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Blame It on the French, Why Doncha

Michael Brown certainly isn’t a politician. He doesn’t know how to dance around a subject without actually addressing the question with finesse. Today he pretty much blamed everyone for the Katrina fiasco except himself – his only criticism of himself was that he didn’t more forcefully push those who were really to blame (love that logic).

However, if you really look at the mess and forget the focus on Brown (the same way you might look at Abu Ghraib without focusing on a few privates), you can see the breakdown was due to much larger forces happening in our society. George Hadden, who was the FEMA Deputy Chief of Staff back when FEMA worked, the real source of the blame should be on policy decisions that basically gutted FEMA:

“I place 70% of the blame on the Bush administration and the policy decision…that deconstructed our emergency response capability.”

Beware of the focus on individual scapegoats – as it takes your attention away from the underlying issues that have much greater implications.

I have to say my favorite quote of the day came from Hadden while on Keith Olbermann – that Brown’s blaming of much of the problem on the people who stayed (or were stuck) behind is like “blaming the French for building the city in the first place.’

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