The Failure of Success. The success of failure.
As I type this, Hurricane Irene is battering the Northeastern coast, leaving
15 35 people dead and more than a million homes without power. Governors of BOTH parties have been praising the response of FEMA… who was already dealing with the rare East coast earthquake from the week before. And in the middle of this mess, GOP Presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-Somalia) was on Fox “news” Sunday saying that we need to start “getting real” about dismantling FEMA. Why? Because their response to Hurricane Katrina back in 2005 “proves” FEMA can’t do anything right (Paul had to go back SIX YEARS to a Republican administration to find an example of FEMA not working. Not like we haven’t had any more recent examples to choose from, eh Ron?) And that’s what Conservatives do. They say “Government can’t do anything right”, put incompetents in charge, and when things go wrong, cite it as “PROOF” they were right.
Later in the program, former Bush Press Secretary Dana “Dren” Perino bemoaned the end of the war in Libya. After host Chris Wallace pointed out that the war in Libya ended with “not one American life was lost”, “lasted only six months” and “cost less than a billion dollars”, that “maybe President Obama’s strategy of ‘Leading from behind’ was the right strategy after all?”, Perino dismissed the idea saying “it worked THIS time”, but who knows if it’ll work again? She went on to suggest that Libya was evidence “that we need to spend MORE on defense” because having to rely on our allies puts us at risk (was Libya an imminent threat now, Dana, requiring U.S.-led military action?)
On “Meet the Press”, RW columnist David Brooks, discussing Dick Cheney’s upcoming book, said that “Cheney was absolutely right to call for the bombing of Syria’s nuclear facilities” adding that “Israel saved our bacon on that one.”
Both Perino and Brooks point out a key problem with Conservatism: Even when they get the result they want, because the action doesn’t have an American face on it, it was a “failure”. How could either of these two events have gone any better? Not one American life lost, costing American taxpayers little to nothing, and still with the desired outcome. How awful!
When things go right, it’s “a failure”. When things go wrong (as in Paul’s “FEMA” example), it “proves their point”, which is a win for their ideology.
And these people want to be put back in charge of the country.
(Follow-up to the Perry book cover graphic above: Two days later, Perry contradicted his own campaign manager… who told people that just because the governor called Social Security “unconstitutional” in the book he wrote just 9 months ago, doesn’t mean he believes that today… telling listeners at a campaign stop in Iowa that he “doesn’t disavow anything” in his book. So when Perry tells people on the campaign trail to “read [his] book” in order to know where he stands on the issues… trust him.)
Author’s Note: For this weeks Op/Ed, I had originally intended to entitle this column: 109 degrees in Houston??? You gotta be freakin’ kiddin’ me!
Here in Houston, while everyone East of us in getting flooded out, we are in the midst of one of the worst droughts in history. Our record streak of Twenty-four 100+ degree days in a row CRUSHED the previous record of 14 days set during the historic 1980 heatwave. And the record of total 100+ degree days in a year (32, also set in 1980) continues to be broken with 39 100′ or higher days so far with at least two more 100+ days predicted this week. A typical Houston summer sees just FOUR days over 100. And I don’t remember EVER seeing a high of more than 102′.
On Sunday, we hit a stunning 109 degrees:
Houston ties its highest temperature ever recorded – 8/27/2011
Not the “highest temperature ever recorded on that particular day“, but ties the “highest temperature ever recorded in Houston” (the previous record for Aug.27 was 104′). A typical Houston Summer flirts with the 99′ mark for the months of July & August, usually peaking around 101′ the first week of August, breaking like a fever a week later. This year, our first 100′ day came in June and hasn’t ended yet as August draws to a close. We are more than 10″ behind on rainfall for the year, with ground moisture being sucked up here and dumped in neighboring states enduring record rainfall and flooding.
Can we FINALLY stop calling Global Warming “a myth” and start doing something about it before it’s too late? 109 degrees on Saturday and 108′ on Sunday??? You gotta be freakin’ kidding me?
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