Here’s yet another example of Ron Paul taking a stand that will prevent him from expanding his electoral base, even though he can fund raise and has loyal, dedicated supporters. Right in the middle of concern about Hurricane Irene he suggests there’s no use for FEMA:
With Hurricane Irene bearing down on the East Coast and taking direct aim at America’s
biggest city, who needs the Federal Emergency Management Agency anyway?
At least that’s the question that presidential candidate Ron Paul raised today at a campaign stop in New Hampshire, just hours before the storm was expected to begin inflicting heavy damage up and down the Eastern Seaboard.
“We should be like 1900. We should be like 1940, 1950, 1960,” Paul told a reporter for NBC News after a lunch-time speech in Gilford, N.H. “I live on the Gulf Coast; we deal with hurricanes all the time. Galveston is in my district.”
“There’s no magic about FEMA. They’re a great contribution to deficit financing and quite frankly they don’t have a penny in the bank. We should be coordinated but coordinated voluntarily with the states,” Paul said. “A state can decide. We don’t need somebody in Washington.”
This isn’t the first time the libertarian-leaning Texas Congressman had made controversial remarks regarding FEMA. In a May 13 interview with CNN, Paul called for the elimination of the agency.
“Why should somebody from the central part of the United States rebuild my house? Why shouldn’t I have to buy my own insurance and protect about the potential dangers,” Paul said. “Well, the reason we don’t have market insurance is it’s too expensive. Well, why is it expensive? Because it’s dangerous. Well, so why should – why should we take money from somebody else who don’t get the chance to live on the Gulf and make them pay to rebuild my house?”
The bottom line — one that Rep. Eric Cantor also seems to forget — is that in times of crisis Americans want and expect their government to step in and help ASAP. In the face or aftermath of disasters is the time to make ideological arguments or try to push political agendas. Natural disasters are when the bulk of Americans — and elected officials — believe everyone must come together and quickly help those in need.
If I was his political consultant I would say to Ron Paul after this statement: “Heck of a job Ron..”
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.