AOL just posted a poll in their typically skewed tradition. Anyone with three brain cells knows that you can make polls say anything. It's like the age-old loaded question "So when did you stop beating your wife?".
AOL's loaded question begs the issue of Federal response to Katrina. In their eyes, and the eyes of so many of their mindless subscribers, Bush failed.
It's a matter of record that Bush pressed both the Mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana to allow Federal assistance before the hurricane ever made landfall. They refused. So just how in the hell is this Bush's fault?
And to take things further, Bush went above and beyond. He didn't have to get involved. What happens to a state is its own problem unless and until a president declares it a federal disaster area. Every state has police, fire and EMT assets as well as National Guard forces. You take care of your own unless you get overwhelmed, and then you ask for help. In a historical precedent, Bush offered help before the disaster occurred and was brushed off. This point is important: Bush offered Federal help before the hurricane ever made landfall, and his offer was brushed off. Repeat it as a mantra, because certain elements (Ted "Hey, can I give you a lift?" Kennedy, Bill "You sure have nice lips" Clinton, et al.) want you to believe that somehow the lack of state response is the fault of the President of the United States.
What happened, happened. The leader of the most powerful nation on Earth couldn't mutter an incantation to divert the storm, nor could he prevent utterly incompetent state and municipal leaders from shirking their own duties to their state and city.
I'll say it again--the US government is not a first responder agency. That's up to the individual states with their police, firefighter, EMT and National Guard assets. The Feds enter the fray after the fact, assess the situation and make determinations as to where specific assets need to be directed. You want recriminations in the wake of the hurricane? Look no further than Ray Nagin (who happens to be black, dispelling the "New Orleans took it on the chin because Bush hates blacks" theory).