A pathetic display

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 28, 2005

After what seems like more than a decade of

fierce partisan bickering in Washington, it's wonderful to see people form both sides of the political spectrum coming together n in their distaste for former FEMA Director Michael Brown.

What a pathetic display the former horse show organizer put on Tuesday before a congressional panel

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into what went wrong with government response to Hurricane Kartrina. Brown, who resigned after intense media and political criticism of his agency's response to the disaster, basically blamed everyone but himself for the failure to appropriately respond to events on the ground.

Among those, according to Brown, at fault for the embarrassing failure in New Orleans were Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, Brown's superiors at the Department of Homeland Security and, of course, the media.

Curious that he did not blame Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden, but he probably ran out of time.

Democrats and Republicans alike justifiably pummeled Brown during the hearing, the Associated Press reported.

"I'm happy you left," said Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., of Brown's resignation. "That kind of look in the lights like a deer tells me you weren't capable of doing that job."

&uot;I don’t know how you can sleep at night,"said

Republican Rep. Kay Granger of Texas told Brown:

"You lost the battle.&uot;

Brown is a poster child for what can happen when someone's stance on abortion, who they roomed with in college, or how much money they may have contributed to a political campaign is their only qualification for an important government post. Thousands of are countrymen are now paying the price for Brown's ineptitude.

This is

not to say that everything that happened with Katrina is Brown's fault. It's not. Not by a long shot. Louisiana and New Orleans officials certainly share at least equal, if not more, of the blame for their failure to evacuate and communicate. None of that, however, excuses FEMA's failure to respond promptly and effectively. And Tuesday, it was Brown on the stand. The others will have their turn and it's hoped they can behave with a little more dignity.