Romney, Wrong on Disaster Response

Sitting in the dark on the job for two days, one has time for contemplation.  Because I was sitting in the dark as a result of a major storm, disaster response has been on my mind.  I’m going to riff off of one of the last blog posts I read before losing the electricity, Bette Noir’s “compare and contrast” post about President Obama’s approach to disaster relief and Mitt Romney’s statements about disaster relief in one of the primary debates.  Here’s an excerpt from the transcript of the debate, hosted by CNN’s John King:

“FEMA is about to run out of money, and there are some people who say do it on a case-by-case basis and some people who say, you know, maybe we’re learning a lesson here that the states should take on more of this role,” Mr. King said. “How do you deal with something like that?”

Romney’s response: “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,” Romney continued. “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. We cannot ...”

King interjected: “Including disaster relief, though?”

Romney replied: “We cannot – we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all.”


A quick glance at the map of Superstorm Sandy demonstrates the stupidity of Mitt Romney’s proposal for diminishing the role of the federal government in disaster response.  Hurricane Sandy was a vast storm which ravaged the Atlantic Coast of the United States from North Carolina to Massachusetts, with lesser, though significant effects felt as far west as Ohio.  Simply put, the storm was too vast for any single state to be able to handle disaster response and relief.  Damage to the infrastructure within a state hampers the coordination of relief efforts.  Even now, days after the storm, there are communication problems (I have electricity, and I am having problems getting through on the phone for various reasons, those without power are even worse off).  In much of the New York tri-state area, gasoline is in short supply.  To put the burden of disaster relief on the overburdened states is asinine.  Just because I want to twist the knife, so to speak, Mitt Romney’s record as a governor responding to a natural is not a good one.

In times of disaster, it is important to remember the original motto of the United States, E Pluribus Unum, which is Latin for “out of many, one”.  Combined, the states form a more powerful whole.  In times of natural disaster, the federal government can coordinate the response more readily than the states which have been hit.  The United States is a vast country, the nature of disasters differs from location to location- while different states can concentrate on their areas of expertise, a central coordinating agency is better able to marshal resources that will be needed after local resources are exhausted. 

To compound Romney’s idiocy, his assertion that he’d rather have the private sector administer disaster responses is truly a howler.  Of course, Romney’s not really an idiot- he’s the sort of sociopath who would prefer that there’s an executive skimming off the top when funds are allocated for disaster aid.  If Romney gets elected president, expect well-connected wealthy insiders to get even wealthier on the misery of disaster victims.  In anticipation of such a (literal) windfall, Jeb Bush has founded a for-profit disaster response corporation.  If disaster response is privatized, there will be a two-tier approach to relief and recovery operations- the rich folks will be whisked out of the disaster area in luxurious helicopters with fully-stocked bars while Joe and Jane Schmo will die horribly… the executives have to make a profit, after all.  I imagine Jeb Bush’s privatized disaster response will be just as successful as his brother George’s privatized war.

In the ‘90’s the town of Rye Brook, New York decided to experiment with privatized firefighting services.  The private firefighting corporation cut corners with wages, ensuring that the workers were poorly-trained and had a high turnover rate, and they refused to engage in a mutual assistance agreement with neighboring municipalities, and the result was disastrous.  Imagine how poorly a private corporation, with an eye towards maximizing profits, would handle a disaster of the magnitude of a Sandy.

Hopefully, the example of Sandy will wake voters who would vote for Mitt Romney out of spite.  Romney is unfit to run the country- Chris Christie, a man I can’t stand, has praised President Obama’s disaster response and is being lambasted by his former admirers for it.  Former Republican and wishy-washy “third way” flack Mike Bloomberg has endorsed President Obama’s candidacy.  In the face of disaster, real leadership and a genuine desire for public service is needed.  Mitt Romney is a callow, hollow simulacrum of a man, and his history of failed disaster response and putting personal profits over the public need renders him unacceptable as a President.

Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 11/01/12 at 05:58 PM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsBushCoElection '12MittensVulture/Voucher 2012NuttersTeabaggeryOur Stupid MediaSkull Hampers

Share this post:  Share via Twitter   Share via BlinkList   Share via del.icio.us   Share via Digg   Share via Email   Share via Facebook   Share via Fark   Share via NewsVine   Share via Propeller   Share via Reddit   Share via StumbleUpon   Share via Technorati  

Nice to hear from you B4; glad to see one of RR’s New York contingent posting.  I hope everyone else is OK.

