The Bush administration's lack of an effective response to the disasters along the Gulf Coast should come as no surprise at this late date. After five years of undivided Republican rule in the United States, only the most uninformed and credulous can actually still believe that Republican leaders consider government's prime responsibility to be the welfare of American citizens.
To those that have been wiped out by the one-two punch of hurricanes Katrina and Rita: sorry folks, your misery and despair isn't even worthy of consideration by our august Republican leaders -- except when they are forced to utter empty words of consolation and deceptive promises of imminent aid when the television cameras are rolling.
Of course, they're lying. They know they're lying. They don't care about the suffering of the thousands of newly displaced, homeless and unemployed Americans. There's a psychological term for those who can lie without hesitation and have no empathy for the pain and suffering of others: sociopathy (or anti-social personality disorder). The Republican Party -- and through them our country -- has been hijacked by sociopaths.
If there's any doubt about that fact, just look at the GOP's first political responses to the catastrophe: voiding the long-established Davis- Bacon "prevailing-wage" law, which would have guaranteed that workers in the stricken areas would be paid at least $9 per hour on Halliburton's sweetheart no-bid reconstruction contracts; and the gutting of environmental regulations allowing more pollution from refineries. These were the Bush administration's first priorities. Permanent shelter, medical care, jobs and education -- the stuff that will actually help people? Those will have to wait for commissions and task-force recommendations until sometime after the mid-term elections (i.e., never).
If our government exists to "promote the general welfare," an administration that has engaged in an unnecessary war, and whose policies increase poverty, decrease health-care availability and allow increased pollution levels can be described as sociopathic -- and these have been the indisputable, quantifiable results of the policies of the Bush administration and the Republican Party.
Psychologists and historians will argue for years about the real reason Mr. Bush had for his war in Iraq (Oil? Imperial conquest? Domestic politics? Oedipal rivalry?). The only undeniable truth that we have about Iraq at this point is that our invasion and occupation, the tens of thousands of needless deaths and the policy of torture for those merely suspected of terrorist affiliation, were not due to the reasons we were originally told. The sociopaths in the Bush administration knowingly and skillfully lied to get us into that bloody quagmire.
I recommend that you read the whole article for the low-down on DeLay.
The existence of sociopathy among key members of the administration is certainly a reasonable explanation for their behavior. Sadly, it means it is unlikely that they can be reasoned with or moved by ordinary human feeling.