OpinionJournal - Featured Article
Shame-mongering: This is a period in which all stakeholders fight to get their side of the story told, with themselves as the heroes at the center. Katrina's shame-mongering had blasted into overdrive by Tuesday, about 48 hours after landfall. I would wager that never before has a storm become so politicized.
Very quickly, Katrina wasn't a hurricane--it was a test of George Bush's leadership, it was a reflection of race and poverty in America, it was a metaphor for Iraq. The Democrats used the event to define George Bush for their own purposes; the Republicans--after a delay and with markedly less gusto--used it to define them back.
The key word here is delay. Because in any crisis, effective leaders get their message out strongly, clearly--and early. George Bush and his team in Washington didn't do that, and they are paying for it.