Good short piece in Slate today pointing out the hypocrisy in Gov. Chris Christie’s comments on people ignoring his orders to evacuate given his comments on the individual mandate at the center of Obamacare.
Sandy Socialists by William Saletan for Slate, Oct. 30, 2012
Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, was angry. Monday afternoon, as Hurricane Sandy bore down on his coastline, he berated people living on the state’s barrier islands “who refused to adhere to my mandatory evacuation order and said they were going to ride it out. … We’re putting other people in harm’s way now, too—the first responders—to get them out. So these decisions were both stupid and selfish.” The governor went on:
I asked you please to get off the barrier islands. But there are some towns in Atlantic and Ocean Counties that are only 50 percent evacuated … For those folks on the barriers: You’re putting other people in harm’s way as well. We already have rescues ongoing on the barrier islands. This is putting first responders in significant, significant danger, and it is not fair to their families for you to be putting them in that danger because you decided that you wanted to be hardheaded.
What’s odd about Christie and other Republican governors is that they recognize this principle only when a hurricane hits. When it comes to injury or disease, which we know will strike everyone on this planet, the Republican governors defend your right to ride it out. They oppose any requirement to buy health insurance. If you get sick, the rest of us will shell out to rescue you.
Romney had it right when he touted the mandate not as a government takeover but rather as individuals taking responsibility for themselves.
Here is the weather channel’s live stream of coverage of Hurricane Sandy:
I tried to get my coverage from CNN, but since I don’t subscribe to cable, I couldn’t stream their content.
While we look forward to the clean-up from this gargantuan storm, let’s all keep in mind what Mitt Romney has to say about FEMA:
Fun fact: the federal involvement in disaster recovery began with then Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover taking charge of the response to the Mississippi River flood of 1927. From a piece by Kevin Kosar from the Congressional Research:
In short, the federal response was an executive branch response. President Calvin Coolidge created a quasi-governmental commission that included members of his Cabinet and the American National Red Cross. This commission encouraged the public to donate funds to the relief effort. It also gave Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover near-absolute authority to organize and oversee its response. Hoover used this authority to weave together federal resources, American National Red Cross volunteers, and the private sector to carry out the relief and recovery program.