Well said, Wall Street Journal:
We know liberals are worried that President Obama might lose next week, but are they so panicky that they want to suggest even before the storm has passed that Mitt Romney and Republicans are against disaster relief? Apparently so. It’s an especially low-rent tactic, akin to blaming the tea party for Jared Lee Loughner’s shooting of Gabby Giffords. But it’s equally absurd to argue that a once-in-a-century storm means you can’t block-grant Medicaid.
The rap on Mr. Romney seems to be that he once said emergency management could be done well and perhaps better at the state level, and he also endorsed Paul Ryan’s House Republican budget.
As for Mr. Romney and FEMA, the liberals are excavating remarks from one of the early GOP debates. CNN’s John King asked if “the states should take on more” of a role in disaster relief as FEMA was running out of money.
Mr. Romney: “Absolutely. Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.
“Instead of thinking in the federal budget, what we should cut—we should ask ourselves the opposite question. What should we keep? We should take all of what we’re doing at the federal level and say, what are the things we’re doing that we don’t have to do? And those things we’ve got to stop doing, because we’re borrowing $1.6 trillion more this year than we’re taking in.”
This isn’t an argument for abolishing FEMA so much as it is for the traditional federalist view that the feds shouldn’t supplant state action. As it happens, the response to Hurricane Sandy has been a model of such a division of responsibility.
Citizens in the Northeast aren’t turning on their TVs, if they have electricity, to hear Mr. Obama opine about subway flooding. They’re tuning in to hear Governor Chris Christie talk about the damage to the Jersey shore, Mayor Mike Bloomberg tell them when bus service might resume in New York City, and Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy say when the state’s highways might reopen.
Energetic governors and mayors are best equipped to handle disaster relief because they know their cities and neighborhoods far better than the feds ever will, and they know their citizens will hold them accountable. The feds can help with money and perhaps expertise.
And, as the editorial goes on to correctly note, liberals tend to think that to have “effective government” the government itself has to grow bigger. As we all know, the bigger government gets, the more ineffective, inefficient, bureaucratic, and – yes – autocratic it gets. This is NOT what we need when there are NO natural disasters occurring, much less when they DO happen! This doesn’t compute for most liberals, and for the ones who DO get it, that they still advocate for bigger government in spite of the obvious just shows you where their loyalties reside. Hint: It’s not with our Founding Fathers and the Constitution.
It’s also fascinating to think that liberals believe FEMA could be a well-oiled machine as long as the right President were around to “oversee it” – remember their outrage over FEMA in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina? Sure, they politicized the hell out of it to bash Bush as “out of touch” with mainstream Americans – in particular, black citizens – but even beyond that they seriously believed and still do that FEMA best operates when the President of the left’s choosing is in the WH. This is horribly, glaringly misguided. Time and time again state governments have shown – just as they are with Sandy – that they can handle crisis management much more effectively and efficiently than if left completely to the feds. If the Feds want to supply money, fine, but outside of little more than that, they should just stay out of the way. Liberals will never ever admit to this because if they did, then they’d have to acknowledge their complicity in covering up for the utter, disastrous, dangerous incompetency of then-Governor of Louisiana Kathleen Blanco and then-Mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina. If Nagin and Blanco had done their jobs, the left would never have had the chance to use the bungled FEMA response to blame Bush. Even more importantly than that, think about the lives that could have been saved.
As former Obama Chief of Staff and now Mayor of Chicago Rahmbo Emanuel once infamously declared, to liberals you “never want to let a serious crisis go to waste.” So, no surprises here that Democrats – along with their allies in the mainstream media and popular left wing sites – would rather beat Romney to death over a distorted quote about FEMA than to question the POTUS and his administration on the far more serious issue of Benghazi. They’re desperate to win next week, and they’ll use any approach – no matter how dishonest – to try and do so. Don’t let them get away with it.