Yesterday, on his way to a multi-million dollar political fund raiser, President Obama stopped by New Orleans for a close up look at what "progress" has taken place in the city devastated by Hurricane Katrina four years ago. It would be a four hour stop to express his concern and compassion for the citizens of the city much of which still stands in ruins after all these years.
At a "Town Hall" meeting, Obama took questions from the audience. One of the citizens asked the President why, after four years, there was no rebuilt hospital in the area in which he lived. After all, the questioner posed, billions, if not trillions, of dollars had been used to bail out banks and other financial institutions who found themselves devastated by the greed of Wall Street.
Obama, in his "deeply compassionate" response, smiled, and with a laugh, responded that he couldn't just write a check. After all there were things like legislation and the constitution he informed the audience.
Now think about it! How much could a well-stocked, modern medical center cost? Certainly nowhere near the billions that Wall Street "had to have" to avoid the total destruction of western civilization as we know it! Yet the president blew off the question with that bright smile and easy cool way he has of delivering bad news.
Where is the compassion, Mr. President? Where is the change promised that would turn us around from the brazen coldness that was the hallmark of the Bush administration? And why did you only spend a few paltry hours in the city where thousands of impoverished people suffered so deeply after the violent storm destroyed their homes and the federal government, you now represent, seemed to abandon? Then you flew off to raise millions to elect more "compassionate" candidates who will come to the rescue of the poor people.
It seems to me that there is a huge disconnect between the government and the ordinary citizens of this country. When Obama was a senator he promised that there would be change and that things would be different. He was going to right all the wrongs of the last four years and people would know that there was a new man in town. It is insulting to the intelligence of the American people to have a president promote the idea that he is the vehicle of change when all of his actions point to the fact that he and his administration are just a continuation of the same. The government continues to grow larger and larger, gobbling up everything in its path. Lives that were forever changed by a long gone hurricane, languish in the inability of a federal government to change anything.
We need to begin to look to ourselves to help ourselves in this society. We cannot expect the government to fix things unless we have deep pockets that will attract every politician in the country. Obama stopped in New Orleans to show he cares! Then he winged off to California to gather in the really important thing he cares about--campaign funds! It is sheer hypocrisy in my mind to proclaim that you have feelings for the beleaguered people of New Orleans only to brush off a legitimate question about building a hospital and then jetting off to the fat cats of California. Oh yeah, and Obama is supposed to want health care reform. How about starting by building a much needed hospital in New Orleans, Mr. President!