Katrina: Conservatism’s Catastrophic Success

It’s been a long time since I blogged about Katrina or its aftermath. But I was reminded of it by the steady stream of Katrina-related headlines I’ve been reading lately. You know, the drumbeat of actual news that barely breaks through the din surrounding stories of which starlet was just hauled out of her house on a gurney.

They may get drowned out, or passed over as news readers turn the page or click the next, more interesting link, but if you put them together, stand back and take a good look, you can’t help but get the big picture. It’s not pretty, but the picture is one of conservatism’s finest hours, depending on how you look at it.

When Bush described Iraq as a “catastrophic success,” William Saletan defined the term; “If it gets worse, we must be winning.” When you apply the same notion to domestic disasters like Katrina, the definition might be more like, “If things get worse, the policies are working.” The worse it gets, the bigger a success it is for conservative philosophy. It’s just that the rest of us don’t, and can’t, see it that way.


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