That's the thing that most amazes me- that the handlers have grown so careless that they didn't see the outrage coming days ago, and so they tried to get away with that uber-lame, inappropriately sing-song "blame game" crap instead of protecting their guy by having him say something that sounded, oh, I don't know... Presidential? The administration having blown its actual job during the actual crisis, one would think that they'd at least have had the presence of mind to do a better job of dealing with the political crisis that resulted from that failure. Did they really think they could afford to be so complacent?
Anyway, with the uncharacteristically Trumanesque statement now released to the press, and Michael Brown having been made to stand in the corner (until he gets hired by some big lobbying outfit), I'm anticipating a change in tactics. The dance of evasion having failed, the song of "no time for blame (blame Ray) no time for finger pointing (oh, look, there's Kathleen)" having failed, I think it's now going to be mostly the Closing of Ranks and the Sweeping Under the Rug, in which all the officials involved, Federal, State and local, try to cooperate in the task of minimizing the political damage by which all are threatened. In the end, it comes down to the class war- the political class against the public.
Whether or not they can make this work, I don't know. I'm sufficiently cynical about them, and about the media, to think it possible. The American electorate is almost idiotically forgiving at times, and lazy to boot, and possessed of an astonishingly short attention span, and the political spinners are cunning, and the media dogs belonging to the political class rarely bite their masters once they've been given a tasty bone. There will be official goats named, of course (the operators of the retirement home where 34 residents were abandoned, for example, will attract a great deal of attention), but the big guys are now going to do their best to smooth things over rather than quarrel among themselves, with the end that their political wounds will be healed- at least until they light into one another at the next election.
Governor Blanco has already refused to be one-upped in the mea culpa department, and her speech to the Louisiana legislature contains not only the obligatory
"At the state level, we must take a careful look at what went wrong and make sure it never happens again.but also the revealing
The buck stops here... and, as your governor, I take full responsibility."
"I want the people of Louisiana to know that we have a friend and a partner in President George W. Bush. I thank you, Mr. President, and I thank the Congress for your initial investment in our immediate recovery and relief. We can not rebuild without you.". Will this love last? As long as they need it too, I'd say. The fight is over. Let the make-up sex begin! Gee, I can hardly wait to see Ray Nagin make it a threesome, and then all the lesser clowns join in to make it an orgy! Too bad all those displaced people won't get to watch the show from the comfort of their own homes.
Edit: Maybe Michael Brown isn't going to be getting that lobbying job after all. According to braddelong, Mike is making public statements, and nobody is looking very good- especially not his former boss, Michael Chertoff. Oops! That's the risk you take when you don't invite everybody to the party; The guy you left off the list might start to blab all your secrets!