October 3, 2005


Govs to Bush: Relief our job> (Bill Nichols and Richard Benedetto, 10/02/05, USA TODAY)

There is almost no support among the nation's governors for President Bush's suggestion that the Pentagon could take the lead in responding to catastrophic natural disasters, a USA TODAY survey has found.

Of the 38 governors who responded to a request for reaction to Bush's comments, only two backed the idea: Republicans Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota.

Half the state chief executives said they were opposed or had reservations, including Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the president's brother. Eleven wanted more details before taking a position, and 12 did not respond.

Most governors who opposed the suggestion said they would resist any effort by Washington to usurp state control of disaster relief, even in a devastating event like Hurricane Katrina, in which more than 1,100 people died.

"Whether a governor is a Republican or Democrat, I would expect the response would be, 'Hell no,' " said Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat.

Of course, the Left insisted during Katrina that Federalism be damned and that the President just take over LA, but then, they've little use for the Constitution as written.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 3, 2005 10:01 AM

This is part of the plan to discredit the notion that the Feds should have taken over sooner. When almost 80% of the governors say response to natural disasters is a local responsibility it puts a dent in the MSM talking points.

Posted by: AWW at October 3, 2005 11:03 AM

Oooooh, let's quote Ms. Granholm on this one!

Posted by: Kirk Parker at October 3, 2005 11:55 AM

I fail to see how putting unqualified people in charge of FEMA is insulated from this. Conservatives are deluding themselves that any bad press for Bush by Katrina is caused only by some MSM-conspiracy. That Bush's "solution" to the problems of incompetence is even more of a blunder is not some genius move. This only makes him look worse.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at October 3, 2005 12:17 PM

Chris - All of those claiming incompetence by the FEMA head often cannot come up with any basis for this assessment other than, like Pelosi, saying "it seemed slow". As the hysteria over Katrina has died down it has become clear the MSM was responsible for a lot of inaccurate reporting and trying to lay the whole thing at Bush's feet.

As for Bush's solution people said that the federal govt was too slow to react. The feds said that this was due to legal/other logistical problems between the Feds and locals. Once the military showed up things starting improving quickly. Bush proposes getting rid of the legal/other logistical problems so that the competence of the military can be brought it sooner. Looks to me like Bush is proposed a solution that can be reviewed, discussed, and passed or rejected on its merits.

Posted by: AWW at October 3, 2005 1:01 PM

It's only natural that Bush would seek more authority as he is being held responsible; with power comes responsibility.

The voters failed. As did the corrupt levee boards, the mayor, the city council, the police and especially the governor. The Corps, Congress, environmentalists, judges and the Media also bear a measure of responsibility.

That said, there are things that the Feds should do, such as funding the Coast Guard, but messing with Posse Comitatus is not one of them.

Posted by: Noel at October 3, 2005 5:16 PM

What about combining FEMA and the Coast Guard? Or creating a whole new branch of the military, similar to the Coast Guard, but with on-land FEMA & DHS responsibilities?

Posted by: Timothy at October 3, 2005 6:59 PM

Timothy - good ideas. At the very least FEMA (or whatever disaster recovery agency) should be pulled out of DHS.

Funny how Bush was forced into the DHS organization by Lieberman, the Dems, and the MSM but now Bush is taking the blame for the DHS org structure.

Posted by: AWW at October 3, 2005 7:25 PM