Hear that? The silence of the media? No criticism of President Barack Obama for the slow clean-up following hurricane Sandy?
People are suffering, huddled in dark homes--if they have a home left--without heat or light. People left homeless. Some scrounging through piles of donated clothing because everything they have except the clothes they're wearing gone.
Here are some videos of their plight:
Is this (below) New Orleans' Ninth Ward or New Jersey?
Photo gallery: 40,000 left homeless.
You get the idea. But unlike the Katrina aftermath, you hear no criticism of Obama or his FEMA. Has the Obama team performed so much better that the question doesn't even arise?
Rew news shops are running stories or commentary that question whether the federal response has been sufficient. They've been satisfied to run and rerun clips of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie praising Obama for his response.
Here's my take: Obama can do little more than what Bush could do because some natural disasters are just overwhelming and no amount of preparation can do what everyone thinks can be done. I've consistently said that through earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes. Because the American mindset is that there is someone out there (read: government) always there to provide immediate assistance. Who can forget Diane Sawyer in the aftermath of the hurricane that devastated Haiti, standing by a runway whining about why can't more planes be landing. (Because there was only one runway, you idiot.)
Any natural disaster presents a logistical nightmare and the result isn't like turning on your TV and immediately having a picture. Rescue workers and goods have to be transported, in a way that guides them to the most effected areas. Teams of rescuers have to be organized.
The height of this silliness is the criticism of Romney for suggesting that some of FEMA's functions can be taken over by the private sector. As if without FEMA the first responders wouldn't respond. Or fresh water and food wouldn't be delivered. (You can see this silliness come from one of my posters, Aquinas, here.)
Does everyone think that FEMA has warehouses full of bulldozers handy to clear away a path through the rubble? See all those people and equipment coming to the rescue? Those aren't FEMA workers; they from towns and states rescue and emergency squads. And all that salvage equipment; they're not FEMA's; most are from the private sector that are brought in under contract. All those line crews up on the poles restoring power? Private sector.
My point is that whether it's Katrina or Sandy, our expectations often outrun reality. Pointing fingers of blame so soon after a disaster is a fruitless, even counterproductive effort.
But what strikes me this time is I don't hear Diane Sawyer and other media stars asking the usual, threadbare questions that they did about Bush after Katrina? Who's to blame? Why isn't someone doing something? Maybe their silence is their sudden discovery--on Obama's watch just before an election--of the complicated logistics involved.
It certainly couldn't have anything to do with politics, could it?