Charles Krauthammer

     2. The Louisiana governor. It's her job to call up the National Guard and get it to where it has to go. Where the Guard was in the first few days is a mystery. Indeed, she issued an authorization for the National Guard to commandeer school buses to evacuate people on Wednesday afternoon -- more than two days after the hurricane hit and after much of the fleet had already drowned in its parking lots.

     3. The head of FEMA. Late, slow and in way over his head. On Thursday he says on national television that he didn't even know there were people in the Convention Center, when anybody watching television could see them there destitute and desperate. Maybe in his vast bureaucracy he can assign three 20-year-olds to watch cable news and give him updates every hour on what in hell is going on.

     4. The president. Late, slow and simply out of tune with the urgency and magnitude of the disaster. The second he heard that the levees had been breached in New Orleans, he should have canceled his schedule and addressed the country on national television to mobilize it both emotionally and physically to assist in the disaster. His flyover on the way to Washington was the worst possible symbolism. And his Friday visit was so tone-deaf and politically disastrous that he had to fly back three days later.

     5. Congress. Now as always playing holier-than-thou. Perhaps it might ask itself who created the Department of Homeland Security in the first place. The congressional response to all crises is the same -- rearrange the bureaucratic boxes, but be sure to add one extra layer. The last four years of DHS have been spent principally on bureaucratic reorganization (and real estate) instead of, say, a workable plan for as predictable a disaster as a Gulf Coast hurricane.

     6. The American people. They have made it impossible for any politician to make any responsible energy policy over the last 30 years -- but that is a column for another day. Now is not the time for constructive suggestions. Now is the time for blame, recriminations and sheer astonishment. Mayor Nagin has announced that, as bodies are still being found and as a public health catastrophe descends upon the city, he is sending 60 percent of his cops on city funds for a little R&R, mostly to Vegas hotels. Asked if it was appropriate to party in these circumstances, he responded: ``New Orleans is a party town. Get over it.''


Charles Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer is a 1987 Pulitzer Prize winner, 1984 National Magazine Award winner, and a columnist for The Washington Post since 1985.

Be the first to read Krauthammer's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.