Kerry, Edwards Slam Bush Over Response to Hurricane

Kerry and Edwards pulled no punches in slamming Bush yesterday for the administration's inept handling of the Hurricane Katrina response.Both asserted that Bush continues to back policies that support the privileged over the working poor.According to the Washington Post:

According to a text of Kerry's speech made available in Washington, he said Katrina had provided an "accountability moment" for the administration.

"This is about the broader pattern of incompetence and negligence that Katrina exposed and beyond that a truly systemic effort to distort and disable the people's government and devote it to the interests of the privileged and the powerful," he said.

Kerry also charged that the administration is pursuing politics as usual in its prescription for rebuilding. "The plan they're designing for the Gulf Coast turns the region into a vast laboratory for right-wing ideological experiments," he said, citing private-school vouchers, subsidies to business and other proposals.

Edwards called for a restoration of community. "The administration may think every American is an island," he said. "But Americans know that Katrina's victims shouldn't have been out there on their own and that no American should be out there on their own."

Edwards used the metaphor of the flooded levees in New Orleans to describe what he called society's inadequate efforts to bolster the poor. Although he called for many new programs to help, he also said everyone, from parents and clergy to those most in need, must accept the responsibility to speak hard truths about behavior -- particularly out-of-wedlock pregnancies -- that condemn many to perpetual poverty.