Let's all be clear about one thing.
As we suggested last night, and as President Bush has now put us on notice, the Gulf Coast reconstruction effort is going to be run as a patronage and political operation.
That's not spin or hyperbole. They're saying it themselves.
The president has put Karl Rove in charge of the reconstruction, with a budget of a couple hundred billion dollars.
They've announced this in various ways over the last few days. But here's another, from today's Times
Republicans said Karl Rove, the White House deputy chief of staff and Mr. Bush's chief political adviser, was in charge of the reconstruction effort, which reaches across many agencies of government and includes the direct involvement of Alphonso R. Jackson, secretary of housing and urban development.
Karl Rove runs political <$Ad$> operations and manages coalitions through patronage. That's what he does. And that's what this is about.
Everybody realizes that. Don't expect much if any discussion of this point in the major papers or on the networks.
It's shameless. But that's beside the point.
This is a time when the country needs an opposition party. Every Democrat should be hitting on this. Take the politics out of the reconstruction effort. He put his chief spin-doctor in charge of the biggest reconstruction and refugee crisis the country's probably ever faced. That tells you all you need to know about his values. Nothing that happened in the last couple weeks meant anything to him. And nothing has changed. Same as Iraq. Same stuff.