Well they weren’t exaggerating; Superstorm Sandy has wreaked unprecedented havoc across much of the eastern United States. Thankfully, there seems to be relatively few human casualties, and thankfully we haven’t heard of the sort of compete breakdown of the civil infrastructure that marked the wake of Katrina. And so far the federal response does not appear as incompetent as that fiasco.
The President has suspended his campaign to attend to the disaster. If he continues to appear presidential and doesn’t screw up this will no doubt be a boost to his campaign.
Mitt Romney turned two days of campaigning into a food drive to help the victims. Which is fine; any help is welcome. But he is on record as recently as 2011 as saying that disaster relief should be left to the states, rather than the federal government. Odd, Governor Christie is not telling the feds to get out of New Jersey. Nor did Governor Jindal when Katrina hit Louisiana. Nor, to my recollection, has any Republican governor turned down federal aid when facing such devastation. If Mr Romney intends his fundraisers to be a model of what he envisions he is foolish indeed.
I am a small-is-beautiful kind of guy, a decentralist and a localist. But in a disaster of this magnitude solidarity trumps subsidiarity every time. A federal response is as inevitable as it is necessary.