then, don’t we need a War on Tropical Depressions’ and try to figure out what they can do about the weather, which will consist of what they’ve done for millenia: talk about it with no effect. But I’m sure they’ll figure out how to spend more money doing it.

  10. …rattling my windows with Druidic shrieks, shaking my doors with a lunatic fury.

    LP convention?

  11. I was watching Scarborough Country & of course Joe was bragging on W’s 51% approval & the 3% lead he had in the Gallop/USA Today poll. The Dem’s they had rarely rebutted anything Joe had to say . Guess they were afraid they would not be invited back.He even went around the panel and
    asked if Kerry was fit to be president of course Ed Rollins & Jack Burkman gave GOP answers but I was surprised Flavia ,Barnicle or Jerry Brown gave a mild approval but a better improve if Kerry wants to win answer. No question as why Bush should be re-elected.

  12. Gallup’s weird this cycle – consistently more positive for Bush than everyone else. Methinks their stint as the gold standard isn’t going to last past November.

  13. Hurricane Charley was undoubtably a Republican ploy in an attempt to change the political atmosphere in Florida…Bush was losing in the polls…don’t you know??? Karl Rove has obviously devized some way to form hurricanes and aim them at battleground states…watch out Ohio…And do terrorists really exist, I mean come on, I haven’t seen any here in Vermont lately…That whole terror alert thing is garbage and a Republican Plot…WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!


  15. Actually, I’m taking a longer view than that, flyover.

    Are you better off than you were four years ago?

  16. …cuz the rest of us are down about 2 million jobs.

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