Jack Markell

Crisis Leadership: FEMA, Mitt Romney, And Partisanship Displayed

This disastrous Hurricane Sandy has demonstrated already the difference in leadership of President Barack Obama and his Republican Presidential opponent, Mitt Romney.

Obama has conducted himself fabulously, and has been praised by Republican Governor Chris Christie for his leadership in the crisis. He has demonstrated a steady, calm, cool hand, as he always has in every tough moment of his Presidency, including the operation to eliminate Osama Bin Laden.

Meanwhile, we are reminded that Mitt Romney has advocated getting rid of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and farming its operations back to the state and local governments, and even promoting privatizing its activities. He constantly said this during the Republican primary campaign, as he rushed to please the far right wing of his Republican Party.

Now he is caught in a bind, and has avoided direct comment about the situation caused by Hurricane Sandy.

But he has also, this quickly, shown partisanship, instead of bipartisanship, by calling and consulting with Republican Governors Chris Christie of New Jersey, and Bob Mc’Donnell of Virginia, but NOT calling and consulting with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, and Delaware Governor Jack Markell, all Democrats.

This is evidence, and not good, that shows that Mitt Romney would NOT be a good crisis President, and would play political games, similar to what George W. Bush did with Hurricane Katrina, and the Democratic Mayor and Democratic Governor of Louisiana, and thus giving a bad image to FEMA, which had been effective before Bush, and is again under Obama!

FEMA can be effective IF we have the right crisis President, and the proper people put into the agency to operate it efficiently. And if there is a need to fund more money for FEMA, by raising taxes, so be it, as we cannot afford to leave the management of a natural or man made disaster to 50 state governors alone, and certainly NOT to private companies, whose only purpose is to maximize profits at the expense of their employees and the general public!

Medicaid Expansion And State Governors: Reaction Based On Party Affiliation!

The federal government has offered to cover Medicaid expansion for the poor and uninsured in 2014 and after, because otherwise, millions of Americans will have no health care coverage, and that will increase the number of serious illnesses and deaths long term.

But predictably, and sadly, we find most Republican Governors refusing to expand their Medicaid system, including Bob McDonnell of Virginia, Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Rick Scott of Florida, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Rick Perry of Texas, Jan Brewer of Arizona, Paul LePage of Maine, and Scott Walker of Wisconsin, among others.

Meanwhile, most Democratic Governors, including Andrew Cuomo of New York, Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, Dan Malloy of Connecticut, Martin O’Malley of Maryland , Jack Markell of Delaware, Mark Dayton Of Minnesota, Pat Quinn Illinois, and Jerry Brown of California, among others, have made it clear they will expand the Medicaid coverage.

The contrast is startling, as GOP Governors, following in tune with the Republican House and Senate minority members, are in lockstep, making it clear they will not support expanded medical coverage, as part of their plan to wipe out ObamaCare, despite the Supreme Court decision last month!

The fact that the federal government would pay most of the costs, an estimated $931 billion through 2022, with the states only having to pay $73 billion, has had no effect on the Republican Governors!