Mike the Mad Biologist

Never doubt the prognostication of the Mad Biology. A couple of days ago, I wondered if the Mighty Conservative Wurlitzer would unleash its awesome fury against the Edwards campaign bloggers. Turned out I was right. First, there was some hardhitting investigative reporting from the National Review bloggysphere that yielded…nothing. But then Michele Malkin got in on the act.

For those of you who don’t who Michele Malkin is, one of her claims to fame is authoring a book that defends the racially-motivated interment of Japanese-Americans during World War II (because if it’s ok when FDR did it, then it’s definitely groovy when El Jefe Maximo does it).

So how does Malkin attack Amanda? Malkin attacks a post Amanda wrote about Hurricane Katrina. Here’s part of the post:

I want to blog about something else. I want to think about something else. But beyond just the fact that there’s evidence of Katrina evacuees all over Austin now and beyond the fact that people in my life are exhausting themselves helping the victims, this whole thing just speaks volumes about everything that’s wrong with America and I keep working it over like a missing tooth. Or in this case, since it’s New Orleans, it’s more like a missing limb. The New Orleans I remember smelled like salt and pollen and in some parts (*cough* French Quarter *cough*) like all those thing plus vomit and piss. But, you know, in a good way that made you grin because well, people are people and whatcha gonna do? Anyway, turn another corner and you’d smell the salty sea air again. I can only imagine what it smells like now, but I’m reading reports.

There may be 10,000 dead. There may be more. Their deaths were ugly and gruesome and their corpses are being eaten by alligators and rats and bloating in the water and rotting in the sun. Do not forget these basic facts as the news tries to make things cheerier by focusing on the people who got out and got clean and now are finally sleeping in a cot in the Astrodome or some other sports stadium in Texas after living for 6 days in wet, shit-stained clothes. Some vultures are gruesomely smacking their lips over the prospect of using this entire diaspora as an excuse to permanently displace the poorer residents from New Orleans forever in order to turn it into Disneyland where the culture of the real people of New Orleans can be enjoyed in an enviroment safely scrubbed of the actual descendents of the people that made the city what it is. A sort of EPCOT center-a TV show about a fantasy of New Orleans where the city used to be. The foot-dragging of the government maximized the number of dead people who otherwise would fight to keep their homes, but don’t let that make you think that there was an opportunistic conspiracy or anything. Also, ignore the fact that the government actively fought attempts to save lives that could later result in lawsuits over keeping homes. Refrain from calling it the new version of “tort reform” or “urban renewal” until it starts to actually happen.

I have never been this angry. Not even when the Iraq War started. Not even when I went to Crawford and I saw the grief for the dead soliders. They really want to take away New Orleans, don’t they? It’s too European, too dark, too mysterious, too real, too gritty, too fun, too kind, too neighborly, too every fucking thing that we’re told “real” Americans are not-we’re to be a nation of white supremacists, hateful and paranoid and xenophobic, worshipful of wealth but disdainful of anything that has real beauty or real intelligence. A nation of Kinkade paintings and heiling Bush and waving the flag and watching the Disney Channel Fox News.

I don’t think BushCo wanted New Orleans to drown. I don’t think it was deliberate. But I do think they were asked for money to stop it from drowning and they laughed and wondered why anyone would want to save a place that hasn’t been safely disinfected from anything resembling a soul.

I spent some time in pre-Katrina New Orleans, not as a tourist, but living there. The only factually wrong thing in the post is the estimate of 10,000 dead (thankfully, Amanda was wrong). Anger, a sense of betrayal, disgust at hideous acts of racism, these are all appropriate emotions. A small piece of America died that week, and many Americans ultimately didn’t care because New Orleans was too American (not European as Amanda claims). It was American in all its good, bad, and ugly. Not to be emotional when those who purport to be men of action do nothing is the mark of a dead soul or a sociopath.

Politically, do conservatives really want to debate what people should feel after Katrina? If this is their A game, then 2008 will be a cakewalk.