Apparently cribbing from the same Republican talking points, two Newsmax columnists have attacked President Obama's response to deadly ice storms in Kentucky. From a Feb. 5 column by Brad Blakeman:
Devastating ice storms have rocked Kentucky, prompting Gov. Steve Beshear to seek disaster aid, USAToday reports. And yet the Obama administration has remained silent on the issue.
This marks Kentucky’s largest and most extensive natural disaster in history: 25 are dead, 600,000 are without power, and people by scores are holed up in shelters.
Yet, in spite of the suffering of hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans, Obama hasn’t said a word.
To be fair, he did sign disaster declarations; but these are pro forma and done by staff at the request of the states affected. The situation warrants much more.
Where is the outrage? The president should have at least dispatched the vice president to the region if he himself could not make it.
As the president was at his Super Bowl party at the White House, thousands of Kentucky residents sat in darkness waiting for help, as power had yet to be restored to many parts of the area.
From a Feb. 5 column by Michael Reagan:
When somebody asks why Barack Obama isn’t flying over storm-ravaged Kentucky the way they asked why George Bush why he didn’t fly over New Orleans after Katrina, you can bet his flunkies will say it was a mistake.
Here’s a tragedy where hundreds of thousands of people are shivering in frigid weather without electricity, and Barack Obama is hosting Super Bowl parties in the warm and comfy White House.
When George Bush didn’t go the New Orleans, it was seen as a crime of enormous proportions. When Barack Obama gives a party instead of giving aid and comfort to ice-stricken Kentuckians, it must be an oversight — a mistake.
The problem with Reagan's and Blakeman's anti-Obama rants? They doesn't reflect reality. From a Feb. 2 Associated Press article:
In the first real test of the Obama administration's ability to respond to a disaster, Kentucky officials are giving the federal government good marks for its response to a deadly ice storm.
[Kentucky Gov. Steve] Beshear asked Obama for a disaster declaration to free up federal assistance Thursday, two days after the storm hit, and Obama issued it hours later. Trucks loaded with supplies began arriving at a staging area at Fort Campbell, Ky., on Friday morning, said Mary Hudak, a spokeswoman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
On Saturday, Beshear ordered all of the state's Army National Guardsmen into action to distribute supplies, many of which came from FEMA.
Beshear has consistently praised Obama, a fellow Democrat, for the attention he's devoted to what Beshear calls the biggest natural disaster to hit his state.
"We have had tremendous and quick response from President Obama and his administration," Beshear said Monday. "I don't think any of our folks that have dealt with disasters before ever recall as quick a response as we got last Wednesday."
Trina Sheets, executive director of the National Emergency Management Association, based in Lexington, Ky., said that from what she's heard, FEMA's response has been very good so far. Her group represents emergency management directors from all 50 states.
"The governor's declaration request for an emergency was turned around very, very quickly by FEMA and the White House," said Sheets, who just had her power restored Monday after four days without it. "And President Obama has spoken with the governor of Kentucky on several occasions throughout the event."
Sheets said she hadn't heard any complaints so far about the federal response.
"FEMA and the Kentucky National Guard are doing everything they can to get things back up and running," Sen. Jim Bunning said.
If the governor of Kentucky and state emergency officials don't have a problem with the Obama administration's response, why should Blakeman and Reagan?