damage control

DAMAGE CONTROL….From Monday’s New York Times:

Under the command of President Bush’s two senior political advisers, the White House rolled out a plan this weekend to contain the political damage from the administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina.

It orchestrated visits by cabinet members to the region, leading up to an extraordinary return visit by Mr. Bush planned for Monday, directed administration officials not to respond to attacks from Democrats on the relief efforts, and sought to move the blame for the slow response to Louisiana state officials, according to Republicans familiar with the White House plan.

The effort is being directed by Mr. Bush’s chief political adviser, Karl Rove, and his communications director, Dan Bartlett.

Now. I don’t mean to be picky. But maybe a more effective way to “contain the political damage” would be for the president to try that whole responsibility thing he’s always talking about, and say something like: “We screwed up. I am very, very sorry.” Also, maybe: “And instead of wasting time and resources by having my staff work at finding ways to blame anyone else for all of this, I’m going to put all hands on deck to deal with this awful tragedy that requires our full and complete attention.”

Just a suggestion.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Amy Sullivan

Amy Sullivan is a Chicago-based journalist who has written about religion, politics, and culture as a senior editor for Time, National Journal, and Yahoo. She was an editor at the Washington Monthly from 2004 to 2006.