Politics, not unlike life in general, is full of ironies. Last week at the presidential inauguration, I was struck by how ironic it was that America was celebrating the swearing-in of its first black president, in no small measure because of George Bush’s mishandling of the Katrina disaster.
Even some key aides now concede that Bush lost faith with the American people when they saw on television tens of thousands of their fellow citizens, mostly black, suffer and some even die in the streets of New Orleans because the most powerful government on Earth did not have the will to rescue them. It looked like a scene from a post-disaster “response” from Haiti or Pakistan or Myanmar.
Bush will have to explain all that suffering to his maker, but for the black people I saw and talked to that day in Washington, it felt like redemption.