Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy and the Tea Party

As I write this, it has been raining here in Philadelphia since late afternoon yesterday (Sunday) due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy.  Our area has received 1.5 inches of rain so far (some of the surrounding areas have received as much as 4.5 inches), and we're seeing costal flooding and storm damage along the Jersey shore.  All of this while Hurricane Sandy is still 350 off the coast.  I'm writing this post from home since my place of employment is closed due to the storm.  The power is still on in my apartment, and personally I don't really expect to lose it for the duration of the storm.  And as my section of the city has not been ordered to evacuate, and not likely to be so ordered, I intend to heed the official advice and stay home.  I'm writing this in my jammies, with an ample supply of food and water, a flashlight in case I actually do lose power, my trusty I-Pad with 3g so I'll still have access to the internet, and plenty of porn.  (I just wrote that last part to see if you were paying attnetion.)  Although a category 1 storm, Hurricane Sandy is expected to do a lot of damage where it hits simply because it's a slow moving storm.  Flooding, power disruption, and wind damage are all to be expected along Sandy's path.  Here is where the Tea-Party's anti-Government philosophy clashes with the reality that they work so hard to deny. 

Sandy's effects are expected to be felt from parts of North Carolina to as far north as Maine.  Granted, much of this is considered Obama country, and no doubt the closet-queens of the evangelical right wing will see Sandy as God's wrath for its liberalism, homosexuality, and support of Obama.  However the Tea-Party are like roaches.  They're everywhere, even when you don't see them.  Most likely, they also support presidential candidate Mitt Romney.  It's to the Tea-Party that I'd like to pose this question.  What are you going to do?

At the height of the Reality-TV show that was the GOP Primary debates, Mitt Romney was asked if he would shutter the Federal Emergency Management Agencey (a.k.a. FEMA).  As you know FEMA is essentially the first-responders for natural and man-made crisis, such as hurricanes.  Romney's answer to the question of shutting it down:
"Absolutely," he said. "Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction. And if you can go even further, and send it back to the private sector, that's even better. Instead of thinking, in the federal budget, what we should cut, we should ask the opposite question, what should we keep?"
One can grant that FEMA's track record during the previous administration (on Hurricane Katrina in particular) was less than stellar.  But they are the guys we call whenever something disasterous hits.  And while Sandy is no Katrina in terms of strength, it does have the potential to be disasterous.  As a matter of principle, the teabaggers cry "Socialism" at any form of government assistance (except of course when they need it, at which point they're usually the first in line).  Ironically, they're also the ones who refuse to listen to any kind of hurricane evacuation orders because they're "rugged individuals" who don't want government telling them what to do.  Here's where their hypocrisy begins to stand out like a naked man at...well...a tea-party. 

The teabaggers look down on anyone who receives any kind of government assistance, whether it's welfare, unemployment, social security, or even medicare because they foolishly believe that most people on assistance are just freeloading and abusing the system.  They call them lazy, unproductive victims who are forcing the government to take care of them, and they resent their tax-dollars being spent on helping people who, in their opinion, won't take responsibility for themselves.  Yet many of them probably plan to "tough it out" through the storm, then once their trailer park has blown away in the hurricane demand that FEMA take care of them, and criticize because it's not moving fast enough (possibly becasue it's too busy taking care of the "lazy and unproductive victims" who had the good sense to get out of the way).  What do the teabaggers do during the next storm if Romney is president and actually does decide to privatize FEMA?  Do they dial 1-800-BAINCAP and get some barely-English speaking operator to take their credit card information while they wait on the roof of their trailer as flood waters rush by?  Do they get the "Hurricane Rate" at the local Sheraton hotel, assuming of course they can actually reach one?  Perhaps instead of food and those round doughy things called "donuts", Romney hands them all Macy's catalogs where they can pick out TRUMP wear made in China.

People say that Romney hasn't been clear on what policies he would put in place as President.  Frankly, I believe they're wrong.  Romney has been quite clear about his policies.  They can be summed up in two words: Privatize Everything.  And the unwitting, useful idiots of the Tea-Party are more that willing to help him do it, simply because of their loathing of the government in general, and our current president in particular, and we all know what that loathing is based upon.  Race.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Of course, they'll try to deny it, and here's where I issue my challenge for them to prove it.  If they're so against the principle of "big government" interfering in their lives, and if this loathing isn't, as they claim, about race, then they should refuse any and all offers of government assistance.  They made the decision to remain in these dangerous areas during the storm on their own, therefore they should be forced to stand on their principles and pull themselves up by their own boot straps.  After all, why should our tax-dollars be spent on people who refuse to take responsibility for themselves?

Huffington Post - Mitt Romney in GOP Debate: Shut Down Federal Disaster Agency, Send Responsibility To The States