Department of Strategic Asshattery

Michael Brown On Sandy: Why The Big Hurry? It’s Only A Hurricane, Not Benghazi

Heckuva job, BronyYes, yes, we know: this story, like so much hurricane wreckage, is starting to grow mold already. But let’s pause a moment to give incompetent former FEMA director Michael Brown his due: with his insanely stupid suggestion that the Obama administration was responding too quickly to Hurricane Sandy, he pulled off a fairly adroit bit of political jujitsu. By saying something so comically dickish and painfully ironic that no media outlet could possibly resist “poking the fun” at it, he got the chance to advance the right’s maliciously dickish narrative about Obama’s supposed mishandling of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

So sure, he had to endure another round of reminiscences about how badly he and rest of the Bush administration screwed the rescue pooch in handling Hurricane Katrina in 2005. But virtually every story on Brown’s remarks also dutifully reported his talking points on Libya:

“One thing he’s gonna be asked is, why did he jump on this so quickly and go back to D.C. so quickly when in … Benghazi, he went to Las Vegas?” Brown says. “Why was this so quick? … At some point, somebody’s going to ask that question … This is like the inverse of Benghazi.”

It’s pretty fucking insidious to imply that Obama was somehow over-eager in activating the emergency response for a hurricane, which entails getting FEMA ready to handle a number of fairly predictable kinds of chaos and wreckage, while simultaneously suggesting that Benghazi, a far messier, still-unfolding situation, called for a more aggressive, hands-on reaction, preferably one that involved raining death on some Libyans. (Plus, Obama was shamefully out of touch… while he watched Benghazi in the Situation Room.)

Unlike his handling of Katrina, Brown was remarkably ahead of the game in advancing the right’s take on Sandy: acknowledge that, yes, there was a storm of some sort, but let’s talk more about Benghazi.

Dubya reputedly hired Brownie for his loyalty to the GOP, not his brilliance in disaster preparedness. Brown’s apparent willingness to remind everyone once more of his famous incompetence, for the sake of slipping the Benghazi narrative into mainstream reporting, suggests that he’s still capable of doing a heck of a snow job.

[Salon / Media Matters]

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About the author

Doktor Zoom lives in Boise, Idaho. He acquired his pseudonym after being differently punctual to too many meetings. He is not a medical doctor, although he has a real PhD (in Rhetoric and Composition).

View all articles by Doktor Zoom

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147 comments

  1. nounverb911

    Coward, why don't you say that to Christies face. Christie would bury Brown in the Meadowlands next to Hoffa.

    1. StillGoinGreen

      How long do we have to keep up the libtard love affair with the Mighty Fat one? I, for one, still hate this fat piece of shit and remember that he is a neo-con piece of shit that hates teachers, workers, people who bitch when he uses the Governor's helicopter to go to his fat little kid's baseball game, etc. However, I do not call the Northeast Coast my home, so I am willing to vomit in my mouth for a while so he can get the water out of the Hoboken basements.

      1. SorosBot

        Yeah, just because Christie remembered he has to get re-elected in liberal New Jersey next year doesn't make him any less of an asshole.

      2. Callyson

        Temporary alliance–enemy of my enemy logic is operative until after Obama gets re-elected. As soon as NJ starts to recover and Christie returns to form and says something that Chris Christie would say, I'll go back to hating him then. Shouldn't be more than a week or so…

  2. Loch_Nessosaur

    Bamz should have waited 2 days then flown over NJ and NY while commenting it looks like it sucks down there and I bet it doubly sucks to actually be down there.

  3. thefrontpage

    There is an adage in journalism–a very simple one–that is just as important–if not more important–today than it's ever been: Just report the news. That's it: Just report the news. This applies to newspapers, magazines, radio stations, television stations, websites, newsletters, whatever. Just report the news. News is simply the who, what, where, when, why and how of something that happens. We literally don't need–that's right, we don't need–crazy blowhards and talking heads cluttering up journalism on radio, television and the internets and in newspapers, magazines and newsletters. That's right–we don't need them. It'd be great to see about 90 percent of opinion-writers, talking heads and columnists just disappear. That's right—90 percent of them. Journalism–and news–would be better off. We can start the housecleaning with cable television, Fox News and Politico.

    1. FlownOver

      Can't sell airtime without content.

      Well, you could, but based on your valid limitations Teevee Journimalism would be thirty-second inserts between infomercials for hemorrhoid creams and gold-plated turds commemorating Things You've Heard Of™.

      1. HogeyeGrex

        Compared to now, where it's actual hemorrhoids and gold-plated turds in front of the cameras, I'm not sure that would be so bad.

    2. Generation[redacted]

      You just report the news, and I'll sell crazy drama controversy. Then we'll see who gets more ad dollars.

  4. cognachas4paws

    I bet the people on the east coast are just sick over the fact that the President was proactive. How uppity of him to plan ahead.

    1. LagunaB

      You mean the south or mid-west. We are pro-Obama on the east coast, north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

  5. Pithaughn

    Yeah, Mrs. Pith and I were discussing this last night, why did'nt he immediately jump in fighter jet and head out for Libya with a megaphone and take charge like Bush would've.
    We all remember how Bush jumped in AF one and headed for DC and then NY on 9/11 right?

