The "liberals" have been "looking out for" America's poor for the past four decades, and New Orleans exposes just how little good they've done.
Now, they want to continue their failed policies, the Toronto Star reports in "America's dark underbelly":
...Hurricane Katrina has exposed America's cursed underbelly, its multitudes of poverty-stricken and hopeless, forgotten by a government bent on offering tax breaks to the wealthy.
Already, there are suggestions Katrina could help swing a social pendulum back in the United States, a pendulum that has swung in favour of less tax, smaller government and cutbacks on entitlement programs since the late '60s, a philosophy that flourished with the 1980 inauguration of Ronald Reagan.
"This has the potential to be a watershed moment," says Rosa Brooks, a professor and social commentator at Georgetown Law School in Washington...
...Ronald Walters of the University of Maryland, an author and expert on class and racial politics, is also optimistic that the images of the poor suffering in New Orleans could spark a national debate on an issue that has been ignored for too long.
"This hurricane dredged it all up and shoved it in people's faces like nothing before in our history," he said. "I am reasonably confident that some type of sea change could be afoot. What you're seeing here is the blowback of the failure to deal with social policy over the years."
...The national media "discovering" poverty in America is a little like Columbus "discovering" America, Brooks said. Both were already there...
...If the move away from social issues and safety nets and toward the sacrosanct U.S.-style rugged individualism is cyclical, it has been a long cycle.
Most historians say it dates to the backlash against the civil rights movement of the 1960s and took hold with Reagan in 1980 when the war on poverty became a war on the poor...
OK, that's enough. I had to stop before they get to the Nancy Pelosi and Teddy Kennedy quotes.
Your policies have been tried, and they've failed miserably. The corruption and cronyism of the Bush administration is certainly not optimal either. Hopefully we can find a common sense, mainstream American policy that helps those who really need it, but doesn't convert millions of people into wards of the state.