The blame game continues, with most attention being focused not on the local and state officials who have responsibility for disaster preparedness, but on the federal government. Even at the federal level, I’ve not seen any informed criticism of FEMA or any other relevant federal agency, or any detailed analysis of the formidable logistical problems that make the relief effort painfully difficult. No, the critics aren’t interested in such targets or such details. What they want is to bash President Bush, and we’ll hear more and more of it as the days go by.
So far, though, the left has had a hard time finding a theory. Michelle Malkin has a definitive deconstruction of the “underfunded levee construction” theory, which yesterday seemed like the left’s most promising line of attack. The Army Corps of Engineers says the “underfunding” theory is bogus:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday that a lack of funding for hurricane-protection projects around New Orleans did not contribute to the disastrous flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina.
In a telephone interview with reporters, corps officials said that although portions of the flood-protection levees remain incomplete, the levees near Lake Pontchartrain that gave way–inundating much of the city–were completed and in good condition before the hurricane.
However, they noted that the levees were designed for a Category 3 hurricane and couldn’t handle the ferocious winds and raging waters from Hurricane Katrina, which was a Category 4 storm when it hit the coastline. The decision to build levees for a Category 3 hurricane was made decades ago based on a cost-benefit analysis.
Maybe the left will have to go back to global warming.