As Hurricane Irene Hits, America’s Politicians Respond With Characteristic Poor Taste

Everything in America is bigger than it is in England – including the weather. The US has responded to Hurricane Irene with characteristic fervour: millions of people evacuated, New York in darkness, sandbags everywhere and Fox News weathermen screaming “We’re all going to die!” How different it is in England, where the defining image of our effete floods is Doris from the Isle of Sheppey sitting on her roof clutching her cat in one hand and her Mantovani records in the other.

So it goes with politics. In a country where everything is exploited for votes, even a hurricane can get 15 minutes on Meet the Press. Donald Trump has led the charge by blaming the bad weather on President Obama. Here are some other classic all-American responses to hurricanes, ranked by political type.

1. The environmentalist: blame it on green house gasses. Hurricanes have been hitting America for centuries but, according to George Soros, they’ve gotten worse since people have been driving cars. But how does he expect people to evacuate without the use of their four-by-fours? Electric cars aren’t much help during a power cut.

2. The liberal: demand that the government does everything and anything to help. In the days following the hurricane, expect Democrats to petition for “reconstruction funds”. Most of the money will go on saxophone classes for deaf children in Denver, but that’s not the point.

3. The libertarian: demand that the government does nothing at all. Yes, Ron Paul has actually said that! He argues that in the good old days people survived disasters without federal assistance, and if we start rescuing people from hurricanes now we won’t discourage them from building their houses so close to the ocean.

4. The social conservative: blame the gays. Pat Robertson hasn’t done it yet, but it’s only a matter of time before he finds a link between Hurricane Irene and Queer as Folk. Some wag preempted the Christian Right’s response and tweeted: “Michele Bachmann on Hurricane Irene: Grab the nearest homo and use them to sandbag your homes.”

5. A Southern politician who won’t be named: go and help out with the clean-up and take the opportunity of the away-time from your wife to get your mistress pregnant. Enough said.

6. The President: pretend it isn’t happening. Washington DC was hit by an earthquake on Tuesday and Obama responded with characteristic disinterest. Nothing says “I care” like playing a round of golf in Martha’s Vineyard four hundred miles away. He finally flew home on Friday and we can expect a moving speech early next week about America’s boldness, the courage of small children and Martin Luther King Jr. It’s like this man doesn’t want to get re-elected.

It is indicative of how big the federal government has become materially and psychologically that it is expected to do something about anything that happens in the USA. Gone are the days when a hurricane would be treated as what it actually is – a terrible act of God. Now it’s a photo opportunity.

The best response, then, is undoubtedly Ron Paul’s. One can imagine Dr Paul is in his bunker right now, with ten thousand cans of beans and a shotgun. That’s the real spirit of America. Bring it on, Irene!

About WeeWeed

Sarcastic cat herder extraordinaire. And an angel.
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11 Responses to As Hurricane Irene Hits, America’s Politicians Respond With Characteristic Poor Taste

  1. Yeah, Libertarians might be a bit wacky, and I don’t agree with everything Ron Paul says, but this little nugget in the post, rights with a chord of truth: “He argues that in the good old days people survived disasters without federal assistance, and if we start rescuing people from hurricanes now we won’t discourage them from building their houses so close to the ocean.”

    People build houses in flood plains and the gummint sells them flood insurance at rates which don’t come close to reflecting the amount of risk. Then, when the gummint buys the same houses 4 or 5 times, the same gummint finally buys the damn house and property, for the last time and put it back in the same condition where was since the last ice-age. After the 1000-year floods in Houston, back in the lid-90s, scores of homes and businesses along the San Jacinto River in Kingwood and along Greens, Brays and White Oak Bayous were paid for… for one last time.

    Ditto the shore. An old friend from NY, in his 70s now, who grew up spending summers on Fire Island, said that before WWII they were called beach shacks because they weren’t permanent, because of threats posed by bad weather and erosion. Now, we have people building multi-million dollar homes in areas that 150 years ago were part of the gulf of Mexico, reflecting the reality that shorelines meander widely over the millennia. Now, the gummint is expected to fix that beach erosion!!

    One only has to look at the Chicago fire, the San Francisco earthquake or, that worst disaster of all, the Galveston hurricane of 1900, to understand Ron Paul’s position. People took care of themselves, with the good charity of their fellow man.

    The residents of Galveston chose to rebuild, and at great expense. Remember that the “other port” on the upper Texas coast had been Indianola, on Matagorda Bay. Never heard of it, have you? That’s because it was hit my two big hurricanes in the 1870s and -80s, the second one also followed by a fire. The folks in Galveston didn’t want to end up like that town, so they built their seawall and literally raised the city between 4 and 18 feet. The downside was that while they were rebuilding Galveston at great cost and effort, that little city up the road, named for ol’ Sam, was quietly planning to widen the San Jacinto River to put in an inland port. Now, that was done with gummint money, and the Houston Ship Channel opened in 1913, and Galveston tonnage has dropped to nearly nothing.

    Anyway… I think gummint disaster assistance has done a great deal circumvent and short-circuit the Process of Natural Selection.


  2. Aussie says:

    Well… here in Oz I am scratching my head about why there is such a fuss over a category 2 storm.

    We had a category 5 cyclone named Yasi hit the north of Australia over summer. It was a bad one. I have been right in the middle of a cyclone named Aivu. It would have been a category 2. Yes, it left a mess in Townsville.

    My problem is that I do not remember hurricane Gloria that hit the USA in 1985 and I was in Ohio in 1985!!


    • stellap says:

      Early forecasts were for a category 4 storm, so plans were made accordingly. Makes sense in densely populated areas, especially in low-lying coastal areas such as these. After all, you can’t evacuate millions of people in a few hours; you have to plan ahead.


    • Sharon says:

      A Cat 2 that is moving slowly (over an area where there are millions of people) is no small matter.


  3. stellap says:

    Evacuations make sense in areas where flooding is expected. Water is the biggest danger – including any storm surge that may occur.


  4. Sharon says:

    ” Some wag preempted the Christian Right’s response and tweeted: ‘Michele Bachmann on Hurricane Irene: Grab the nearest homo and use them to sandbag your homes.’ ”

    So. IOW. No one on the Christian “right” actually said that. Someone suggests they were GOING to say it, so it’s tweeted….and then it’s quoted as though that is that the “Christian right” would do.

    News flash for the secular world: most Christians would like for the homosexuals just to shut up about their rights and their sex lives. I’m part of the extremely dangerous, potentially-terrorist Christian right myself, and I suppose there will be some fault found with the fact that I hadn’t had a single thought about any homosexual with regard to this hurricane. Unfortunately for this “wag,” I don’t find homosexuals that special.


    • stellap says:

      Brava, Sharon! My feelings exactly. The only sex life I care about is my own. I don’t want to know about theirs, and just wish they would shut up already.


  5. People who aren’t believers – indeed many Christians – don’t understand the concept of, Hate the sin; Love the sinner.” It all goes back to Jesus and the woman at the well and the people who judged her. Our only defense as Christians is to NOT play into the hands of those on the Atheist Left, who want to interpret, “Hate the sin; Love the sinner”, as synonymous with judging, which no one does of another, except at the peril of their soul. Like Satan, those on the Atheistic Left, who hate Christianity, know the Bible and try to use it against us.

    Remember, that a Bible verse used out of context, is a pretext; practice good, Biblical hermeneutics…


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