Last night, the president vetoed the "emergency" spending bill for Iraq, in essence refusing the Democrats' demand for a withdrawal date. While the two sides battle over the future of US troops and the Iraqi people, we in the Gulf Coast recieve another political pistol-whipping. Less discussed in the national media is the inclusion of a spending package for the region that includes levee reconstruction and wetlands protection, the two most vital issues for recovery. After the veto, the governor and Senator Landrieu, both Democrats, blasted Louisiana Republicans for voting against the bill, decrying their opponents' loyalty to the president over the state.
Which is a valid complaint. It's simply criminal for any legislator to vote against more money for the region, especially for such urgent matters. Yet, isn't it equally criminal to vote WITH a party that ties the future of the Gulf Coast to the war in Iraq? Isn't it as appalling that Democrats would write such legislation and play a patently political game with levees and wetlands? If this is an appeal to the "anti-war" movement, can that movement call itself some new, dumb "Left" if it cheers that game?
Most damning is the failure of Louisiana's Democrats and Republicans to introduce a true Katrina bill, untethered to the vacuum of the war. For either side to claim a moral high ground is ridiculous, yet another example of politicians playing "business-as-usual," continuing the farce that nearly killed this city when the status quo was intact.