Pelosi’s Challenge In New Orleans

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to lead a House delegation to New Orleans and the Mississippi coast starting Sunday in an effort that should draw fresh attention to what remains the shame of the nation, two years after Hurricane Katrina swept through the Gulf Coast. Their challenge is to make this trip more than either a political road show or a brief glance at the region’s suffering that rates little more than a few seconds on the TV news.

At a time when the failures of conservative governance just in the last two weeks are strewn across the country like rubble from a bomb blast—the lack of infrastructure investment that led to the Minneapolis bridge collapse, the lax enforcement of mine safety standards surrounding the ongoing Utah mine collapse, the see-no-evil regulatory environment that set the stage for the mortgage lending crisis and the wider plunge in the stock market—the disastrous effects of Bush administration policy on the Gulf Coast is still without peer. It’s not just the criminally bungled initial response that continues to have ripple effects on the population; it’s also the policies that the administration does have in place based on its discredited notions of what’s right for America.

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