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September 9, 2005
Democrats Use Katrina Criticism For Political Fundraising

Hurricane Katrina has apparently given Democrats, desperate for an electoral victory after three successive cycles of losses at the national level, a new definition of flood aid. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee used an advertisement demanding the firing of the head of FEMA as an opportunity for people to donate to the DSCC in order to provide aid ... to Democratic politicians:

A new Democratic effort to whip up indignation about the Bush administration's handling of Hurricane Katrina also tried to raise money for Democratic candidates.

Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat and the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, issued an appeal Thursday urging people to sign an online petition to fire the Federal Emergency Management Agency's director over his handling of the Katrina response.

After an inquiry from the Associated Press, the DSCC quickly pulled down the page and said they would give the Red Cross any money raised by the anti-FEMA petition.

I don't know why they bothered to take down the link. That provided the most honest presentation of their motivations over the past week to link hurricane-related deaths to George Bush. Their charges have run from the patently silly -- that Bush's "vacation" in neighboring Texas made him, in Nancy Pelosi's word, "oblivious" to the hurricane -- to literally ghoulish, as Randall Robinson started spreading an urban legend about African-Americans having to eat human corpses to stay alive, thanks to a lack of response to New Orleans.

The "vacation" charge has to carry the most irony anyway, coming from members of Congress, who take the entire month off every year and don't come back to work until after Labor Day. Regardless of where the President stays, he remains on the job, and if Congress isn't going to stay in session to send him legislation, modern technology allows him to do his job from almost anywhere. His communications with Governor Blanco show that he not only wasn't "oblivious" but in fact had personally engaged in the effort to get New Orleans evacuated and FEMA involved early in the process. He issued an order declaring the region a disaster area before the hurricane hit. Some oblivion Crawford turns out to be, especially given the Sheehan circus staged there last month! In fact, that myth is based on the perception that people outside of the urban centers remain ignorant and benighted, a laughable assertion in this era of instant communications.

Someone's oblivious, but it's not George Bush. It's the Democrats looking to score a few bucks off Hurricane Katrina and rake in some of the funds that Americans would rather send to its victims.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 9, 2005 5:55 AM

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