The Obama competence: Effective government still exists

Glad to see this getting some attention on couple of Liberal blogs.

Kevin Drum:

…..Shall we roll the tape? Under Bush Sr., FEMA sucked. Under Clinton, FEMA was rehabilitated and turned into a superstar agency. Under Bush Jr., FEMA sucked again. Under Obama, FEMA’s doing great and responding quickly.

I know, I know, we’re not supposed to politicize natural disasters. Not when that politicization makes Republicans look bad, anyway. So I’ll just let you draw your own conclusions from these four data points. I report, you decide.


Steve Benen:

In general, the ability of government agencies to respond to a natural disaster only draws attention when agencies fall short. The media tends to look for “the next Katrina” to demonstrate that feckless bureaucracies and government incompetence are the new norm.

But they don’t have to be, and with an effective administration, they’re not. The New York Times has a report today on the emergency response in the Southeast, where the death toll stands at 349 people, with most of the victims in Alabama. It is the deadliest natural disaster on American soil since Hurricane Katrina, but in this case, the governmental response is earning praise, not condemnations.

Top federal officials, including Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security, were in touch with [Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley] shortly after the tornadoes landed Wednesday, according to a timeline from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

FEMA officials contacted the White House about the need for a federal emergency declaration even before Alabama had submitted a formal request that evening, said Art Faulkner, the state’s emergency management director. It was quickly granted.

Mr. Obama spoke to Mr. Bentley, a Republican, on Wednesday night and to the governors of four other affected states on Thursday. He sent the FEMA administrator, W. Craig Fugate, to Alabama on Thursday. Five members of the cabinet are expected in the state on Sunday. […]

By late Thursday, Mr. Obama had signed the disaster declaration for Alabama, and later did the same for Georgia and Mississippi…. As of Friday afternoon, FEMA had placed liaison officers in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee, according to a spokesperson.

In Alabama, as in other affected states, the White House was winning early praise from state, local and Congressional leaders of both parties.

// snip

I don’t imagine we’ll hear much about the Obama administration’s response in the Southeast; the media tends to only find these stories interesting if the government is failing instead of succeeding.

But it’s worth keeping in mind anyway. If it’s important when a federal response falls short, it’s worth appreciating what competent governance is capable of.



45 thoughts on “The Obama competence: Effective government still exists

  1. I heard on Friday morning on ABC news on the radio that people had not heard from FEMA yet. I thought that seemed like the complaint was more than too early to be broadcasting. Maybe they were anticipating a problem and it didn’t happen?

  2. I notice that MSM didn’t even really try to turn this into another “Obama’s Katrina,” perhaps because they were preoccupied with the Royal Wedding; or perhaps because they have learnt their lesson the last few times they tried to make heroes of buffoons like Jindal and Carville at PBO’s expense which backfired mightly.

  3. I have an off topic question. I have recently been able to actually post on the OFA blog. I had a few weeks of problems. I do not see Celtic posts there anymore. Does anyone know where I could read those posts these days? I love BWD’s but would like to expand my viewership.

  4. What I find ridiculous is that we even have to write up about the wonders of competent government.

    That should be the norm and the standard, and when we do have that in the leadership of President Obama, people (MSM, GOP, Professional Left) sneer at it, and only nit-pick at any bad news or hint of bad news. Why they can’t appreciate true leadership and strong stewardship is beyond me.

    And the sad part is that, NO ONE in the media is able to take a step back and see all the catastrophes and somber events, this President has had to deal with. Jumping from crisis to crisis with calm, rational, competent expertise.

  5. So right Pink Bunny. That will be the job of OFA, President Obama and of course this wonderful blog family.

    We are lucky to have a President who has done so much, this will be fun.

  6. From Mike Allen (Politico)
    DAVID AXELROD, to David Gregory on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” on the release of the long-form birth certificate:

    “I’m happy that we could contribute to Mr. Trump’s self-image – that he feels good about himself … He needs that little ego boost … Donald Trump didn’t make the decision to put himself on a split screen. Donald Trump didn’t make the decision to cover this over and over and over again, once he raised the issue. … The day after he made a speech on … this debt problem … the president did an interview, answered a lot of questions about it, got one question on the birth certificate. And on the evening news, that was what led the news.

    And at that moment, the president said, ‘You know what? We’ve gotta put a stop to this. And he wanted to make the point that we have more important issues in this country, and we oughta move on. And the point was as much – frankly, David – to your industry as it was to anybody else.”

    Amen, brother.

  7. He is so far sighted! More than the average person. In today’s society of quick solutions instant gratification, and reality show culture, it’s no wonder why there are people who can’t see the great work the President is doing for our future.

  8. While I think it’s wonderful that he is focusing on teachers, I am a little sad that he’s not also touting the importance of liberal arts such as history, philosophy, art, music, etc. Not every student is a math/science whiz so I think just a mention of how important the other parts of an education are as well. I don’t mean this as a criticism, just a voice for other teachers like myself, who teach other subjects (I teach American history).

