The only silver lining in the ongoing tragedy that is Hurricane Sandy was the temporary cessation of endless repetitive punditry about the presidential election. Unfortunately, since the networks can only report actual news without commentary for just so long, the pundits on the right and the left are back.
And they're talking about which candidate is being helped most by one of the worst storms in our history. And predictably, President Obama has been criticized by Michael ("Heckuva job, Brownie") Brown for actually helping the victims TOO quickly. When I first read that I thought for sure it was an Onion parody, but sadly it was all too real, absurd and offensive coming from a man who did too little too late in Katrina.
And Democrats have focused on the legitimate and troubling position Mitt Romney has taken, and refuses to address, about turning the role of FEMA disaster relief to the states, or worse, privatize it. And certainly the role of climate change in the increasing number and intensity of storms must be addressed. Just not right now. The only thing about Hurricane Sandy we should be talking about now is how it has devastated the lives of millions of Americans, continues to wreak havoc across a wide swath of the eastern United States, and what we all can do to help.
The one bright light in all of this is Chris Christie's effusive praise for the President's handling of the disaster, and for the excellent coordination between the President, FEMA and local governments. Sadly, this level of cooperation, which in years past wouldn't have raised an eyebrow, is the subject of chatter by those searching for a political windfall.
Governor Christie had it right when after viewing the devastation in New Jersey he said, "I don't give a damn about Election Day. It doesn't matter a lick to me at the moment. I've got bigger fish to fry."
This is not to suggest that we stop talking about and focusing upon the most important election of our lifetime. But we owe it to the millions of Americans in dire straits right now, not to politicize their suffering.
They need our help. Not our political opinions.