Showing posts with label Katrina. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Katrina. Show all posts

Thursday, October 4, 2012

GOP tries to “Swift Boat” Obama…again

They tried it in August when a gang of Republicans, including the Tea Party of course, charged the Obama administration with “leaking details of sensitive  national security operations and of using the mission targeting former al Qaeda leader bin Laden for political gain.”  The Hill also reports that Dem. Senator John Kerry of Mass. said this holds a “striking resemblance” to the “Swift Boat” attacks on him in 2004 orchestrated by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT).

John Kerry and swift boat crew
They tried it again on Tuesday, the eve of the first Obama/Romney debate held yesterday.  This time they used the “racism” approach claiming that an address given by the then Sen. Barack Obama in 2007 made comparisons between the aid that Katrina victims received and those received from the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorism attacks, implying they were not equal. 

Speaking to a mostly black audience, he said that race relations still had a long way to go in the United States, claiming the divide most severely has an impact on impoverished parts of the country.  The implication here being the squalor in which many blacks lived in the 9th Ward hard hit by Katrina, which didn’t receive equal attention.

So far it is hard to argue with anything Obama said.  And then it ricocheted around the media with CNN coverage from Lou Dobbs to Paula Zahn.  But four years later CNN Senior Political Analyst and National Journal Editorial Director Ron Brownstein exclaimed it was old news, still in the archives of most news organizations.  Brownstein citied the fact that it was covered by Fox News as well as discussed by conservative Tucker Carlson.  And then dropped.

Must-see video exposing Republican conservatives backing current "Swift Boat" ads:

In Obama’s speech he mentioned the Stafford Act which requires local and state governments to match a certain percentage of federal funds for emergencies.  Obama criticized the feds for not waiving the matching funds in the aftermath of the Katrina catastrophe.  He stated the Stafford Act was waived following 9/11, as well as after Florida’s Hurricane Andrew. 

Obama then commented, "What's happening down in New Orleans? 'Where's your dollar? Where's your Stafford Act money?' Makes no sense. Tells me that somehow, the people down in New Orleans, they don't care about as much!"

9th Ward after Katrina
Still can’t find anything to disagree with.  Following Katrina the government did move to expedite assistance spending $19.1 billion in just Louisiana.  The 9th Ward of New Orleans suffered the most devastation and took the longest to recover.  Katrina hit The Big Easy in August of 2005 and it wasn’t until 2009 that there was some serious rebuilding going on. 

In March, 2012, however, the New York Times reported that "the neighborhood {9th Ward} has become a dumping ground for many kinds of unwanted things." and "it no longer resembled an urban, or even suburban environment. Where once there stood orderly rows of single-family homes with driveways and front yards, there was jungle."

Not enough?  The 2012 “Swift Boaters” decided to tie the knot by regurgitating the Rev. Jeremiah Wright issue, resurrecting Obama’s former association with this Chicago pastor which has long since been debunked and laid to rest by the national media.  In both cases, Katrina and Rev. Wright, it is pathetically obvious that the desperation of the Republican Party to get Mitt Romney elected is at the highest possible level.  Karl Rove to the rescue, only it didn’t work this time.

Yes, it can work
All during this 2007 address, “Obama called for more investment and job training in poor communities and minority-owned businesses. His speech was targeted to his audience and tailored with themes of ‘hope’ and ‘overcoming obstacles’ that are traditionally heard in black churches.”  He finished with, "America will survive. Just like black folks will survive. We won't forget where we came from. We won't forget what happened 19 months ago, or 15 years ago, or 300 years ago."

Still, no argument.

Boyce Watkins, founder of said, "We have to remember that we live in a country that has for 400 years been poisoned by the psychological disease of racism and it doesn't take much to spark that back up."  Ron Brownstein added "this is an intensely racially polarized country," and that race plays a part in both the election and governing.  But it doesn’t have to turn into racism.

MR. PRESIDENT: If you look frail, if you talk frail, and if you walk frail, you must be frail...

      ...too frail to lead this country for another four years. I know, we all know, what you are afraid of; the lunatic who could win the ...