Saturday, September 10, 2005

What it really means to be decadent

Here's a few right wing responses to Katrina:

Rep. Richard H. Baker, a 10-term Republican from Baton Rouge (according to WSJ):

We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did.
Tom DeLay to children living in the Astrodome (comparing their stay to being at camp):

Now, tell me the truth, boys, is this kind of fun?
Rush Limbaugh:
But if your city believes that it's entitled, if that's, if that's the worldview of the leaders of a community, then I don't care what their race is -- if their worldview is that this is a welfare state -- "the government needs to protect us. The government needs to feed us. The government needs to transport us. The government" -- well, guess what? The government needs to build the levees. The government needs to make sure the levees are -- the government. You're passing the buck all over the place and accepting all the money that the government's sending in to you, ah, and then something like this happens and then you start, you know, wringing your hands.

"Oh, look how poor the population --" Well, what do you expect when you have a welfare state mentality as your city government? I mean, I'm not even being critical. I'm just trying to point out something obvious here! That -- talking about this for 18 years, folks -- socialism versus capitalism; entrepreneurialism and self-reliance versus the entitlement mentality -- so much on display here. That's what nobody's got the guts to say.
Originally I had titled this post "Satirists out of work," but then Andrea reminded me of this Jacques Barzun quote:
When people accept futility and the absurd as normal, the culture is decadent. The term is not a slur; it is a technical label. A decadent culture offers opportunities chiefly to the satirist.
Let them eat jambalaya, I say.

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