***NOTE: As of Monday morning, 5/10/10 at 7:30 Central time, we did have a visit to Nashville from the head of Homeland Security, and a couple more White House officials are supposed to be coming to town to check out the flood damage this week. However, still no public words from the president expressing condolences to those who lost so much, so this post is still relevant.***
At the end of my last post (see “Heroes and Fools), I linked to a video that by now has become famous. The video shows what I later learned, was a portable classroom floating down Interstate 24 in Nashville on May 1st when the Great Flood of 2010 began to sweep across the area. What I didn’t notice until I looked again, after it was pointed out on RedState.com, was the long banner on the side of the floating schoolroom which reads, “HOPE”. As we all know, that was the first half of President Obama’s election mantra. If you’ve seen the video, you know what happened to the schoolhouse and to the HOPE banner—they folded like a deck of cards.
I think that image is pretty symbolic for the President, especially as it relates to his seeming lack of interest in the suffering that many people in Tennessee—as well as Mississippi and Kentucky— are going through at this time. Even as the water is receding, the body count is rising.
It’s now been nearly one week and he has yet to make any public comment on the situation to encourage the people here. Many of them, especially in Nashville and Memphis, voted for him. These two cities, after all, are blue towns in red states…purple districts. Can’t he at least throw them a bone? Beyond the usual declaration of a disaster area statement from White House officials, neither he nor any of his representatives have stopped by or said two words about this catastrophe.
What a change from the campaign days of 2008, when Candidate Obama came to Nashville for one of the debates against John McCain at Belmont University. He arrived to a whirlwind of fawning admirers, Obama stickers on thousands of cars, and chants of “Yes We Can!” Now, some of these same people may have lost everything they had—and their hero is silent. Will he only reach out to them in a couple years when he needs them again?
Not surprisingly, the mainstream media are not making accusations of him for his lack of feeling as they did George W. Bush after Hurricane Katrina (and 9-11, for that matter). In fact, I don’t know what other president could get away with this behavior following such a monumental event. Where are the reporters on the morning shows questioning each other as to why he hasn’t visited Music City? Where are the country music stars going on a Kanye West-style rant on national television claiming that the President hates white people…or country music…or whiskey?
Perhaps he’s just busy pondering how we got so lucky again, and a terrorist didn’t set off a bomb in Times Square. Or maybe he’s thinking of how he can best use the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to further his Green agenda and the Cap and Trade bill. Or maybe there are just way too many people down here that are “bitterly clinging to their guns and religion.” Yeah, I bet that’s it.
***CHECK OUT THIS SLIDESHOW FOR MORE FLOOD PICS***