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The politics of false indignation

July 30, 2009

This is Congressman Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI).  Thad

On Monday congressman McCotter introduced a resolution to the United States House of Representatives, asking president Barack Obama to apologize to James Crowley, a white police officer in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Rep. McCotter believes that officer Crowley, and all police officers, were defamed, ridiculed and undermined when the president said that Crowley had “acted stupidly” with his arrest of Henry Louis Gates, a black Harvard University professor.

…Whereas, President Obama’s refusal to retract his initial public remarks and apologize to Sergeant Crowley and, instead, reiterate his accusation impugning Sergeant Crowley’s professional conduct in the performance of his duties;

Now therefore be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives–

Calls upon President Obama to retract his initial public remarks and apologize to Cambridge, Massachusetts Police Sergeant James M. Crowley for having unfairly impugned and prejudged his professional conduct in this local police response incident.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina, the worst natural disaster to ever strike the mainland United States, ravaged cities and communities throughout the Gulf coast region.   It is well documented that President George W. Bush and his administration were slow to react, respond, and offer any type of assistance to the people of the region.  That is, until  they realized how devastating the storm had become, something his administration was briefed about four days before the storm hit:

The Associated Press reported March 1, 2006, that film footage it had obtained, “along with seven days of transcripts of briefings … show in excruciating detail that while federal officials anticipated the tragedy that unfolded in New Orleans and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast, they were fatally slow to realize they had not mustered enough resources to deal with the unprecedented disaster.

“Linked by secure video, Bush expressed a confidence on Aug. 28 that starkly contrasted with the dire warnings his disaster chief and numerous federal, state and local officials provided during the four days before the storm.”

“In dramatic and agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief that Hurricane Katrina could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans’ Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to video footage,” AP reported. “Bush didn’t ask any questions during the final briefing before Katrina struck on Aug. 29, but he assured soon-to-be-battered state officials: ‘We are fully prepared’.”

The President was not prepared, and it seemed as if he had no intention of taking Katrina seriously.  He resonated a cool detachment, and he offered nothing of substance to all of those Americans drowning and suffering in the streets of our towns and cities.  He flew over New Orleans in a helicopter.  He didn’t even land.  People died without any help, and without any hope.

I’m bringing up the Katrina fiasco to make this point:  Where was Thad McCotter?  He was elected to the house of representatives in 2002.  It cannot be disputed that president Bush’s actions during this time were despicable, and literally caused the deaths of Americans.  Congressman McCotter was silent.    He offered no resolution condemning the conduct of the president during this time, when people actually died and lost everything they had.  There were other republicans that spoke out about the conduct of the white house, but why didn’t Mr. McCotter feel the need to do so, and protect the people that needed it.  I find it odd that McCotter, who is not well known outside of Washington, would wade into this Gates-Crowley business.  Unless something else is at work here.  McCotter is taking his opportunity to pile on and make a name for himself, not for the benefit of the police officers as he claims, but for political expediency.  If only the congressman was as shocked and offended when a republican president left people to suffer and die.

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