I said something like this in the most recent podcast, but I wanted to inject this sentiment into the text blogosphere. Not only am I sick of hearing that we “shouldn’t play the blame game” but in fact anyone that I hear say it is being marked as a dangerous tool in my opinion. You see, I live in an area that not only is affected by hurricanes but is being affected by a hurricane as I type this. To me, this is not a fricking “game” but basic questions about life and death. I will attempt to mitigate the danger to myself, but if things go crazy and I find myself in need of help, will I get it?
Last night as we went to bed, the news was that things wouldn’t be so bad in my area, that Ophelia was relatively weak and will be hitting to the north of us. Suppose that immediately after that it strengthened, changed course directly towards us and picked up speed. We might have awoken to find that it is right on us and worse than expected. In that case, if there wasn’t time to evacuate or evacuating was more risky than staying put and we got hit by a hurricane, would we find ourselves getting the help we need? If our local responders were themselves hit too hard or stretched too thin to provide aid to us, would anyone be backing them up? Will I be left to die, will I find guns pointed at me if I tried to walk out of a disaster area? I don’t find asking any of these questions “a blame game”, I find them holding an administration that has spent four years exchanging my rights for the perception of safety to that promise.
You ran for re-election on a platform of keeping people safe, and now I and much of the country have no faith in this government’s ability to do that. It seems that rather than beefing up our capabilities over the last four years that they have actually gone backwards. Where has that money gone, what happened to the organizations that have previously been able to respond in better fashion? Why are you failing at the most basic function of a government, to keep its citizens alive? If the only thing you have to offer is demeaning the questions, that reads to me like your admission that I am fucked. I deserve better, the nation deserves better and anyone that suggests otherwise by suggesting that accountability to the merest level of competence in the most fundamental governmental responsibility is a “blame game” is an accessory to criminal negligence.