David Brooks makes some sense:
...In short, [New Orleans' disaster] plan was so beautiful, it's too bad reality destroyed it. The plan's authors were not stupid or venal. They are doubtless good public servants who worked in agencies set up to prepare for this storm. And yet their elaborate plan crumbled under the weight of the actual disaster.
But of course this illustrates the paradox at the heart of the Katrina disaster, which is that we really need government in times like this, but government is extremely limited in what it can effectively do.
Katrina was the most anticipated natural disaster in American history, and still government managed to fail at every level...
This preparedness plan is government as it really is. It reminds us that canning Michael Brown or appointing some tough response czar will not change the endemic failures at the heart of this institutional collapse.
So of course we need limited but energetic government. But liberals who think this disaster is going to set off a progressive revival need to explain how a comprehensive governmental failure is going to restore America's faith in big government.
Oh, but we just need the right kind of big government: President Hillary, Secretary of State Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of the Navy Teddy Kennedy, FCC chairman Bill Moyers, NEA director Mikey Moore...