Bush takes responsibility -- but for what?

A president who likes to talk about "personal responsibility" ought to be a little more specific when he falls upon the sword. Here's how you can help.

By T.g.

Published September 15, 2005 3:12PM (EDT)

George W. Bush said Monday that he will "take responsibility" for whatever the federal government might have done wrong in its response to Hurricane Katrina. That's great, as far as it goes. But when our kids try to worm out of trouble by saying they're sorry, we usually ask them to say for what. Shouldn't we expect at least as much from a president who talks so much about the importance of personal responsibility?

Perhaps the president will flesh out his acceptance of responsibility tonight when he speaks to the nation about Katrina. But just in case Bush hasn't planned a series of "I take responsibility for . . ." sentences as the centerpiece of his speech, we thought War Room and its readers might be able to lend him hand by offering examples of instances in which the federal government "didn't fully do its job right" in the wake of Katrina.

Maybe the president could say, "I take responsibility for failing to comprehend television reports that thousands of people were trapped at the New Orleans Convention Center." Or, "I take responsibility for using approximately 50 firefighters who could have been helping with search-and-rescue efforts as human props in photographs of me." Or, "I take responsibility for requiring 400 National Guardsmen to sit in New Mexico for four days after Gov. Bill Richardson authorized them to travel to Louisiana for hurricane relief work."

You get the idea. Send your suggestion -- with a supporting link, if you can -- to responsibility@salon.com. We'll publish a sampling before the president speaks tonight.

By T.g.


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