George W. Bush must have met up with God this week. What else could have made him say this?
Our third commitment is this: when communities are rebuilt, they must be even better and stronger than before the storm. Within the Gulf region are some of the most beautiful and historic places in America. As all of us saw on television, there is also some deep, persistent poverty in this region as well. And that poverty has roots in a history of racial discrimination, which cut off generations from the opportunity of America. We have a duty to confront this poverty with bold action. So let us restore all that we have cherished from yesterday, and let us rise above the legacy of inequality. When the streets are rebuilt, there should be many new businesses, including minority-owned businesses, along those streets. When the houses are rebuilt, more families should own, not rent, those houses. When the regional economy revives, local people should be prepared for the jobs being created. Americans want the Gulf Coast not just to survive, but to thrive … not just to cope, but to overcome. We want evacuees to come home, for the best of reasons – because they have a real chance at a better life in a place they love.
Of course, the American people have heard this Administration outright lie many times before. Does he deserve the benefit of the doubt? No. One speech cannot smooth over the misery on the Gulf Coast or the anguish born with every decision that favored cronies and greed over people. These kinds of failures cannot be reframed. Actions will always speak louder than words.