Incompetent pols come from blind ideologies

It is not necessary to look for a win in the blame game to be shocked and awed by governmental failure pre- and post-Katrina.

Pols from both parties told us that, post 9/11, protecting Americans from terrorist attacks was a new, central focus for government. Preparation and response to terrorists’ blowing three simultaneous holes in New Orleans’ levees are not massively different from those required by direct hit by a Class 4 hurricane. Responses by Wal-Mart and the Red Cross show that Americans are thoroughly capable. 

Katrina is proof that local, state and federal responses were not integrated, that lines of authority were not quickly determined and that communications failed. Our chemical plants, nuclear-generating stations, shipping container imports and open borders all remain glaringly obvious invitations to national disaster.

The blame game is distracting us from our new mission: demanding and voting for more competent candidates at all levels of government and in both major parties. Neither Democrats nor Republicans have yet taken American security seriously enough. These times demand that we must no longer be satisfied with a pol just because his or her ideology matches ours.

Pro-lifers and pro-choicers alike had better come to terms with the bankruptcy of their litmus tests. Until then, we will all remain politically stuck in Plato’s cave.

Jim Rubens is an investor, former Republican state senator and former chair of the New Hampshire GOP platform committee. He blogs at

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