RUSH: Here’s a little bit of a story. This is from the Charleston, South Carolina Post and Courier. “FEMA Again Plays the Villain to Some Across Lowcountry; Hard feelings toward agency stirred up as residents watch familiar response. — Hurricane Katrina is leaving one more big black blotch on the reputation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, vilified in the Lowcountry since Hurricane Hugo and frustrating residents as recently as Hurricane Gaston last year. The nation has watched in horror as New Orleans has descended into lawlessness and despair in the wake of Katrina. By most accounts, armed looters now roam the streets, while tens of thousands of thirsty and tired refugees wait in filthy conditions for transportation out of the flooded city… Katrina is worse than what Charleston saw after Hugo, where FEMA’s response also trailed local efforts. Critics say the FEMA response for the new storm is just as slow as it was for Gaston last year. Local residents and officials watch it with reactions that range from disappointment to disgust.
“U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings, now retired, used his political muscle to move military support instead behind [the mayor’s] efforts. ‘To me, it’s a reminder that our country can do much better,’ said Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, who led Charleston’s response to Hugo in 1989. After Hugo devastated the counties around Charleston, local officials pleaded for emergency help and were told by agency officials strapped for money and personnel to apply through the governor. U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings, now retired, used his political muscle to move military support instead behind [the mayor’s] efforts.” So the whole point of this, is Mrs. Clinton is out there trying to say that FEMA under her husband’s administration or anybody else’s was this smooth-running, well-running, well-oiled machine, and it never has been. It’s a federal bureaucracy, and to the extent that red tape is the problem here because bureaucracies are way too big. But don’t fall for this notion that FEMA has always acted first. They’re not a first responder anyway, but the idea that FEMA has been a well-oiled machine up until Mike Brown and George Bush got hold of it, and don’t forget that it was the Democrats who wanted FEMA to be part of Homeland Security in the first place. It was the Democrats that wanted to build a new bureaucracy and move FEMA into it after 9/11 happened. So they’re getting away here with rewriting history, because their allies in the mainstream press are simply an echo chamber for what they are saying. So many misconceptions and so many lies, actually, are being passed off as truth. Linda in Selma, Alabama, I’m glad you called. Welcome to the program.
RUSH: Yeah. Hi, Linda. We got real phone problems here, folks. You’ll have to pardon.
CALLER: That’s alright. We have problems here, too.
RUSH: How are you, Linda?
CALLER: Well, we’re doing fine, Rush. We’re independent truckers and we’re down here in Selena, Alabama with a load of water for the flood victims. It’s a FEMA load. And we have been jerked around since last night. We were first to Meridian Naval Air Station and sat there all night until about 5:30 this morning we finally got through the gate. And they sent us from there over to Selma, Alabama and —
RUSH: Now, wait. Wait, wait, wait just a second. You’re using “they.” You say it’s a FEMA load. So FEMA has given you the water, but who is it that’s making you play jigsaw puzzle here?
CALLER: It’s FEMA. That’s who we report to at Meridian Naval Air Station. That’s who was running the show there. And they are here in Selma, Alabama, and you have never seen such a disaster in your life, a bureaucratic nightmare. There’s probably 400, maybe more, trucks sitting here, loaded, and nowhere to go.
RUSH: This sounds like the fiasco we’ve heard. The mayor put out a call for all these firemen from around the country. So the firemen said, “Oh, yeah, we’ll heed the call, answer the call.” They go down there and they find out they were going to use firemen to pass out pamphlets telling people where to go to get what. So many of the firemen said, “I didn’t come down here to pass out pamphlets.” So, hey, folks, this is bureaucracy on parade. Here you go. Bim, bam, thank you, ma’am, and, you know, the big government crowd is out there saying we need even bigger government to make this more efficient. You can probably just in these eyewitness accounts pick up the problem yourself.