Trump’s administration wants to show the public they are capable of adequately addressing this catastrophe. The handling of a natural disaster is a defining moment for any presidency. As a general rule, though, it’s bad to go into any crisis, including a gigantic hurricane, with a federal government at war with itself.
Trump’s White House did little to prepare. Instead, Trump spent the hours before the impending storm starting a political hurricane to go with the real one, by granting an unpopular pardon to the former Sheriff of Phoenix, Joe Arpaio.
Fortunately for the good people of Houston, however, Trump has been unable yet to fill two out of three politically appointed positions in FEMA. Trump took so long in deciding who he wanted to do the jobs, that his picks did not have time to be confirmed before the Senate went on recess. The same goes with the top position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which monitors storms.
This leaves FEMA’s administrator, Brock Long, who said that this storm was “unlike anything ever seen before. FEMA is going to be there for years,” Long added Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union. There is no doubt this is true. In the meantime, however, the aforementioned Grant and Fox are running the show on the ground, and we are very grateful for them.“Federal civilian employees with decades of experience are currently serving as acting in those positions,” a FEMA spokesperson said.
R. David Paulison, who succeeded the Bush administration’s FEMA director Michael Brown after the latter resigned in the wake of national outrage to his feeble Katrina response, said he is “very comfortable” with the leadership currently in place.
Things are certainly looking brighter than they did in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina struck the coast of New Orleans, in the most destructive storm ever to be wrought upon our shores. President Obama saw to that while he was still serving. But one can’t help wondering, what will happen once these heroic holdovers are gone? There is no evidence at all that Trump’s usual sloven would not have carried the day, had it not been for them. It nearly did anyhow.