After the unprincipled pounding that President Bush took for the Federal Government's role in the Katrina disaster, it's amazing that the same people who point fingers at Bush still shrug off any local or state responsibility.
Evacuation was 'individual responsibility,' Blanco testifies
By Paul Rioux
August 29, 2007
ST. FRANCISVILLE -- Taking the witness stand Tuesday in the St. Rita's nursing home trial, Gov. Kathleen Blanco said she did everything she could to sound the alarm as Hurricane Katrina bore down on southeast Louisiana two years ago today, but that the government must ultimately rely on the "individual responsibility" of its residents to heed those warnings.
In three hours of testimony, the governor defended her response to Katrina in what amounted to a mini-trial within the trial as attorneys for Sal and Mabel Mangano argued that the government was largely responsible for the deaths of 35 elderly residents who drowned at the couple's nursing home in St. Bernard Parish.
Blanco said she declared a state of emergency three days before Katrina's landfall and held frequent news conferences to alert the public. "My message was very, very simple," the governor said. "I wanted people to understand that this is potentially the biggest storm we will ever deal with, and I urged people over and over to protect themselves and their families by evacuating."
Those of us who recall the disaster vividly also recall the news stories about the failure of Louisiana's Governor to allow the Federal Government to take over evacuation and initial recovery efforts. I refer anyone needing a refresher course on the Blame Bush Game to review the Mike's America archives from that period.
Both Governor Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Nagin failed in their most basic responsibilities to implement any kind of effective evacuation plan even for their most vulnerable residents. But to suggest that nursing home patients have to fend for themselves is a new low, even for Democrats!