New Orleans Yes, friends and neighbors, it really does often depend on whose ox is getting gored. Another case in point and providing abundant proof lies in the water brought by Harvey.
Harvey was an equal opportunity disaster compared to Katrina. Rich and poor neighborhoods in Houston, whether Belaire or half-million dollar suburbs, went under as did the 5th Ward. Republicans and Democratic voters were swimming for their lives.
All of the talk and lip-flapping after Katrina that slowed funds as conservatives and Republicans yammered about corruption and how the recovery money would be spent, can’t be heard. Much of the same accompanied Sandy when it hit the New York /New Jersey area when Texas Senators and other wingers wanted to claim the recovery package was larded with pork, referring to money that was earmarked for repair of infrastructure and prevention for the future.
Republican leaders are already preparing a $6 billion package of immediate relief for Texas-Louisiana disaster areas as a first order of business when they return to session in September. After Katrina, we were marching on Congress in December more than three months after the storm for a $4 billion package, and they were fighting us. The lessons from other countries, Japan for example, facing similar disasters, is that you have to move money immediately. I’m not bitter, but that doesn’t mean I don’t remember.
Does it go without saying that New Orleans and New York City were Democratic strongholds, while southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana are seen as Republican redoubts, regardless of how blue the city of Houston itself votes? Maybe, but let’s just say it anyway.
President Trump is all over this as well, like white on rice. He’s already been to Corpus Christi and Austin, and is heading to the Lake Charles, Louisiana area. VP Pence was hanging around the Beaumont area throwing fallen branches on a pile. He wants to see if he can pretend to be able to manage something in this disaster, since he can’t seem to handle the disaster he has made of his original swampland target in Washington.
With proof positive of the need for a robust government response, we are now saved from any of his cavalier and foolhardy talk about shutting down the government. The proposed whack at the FEMA budget is being rewritten as an increase instead. The only wall that is likely to get funded now is a seawall. There’s even speculation that Trump may have to back off of DACA and the Dreamers because so many live in Texas. He may even have to clinch his teeth on his immigration hateration and drum beating, since recovery efforts depend so vitally on immigrant labor, papered or not, to fill gaps in overwhelming cleanup and construction needs.
Who says there isn’t a small thread of silver lining in this horrid devastation of rain clouds?