Those who have been following the election know that Mitt Romney loves to flip-flop. He’s done it on social issues, economic issues, foreign policy issues and even on his own religious beliefs. His latest flip-flop on FEMA however is possible one of the most evident.
Given the current situation on the East Coast, with hurricane Sandy doing billions of dollars worth of damage one would think that everyone would support the efforts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the assistance it will provide over the coming weeks and days. Not Romney.
Here he is just a few months ago saying it would be best if FEMA were privatised:
Yes, that’s exactly what we need. A privatised fire and ambulance service. I cant even begin to describe how disastrous this would be. Fret not however, as under Romney’s current budget plan he is going to cut FEMA’s budget by 40% so there wont really be much to actually privatise anyway. Romney has also been quoted as saying that FEMA is “immoral”.
Today Romney was out in Ohio at a photo opportunity helping aid workers. So what did Romney have to say about this comment and his commitment to cut FEMA’s budget? Absolutely nothing. Reporters asked him several times as he was filmed loading up a truck with supplies and his response was to ignore them.
Afterwards a Romney spokesperson made a statement saying “Gov. Romney believes that states should be in charge of emergency management in responding to storms and other natural disasters in their jurisdictions. As the first responders, states are in the best position to aid affected individuals and communities, and to direct resources and assistance to where they are needed most. This includes help from the federal government and FEMA.” The Romney campaign has refused to say how a Romney Presidency would deal with disasters differently when compared with Obama.
It seems to me that many politicians are unaware that in today’s age what you say can be recorded. If you say you love the colour blue on Monday then say you hate the colour on Wednesday, you’re going to be found out and accused of flip-flopping. Maybe current politicians are of a generation where they don’t realise you cant say anything you like any more an then deny you ever said it. I hope that people of my generation who wish to go into politics realise that anything they post on Facebook or Twitter could come back to haunt them later on in their careers.
On a slightly different note, I’ve been rather disappointed with the media’s coverage of Sandy. Sure, they’ve gotten some great action shots of reporters been slapped in the face by Mother Nature, but where’s the mention of climate change?
I know that a single weather event cannot be extrapolated onto the entire climate system, but given the number of severe storms this year alone, 19 named hurricanes so far in 2012, one would think that some of them would begin to realise that there is a pattern emerging.
It’s not just TV either I had to read a substantial number of article’s online before coming across one that actually mentioned climate change (kudos to Politico for that.) I fear that in the media, and hence in politics, the issue is turning into somewhat of a ‘If I close my eyes and ears and pretend it’s not happening then it doesn’t exist’.
Oh well, I suppose my generation will deal with it. I hope…