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It took 120 hours after the country’s most devastating natural disaster for the administration to finally get their spin in order. Back from her shoe-shopping spree came Condi ”Lyin’” Rice. Fresh from his “Who Knew?” tour, Donald Rumsfeld surfaced. We have yet to see Vice President Dick “Bunker” Cheney. However, Cheney's Halliburton pals have already acquired the levee-repair contracts in New Orleans.

As the Gulf Coast became a hell on earth and thousands stood waist deep in fetid water watching their babies starve and their grandmothers drown, this “culture-of-life” president finally ended his five-week vacation only to prime his spin-machine pump before sending in the military, FEMA, and Homeland “security”.

The administration’s defenders, apologists, and surrogates were cued and ready to blame the Mayor of New Orleans, the governor of Louisiana, and the victims themselves.

Driving down Poplar Avenue here in Memphis, I noticed dozens of those black decals on cars with the initial “W” when it finally struck me -- ‘W’ stands for ‘Why?’

Why do we tolerate a President who prizes thousands of days of vacation over solving the dire and urgent challenges facing the nation? Why do we demand so little of and willingly accept a leader who has an aversion to intellectual curiosity? Why have we ignored a Congress who values tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations over fiscal responsibility? Why have we supported a phony war in Iraq costing billions daily that more rightly should be used for our aging, crumbling infrastructure? Why have we cheered on anti-government politicians like Governor Haley Barbour who is dedicated to dismantling and defunding federal and state programs critical to the welfare of its citizens?

Why are we still listening to insensitive dimwits like Speaker Dennis Hastert who questioned rebuilding “because it makes no sense to me”? Why haven’t Republicans confronted the duplicity of George W. Bush, whose boners include the likes of “No one anticipated a breach of the levee system” along with “No one anticipated a hijacker using an airplane as a weapon” and “Iraq is 45 minutes away from firing nuclear weapons on America”? Why do we pump gas at almost $4 a gallon while Iraqis pay only 5 cents?

Our nation needlessly lost a treasure this week. New Orleans was a unique gumbo of race, music, commerce, and food . But for now the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s, Mardi Gras on Fat Tuesday , the jazz of Preservation Hall, the coffee and beignets at Jackson Square, even the hapless Saints are only magical memories to us all.

Those who continue to defend this President and his administration by trying to spin away such an immense, callous failure should continue to pridefully display their ‘W’ stickers like bogus badges of honor. For the rest of us, they will hauntingly prompt the question.... WHY?

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