Having mentioned this theory to people repeatedly, I believe the United States, and specifically NYC and NJ area that got thumped so dramatically by Hurricane Sandy, is about to show the world America still know how to unite on a common, obvious problem and git ‘er done. Yes, its going to take some time, but on the PBS NewsHour Friday night, hearing 400,000 without power (certainly less after three more days) sounded like quite an improvement.
No, this didn’t *WIN* election for Obama, but obviously everyone had an opportunity to see straight ahead leadership. I applaud NJ governor Chris Christie who, while stating he was still voting Romney, admitted he was certainly glad to shake hand of the President during New Jersey’s time of disaster. The “most bang for effort/buck” philosophy of restoration was so undeniably equitable, it (almost) smoothed over a HUGE negative issue from months of campaigning. There weren’t any bright lights for those perenially well-heeled residents of penthouses on Central Park West, and I doubt anyone believes gorgeous shoreline estates in the Hamptons received any preferential treatment from the storm either.
There were power company rigs from EVERYWHERE waiting just outside of the storm path ready to roll on repairs, and the difference in response to Bush-FEMA response to Katrina’s devastation of New Orleans is, well, possibly the greatest difference anyone can imagine. Interviews with a particular FLORIDA POWER & LIGHT crew were terrific, showing how complex the restoring power equation is–“sometimes we’re coming through back yards four houses away; people see some trucks but no workers, we’re probably hacking our way in.” I appreciated FPL guys expertise with hurricane damage, and its a long-standing badge of pride among many responders about payback because northern power companies historically send crews south after ‘canes leave a mess. One chief admitted there’s real pride in making a difference at times like this, results being almost as tangible as some extra heft in overtime checks. Maybe Europeans have a similar common sense of purpose, because they are apparently willing to bail out other countries repeatedly, but a hurricane isn’t just a perilous/iffy future situation, it in-your-face REAL.
The Prez mentioned in an economics speech Friday that Americans won’t abide gridlock in silence, but when you know The Right Stuff (power) will get there in relative future, we can all set our personal edge. Fact is, Speaker John Boehner et al will HAVE to recognize the reality of that gridlock remark, and having failed in goal of making Obama a one-term President as they declared on a regular basis, the GOP can only improve its current sorry state of disrespect by handling ‘business’ right. People *will* vote against the clowns who put ideology before the good of the country two years from now if necessary.
To the point of showing the world IT ISN’T JUST REP but The Real Deal about USA!USA! getting something done (no real need to get into that WW II thing, right?), the reality is it HAS to be done, and you simply won’t see the people of the greatest city in the world (lol, or Jersey) wringing their hands in despair. I loved that so many news programs pointed out individual people helping each other in the crunch, because thats part of the deal too. At work I got a kick from several people who said “someobody has to help them!” immediately after blaming Obama for increasing the national debt by $5 trillion (first $12T apparently gets a pass) because where DOES the cash for replacing infrastructure or pumping out the subways come from? My click for Red Cross sure doesn’t go that far.
OK, ‘they’ have to equals NY/NJ, since all we got from 1000 mile storm in Charlotte was a little rain and chill, but riding out a hurricane actually seems like a legitimate dividing line for “how long you been here?” My brother Dave and wife Donna and I visited here shortly after HUGO tore up The City of Trees (and churches) in ’89, so if anyone wants to use that as a badge for being a Charlottean…