One of the most shameless aspects of Hurrican Katrina and the aftermath were the shameless accusations leveled by the most partisan of the Bush critics, best witnessed by this now thoroughly debunked bit of nonsense by Red Dan. While it was irritating enough that people would level charges like this with no idea as to whether or not they were accurate (“The levees failed because Bush cut the budget!”), but because it was clearly just an attempt to fling bodies at the President. That the vast majority of the accusations turned out to be complete nonsense is one thing- that people would exploit the suffering of others WHILE ARE STILL SUFFERING for nothing more than political advantage is inexcusable.
And that takes us to today, where only the tragedy and the date has changed, but the playbook remains the same for left-wing hacks:
How Bush Failed the Sago 13 by Scott Shields
I haven’t seen much discussion of it in the blogosphere, but there are 13 coal miners trapped under 260 feet of dirt right now in West Virginia. It’s worthy of discussion here because, once upon a time, these guys were the bread and butter of the Democratic Party — industrial workers doing hard labor to support their families. Now, they’re just as likely to vote Republicans on social issues as they are Democrats on pocketbook issues. But none of that really matters now. What matters now is that air quality tests are indicating very high levels of carbon monoxide in the mine. What matters now is that rescuers heard no response when then tried to contact the miners. What matters now is their families back on the surface.
Undoubtedly, some will criticize me for placing blame on President Bush here. [ed.- Aren’t you bold for bravely venturing forward, then? ] The defense will be that Bush didn’t cause the explosion that collapsed the mine. My response will be that he didn’t do anything to prevent it. In fact, if anything, the actions of his administration made the situation worse.***
This morning, it’s come to the media’s attention that the Sago Mine “was cited 208 times for alleged safety violations in 2005.” The Labor Department has said that a whopping 96 of those citations were “significant and substantial.” In fact, some of them may have been directly related to the situation at hand.
As the AFL-CIO points out in their analysis of the 2006 budget, the President continues to underfund the MSHA, effectively freezing their enforcement budget. International Coal Group, the owners of the Sago Mine, claim they would have closed the mine if it had been deemed unsafe. Obviously, with 208 citations, 96 of them “significant and substantial,” it was deemed unsafe. But MSHA has no teeth and they know it, so they had nothing to fear in keeping it open.
I hope like hell those guys get out alive. I’m praying that they do. But things are not looking good right now. No matter what happens, when all is said and done, one thing is certain. The President’s unwillingness to do what’s right in the face of incoming checks from mining executives has made coal miners in less safe, whether they’re in Pennsylvania, Montana, or in Tallmansville, West Virginia.
And there you have it. A mere 30 hours+ after the explosion, with no idea what happened, no understanding how the accident happened, no idea whether it could be prevented, and most shamelessly, NO IDEA WHETHER THESE POOR MEN WILL EVER SEE SUNLIGHT AGAIN, and the idiot left is already flinging the corpses of these men at the President, hoping for political gain.
An hour south of me, thirteen fellow West Virginians are either dead or in great danger, and all some people can think about is how to use this to their advantage. If that doesn’t disgust you, nothing will.
*** Update ***
Title edited- Associating Shields with the DNC was bullshit and wrong. Shields is still an unrepentant prick for his comments, but he has nothing to do with the DNC.