EXCUSES….Last week, even conservatives couldn’t conceal their outrage over the feeble response to Hurricane Katrina from the federal government. Within a few days, though, cooler heads began to realize that Republicans could really be hurt by this. So now they’re test driving a whole set of alternate storylines, all of which share one common virtue: they don’t blame George W. Bush for the gradual decimation of FEMA and the sclerotic decision making at the federal level during the first few critical days after Katrina hit. Here’s a sampling so far:

  1. It was the fault of state and local authorities. They never asked for help.

  2. The poor people of New Orleans were too stupid to evacuate when they should have.

  3. Nobody knew that Katrina was going to be so bad. Nobody could have guessed that New Orleans would be flooded in the aftermath.

  4. Mississippi is doing fine. Just goes to show what a strong Republican governor can do for you.

#5 is left blank for you to fill in in comments. What other excuses are being run up the flagpole? And which ones are gaining/losing popularity?