I fell asleep right after President Bush’s second recitation of the 800 number, although I did read the transcript this morning. The media buzz seems to be that he met the low expectations that had been set for him, but that this was no New York bullhorn moment.
Josh Marshall, who’s obsessing (I mean that in a good way) over Bush’s choice of Karl Rove to oversee the reconstruction, says this:
MARSHALL: Then there’s the president’s great line from the speech: “It is now clear that a challenge on this scale requires greater federal authority and a broader role for the armed forces.”
No, it’s not. Actually, every actual fact that’s surfaced in the last two weeks points to just the opposite conclusion. There was no lack of federal authority to handle the situation. There was faulty organization, poor coordination and incompetence.
Show me the instance where the federal government was prevented from doing anything that needed to be done because it lacked the requisite authority….
This is how repressive governments operate – mixing inefficiency with authoritarian tendencies.
You don’t repair disorganized or incompetent government by granting it more power. You fix it by making it more organized and more competent. If conservatism can’t grasp that point, what is it good for?
That sounds about right to me.