Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Did the Republicans cause the swine flu crisis?

First, let’s look at the GOP response to the swine flu crisis.

They claimed that our Democratic President was trying to exploit the crisis to shove Kathy Sebelius through as HHS Secretary; as a result of the GOP obstruction, both Sebelius’ job and the 14 below hers were empty when the crisis hit.

They insinuated that Democrats cause the flu, because the last outbreak occurred under Carter (by the way, it was Ford).

In Texas they screamed at our Democratic President for federal aid for the crisis, right after denouncing the Democrats for their policies on federal spending and hinting at secession.

They claimed the crisis was caused by thos pesky illegal immigrants that the Democrats let into the country (ignoring the fact that it was Bush who turned Homeland Security into an organizational mess).

And of course they screamed that Democratic federal programs to protect us from pandemics are “porkulus”, and cut it from the budget. The GOP’s response on that issue has been particularly clumsy. Senator Collins bragged about cutting the money on her website, and then hastily erased it. Michael Steele babbled an admission that the GOP cut the pandemic money because they failed to foresee potential crises the way the Democrats did (which exactly is what national leaders are supposed to do): "Did we know this at the time of the vote?....Don't come back and make this link six months after the fact [Mikey, it was just in February, where ya been?]... we don't know what tomorrow holds.....I'm not going to sit here and accept that connection." In other words, they don’t believe in being prepared.

So the Obama answer to the crisis was to, ya know, deal with the crisis. The GOP response to the crisis was to attack the current Democratic president, a former Democratic president, Democrats in general, Democratic spending, and Democratic policies, to include policies which were specifically designed to address the crisis.

As always, the Republican answer to every crisis is...attack Democrats.

Which is why I am compelled to point out that the epidemic began at a contaminated, poorly-monitored farm run by Smithfield Foods, a firm whose long history of environmental and labor violations was abetted by...the Bush administration. Bush’s efforts to gut the USDA, the FDA, and the EPA (and probably the NLRB too) played a pivotal role in making all this happen.

Mmm, yeah, we're going to hear more about this. And it ain't going to help the GOP.


Anonymous said...

Very uninformed commentary here - the positions were not "empty". There were personnel filling each and every slot in an acting capacity.

HelloDollyLlama said...

Nice try. The positions were empty. The WORK was being done by others who were wearing two or more hats at once. Which is is just what you need during a crisis: Napolitano doing her own job and Sebelius’s, the Center for Disease Control being run by a bench-warmer, the HHS department being run by a Republican ACCOUNTANT.

As it happens, I am about to take charge of a governmental organization that has a lot of “acting” people doing multiple jobs, a problem I will need to address when I arrive. Trust me – I know this stuff better than you do.