After 9/11, President Bush told us to go shopping - not to read the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Federalist Papers, Black Elk Speaks, the speeches of Chief Joseph, Martin Luther King, Emma Lazarus or any of the many important American documents or books that make our mission very clear. Once again, this time in the wake of a natural attack, he tells us to send cash, and grins while he says it.
This is not to say that the Gulf Coast doesn't need our charity - and I suggest www.hsus.org for animal disaster relief. But months ago, when Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu asked for cash to shore up the wetlands outside the vulnerable city of New Orleans, Congress threw her some spare change. Now it looks like the residents are finally taking Bush up on his patriotic suggestion to go shopping, helping themselves to food, guns, and no doubt cash.
New Orleans is the mythical city where Blanche duBois lives forever, relying on the kindness of strangers. No such kindness has been accorded the citizens of NOLA - the poorest urban area in the US - in a very long time. People keep saying that the tide is turning against Bush. Perhaps this flood is that literal tide and our very own Stanley Kowalsky - who tells us to go shopping when we're under attack and send cash when a hyperdeveloped coast is gasping for air - will soon find himself all alone on the world's stage, screaming for Stella, as we finally turn our backs on the big, handsome brute from Texas who is destroying our home.