  9. It’s funny how when the celebrity news personalities ALWAYS have a “follow-up” question or statement when they are accused of fanning the flames of the silly birthers.

  10. It sure has worked with my oldest Grandkiddo who thinks PBO is “way cool” This Kiddo has been an “I hate math” person from first grade. He just recently moved his usual ‘C’ in math to an ‘A’ his last report card because “President Obama told us to work harder in school so I did”

  11. Amen, to David Axelrod. It needed saying. The MSN totally interpreted the “carnival barkers” remark as not being aimed at them, only at Chump. They are so clueless.

  12. What an excellent statement; that just made my day, completely. Thanks for sharing it, and Happy Sunday to the entire bwd family. Thank you all so much for being here, esp. bwd, week after week through some tough times in the political silly season. Appreciated.

  13. Go David Axelrod!

    That was a great response. Thanks for sharing this here edwina. I hardly watch MSM anymore so I miss some stuff but thanks to so many here for their contributions. I really appreciate it.

  14. he has a whole grant directed to the arts. Kevin spacey and i forgot the actress name that is the head of that. The Arts is what the republican were trying to defund.

  15. Watching CNN Money and Ali LEAD with how PO’s with “pessimism is on the rise……President Obama’s disapproval numbers are on the rise.” He said it with (almost) a sound of joy/excitement. Urrgghh!!!!!!!

  16. I don;t think they’ve learned any lesson at all. The only reason they didn’t yet again pull the “Obama’s Katrina” nonsense was because they were all over there in London living like Kings and Queens. They’d have to haul it down to tornado torn Alabama in order to get all dramatic and claim it was Obama’s Katrina. They liked sitting in front of Buckingham Palace sipping tea and eating scones. Not even trying to smear Obama was worth giving up that vacation.

  17. I have run out of clops of President Obamas budget speech so am including a daily clip from the Miami Dade commencement speech.

    Please share each clip with all you know who don’t have the patience to watch a 30 minute speech. Obama was just inspiring.

    I will try and add clops from the Facebook speech soon.

  18. I work for a state agency, so I am public worker. I’ve had conversations with my fellow public workers who repeat the RW Conservative talking points about how they want “smaller” government. I tell them I want competent, responsible government which the GOP has not exhibited for over ten years and each time they come into office they are the “big” spenders. Then they go on a rant about how government waste money, yet when I bring to their attention, you never hear about overspending from the GNOP when they are not in the majority.

  19. Go Axelrod. The american media is useless. Just now saw on BBC (I don’t know whether they have a tie up with ABC), a christian amanpour fluff piece on paul, the curse, ryan of all people. She was following him like a lapdog for all his townhalls and spun it as if his plan were popular. After that fluff piece, shd had a “panel’ of arianna puffington, stockman of reagan era and that bow tie guy, whatishisname. uugghh.

    The media is out to prop up the rethugs in 2012.

  20. Do your coworkers even see the irony of wanting of a ‘smaller gobinment’ ? Talk about self fulfilling prophecies of committing harakiri.

  21. See! This is so cool. Do you think for one minute the press would report something like that? I’m so grateful for spaces like we have here where we can remind each other about the really important stuff like children doing better in school.

  22. I heard that she’s married to Jamie Rubin, who is a PUMA Democrat.

  23. Of course , pessimism is on the rise, it is because of high gas and food prices. The MSM talks about everyday.

  24. Next time ask your co-workers if they like their government jobs because once Republicans get their hands on it, they WILL NOT have one.


  26. Oh, is that the HuffPo that sent people out last night to “steal food and drink” for their party after WHCD dinner?

    Thank you so much for that one Seth Meyers!

  27. That report was a lie. The President, FEMA were communicating with the State and local EMF right away. In fact the head of FEMA was already there, when ABC reported that story.

  28. HEADS UP, everyone. Dan Pfeiffer just tweeted:

    “POTUS to address the nation tonight at 10:30 PM Eastern Time”

    No idea what this is about.

  29. Osama Bin Laden is dead. Obama did in 2 years what Bush could not do in 8. And on the anniversary of Mission Accomplished no less.

  30. Because of Obama not only is there a more effective FEMA there is also a more effective, focused CIA.

  31. Thanks BWD, PBHO got this, too…

    Over several years, the GOPTeaParty has “gutted,” “defunded,” “demanned,” (Is there such a word? lol), and “burrowed” (w/Bushies) the federal agencies (like FEMA, HHS, DOJ, MMS, DoE, EPA, Edgov, et al).

    But, despite that, PBHO and his Cabinet has gotten the job done! (GOP-controlled Congress, 1994-2006, WH-controlled, 2001-2008)

    And, they’re still tryin’ to abolish them!

    YES.WE.CAN…DO.More, Together! (h/t Bobfr) 😉
    YES.WE.CAN, Again Make History…Obama/Biden 2012! 🙂

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