Sunday, September 9

Tancrazy Train: The Storm Blows Over

Colorado’s U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo shifted his focus last week from insulting Mexicans to insulting survivors of the worst natural disaster in U.S. history. On the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina slamming into the Gulf, Tancredo observed the tragedy by slamming its survivors.

Gulf states mourned the occasion with somber remembrances and candlelit vigils. Louisianans observed a period of silence at the moemnt the hurricane struck two years ago. Protesters marched through the Lower 9th Ward to call attention to government’s woeful mishandling of relief efforts and aid in the hurricane’s aftermath.

Tancredo chose to remember victims in a different way: by forgetting them.
Tancredo apparently believes the government has done plenty, thanks, for Katrina. He used the anniversary to call for a complete halt in federal assistance to survivors and rebuilding efforts.

“The amount of money that has been wasted on these so called ‘recovery’ efforts has been mind-boggling. Enough is enough,” he said in a statement. “It’s time the taxpayer gravy train left the New Orleans station.”

Tancredo no doubt wishes said “taxpayer gravy train” would bypass New Orleans and chug right on down to the U.S.-Mexico border, where it could fund additional unmanned drones and more border patrol agents of the caliber he prefers.

This isn’t the first time Tancredo has shared his illustrious opinions about Katrina. Shortly after the storm, it was the Littleton Republican who proposed the selling of federal lands to fund post-Katrina aid, rather than allocating actual budget money. (National forests? Who needs ‘em!)

And yet, for all his concern about the good citizen’s tax dollar, Tancredo hasn’t been nearly as vocal about the gallons of taxpayer gravy being pumped into Iraq — a position (or lack thereof) that got him labeled a “vengeful Colorado midget” by Rolling Stone this week. (Tancredo has been called a lot of things, but that one just might be a first.)

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco condemned Tancredo’s Katrina comments as “an insult to Americans in need”:

“We have undergone numerous audits, and we stand tall in the way Louisiana has honestly disbursed its federal dollars. I share Rep. Tancredo's concern for transparency and accountability, and I urge him to stand with us as we face this long-term recovery, just as we would stand with Colorado should residents there suffer a major disaster,” she said.

Since Blanco’s stiff rebuke, Tancredo’s suggestion has received little attention and even less support. The veterans over at Tancredo Watch have perhaps summed it up best:“The muted reaction to Tancredo's latest outrageous comments suggest that perhaps the national media is getting wise to what Colorado's press has known for a long time: Tancredo is an inveterate headline-grabber who will say anything, no matter how stupid, insensitive or inflammatory, to get some column inches.”

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