The past few days have been awash not just in detritus from Hurricane Sandy's smashing the East Coast but in politically motivated attacks on decentralized government and fact-free championing of that great American institution, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
You've no doubt heard by now that once upon a time, Republican presidential contender called not just for the utter destruction of FEMA (best known for absolutely botching its early interventions into Hurricane Katrina and then compounding its incompetence by almost completely mishandling longer-term alleviation of pain and suffering along the Gulf Coast), but the slaughter of all its goats, chickens, and sheep.
As the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson has written,
Mitt Romney suggested that responsibility for disaster relief should be taken from the big, bad federal government and given to the states, or perhaps even privatized. Hurricane Sandy would like to know if he’d care to reconsider....
“Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction, [said Romney]. And if you can go further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.”