The White House's David Axelrod on Friday rejected any comparisons of the Obama oil spill response to Bush's slow Hurricane Katrina intervention. He told ABC that such comparisons were:
“always the case in Washington whenever something like this happens.”
A 51 year old Louisiana kayaker, Valerie Gonsoulin, clearly saw the looming disaster. The AP quoted Valerie:
"I go out in the marshes three times a week. It's my peace and serenity," she said. "I'm horrified. ... I've been sitting here watching that NASA image grow and it grows. I knew it would hit every place I fish and love."
As for Deepwater Horizon-Katrina, compare for yourself:
4-20-10 Rig explodes from a blowout
4-29-10 White House promises an "all out" response.
4-30-10 Two Air Force C-130s were sent to Mississippi and awaited orders to start dumping chemicals on the oil spill.
5-1-10 Thad Allen put in charge of emergency response
8-29-05 Katrina strikes, levees fail
9-2-05 Bush gets riot act from Louisiana officials on Air Force One
9-2-05 Military gets orders to aid evacuations
9-5-05 Thad Allen put in charge of emergency response
Human misery multiplied during Bush's slow response. His investigative report was hapless, omitting the hospital with the highest death toll and not addressing patient priority under mass evacuations.
I can hear already hear Axelrod's claims of "unprecedented disaster." Only they aren't unprecedented, given an Australian rig blowout in August 2009. The Montara spewed oil, natural gas and gas condensate for over two months.
FEMA drilled on Hurricane Pam striking the Big Easy the year before Katrina struck. Yet, no one could imagine the damage Katrina caused. Conversely, there is no failure in imagination when defending slow responses to "unprecedented" disastrous events. This leaves citizens to do they best they can with tools they have, until Uncle Sam decides to arrive.
Update: A BP representative beat David Axelrod to the "unprecedented" punch. "The sort of occurrence that we've seen on the Deepwater Horizon is clearly unprecedented," BP spokesman David Nicholas told The Associated Press on Friday. Please, tell me Frances Townsend is consulting with BP.
Update 7-16-11: Documents from the British Embassy indicate the U.S. Military went to work on the BP Oil Spew on 4-30-10.