As if poor Haiti didn’t have enough trouble, President Obama plans to send George W Bush, the man who took the disaster of Katrina and made it into a top-notch tragedy of epic proportions just to destroy a bastion of GOP political opponents, to Haiti to help straighten things out.
President Obama is asking his two immediate predecessors – George W. Bush and Bill Clinton – to come together to lead the nation’s humanitarian and relief efforts to Haiti in the wake of the earthquake that has ravaged the Caribbean island.
The partnership is expected to be announced by the White House in the coming days, after officials have a better handle on the full scope of the devastation. Mr. Obama called Mr. Bush on Wednesday, aides to both men said, and Mr. Bush agreed to do whatever he could to help.
OK, so Clinton will be there, too. The Dynamic Duo? I don’t think so. Clinton knows govt and could help lobby for aid and clear away red tape. All Bush knos how to do in a disaster is stand in front of it and promise money he has no intention of delivering. So “whatever he can do to help” means photo-ops and empty promises?
This is a PR nightmare. Whatever possessed him? Is he trying to be nice? But wouldn’t it be nicer for the Haitians is he kept Bush out of it? Doesn’t Obama like Haiti? He must hate Haiti if he’s willing to sacrifice it to help rehabilitate the image of a criminal and criminally incompetent president who has dodged every species of accountability for the near-destruction of the country he was supposed to lead and the Constitution he was supposed to protect.
A formal rollout of the Clinton/Bush 43-led relief effort will take place as early as tomorrow afternoon, but possibly not until the weekend, as the administration doesn’t want to take any attention away in the next 24 hours from search and rescue efforts. For Bush 43, this is his first real public effort since he left office; it’s an opportunity to begin establishing his post-presidential legacy, especially on an issue like disaster relief, which remains a scar on his presidency. Meanwhile, Clinton has written a Washington Post op-ed and Time magazine essay on Haiti.
This is worse than a PR nightmare. It’s a slap in the face to Haiti and to us. Let’s face it. Clinton, who dealt with a series of crises in Haiti during his presidency and will be a great help, is going to have to spend half his time explaining to Georgie where Haiti is and the other half fending off Bush’s attempts to privatize the relief effort and hand it over to his rich friends so they can make a profit on it.
This is insulting to all of us, and one has to question why he’s doing it. “bipartisanship” doesn’t go this far.
UPDATE: (01.16.10) Though I would still be in favor of keeping Bush as far away from the Haiti relief effort as I would be of keeping a child molester away from a grade school, I have to admit that President Obama appears to have assigned Georgie-Porgie the only conceivable job he actually knows how to do.
Gotta admit, he’s a master at that. Course, assigning him to fundraising is sort of like assigning the class dolt to clean the erasers after class; Clinton will no doubt have to do all the heavy lifting. I’ve decided I prefer to think of this as a well-covered insult, or at least a left-handed one.
Nevertheless, the idea that this might be used to rehabilitate and eventually dull the awfulness of Bush’s “legacy” sticks in my craw. I wish Obama hadn’t done it. But then, I wish Obama would allow investigations and accountability for the Bush/Cheney Admin and that’s certainly not going to happen, especially not now that we know Obama is on the same page.