Editor, (insert paper here)
Unbelievable how that unelected pseudo dictator took it upon himself to direct FEMA and the Military to “save” New Orleans only a mere 6 hours after the storm passed (and missing the city I might add). This administration has never shown a great deal of respect for individual rights but those infringements have usually been more subdued. The invasion of New Orleans broke several long standing coded Federalist principles and various other constitutional requirements. However, that will be hashed out in the courts in due time and is not the point of this editorial. His knee jerk, banana republic reaction to this natural event will be exposed as the power play it was.
Consider the fact that the administration has trumped the legitimately elected local and state authorities. Both Mayor Nagin, and Gov. Blanco have extensive disaster plans in place, and more importantly their authority is derived from the voters. It’s that pesky ‘consent of the governed’ thing that the Bush Administration fails to understand. You see, local and state control is imperative in extreme circumstances as those governments have a vested interest in performing well. The Federal government can ‘rough up’ 2% of the population, and the other 98% can be convinced to simply shrug their shoulders. They will say, ‘Well, it is a state of emergency you know…” Locals on the other hand, will see their careers blossom, or fail based on their performance.
Mayor Nagin’s plan was thorough and well known; it was even published on the City of New Orleans’s web site. Gov. Blanco has the LA National Guard at her disposal as well. They are a military force, and are trained to maintain order and would have done a great job of keeping the peace. All this was for nothing, as George Bush took it upon himself to declare that the local authorities have been overwhelmed and the ‘cavalry’ needs to arrive in the form of FEMA and Infantry under federal control.
Clearly, that was a poor decision as the French Quarter round up proves. Those soldiers illegally detained and transported US Citizens to holding pens where they would be judged at a later date to be looters or not. Got Habeas Corpus?
George Bush is not a Dictator. I really do fear for the path our country is taking when our society allows such an overreaching action by big government. We might as well disband all local authority and hand over control to the Feds. The founders would be turning over in their graves.