Something about Septembers.
The second anniversary of the destruction of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina is upon us, and it is commemorated about the leftosphere in the same manner that 9/11 is commemorated around the rightosphere. Indeed, it is now their touchstone catastrophe, as much as the slaughter four years prior somehow became ours. One's outlook toward Katrina and its aftermath is telling: if you think it's an example of a failed community under duress, it's one thing; if you think the failures of government demand more government, it's another. The latter is, of course, entirely absurd -- and the equivalencies drawn between Katrina and 9/11 are obscene. The sad reality is that New Orleans, rather than the Bush Administration or FEMA -- though both were shown utterly incompetent -- ultimately did itself in. If, as H.L. Mencken said, "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard," then the leadership of Ray Nagin and Kathleen Blanco delivered in full. Casual observers elsewhere knew what Katrina's approach portended: but the local worthies either did not, or did nothing. Upon them rests the obloquy of history, if not of the electorate. When we look to the disaster of Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans, we extend our sympathies and our helping hands to all afflicted by it -- even as we acknowledge that the stricken city should never be rebuilt.