A Sense Of Perspective

It’s been interesting reading the national press coverage of Sandy. I haven’t had much opportunity to review what you all have been saying about us behind our backs until this morning.

I like that Romney’s bullshit about FEMA has come back to haunt him and that the bold and brave words he spoke in the quietude of calculation have become hot button panic topics for his campaign.

I understand the need to pander to your base and to attract leaning voters, but my thinking is, if you say something, have the guts to stick by it when gut check time comes. President Ford told us to drop dead when it mattered most. Yes, he regretted it and yes, ultimately he had to eat them, but you’ll notice he still battled Jimmy Carter to a virtual tie, despite pardoning Nixon.

Maybe he had more latitude. Still, it’s been an exercise in evolution to watch Romney wriggle like a catepillar on a hot grill.

Similarly, the “turn” in polling towards Romney seems to underestimate the damage that Sandy created in the telephone networks in the east, as well as being premature to Obama’s handling of the crisis. When Governor Sammich  Chris Christie, an erstwhile vice president name and likely candidate for the nomination in 2016, praises Obama not once but frequently, that’s going to have a lot more import than any six Jeep ads either campaign can run, given Christie’s “independent, tell-it-like-it-is” perception.

Finally, a few people have asked me for an assessment as to whether the national news has the coverage underreported, overestimated or just about right. I think it’s safe to say that the true damage, the true horror of this event, is only just now being reported. Even this morning, another dozen homes went up in flames, 36 hours after the worst of Sandy had passed, because first responders couldn’t get to the site.

Canals that contain enough toxins to qualify for Superfund sites overflowed into residential neighborhoods. The very real threat of typhoid, TB, and other afflictions of neglect (cholera leaps to mind) is now looming over large swaths of the city. The residents of lower Manhattan, poor and rich, have raw sewage drying in their streets and basements. The health effects of this crisis will not unfold in a manner consistent with a 24 hours news cycle.

4 Replies to “A Sense Of Perspective”

  1. How are Stamford and Greenwich, Connecticut? What about the Hamptons? I ask only because those are the homes of the hedge fund moguls who have been among the principal funders of Romney’s campaign. Do they know any more than we do what sort of president they will be getting if he is elected? How do they like his idea of privatizing FEMA or just destroying it altogether? I guess a lot depends on how their homes and their shoreline held up in the storm, and how quickly the railroads got running again, and what greeted them when they got to their offices on Wall Street. It’s not that these guys won’t be able to afford to rebuild their mansions and replace their yachts; the real problem is the infrastructure on which their businesses rely. If the private sector is responsible for repairing marinas, bridges, breakwalls, roads, rail lines, and whatever else was damaged, the hedge funds (which are always long and never truly hedged) are going to take big hits. Being part of the 1% doesn’t make you entirely immune from the suffering of everybody else.

    1. The Connecticut shore got hammered, and Greenwich and Stamford south of I-95 did as well. Westport got hit the hardest, if I recall.

      Yes, many of those were mansions, as are many of the lower Manhattan apartments that sell for exorbitant amounts because, hey, a view! Plus right by work. This storm affected the poor and wealthy alike, pretty much in equal amounts.

      No word on the Hamptons, really, but then most of those are seasonal homes that the wealthy have out there, so probably not going to be much talk about them.

  2. I’m still without power but thankful we dodged major damage and glad I no longer live or work on Wall St or downtown Brooklyn. Suspect the dust won’t settle on this for many months and the public health issues will be huge. And if we get a Nor’easter – almost guaranteed – we could be seeing a lot deaths. And the only Prez candidate talking about climate change is in jail in Texas…

  3. NYSEG now estimates power back in my area by 11am Saturday. Last few days has been low/mid-40s, tonight will be mid-30s. Extra blankets suffice but the dogs are really confused. Realize we dodged the bullet this time – lost one tree but it didn’t fall on the house or take down our lines. This does light a fire under me regarding our plans on moving to more sustainable lifestyle.

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