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      I was of the mind that the Benghazi thing gave Barry exactly 0 hours of prep time to respond, and Sandy gave him about 2 or 3 weeks. But what do I know? I'm no ex-director of FEMA.

  6. Lot_49

    Shouldn't a horse's ass like that have more flies buzzing around it?

    We should ask an equestrian attorney this important question, if only we knew where it find a good one.

    BTW, is Rafalca looking for representation? Is Brownie angling for this prestigious engagement?

  7. SexySmurf

    Brownie knows a lot about Middle East military policy because he used to judge Arabian horses. And he's an expert on fucking things up.

  8. Mumbletypeg

    Yes, Brown, at some point someone is going to "ask that question." Why you want to be first to leap into such inane contrived misdirecting of comparative crises is beyond — well pretty sadly obvious, actually.

  9. EatsBabyDingos

    Why do three oaks and three pictures of Brownie equal 10?

    Tree and a turd + tree and a turd + tree and a turd = 10.

  10. BaldarTFlagass

    Based upon his statements, I'm guessing Brownie's reaction time back in '05 would have been a whole hell of a lot better if Katrina had hit Benghazi instead of New Orleans.

    1. MUHAMMED_PBUH

      "Then [the angel] Gabriel] brought Buraq, handsome-faced and bridled, a tall, white beast, bigger than the donkey but smaller than the mule [...] He had two wings on his thighs which lent strength to his legs. [...] He sweated until he became soaked, and he stood still so that the Prophet mounted him."

      sadaqa allaahu alazeem

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      The free market will rebuild everything in no time. Already, gas is $5 a gallon in NYC, and that's helping tremendously. Invisible hand FTW!

  11. SoBeach

    The FEMA elite special forces squad could've taken care of business in Benghazi quicker than you can say Rambo, but no. Obama told 'em to stand down.

    Bet when they were told to go to Atlantic City their only question was "Do we get to win this time?"

  12. smashedinhat

    While generally not an advocate of casual violence (when sober for instance) I do recognize that sometimes in order to prevent things from getting out of hand the judicious application of a board with a nail hammered through it is quite often indicated.

  13. Goonemeritus

    Give the poor guy a break you try managing a critical department of the Federal Government when you have no knowledge, skill, experience or even interest in doing the job.

  14. Texan_Bulldog

    Doktor Zoom, does the Editrix not allow you access to any other pics than Princess Sparkle Pony?

    1. noodlesalad

      That's Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash, obvs.

      Let me use my familiarity with the My Little Pony universe to now expound on Nobummer's failures in the complicated internecine state of Syria.

      1. MissTaken

        If Spike can send and receive messages to Princess Celestia all the way in Canterlot why didn't Noobama send help to Benghazi?

  15. SigDeFlyinMonky

    GOP: Not up to the task. Of governance that is…. On the other hand, they have a deep bench of sleezey hacks who haven't got a clue and view the world from the moral vantage of a septic system.

  16. SorosBot

    Yeah, it's just unlike Benghazi, which Obama screwed up by – wait, I'm still not sure what the wingnuts think he did wrong here; just that he was bad because.

    1. HarryButtle

      Yea, I've been trying to have a dialog with one of my wingtard relatives for the past couple of days and I still don't know exactly what she's accusing him of doing wrong. But, she is adamant that it was something terrible and now he's covering it up with the help of the lamestream media who refuse to cover this very important story.

      He IS guilty of Presiding while blah, so maybe that's it.

  17. MissTaken

    I have to agree with Brownie on this. Who's to say that a hurricane the size of the entire fucking Gulf of Mexico could actually cause damage to a major US city that sits below sea level? There was no way to predict it. Where was the intelligence? The only thing that was known for sure in 05 was McCain's birthday party.

    1. SorosBot

      Next someone will suggest that a briefing entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack in US" predicted that there was some danger of a terrorist attack!

    2. Crank_Tango

      Yeah, there's no way all those National Geographic Channel specials predicting a shitshow in New Orleans could have predicted a shitshow in New Orleans.

      Insert something about known unknowns and unknown knowns and kenya. And gay marriage.

  18. Oblios_Cap

    Brown saw "arab" in the Benghazi story and thought they were talking about the Horse Association. Otherwise, he wouldn't have cared.

  19. SorosBot

    I do want to thank Brownie for reminding the voters what Republican the response to natural disasters looks like.

  20. Detesticle

    Haha. Bravo and a slow clap — that headline made me laugh. In other news, Chris Christie ate Romney.

      1. Detesticle

        I hate fat jokes. My mom is so fat she has diabetes. True sad story. But I succumbed to Christie's largeness.

  21. MissTaken

    I was in Gulfport and Biloxi six months after Katrina. Couldn't get a hotel room because they were all filled with displaced victims. Soup lines stretched for blocks. I was floored that so many months later the area was still completely devastated and looked as if Katrina had just happened. To hear Brownie the Horse Fucker make any fucking comment about the timing as scope of disaster relief makes my fucking blood boil.

