This was the opening segment from Rachel Maddow's show last night, and it was a doozy.
Reaching back ten years ago, Maddow found archival clips of Tim Russert hammering then-FEMA director Michael "Brownie" Brown for doing absolutely nothing to help those suffering people after the levees broke, and then she went farther.
Maddow's emotional response was the same one I had after reading Brown's op-ed on Politico yesterday. Yes, that op-ed came directly from Brownie himself, who had the utter nerve to say this:
The American public needs to learn not to rely on the government to save them when a crisis hits. The larger the disaster, the less likely the government will be capable of helping any given individual. We simply do not have the manpower to help everyone. Firefighters and rescue workers would all agree the true first responders are individual citizens who take care of themselves.
To which Maddow rightly responds with this: Those who do not believe in government have no business being in it.
The entire Brown op-ed is nothing more than a zillion words of whining and excuse-making. He ran that agency, but pretends everything just "happened to him." As if he had no responsibility to anticipate and fix potential problems before they happened.
Conservatives do not believe in government, so they break it. And then they say, "Hey, it didn't work, so that just proves government cannot work." This is the thrust of the entire Michael Brown claim that we shouldn't blame him for the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, despite the fact that he didn't prepare, he had no clue how to respond, and he didn't believe government really should have responded.
Brown reserves the majority of his blame for Mayor Ray Nagin and Governor Kathleen Blanco, both Democrats. Why does this not surprise me?
At any rate, take the time to watch Maddow shred him bit-by-bit, piece-by-piece.