Pointless polls: BP vs. Katrina
The 7-point spread doesn't represent much of a statistical bombshell. But the Katrina versus BP comparison -- as if both can be held up as indicative of the same kind of government incompetence -- is puzzling. As The Times' editorial board wrote last week, the Bush administration's Federal Emergency Management Agency was too slow to perform tasks it was explicitly set up to fulfill. Thousands of evacuees were stranded for days in a flooded New Orleans while FEMA Director Michael D. Brown displayed little interest in doing his job.
President Obama, by contrast, has drawn criticism mainly for his supposedly insufficient outrage. Though The Times' editorial board faulted the president for maintaining too much of a hands-off approach for too long, it did point out that unlike FEMA's more clearly defined role in hurricane relief, "There are no proven protocols in place for responding to an oil well blowout at a depth of 5,000 feet; the country is only now learning this humbling lesson."Or if you insist on identifying a villain, you're free to join Sarah Palin in left field and blame -- no kidding -- "radical environmentalists."
-- Paul Thornton
Photo credit: Reuters