One of America's greatest strengths in the past has been our ability, in the time of great national crisis, to set aside our differences and pull together as one nation. I think the last time we saw it demonstrated was after Pearl Harbor, when nearly everyone united behind President Roosevelt and we (essentially) took on the world -- and won.
In the case of Hurricane Katrina, we are seeing just the opposite. Instead of trying to help those who have been devastated by arguably the greatest disaster in our nation's history, far too many have rushed to make political hay out of the situation. It's a temptation I've caught myself succumbing to on occasion.
But some rare few have managed to look beyond and hear the cries of the people over the howling mobs.
I freely admit I never thought much of Donna Brazile. She's a political hack, whose main claim to fame has been her key role in more failed Presidential campaigns than anyone I know (Carter '80, Mondale '84, Dukakis '88, Gore 2000, Kerry 2004). That might not be fair, because she also worked on the only successful ones of the last 30 years (Carter '76, Clinton '92 and '96) as well. I always thought of her (when I bothered to think of her at all) as sort of a Mirror Universe Karl Rove: black instead of white, female instead of male, inept instead of supremely competent.
But I received an e-mail this morning from a fellow named Jim Hall. He pointed me to this op-ed piece in the Washington Post by Ms. Brazile. It turns out she's from New Orleans, and she is publicly offering to help out President Bush in any way she can in rebuilding her city. Further, she's openly praising and thanking him for his speech and his commitment to the city and people of New Orleans. She freely admits her past animosity and opposition to him, but she's putting that behind her for the good of her neighbors. It's one of the classiest things I've seen from a politician from any party in a very, very long time.
Naturally, this has driven some on the Left into frothing, raving fits of rage. "Rob in Baltimore" from Americablog.com immediately played the "victim card" on Ms. Brazile, saying she must be in some kind of shock and suffering from a "Stockholm Syndrome" effect to even THINK of saying anything DECENT and RESPECTFUL and APPRECIATIVE about Bush. And of the 108 comments posted by the time I write this, there's only one single voice of sanity in there. Meanwhile, others toss around such wonderfully enlightened terms as "N*****" and "C***" to describe her.
In the early days of the disaster in New Orleans, there were reports that things had gotten so bad, there were incidents of cannibalism. Those were later discovered to be unfounded, but it appears there was a bit of prescience in that. In the wake, at least some on the left are starting to turn on their own.