Nothing like sitting in the dark to get someone thinking, especially about what it would be like if the “be rich, or be gone from my sight, peasant!” contingent gets their sticky fingers all over the executive office again.  Am I the only one who finds the winger blogs/media’s current chorus of “all the polls say Rmoney wins with 300 EVs!” to border on pre-incitement?

One disturbing concept regarding Romney’s outlook on disaster relief that I’ve read about, and can’t quite shake, is the idea that when Romney referred to our expenditures on FEMA as “immoral”, he was in no way being metaphorical, but actually does see bad things happening to people as being the will of God.  Conversely, good things happening to people mean they are good, no matter what thye’ve done to enjoy those good things. So if one become fabulously wealthy by, for example, offshoring jobs or tax avoidance schemes, one is good.  And if lying works, lying is good—because it’s rewarded.

One hopes this is not the real outlook of a serious candidate for president, because if so, that’s kind of psychopathic, isn’t it?

Nice to hear from you B4; glad to see one of RR’s New York contingent posting.  I hope everyone else is OK.

Thanks, SoaS.  It’s been pretty rough, but I prepared well- gassed up the car, made sure I had food and the like.  The workplace is without power, so work is like getting paid for camping out (though no beer makes it no fun).

One disturbing concept regarding Romney’s outlook on disaster relief that I’ve read about, and can’t quite shake, is the idea that when omney referred to our expenditures on FEMA as “immoral”, he was in no way being metaphorical, but actually does see bad things happening to people as being the will of God.  Conversely, good things happening to people mean they are good, no matter what thye’ve done to enjoy those good things. So if one become fabulously wealthy by, for example, offshoring jobs or tax avoidance schemes, one is good.  And if lying works, lying is good—because it’s rewarded.

It’s like an unholy mash-up of Calvinist predestination and the “Prosperity Gospel”, with the added creepiness of the adherents fully expecting to become gods in their own right- with no provisions for salvation for single women (unless they “marry” in the “afterlife”, I suppose).

And if lying works, lying is good—because it’s rewarded.
===
Lying for the Lord.  It’s a Mormon thing.

Comment by Nellcote on 11/01/12 at 09:56 PM

The entire Romney quote was that it would be “immoral” to increase the debt on “our children” (as if his mutant fucking spawn & grand-spawn will ever suffer for a day) just so a few of those children can live in a house w/ electricity before 2020.

Not that it would be “immoral” to help anyone now, but, you know, big picture, long term, think of the “other” children & the Cayman acc’ts., yada.

I’m afraid it may take eight yrs. of that shitheel as President to wake this nation of cretins up. Then they’ll be sorry.

It’s like an unholy mash-up of Calvinist predestination and the “Prosperity Gospel”, with the added creepiness of the adherents fully expecting to become gods in their own right- with no provisions for salvation for single women (unless they “marry” in the “afterlife”, I suppose).

Well said! B4.  And so uniquely “American.”  This is what these people mean when they talk about “American Exceptionalism.”  It’s closer to “American Exemption-alism”—they’re exempt from having to provide any of the “milk of human kindness” to their fellow man, who, if they’re suffering, deserve it somehow . . .

fully expecting to become gods in their own right- with no provisions for salvation for single women (unless they “marry” in the “afterlife”, I suppose)

Not really relevant, but in traditional Chinese families when a young person died they would call a matchmaker to find another young dead person to marry him or her off too—it may sound cute-exotic, but it’s a way for a family to deal with grief. Anyway, knowing that Mormons baptize dead people, I wonder if they can get them married as well. The baptism thing could be a way of supplying all those gods with Jewish concubines.

The entire Romney quote was that it would be “immoral” to increase the debt on “our children” (as if his mutant fucking spawn & grand-spawn will ever suffer for a day) just so a few of those children can live in a house w/ electricity before 2020.

And yet on the other hand they expect seniors to vote for them with the promise that they won’t get voucher Medicare, only their children and grandchildren and anybody currently under 55.

Page 1 of 1 pages

Sorry, commenting is closed for this post.

<< Back to main