This entry was posted on
Wednesday, September 14th, 2005 at
10:13 am and is filed
under George W. Bush.
(The image to your right is an uncredited picture that is appearing on websites and in email inboxes around the planet.)
New York Times – Bush Takes Responsibility for Failures in Storm Response
Reuters – Bush: ‘I take responsibility’
AP – Bush Takes Responsibility for Blunders
BBC – Bush takes storm responsibility
A very, very long discussion thread at Fark.com
Kevin Drum ponders on responsibility
Bush’s actual words were:
“Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government, and to the extent that the federal government didn’t fully do its job right, I take responsibility.”
‘responsibility‘ – confession; crying out; admission of guilt with the expectation of no further consequences in exchange for coming clean.
‘to the extent that’ – as far as it goes; weasel words; limitation device usually applied to level of responsibility or culpability.
This is a damage-limitation exercise, where the blame still lies with anyone but the administration. There is nothing in this statement that acknowledges any error on their part… at all. Not even an admission that Bush made an error appointing the incompetent and woefully under-qualified crony Mike Brown.
And efforts are still being made to assure the public that blame lies with local and state officials.
Whilst we’re in the realm of the wingnut, it bears mentioning that an impassioned discussion is going on right now in America about what the right chooses to call ‘personal responsibility’. The basic thrust of it is that it is not the government’s job to protect you. You have to take care of yourself.
Here’s Bill O’Reilly on the case (please note the outright lie at beginning of his rant): The lesson here is that if you rely on the government for anything you’re likely to be disappointed. No government can protect you from danger or provide you with a decent living. You must provide for yourself in a country of 300-million people.
But the same people assure us that the Bush administration needs to wage war, scupper foreign governments, spread the ideology of profit (at a profit), kidnap, torture and bomb civilians, and invade the privacy and curtail the rights of their own people…. in order to protect them.
I think the most suitable response to that can be summed up with the words used by this chap addressing Dick Cheney in New Orleans.
Washington Post – End of the Bush Era: Recent months, and especially the past two weeks, have brought home to a steadily growing majority of Americans the truth that President Bush’s government doesn’t work. His policies are failing, his approach to leadership is detached and self-indulgent, his way of politics has produced a divided, angry and dysfunctional public square. We dare not go on like this.