The Biden administration quickly responded to the emergency in Texas, approving an emergency declaration, authorizing FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts with the states, and, in great contrast to the Trump administration, didn't delay that aid as some sort of political retribution, like Trump did with Puerto Rico and California.
Now that the federal aid has been approved, Joan McCarter reported yesterday that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is failing miserably when it comes to taking care of the cities in his state:
The ongoing problem for Texans is that competence and compassion is lacking on the ground in its Republican leadership.
Take this example: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sent 60 generators and 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel that have apparently been sitting at a staging area in Forth Worth for more than 24 hours. Biden's administration got the critical assistance there. Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who made the time to go on Fox News and lie about how windmills were the reason his state's electrical grid failed, apparently has not gotten around to getting those generators and that fuel deployed. This is while 27.7 million people are under boil water notices across 40 counties, with the power out at water treatment plants.
As McCarter also discussed in her post, Abbott has failed to reach out to the mayors of some of Texas' largest cities, but they have heard directly from the White House. It gets even worse with the state's response:
Meanwhile, it's not just generators and diesel that Biden has sent to the state, which may or may not have been deployed. Homeland security adviser and deputy national security adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall told reporters Thursday that they've sent "729,000 liters of water, more than 10,000 wool blankets, 50,000 cotton blankets and 225,000 meals." FEMA is prepared to provide fuel to power facilities, Sherwood-Randall said. The White House apparently is going to have to provide the people and the vehicles to transport that fuel.
So, how are they going to spin this over on GOP-TV? The way they do everything when it comes to Republicans' failures -- deflect, distract, whataboutism, and find another enemy to attack.
The segment above from Fox's America Reports this Friday is a perfect example of all of the above, where regular Guy Benson tried to blame the state's lack of response on the Biden administration, and lamely attempted to turn their response to the disaster in Texas into Biden's "Katrina." Yeah, good luck with that.
Host Sandra Smith started things out asking Benson about Cancun Ted, and the criticism he's received for running off to Mexico and then tossing his kids under the bus in the middle of the crisis. She then immediately proceeded to attack the Biden administration, citing growing "concerns," which is right-wing speak for lies being pushed on her own network and on social media from the usual suspects.
“Tonight I called Governor Greg Abbott to discuss ongoing situations in Texas.” He put the picture of himself there, “to identify ways we can support the state's recovery from the storm. I made clear to the Governor that I'll work relentlessly to get the state what they need.” Is this an offer too little, too late, Guy?
Benson was more than happy to pile on, and then make the ridiculous false equivalency between the Bush administration's heartless slow response to Hurricane Katrina, and Biden supposedly not making any public pronouncements on the disaster, which is simply not true.
And I can tell you this, Sandra, if the partisan roles were a little bit different I think the media coverage would be a little bit different, because I remember, I'm so old I can remember Hurricane Katrina where the Democratic Mayor of New Orleans was not really at fault in the media's eyes, the Democratic Governor of that state wasn't really at fault in the media's eyes. It was really the Bush administration and President Bush specifically who was at fault.
And here we are days into this crisis in Texas, of course the media like catnip are delighted to talk about Ted Cruz and the huge mistake he made. They're eager to talk about Greg Abbott, the Governor and the Republican officials in this red state, what went wrong, the blame game that's under way, and there seems to be a lot less scrutiny about why the federal government, starting with the president himself seems to have been relatively m.i.a. days into this thing.
Have we heard Joe Biden, the president talk about this issue at all aside from some tweets? I haven't heard that, unless I'm missing something. I feel like that's interesting.
Smith did admit that the Biden administration quickly approved the emergency declaration, but that didn't stop her from attempting to help Benson push the responsibility for the failures to the response off on the federal government.
Smith's other guest, Richard Fowler, pushed back by getting into specifics on just exactly what the Biden administration has done in response to the emergency so far.
What we saw from the Biden administration is 60 generators sent, hundreds of thousands of blankets, hundreds of thousands of bottles of water from FEMA, and they're beginning to move as fast is the state will allow them to. And also understand (crosstalk) this is during a snowstorm, roads are blocked.
This got him an interruption from Smith, who immediately shifted the conversation to the media picking on poor old Ted Cruz, and a whole lot of whataboutism on everything from their fake Benghazi "scandal," to Cuomo and the nursing homes in New York that the network hammers on every other segment. Benson called the Cruz debacle a "shiny object" for the media, before hammering Pelosi for getting her hair done during the pandemic — one of Fox's favorite "shiny objects."
If there's one thing you can count on from Fox, it's that they're completely consistent when it comes to defending the indefensible. If anyone thought for one minute there might finally be some reckoning for Texas Republicans and their handling of this disaster over on Fox, think again. There's no amount of death, suffering and misery that they won't find a way to spin away and say... but, but, but... the media... the Democrats!