When tragedy strikes, heroes and leaders emerge, but wet ground invariably brings some worms to the surface.

Democrats, led by Howard Dean, met in New Orleans this week to figure out how to use a natural disaster for political gain. Then they stopped discussing the Dukakis and Kerry presidential campaigns, conceding there was no political gain to be found there, and turned their attention toward Hurricane Katrina. Democrats plan to make the hurricane a major campaign theme.

DNC Chair Howard Dean even helped clean up while in New Orleans. I’ll make Dean a deal. If he can teach my kids how to get into this much dirt and grime and yet keep their shirts so incredibly white, I’ll vote for anybody he wants.

The attempt to capitalize, either financially or politically, from misery is a time-honored tradition among power seekers, money grubbers, demagogues and the just plain uninformed parroters of lies.

The media is reporting the Dems meeting in New Orleans as if it’s the first time the DNC has considered using Katrina as an election theme for ’06 and ’08. Think again.

One of the leadoff hitters in this area, as it concerned Katrina, was Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Whenever disaster strikes, you can be assured that there will be a Kennedy there to say something insane, not to mention completely inappropriate and inaccurate.

As bodies floated in the water and people were still trapped on roofs and in attics, Kennedy Jr. placed part of the blame for Hurricane Katrina on Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour for the part he played in “derailing the Kyoto Protocol.” This is pathetic, even by Kennedy standards.

Besides, does a Kennedy really want to start pointing a finger of blame when drownings are involved? Do your Uncle a favor and change the subject, Bobby.

Exploiting tragedy is nothing new. The only thing that’s changed is the focus of the blame. For example, in 1900, a big hurricane struck Galveston, Texas, killing at least 6,000 people. What caused that hurricane? The prudent Democrat of the day would have perhaps pointed the finger at then Texas Gov. Joseph Sayers for his unwillingness to create a “Holstein Treaty” to globally regulate cow flatulence.

In A.D. 79, Mt. Vesuvius erupted, burying Pompeii and Herculaneum. At the time, there were people who blamed the natural disaster on Roman Emperor Titus for drawing divine punishment for the destruction of the Great Temple in Jerusalem nine years prior. There was also widespread looting.

It just goes to show, exploiting tragedy for fun and profit is the world’s third-oldest profession, right behind prostitution and politics – practitioners of the latter, by the way, often get busted for mingling with the other two.

To the list of vermin that have been set loose as a result of Katrina blowing open their weasel cages, we subsequently added former Clinton suckup Sidney Blumenthal, who wrote a Salon column titled, “No one can say they didn’t see it coming” – I believe this was, coincidentally, the same title Blumenthal used in a column about his former boss’s intern problems. Blumenthal’s bottom line is predictable: Bush’s fault.

So Democrats trying to figure out how to politically benefit from Katrina is nothing new, but first they need to figure out how to make pictures of Nagin’s unused and now waterlogged buses disappear.

I’ve never figured out why any politician who is for federalizing everything, up to and including your underwear, criticizes the government response as slow and dumb. Yes, they say it’s Bush’s fault, and if their guy was in the Oval Office, this wouldn’t have happened, but still…

Let the Dems visit to New Orleans and discussions on how to prostitute Katrina be a reminder. To paraphrase something I’ve often written, “a pro big government politician complaining about a slow and stupid bureaucracy is like the Menendez brothers whining about being orphans”.


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