Saturday, August 10, 2013

Daddy hates me, mommy!

Today's edition brings us news that, as expected from the beginning, FEMA action in Yarnell will not be forthcoming, along with some unbelievably high bloviation from the unnamed editor, Governer Brewer, Rep. Tobin and even Sen Pierce, saying in plain terms that it's because the federal government dislikes Arizona. What bunk.

This flows of course from the local rhetoric of the past few years around Arizona's pointless and idiotic suits challenging federal authority, and the inference that the decisions around them have been emotional rather than legal, presumably because the decision-making has been emotional at Arizona's end.

Oddly enough, even the professional Obama-haters of the national right-wing media have passed on the FEMA story, at least as of this writing.

It's not hard to see why. FEMA spokesman Dan Watson: "FEMA, by law, cannot duplicate benefits provided by insurance companies or other federal agencies. In this case ... it was determined that the damage to uninsured private residents from this event was not beyond the response and recovery capabilities of the state/local governments, and voluntary agencies." the agency refers Arizona to additional federal resources are available, such as SBA and HUD loans. These are checkable facts, and there has been no refutation of them.

I'm as sympathetic as anyone to the plight of a fixed-income homeowner who's lost everything. Perhaps some really had to make the choice between food and homeowner's insurance. But they also made the choice to live in fire country without insurance, and as I've written before, this result was always a strong possibility.

It is clearly true that the county and the state have the resources to cope with what's happened, and we will. So the idea that FEMA is withholding needed aid is just wrong.

Notice what's missing from the story, both in the Courier and the Republic: no quote from a congressional representative, no senator, no Yarnell homeowner, no county official. It seems to me that any news organization worth its salt would have made those calls to confirm the claim of need. This is how the business slants coverage when editors desire it.

The editor, Governor and our state representatives are instead using the Yarnell homeowners as a political stick for beating up on the President, an opportunistic, cynical and ultimately futile effort that will no doubt backfire among their own base voters.

Arizonans have their faults, but neediness isn't one of them. I'm sure the irony of the Governor whining for federal aid after spending her entire tenure railing against federal interference is not lost on most Republicans. I don't expect it will turn them into Democrats, but it could easily result in credible primary challenges from the intelligent wing of the party. And yeah, Yarnell will heal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Steven, Ditto! Sometime Arizona politics makes Yemen look like a bastion of democracy...