Mr. Rove and the Hurricanes

There's a certain gallows humor about hurricanes. We all joke about them. But let's face it, some people shouldn't make light of killer storms. And one of those people is Karl Rove:

"The Republicans can't seem to get a break when it comes to August and when it comes to the weather," said Rove, a FOX News analyst. "I know this is being thought a lot about in Washington and at the White House and discussed and I suspect they will monitor it carefully and figure out what to do."

Rove, we should remember, was supposedly put in charge of the post-Katrina rebuilding effort. But it was never clear what, if anything, he did on that front. The historical record is still murky, but from the outside it appears he spent the balance of the Katrina aftermath on political positioning, trying to pin blame for the disastrous response on Democrats, and engaged in a politically overdetermined debate on whether to seize control of the Louisiana National Guard from Democratic Governor Kathleen Blanco. He and the president had multiple operational levers of the government at their fingertips, but they chose to focus on politics, not substance. And people suffered terribly for it. Which is the whole problem of the Bush administration in a nutshell.

Now, on the eve of the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Gustav is churning into the Gulf, a potential threat to what's left of New Orleans and a large swath of the Gulf coast. Millions are prepping for possible evacuations, wondering if they will see their homes intact again. In short: it's not Republicans who are suffering here, but Americans. Rove's quip is just a throwaway line, but it shows where his head is, and has always been, on the matter.