Obama, Liberals Are Playing Politics With Hurricane Sandy

President Barack Obama and liberals are politicizing the tragedy of natural disaster for campaign purposes.

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Hurricane Sandy has brought out the worst in the American left. They have opted to see it as little more than a political opportunity for Barack Obama to be seen as "presidential" in the closing days of the 2012 campaign.

It wasn't always so. Years ago politicians of both parties and political commentators pulled together in times of national catastrophe. Since Hurricane Katrina, which the Bush administration admittedly did not handle as well as it otherwise might have, disasters have been an excuse to justify big government, to pound Republicans, and to seek political gain regardless of the human costs involved.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the 2012 campaign.]

Regardless of who was really responsible for the lack of preparedness or the government's impotent response to the tragedy in the Crescent City—which we found out later had just as much to do with the incompetence of then Democratic then-governor Kathleen Blanco and Democratic then-Mayor Ray Nagin—the public perception of what happened after Hurricane Katrina was that George W. Bush did not do enough. This was sufficient to derail his political momentum and to start the GOP down the slide in public opinion polls which led to the Democrat's take over of Congress in the 2006 midterm election.

It was no surprise then that liberals nearly chortled at the prospect of the first night of the GOP nominating conventions in both 2008 and 2012 being ruined by hurricanes making land. Not only would they serve to reinforce the perceptions formed about Katrina, they would throw the Republicans off message. Now Hurricane Sandy has given President Obama a break in the news cycle that he is trying to use to get his campaign back on track—which many liberal pundits seem to believe, based on what they are writing, is more important than addressing the human costs in places like New York and New Jersey.

[Check out our editorial cartoons on President Obama.]

This is, to put it mildly, sickening. So is the media's assault on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who was ridiculed for showing up at a site where relief supplies were being assembled to be sent to victims of the storm. Obama is being praised for putting his official campaign efforts on hold in order to personally observe the devastation—which, to be honest, is still a campaign event and, more to the point, his job. Romney, who is a private citizen, is being criticized for doing what he has in his power to do and for not stopping his campaign efforts. It's a complaint that is basely, crassly political, and is completely without merit.

Obama has a lot to answer for to the American electorate for his four years as president. Consistent unemployment, record national debt, deficits as far as the eye can see, reckless and wasteful stimulus spending and, of late, the massacre in Benghazi in which members of the U.S. military were, it has been credibly alleged, ordered to stand down rather than go to the aid of U.S. personnel under attack by terrorists. One act of leadership, looking like he is in command after Hurricane Sandy, is not enough to reverse these impressions. Those on the left who still support Obama are silly to even try. Nevertheless they have and they will—because the political necessity of winning the election is more important to them than the very real costs in lost lives and destroyed property.

  • Read Leslie Marshall: Hurricane Sandy Seals the Election for Obama
  • Read Robert Schlesinger: Mitt Romney's Electoral Problem and the War on Nate Silver
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