Hogan's Alley

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Progressive Gospel on Katrina

In the current issue of Dissent, Peter Dreier lays out the party line of "progressives" about Katrina. Simply put, everything, except perhaps the storm itself, is the fault of Bush, the conservatives, the Republicans and, apparently, Barbara Bush's insensitivity.

No where is there any mention of a State or local responsibility for disaster planning. Only the Federal government exists in Dreier's world view and only New Deal level of Federal effort will suffice. Poverty, Dreier implies, would have been erased if only government would answer his question:

"What responsibility, if any, does the federal government have to provide Americans with decent housing, access to health care, and opportunities for work that pays a living wage?"

No mention of the entrenched culture of poverty exacerbated and perpetuated in New Orleans and elsewhere by progressive local governments. No mention of substance abuse, failing local schools, subcultures which devalue achievement and the countless other factors that impact on the persistence of poverty.

One has the feeling that Dreier has been preaching this sermon since the close of the Johnson Administration and, no doubt, getting "amens" from the choir.