When you look at the Left's rush to judgment against the Bush administration for not reacting precisely according to its expectations (demands) concerning the tsunami disaster, you just have to wonder what kind of psychological forces motivate this group.
It's instructive that the very people who constantly call for a spirit of collegiality and bipartisanship have somehow managed to politicize the most apolitical of all events.
Before the aftershocks from the ocean-based South Asian earthquake could be felt, liberals in the American media, the United Nations and elsewhere were condemning President Bush and the United States. Why? Because he didn't speak soon enough, volubly enough and with appropriate histrionics to express his compassion on behalf of the United States toward the victims of the tragedy.
United Nations official Jan Egeland, referring to Western nations, fumed, "It is beyond me why we are so stingy."
The Minneapolis Star Tribune lectured, "As the Bush administration is wont to say, actions speak louder than words, and America's actions in recent days have painted the United States as a rich, self-absorbed and uncaring nation that had to be shamed into anything approaching appropriate concern about this catastrophe."
Not to be outdone, The New York Times followed with an editorial titled "Are We Stingy? Yes." The Times wasn't about to allow the president's dissent from Jan Egeland's indictment to stand. (President Bush had called Egeland's statement "misguided and ill informed.")
The Times wrote, "We beg to differ. Mr. Egeland was right on target. We hope Secretary of State Colin Powell was privately embarrassed when, two days into a catastrophic disaster that hit 12 of the world's poorer countries and will cost billions of dollars to meliorate, he held a press conference to say that America, the world's richest nation, would contribute $15 million. That's less than half of what Republicans plan to spend on the Bush inaugural festivities."
ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked Powell how President Bush could have missed this opportunity to "show compassion" by waiting several days to personally make a public announcement about the tragedy.
Stephanopoulos also seemed appalled that Powell was talking in terms of "millions" of potential aid instead of billions. Said Stephanopoulos, "I'm surprised you stopped at millions. I mean, when Hurricane Mitch hit in 1998, the U.S. gave almost a billion dollars. Isn't this going to be billions?"