    Hey Brownie, should Obama and FEMA wait 6 months to start helping people and then just shove them in chemical warfare trailers? Huh?! Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

  22. HempDogbane

    Brown got to go to the head of the pundit line with his comments because he brought his own canned goods, unlike the other pundits who had to wait and get theirs from the Romney Preparedness Table.

  23. north_of_moscow

    The Bush administration would have reacted to Katrina much more swiftly if it had occurred in New York. Condi would have made them. That's where all the shoes are.

  24. TootsStansbury

    How is it that this loser is relevant?! Why isn't he hiding in shame? Like his old boss?I really dislike these fuckers.

  25. poorgradstudent

    The real controversy is "Why is anyone ever asking for Michael Brown's opinion on anything, except being a pathetic failure who managed to stand out even in a presidential administration with more than its fair share of pathetic failures?".

  26. JustPixelz

    This reminds of the time al Queada crashed airplanes into the World Trade Center. Brownie's eventual boss Dubya did not act quickly when the nation was under attack. He sat quietly while the children around him finished reading "The Pet Goat", a story. "I didn't want to upset the kids", he explained years later. The people in the towers were already upset, as were the people watching on TV. He couldn't comfort them with his inaction, but he could keep those kids calm.

    Dubya then avoided acting too quickly by flying away from New York, Washington and the fields of Pennsylvania where Americans were fighting desperately for their lives.

    Dubya may have tragically failed to keep America safe that day, but he did not act too quickly which — according to Brownie — is the important thing.

    1. SigDeFlyinMonky

      Bush kept the country safe for seven months and 22 days. By my calculations, that means that Obama is over five and one half times more successful than Bush as of this date.

      1. Biel_ze_Bubba

        Dumbya "kept the country safe" for exactly as long as it took Bin Laden and the boys to plan and prepare the attacks.

    1. PugglesRule

      In other news, Jerry Sandusky just found out (for realz) that he's going to be living at the SuperMax. Enjoy your stay there, sucka. It could be brief and painful.

  27. elviouslyqueer

    In related news, I really really want to kick Hannity so powerfully hard in the junk that it would make guys is Vladivostok cup themselves before falling over in sheer agony.

    1. PugglesRule

      Are you like that old black lad in that ad who wants to cockpunch Mitt Romney? Because Hannity obviously needs that just as much.

  28. MonkeyMotion

    Brownie,

    Nothing like opening an old wound and pouring in some fresh salt. Heckuva job, once again, dickhead.

    -George W.

  29. comrad_darkness

    Dubya hired everyone for the loyalty not any other qualification. Something most pundits on the right finally acknowledged with the Harriet Miers' debacle. Accidentally qualified only got you fired in that administration.

  30. Incitefully_Joe

    There's been a bit of dialogue on this since then, first current FEMA director, Chris Fugate came back with this SICK BURN:

    "It’s better to be fast than to be late."

    Then Heckuva Job doubled down with this response:

    "In the context of the election,

    No. Just stop right there. We're talking about emergency management to a major natural disaster. There is no "in the context of the election" here, just the right response and wrong response.

    Honestly, just the fact that Brownie evidently thinks that disaster response should be modulated "in the context of [elections]" kinda speaks volumes in itself.

    1. bikerlaureate

      Good catch.

      If a prominent Dem started with that ""In the context of the election" crap, we'd be savaging him/her…
      That's some three-piece evil right there.

      1. docterry6973

        Absolutely. It shows what a fool Brownie is. Even after the national revulsion against his personal incompetence he still speculates about how best to politicize a natural disaster. Someone sell this man a clue.

  31. GemlikeFlame

    Hanlon's Razor, revised:

    Never attribute to malicious cleverness that which can be explained by abject stupidity.

  32. notreelyhelping

    He is but a tiny, shimmery thing, making some kind of noise…might be words, might be static. Hard to tell. I suspect that, shortly, he will wink out like a blown light bulb, and no one will really even remember what he said…except for an occasional "remember when" chuckle at the bar.

  33. Botlrokit

    You're not supposed to screw the rescue pooch…?

    [ponder]

    …then why the fuck did it bring a cask of brandy?

  34. HogeyeGrex

    1). Why isn't this asshole still hiding in shame?
    2). Why would anybody listen to a single thing that dribbles from his mouth-hole?
    3). Alt-text win.

  35. Troglodeity

    Michael Brown speaks from experience: he regrets not having waited even longer to begin offering FEMA aid after Katrina.

  36. OneYieldRegular

    This is one guy who really, really should learn to quit while he's behind and just be grateful that somehow he's not in prison.

  37. BeefHardcake

    Isn't he swabbing out a stable somewhere or something to which he is better suited than, y'know, TALKING?

  38. ttommyunger

    Palin, Joe the Not-a-Plumber, Sununu, Dick Morris and now Brownie….Does this barrel even HAVE a fucking bottom?

  39. loneluckyluke

    Ah… the most famous Brownie….. Halloween was 2 days ago…. did you have a "Rush Limbaugh Lite" costume on?

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