What Fresh Hell Is This?

March 5, 2007

Newt Gingrich on Katrina Victims

Via the Huffington Post, I found this blog entry.

Newt's one of the guys over there in God's Own Party that wants to be President of the United States and this weekend he had something deeply disturbing to say about all those pesky Katrina victims. According to this blog over at Huffingtonpost, good ole Newt started his speech with stuff about conservatives elevating the debate (tell it to Ann, Newt) and then ended it with:
How can you have the mess we have in New Orleans, and not have had deep investigations of the federal government, the state government, the city government, and the failure of citizenship in the Ninth Ward, where 22,000 people were so uneducated and so unprepared, they literally couldn't get out of the way of a hurricane. (emphasis original)
Here's an audio clip if you don't believe he said it.

Aren't conservatives supposed to be compassionate these days? Or was that just another smoke screen from dubya? I'm just asking. Somehow blaming victims for their victimhood (in this case, in the face of a hugely devastating hurricane) just seems, well, mean - though par for the course for that subgenre of conservative thinking.

Harry Shearer fact-checks Newt:

In case Newt hasn't been reading up (try Path of Destruction or The Storm), the folks in the Ninth Ward weren't caught by a hurricane. They were surprised at 5:30 Monday morning (according to Van Heerden's timeline) by an eighteen-foot-high wall of water as their federally built flood protection structure catastrophically failed.

Who's the uneducated one?

I wonder.


Schmuck Shitrock said...

John Kerry is a traitor, John Edwards is a faggot, black people are fools.

This had been a good week for conservative debate!

Richmond K. Turner said...

I'm no big fan of Newt. But I think the key thing in his statement is the word "uneducated". He's not saying that the people of the 9th ward -- or black people in general -- are "fools", to use Mr. Shitrock's paraphrasing. He's saying that they were not educated about the dangers they were facing.

When you live below sea level and there is a hurricane approaching, you should know well enough to get the hell out of there and onto higher ground. If you haven't been taught that lesson, you are by definition uneducated about these basic facts of nature.

Since education is a typically liberal issue, especially in heavily-democratic NOLA, he's offering yet another back-handed slap to public education, teachers, and their unions.

Mark Rauterkus said...

I would never defend Newt. He said some things a month or two ago that turned me off for good. Not that I was ever a fan, but he's dead to me.

But.... let's talk about the quote.

As a student of teaching, when the students don't learn -- the blame goes onto the backs of the teachers -- not the students.

I want self-reliance.

The people were uneducated and unprepared -- in this instance. They couldn't get out of the way of the storm and flooding. They couldn't find a bus. They couldn't understand what was happening. They couldn't use their cell phones. They couldn't connect with their friends and families.

Thanks for the pointer. I'll go listen to the audio next.

Anonymous said...

Good post!
Here some link about hurricane home protection