(1) As far as hurricanes go, Irene was largely a dud. It was a Cat 1, much weaker than Katrina, Rita, Andrew, Hugo, Ike, Ivan, Camille, Erin, and other nasty hurricanes that have smacked the Gulf region and the East Coast.
(2) At the same time, it was a large storm that carried a lot of rainfall and stronger than average sustained winds. Anyone with a meager amount of common sense should have known this.
(3) Meteorologists called it pretty well. While Irene was weaker than other storms, it carried its own set of dangers: lots of rain and wind in areas that are at or below sea level, and not accustomed to such sustained storms.
(4) While conservative pundits will attack Obama for his management of FEMA, they oughtta cut this tit-for-tat crap. It really is getting juvenile.
(5) Speaking of tit-for-tat, many conservatives are hitting Obama over Libya, but not in the manner that non-interventionist Presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) is. In effect, they are being petty. If you’re for us intervening in Libya–I’m not–then let him do as he wants and lay off the nitpicking.
Punditry–that great art of second-guessing–is a tricky game, especially when your positions are rife with inconsistencies. Showing why we were right to invade Iraq and knock off a leader we supported for decades–while opposing our support of rebels in Libya, who are waging war against a leader who has more American blood on his hands than Saddam Hussein had, is an inconsistency that requires more than soundbites to explicate.
Personally, I am a general non-interventionist whose sympathies are slightly at variance with Ron Paul. My reasons are:
(a) our biggest problems right now are domestic: borders and economy;
(b) we don’t have the money to fight all these wars;
(c) it is not our place to fight everyone else’s wars;
(d) using our troops to defend our borders carries more marginal benefit than using them in nation-building exercises in the Middle East;
(e) if we are going to send our troops to fight and die, we need to have a formal national security reason for doing this, expressed with the support of Congress in the form of a Declaration of War;
(f) the premise of a hostile nation having nuclear weapons is not a valid reason to go to war. North Korea has them–and has tested them–and we have not lifted a finger. Nor have the South Koreans, for that matter, in spite of the fact that the Norks have sunk their ships and even bombed one of their islands. If the Israelis (South Koreans) don’t even think it is worth fighting the Iranians (North Koreans), then it is not our job to fight those wars either, not even by Proxy.
And if they do, it’s their war and not ours. I’m cool with selling weapons to our allies, but we need not be providing troops unless these nations have committed acts of war against us.