On this second anniversary of Katrina's assault on the Gulf Coast, let's pause to remember what our esteemed Idaho lawmakers said and did in the months following the disaster.
First off, then-Congressman Butch Otter was one of only 11 lawmakers to vote against the initial aid package to Katrina's victims in September 2005. Shame, shame - though there's little doubt current Rep. Bill Sali would have done the same thing.
Sen. Larry Craig told his home state constituents that fraud is as much a part of the fabric of Louisiana as it is in Iraq and that flooded sections of New Orleans should be abandoned.
"Fraud is in the culture of Iraqis. I believe that is true in the state of Louisiana as well," Craig was quoted as saying in the Lewiston (Idaho) Morning Tribune on Thursday.
He was also quoted in the McCall (Idaho) Star News, saying "Louisiana and New Orleans are the most corrupt governments in our country, and they always have been... . A rookie cop in New Orleans, they pay him or her $17,000 starting pay and then wink and say you better make the rest of it on the street."
And who can forget how temporary Gov. Jim Risch bleated to The Guardian last June:
"Hurricane Katrina - they heaped that on George Bush! ... Here in Idaho, we couldn't understand how people could sit around on the kerbs waiting for the federal government to come and do something. We had a dam break in 1976, but we didn’t whine about it. We got out our backhoes and we rebuilt the roads and replanted the fields and got on with our lives. That’s the culture here. Not waiting for the federal government to bring you drinking water. In Idaho there would have been entrepreneurs selling the drinking water.”
Ah, yes, the Republican mindset in a nutshell: Why give thirsty people water when you can sell it to them?!
The Gulf Coast region still needs our help. Go here to sign a petition urging the Senate to pass S.1668, a bill to streamline efforts to build affordable housing for the victims of the 2005 hurricanes.