Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Good Joe

Here's an extended excerpt from The Daily Howler in praise of Joe Scarborough. That's something you don't see every day around here. But I'm running it 'cuz I've been watching his show and have noticed how angry, fiesty , and no-bullshit Scarborough has been concering Katrina. So here, at length is, Daily Howler on the "Good Joe":

ALL HAIL JOE SCARBOROUGH: Joe Scarborough’s work has been simply superb in the wake of Katrina. But then, there have always been two Joe Scarboroughs. On the one hand, he has been the incisive, fair-and-balanced pundit who occasionally appears on Hardball. Then too, he has been the host of cable’s most vacuous show—until Rita Cosby’s new program came along. But all this week, he has been the Good Joe; he’s been smart, involved, focused, frank—and willing to tackle his own party’s interests and scripts. Last night, on the ground in Biloxi, he continued to criticize President Bush. In this segment, he spoke with Ralph Peters:
SCARBOROUGH (9/8/05): Rate leadership, Colonel. That`s what you have done in the past. Rate leadership in this crisis on all levels. How have they done?

PETERS: On every single level, Joe, leadership gets an F, for failure. And, with your background, you know that, when there`s an emergency and things go wrong, it`s usually a failure at one, maybe two levels. This is the first time I have ever seen failure from top to bottom and bottom to top, from the mayor of New Orleans and the local officials, right up to the president of the United States.

I mean, it`s stunning to me. And, you know, without being an alarmist, in all sobriety, we should all be very, very concerned that, four years after 9/11, with the formation of the Department of Homeland Security and that gobbling up FEMA, that this was the best they could do? I mean, what were they doing for four years?

So—so, I am really concerned. And while I am very disappointed that politicians are casting blame on both sides—let`s fix this first—but there is a military maxim that applies. And that`s that a leader is responsible for everything his subordinates do or fail to do. And the leader, of course, is George W. Bush.

SCARBOROUGH: Well, Colonel, that is surprising to a lot of people, hearing you say it, because you have been—like me, you have been a big supporter of George Bush. But I have been on the ground down here, and I can`t cut it any other way. He has failed. FEMA has failed. The government of Mississippi has failed. The governor of Louisiana has failed. The governor—or the mayor of New Orleans has failed...

PETERS: ...When you know a crisis is coming, there are three key components, resources, a plan, and leadership. God knows, this country has resources. We had fragmentary plans all over, but FEMA and Homeland Security never put them together. It was clearly inadequate for a disaster of this magnitude, admittedly a huge disaster.

But, Joe, you know, as you observed, I have been a supporter of President Bush, but I just got to come back with the fact that this is a failure of leadership. And I will tell you, I am personally angry.


PETERS: And I don`t want a president who is taking six-week vacations anywhere when Americans are dying, whether they are dying in Iraq or Louisiana.

SCARBOROUGH: All right. Colonel, thank you so much. Greatly appreciate it. The buck stops at the White House. You are exactly right.

We will be right back with a lot of tough questions. Stay with us.

“I don`t want a president who is taking six-week vacations when Americans are dying” That is exceptionally tough stuff—and it was coming from two Bush supporters. But Scarborough has told it this way throughout. He deserves the highest praise.

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