Now that Mike Brown has resigned from FEMA, it is time to build public pressure on the Bush administration to appoint the one man with the knowledge and experience to fix the mess Brown left behind… former Clinton administration FEMA chief, James Lee Witt.
This is the only way to instantly restore faith in FEMA, both in the eyes of the American public and in those of FEMA’s own demoralized staff. Witt is the only man for the job, and if Bush cares more about public safety than about petty partisan politics, this would prove it.
Of course, we all sense that President Bush simply doesn’t believe in FEMA’s primary mission, and thus such an appointment — politically savvy as it might be — would be highly unlikely. Which is all the more reason to keep up the pressure, because it both helps expose the real world consequences of the Republican’s failed ideology, and shows that in additon to blistering criticism, we have concrete, positive proposals to address this crisis.
So that’s why I just sent the following email to the White House:
Dear President Bush,
As has been evidenced in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, experienced leadership is crucial to mounting an effective and timely federal response to man-made and natural disasters. That is why I urge you to immediately appoint James Lee Witt as the new director of FEMA.
Only Mr. Witt possesses the credibility, leadership and knowledge to rebuild FEMA… as he has once before. By appointing our nation’s most experienced and respected emergency manager to manage the federal response to national and regional emergencies, you can instantly restore faith in FEMA, both in the eyes of the American people, and in those of the agency’s own demoralized staff. And by reappointing a man who ably served under your predecessor, you will display exactly the kind of nonpartisan decision-making the public demands during times of crisis.
The nation needs Mr. Witt, and I urge a quick and decisive appointment.
Let’s keep the pressure up.
[Cross-posted at Daily Kos]