Thursday, January 25, 2007

State Of Disunion

Is there a more damning criticism of President Bush's seventh annual State of the Union address than the fact that in his full forty-eight minutes of ostentatious glory, he failed to mention New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina even once?

It should come as no surprise. As Yahoo! News' article details, even last year's speech, "delivered just five months after the disaster, the devastation merited only 156 words out of more than 5,400." These are President Bush's priorities, or lack thereof.

Criminally though, editorial coverage in both The Age and The Australian also also failed to make mention of either New Orleans or Bush's contiuing avoidance of it.

Often leaders and governments are criticised for refusing to engage in anything more than rhetoric - hollow words which give lip service to apparently important issues but in reality sweep them under the carpet to be never heard of again. This is the end result of that rhetoric: a year later and the issue's so far off the agenda that the President's total lack of compassion doesn't even raise an eyebrow. Unless, of course, you live in New Orleans.

Update: At least 2008 Democrat and presidential candidate Barack Obama knows where his bread and butter is. According to a New York Times blogger's report, Obama, in a CNN interview immediately after Bush's speech, "said he was surprised that Mr. Bush hadn’t mentioned New Orleans, or post-Katrina Gulf Coast needs."

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