The Dean on KatrinaFrom an email sent by Howard Dean:
The callous and inept federal response to Hurricane Katrina revealed that, when faced with a crisis that experts had actually predicted, the Republican administration was utterly unprepared and unresponsive.
Meanwhile, the shameful foot-dragging since the storm on reconstruction and help to families shows the same lack of interest in solving real problems and saving lives. So far, the administration has gotten around to spending barely half of what Congress authorized.
The Republican administration's failures before and after the storms are linked by a common approach to the solemn responsibilities of government. Simply put: they aren't interested.
This Republican leadership's philosophy means that our government simply will not meet the needs of our people.
Not because it's impossible -- but because they don't believe it should.
Democrats offer a new direction.
We believe in a government that takes its obligations to the American people seriously, one that is always improving the services and protections it provides -- a government that becomes more efficient as it meets challenges and takes on new challenges with serious commitment.
And we believe passionately in the responsibility of public service -- doing the hard, unglamorous work that comes with solving real problems that impact people's lives.
With that sense of responsibility missing in our leaders today, we find ourselves in deep trouble.
A fifth grader interviewed by the New York Times recently -- one of the few who have made it back -- told the reporter that his father, who is in the National Guard, has been sent to the Middle East. Meanwhile, back on the home front, their house has been burglarized.
The boy summed up what people on the Gulf Coast -- and people all across the country -- are feeling right now:
"We deserve better."