Monday, April 24, 2006

Operation Sherman's March is Going Swimmingly

Here's the problem Republicans faced: a Democratic stronghold, a "chocolate city" (hey! music!), smack dab in the middle of the land of milk and honey (aka Dixie) that Republicans believe God, in the Year of our Lord 1964, promised them they could keep as their own for all eternity. In good old Old Testament times, the solution would be simple: simply cleanse the land of this impurity by putting to the sword every living creature, even the animals, and tearing down their Asherah poles. Nowadays, though, the ACLU and the United Nations might object. So the Republican assault on New Orleans has to be more subtle.

Hey, here's an idea! Don't upgrade the dikes and levees that protect the city from the tropical storms and hurricanes that assault it annually. When a world-class hurricane is announced, allow the middle-class and wealthy white people to leave early on clear roads, but do nothing to evacuate the poor who don't own cars (and who are afraid to leave their homes in high-crime neighborhoods). After the storm, respond clumsily, inconsistently, and late. Concentrate the survivors into camps run by the military and into stadiums with little food, no health care, and no security.

Then, when they're sick to their souls of the whole damned clusterfuck, give each of them just enough money to move away -- but not to move back, let alone to rebuild their homes and their lives. To make doubly sure that poor minorities don't repopulate the city, discourage the refugees' return and private investment in reconstruction by speculating publicly that maybe the city shouldn't be rebuilt at all, and don't appoint any landscape architects or other land-use professionals to the government panels planning the city's reconstruction. Make the nice white people feel they're being listened to by inviting a cadre of wealthy, mostly-white Southern Junior-Leaguers to Washington, listening to them attentively, and promising federal reconstruction dollars -- but delay actual funding. And, if your false promises of aid can sucker an inexcusably naive Louisiana senator like Mary Landrieu into refusing to filibuster a pro-life judicial nominee who favors an autocratic executive, and into casting the deciding vote to raise the nation's debt ceiling and enact a grotesquely unbalanced budget that pays for wealthy people's tax cuts while cutting services to the poor, why, so much the better!

Is our plan working? See for yourself:

Mayor C. Ray Nagin may have led Saturday's mayoral election, but he now faces a popular and better-financed opponent on a political landscape utterly changed by Hurricane Katrina, one in which the long-running dominance of the city's black vote has been significantly reduced.

Black residents, whose neighborhoods were the most devastated by the storm, voted in much smaller numbers than whites did on Saturday, even more so than usual. White turnout is usually higher than black turnout, but the gap was about double what it is normally, analysts said Sunday.

As a result, most of the votes here were cast against Mr. Nagin, who is black, even though he came out on top in a crowded field, with 38 percent of the vote. If that trend holds, New Orleans will elect its first white mayor in nearly 30 years on May 20....

Best of all? Getting both candidates to pretend that race has nothing to do with it:

Incumbent C. Ray Nagin and rival Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu kicked off their mayoral runoff campaigns by urging voters and the news media to leave race out of the historic election here, calling in campaign stops for unity in the face of daunting rebuilding tasks after Hurricane Katrina.

But results in the first round of balloting suggest it may be difficult to do so.

Next up: as the creators of SouthPark predicted, the first wave in the war against Iran will be code-named "Operation Get Behind the Darkies."

1 comment:

Katherine said...

Mary Landrieu's an idiot. Did she actually believe the filibuster would delay aid from reaching her state? Ain't no aid reaching New Orleans.
All she did was speed up the timeline towards cutting federal support. Good job!

On another note, there's an interesting piece in Salon about Mike DeWine, R-Oh, and how he's bashing Rumsfeld because of the tough opposition of anti-war Democrat Sherrod Brown.