Experts Expound

Experts Expound

“In the aftermath of the Southland fires, the inevitable finger-pointing has begun: The response was too slow, the equipment unavailable, the state and/or locals unprepared, according to such politicians as John Garamendi, Dana Rohrabacher, Todd Spitzer, etc. Is any of this really true or is it just campaigning on a disaster?”

How dare you accuse politicians of using someone else’s grief for a substance-free photo op. How irreverent. How harsh. How cynical. As for the finger-pointing, it is somewhat ironic that tax-hating Orange and San Diego counties now are saying that state and local authorities didn’t have the resources to adequately respond to their crises. Well, duh …

If Todd Spitzer and John Garamendi say so, then it must be true. I don’t believe that either man has higher political aspirations, but I could be wrong.

It is clear the state and the locals were not as prepared as they should have been, given the almost carbon-copy ’03 fires in S.D. County. It is clear that many of the recommendations of the blue-ribbon commission the governor appointed after the ’03 fires were not carried out by the time the latest fires started up. Government often only responds in crisis mode, and that is apparently what happened here again.

All the criticisms are true, but there’s never going to be a perfect response to a natural disaster. So on one hand, they’re standing up for their constituents. But for the most part, it’s the political version of the Santa Anas.

The three people you mentioned are not capable of running a lemonade stand, let alone a disaster-response system. In responses to situations like this there will always be some problems. On the whole things went well. These three stooges are all about the headlines.

The finger-pointing is politics at its worst. After the initial newsbreaks, it was only a matter of hours before Democrats attacked the president and the governor for the response. Some said it was too fast and proved the lack of concern for the poor and black in New Orleans after Katrina. Others said it was too slow as a result of national guardsman enlisted in Iraq. There’s no way to win in today’s radioactive partisan political climate!

It’s always the same rap: “Slow emergency response.” That because most pols (especially Reeps) won’t target the real culprits: the developers building in a fire zone and the local pols who let them.

There is something in the DNA of most politicians that obscures any sense of shamelessness. I want to gag with a spoon when the John Garamendi’s of the world strut like peacocks in times of tragedy.

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