In case you missed it, Louisiana is underwater and currently experiencing the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Before Sandy, the worst natural disaster was Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Thirteen people in Louisiana are dead, thousands are displaced and nearly 90,000 people have registered for federal disaster aid. From the Red Cross:
The devastating flooding in Louisiana has forced thousands of people from their homes with just the few things they could take with them. The American Red Cross is there, providing food, shelter and relief supplies to those affected by the largest natural disaster to hit the United States since Superstorm Sandy. Early estimates predict the relief effort could cost at least $30 million, a number which could grow as more is learned about the scope and magnitude of the devastation.
Despite these facts, mainstream media oxygen for days has been soaked up by lying swimmers, the Olympics and the ongoing presidential race.
Who else is paying little attention to the flooding in Louisiana? President Obama. Where is he? On a golf course in Martha's Vineyard as the state drowns in destruction, damage and devastation.
In 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit, President George W. Bush was accused of "not caring about black people" because he failed to visit New Orleans. He avoided a visit in an effort to prevent distraction from relief efforts. When he did a flyover of the area after leaving vacation early, he was roundly criticized for being out of touch. President Obama? He gets a free pass.
Over to The Advocate:
Sometimes, presidential visits can get in the way of emergency response, doing more harm than good. But we don’t see that as a factor now that flood waters are subsiding, even if at an agonizing pace. It’s past time for the president to pay a personal visit, showing his solidarity with suffering Americans.
Like his predecessors, Obama has no doubt discovered that crises keep their own calendar, even when commanders-in-chief are trying to take some time off the clock. It’s an inconvenience of the presidency, but it’s what chief executives sign up for when they take the oath of office.
And if the president can interrupt his vacation for a swanky fundraiser for fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton, as he did on Monday, then surely he can make time to show up for a catastrophe that’s displaced thousands.
The optics of Obama golfing while Louisiana residents languished in flood waters was striking. It evoked the precedent of the passive federal response to the state’s agony in 2005, a chapter of history no one should ever repeat.