I just had to respond to some of those commenters who keep repeating the talking point line that we "lefties" are "pointing fingers" but not "doing anything to help."
Another lie -- yes, we are, and there's more than enough proof, and here's just one example. (Although actual proof of anything -- including the horrible facts surrounding the NOLA devastation -- doesn't seem to make much difference to many of these commenters who appear to be living in some kind of alternate reality.)
Within a couple of days of Hurricane Katrina, the progressive website www.MoveOn.org created yet another website where folks could offer housing to NOLA evacuees, and where evacuees might find suitable housing: www.hurricanehousing.org As of now, 198,141 beds have been volunteered, and the number keeps growing. (I did it myself, and a NOLA evacuee will be here in Brooklyn soon and will likely stay for a couple of months with his dog.)
What's most impressive -- other than the sheer number of offers -- is how many people of relatively modest means have offered what little space they have to displaced NOLA residents whom they've never met. A few examples:
"Offering my queen bed to one or two people who are in need...Don't have much to offer past a bed, shower, and warm meals."
"I live in a small 2 bedroom home. I figure a couple of people could fit in my Daughters room. It is not much, but it is available for someone who needs a place to stay."
"My wife and I have very limited space in our one bedroom apartment, but will be happy to have a mother and her child stay with us. We have a couch and an air mattress."
"Let me be the first to admit that I don't have much. Not much space, not much money, and not a fabulous house. I live on the left side of a small, older, 2-bedroom, one tiny bathroom, duplex. The second bedroom is used as an office and doesn't even have a bed or any closet space. We will have to find you a bed but I think we can do that with no trouble. I am a college student who is blessed enough to have a little bit of something to offer and I just want to help. I am sorry that I do not have more."
"Small but cozy one bedroom apartment...there are already two of us but we can offer the floor with a mattress and help you get back on your feet. I would never turn anyone away because you could be me if it were different circumstances."
Reading these very personal "ads" conveys "progressive values" at their best.
Ironically, some of those offering housing -- not among the powerful, the rich or the even somewhat wealthy -- are from the ranks of the same "have nots" who lost everything in New Orleans. They are still willing to share and sacrifice.
Our leaders are not worthy of them.
Follow Linda Cronin-Gross on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lindacgross@twi