The devastating floods in Louisiana that have killed at least 13 and left thousands without a home or any possessions are dominating the media, and conservatives have been vocally denouncing President Obama for not ending his yearly vacation early to visit Louisiana. However, Obama’s detractors have been ignoring the fact that a presidential visit would harm, not help, the people of Louisiana.
Governor John Bel Edwards, makes it clear that if Obama visited first and second responders will not be able to do their jobs effectively. He explains,
It is a major ordeal, they free up the interstate for him. We have to take hundreds of local first responders, police officers, sheriffs, deputies and state troopers to provide security for that type of visit. I would just as soon have those people engaged in the response rather than trying to secure the president. So I’d ask him to wait, if he would, another couple weeks.
Republicans claim that Democrats are hypocrites for criticizing President Bush in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. However, the problem with the Bush Administration was that it left the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) woefully unprepared to help the American people in the wake of any disaster. In contrast to the chaos of the Katrina efforts, the response to the 2016 Louisiana floods has been swift and effective, saving hundreds, if not thousands, of lives.
Republican nominee Donald Trump was loudly slamming the President for not ending his vacation early and rushing to visit the beleaguered state – but has yet to respond to these new developments. On the other hand, Governor Edwards issued a sharp rebuke to Trump for attempting to exploit the tragedy for his own political gain.
Conservative critics of President Obama make claims that appeal to emotions, but rarely stand up to scrutiny. The Louisiana floods are yet another of example of a poor attempt to use a tragic event to make misleading, false claims against the President. Obama is doing exactly what local authorities think he should do to benefit affected Louisianians. Let’s put human wellbeing over partisan politics.