That WaPo article also contains this:
...Beyond these concrete impacts, some strategists expect Katrina to reshape the ideological premises of Washington debate in more subtle, but potentially more consequential, ways. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), in memos circulated among Republicans last week and in conversations with White House officials, argued that the party that offers bold ideas to modernize how government responds to crisis will be rewarded in future elections...
...John D. Podesta, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and head of a leading Democratic think tank, says Democrats must start by casting Bush's brand of conservatism -- emphasizing an "ownership society" elevating individualism and private enterprise -- as fundamentally flawed and hostile to society's collective responsibility to help citizens, especially the neediest.
In its place, Podesta says, Democrats must offer an activist, reform-minded government agenda that includes new energy, infrastructure and homeland defense policies.
You're both wrong! The last thing we need is a bigger, badder Welfare State. On the other hand, the other last thing we need is more cronyism and corruption. How about trying to help people get out of poverty by encouraging self-reliance rather than reliance on the government? How about encouraging people to voluntarily work together rather than either forcing it upon them or telling them it's every man for himself?
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.
...But this is not a natural disaster. It is a man-made disaster.
The man-made disaster is not an inadequate or incompetent response by federal relief agencies, and it was not directly caused by Hurricane Katrina. This is where just about every newspaper and television channel has gotten the story wrong.
The man-made disaster we are now witnessing in New Orleans did not happen over four days last week. It happened over the past four decades. Hurricane Katrina merely exposed it to public view.
The man-made disaster is the welfare state...
Au contraire! After just four decades it's much too soon to tell whether the welfare state has failed. Give them another few decades, "liberal" policies are bound to work one of these days.