Instead of a Sportscar...

Friday, March 03, 2006

Howard Elicits a "YEEARRGH!"

Well, it's not often that I scream at the TV, but I found myself willing to make an exception for Howard Dean's performance on MSNBC yesterday. He was on talking about the latest ginned-up outrage over the months-old tape of Bush teleconfrencing prior to Katrina hitting the Gulf Coast. Dean was outraged aboutthe President's comments in the wake of the hurricane to the effect that nobody anticipated the breach of the levees in New Orleans--he claims that this is a clear case of Bush lying since the tape showed him discussing possible overtopping of the levees. The interviewer interjected that there is a difference between overtopping and breaching a levvy, to which Dean retorted there was no difference, and that the one necessarily causes the other one.

I've got news for Dean: overtopping is defined as "[the] flow of water over the top of a dam or embankment" and breach is defined as "an opening (especially a gap in a dike or fortification)". They're not. The same. Thing.

In the past New Orleans' levees have been overtopped without being breached. In an overtopping scenario it is a matter of pumping the water out of the city. In a breach, however, the water cannot be pumped out because it will simply flow back in. There is a definite, real-world difference between the two terms--a rather major, critical difference at that. For Dean to pretend otherwise, after having been appraised of the difference, smacks of rank political opportunism. It is percisely this sort of manufactured, baseless outrage that is causing the Democratic party to lose elections to a weak Republican party.