richard baker, nice guy.
our gop conservatives are real humanitarians.
as their response to hurricane katrina shows, they never met a victim they wouldn't kick.
take rick santorum. asked about survivors still in new orleans, santorum said,
"...you have people who don't heed warnings and then put people at risk as a result of not heeding those warnings. There may be a need to look at tougher penalties on those who decide to ride it out and understand that there are consequences to not leaving."so, those who survived the storm should be punished. apparently those who died have been punished enough.
and then there's louisiana rep. richard baker (R), quoted in the wall street journal as telling lobbyists: "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did."
and house speaker dennis hastert said straight up that parts of new orleans should be bulldozed.
"It makes no sense to spend billions of dollars to rebuild a city that's seven feet under sea level," Hastert said of federal assistance for hurricane-devastated New Orleans.after the fact, of course, all three issued "clarifications" to their previous statements. baker disdainfully said,
"It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed," the Illinois Republican concluded.
"What I remember expressing, in a private conversation with a housing advocate and member of my staff, was that 'We have been trying for decades to clean up New Orleans public housing to provide decent housing for residents, and now it looks like God is finally making us do it.' Obviously I have never expressed anything but the deepest concern about the suffering that this terrible catastrophe has caused for so many in our state."oh, obviously.
santorum's backtrack amounted to, "i didn't mean the people who were unable to leave." hastert: "did i say bulldoze? i meant plant roses."
it's not enough that these three and their legion of like-minded compassionate conservatives issue statements from afar. to demonstrate their sincerity and good faith, it is entirely appropriate that they travel to new orleans, hold a town hall at the morial convention center, and explain to the displaced residents of the city exactly what they meant.