One of the biggest head-scratching moments of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s Republican response speech was his talk about government not being the answer to everything and invoking the horrific memory of Hurricane Katrina. But, I think the good governor maybe forgot who was president, at the time, and who ran Congress, at the time. His own Republican party was running government, and that includes President George W. Bush, who many people feel was slow an inadequate in his response to this terrible disaster that destroyed homes and hopes, took lives and dreams, crippled New Orleans and parts of Louisiana and devastated that region’s economy.
Here is an excerpt from Jindal’s speech:
Today in Washington, some are promising that government will rescue us from the economic storms raging all around us. Those of us who lived through Hurricane Katrina, we have our doubts.
Let me tell you a story. During Katrina, I visited Sheriff Harry Lee, a Democrat and a good friend of mine. When I walk into his makeshift office, I had never seen him so angry. He was literally yelling into the phone. “Well, I’m the sheriff, and if you don’t like it, you can come and arrest me.” I asked him, “Sheriff, what’s got you so mad?” He told me that he put out a call for volunteers to come with their boats to rescue people who were trapped on their rooftops by the floodwaters. The boats were all lined up and ready to go. And then some bureaucrat showed up and told him they couldn’t go out in the water unless they had proof of insurance and registration.
And I told him, “Sheriff, that’s ridiculous.” Before I knew it, he was yelling in the phone. “Congressman Jindal’s here, and he says you can come and arrest him, too.” Well, Harry just told those boaters ignore the bureaucrats and go start rescuing people.
There’s a lesson in this experience: The strength of America is not found in our government. It is found in the compassionate hearts and the enterprising spirit of our citizens.
It’s the citizens who make the government. The government is not some foreign independent contractor hired to run this nation. We pay our government (through taxes) to help us when we need it most. Republicans and Democrats both need to get off this idea people want the government to give us something that is not from us originally. The government is of the people, by the people and for the people.
New York Times: