Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

June 10, 2006

HECKUVA EMAIL, BROWNIE....In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and for months afterwards, former FEMA director Michael Brown was excoriated for his response (or lack thereof) to the crisis along the Gulf Coast. "Brownie" has tried to resuscitate his image a bit more recently, and yesterday told CNN that he received an e-mail before his resignation stating the president was glad to see Brown bear the brunt -- instead of him.

Michael Brown, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said Friday that he received the e-mail five days before his resignation from a high-level White House official whom he declined to identify.

The September 2005 e-mail reads: "I did hear of one reference to you, at the Cabinet meeting yesterday. I wasn't there, but I heard someone commented that the press was sure beating up on Mike Brown, to which the president replied, 'I'd rather they beat up on him than me or Chertoff.' "

The sender adds, "Congratulations on doing a great job of diverting hostile fire away from the leader."

CNN couldn't verify the email's authenticity, but it came from an "eop.gov" address, suggesting it came from the Executive Office of the President.

To be sure, there are a couple of degrees of hearsay involved -- president told someone, who told someone else, who told Brown -- but it's certainly consistent with everything we've seen from the Bush White House from day one. When trouble arises, the buck stops anywhere but the Oval Office. The "leader" has to be shielded.

It's also entirely in line with how these guys view the "era of responsibility." Remember this gem from then-Gov. Bush's 2000 convention speech? "A hundred years from now this must not be remembered as an age rich in possession and poor in ideals. Instead, we must usher in an era of responsibility.... [O]ur nation's leaders our responsible to confront problems, not pass them onto others. And to lead this nation to a responsibility era, that president himself must be responsible." Too bad this outlook didn't last long.

For that matter, Mark Kleiman's right that the White House should own up to this. At this point, a Bush spokesperson would only say that the email Brown produced is an "old story." As Kleiman put it, "Either the President said what Brown's White House source says he said, at a Cabinet meeting, or he didn't."

Steve Benen 12:08 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (31)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

The more Brown stands up and fights the bullies in the WH the more I like him. He had a great line yesterday saying that a being good soldier is predicated upon having honorable authorities/leaders.

I'd probably feel the same way about any (if they exist) Republicans and Democrats that did the same thing. Specter style waffling doesn't count, howver, Murta and Feingold yes.

Posted by: jerry on June 10, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Oh come now, "White House should own up to this" is mere partisan posturing.

No sane White House would own up to such a note in public. It childish to posture like that.

Posted by: The Lounsbury on June 10, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

The president is actually working. He has better things to do than to confirm or deny every rumor that courses through the liberal media.

Posted by: American Hawk on June 10, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

I love the military language. From a cabinet nearly vacant of any experience, they talk politics like it's combat. Seems believable to me.

Posted by: Psuedonoise on June 10, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Definitely a slow weekend if items like this are considered post-worthy. The prez is a spoiled brat who doesn't give a flying flip about anything as long as it doesn't directly impact him? Not exactly newsworthy. And boo-hoo, Michael Brown has discovered that the Bush Admin is mean to you when you no longer serve their purposes-- Oh, WHAT a surprise! To be amazed at this point by their capacity for venality calls for a truly low bar setting on one's amazement capacity.

The amazing thing would be is if any of them had acted like anything but spoiled, whiny brats who would sell their mothers for a nickel.

But poor Mikey...you always think it won't happen to YOU, just those other poor dumb sumbitches.

Posted by: bluewave on June 10, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Oh yes! More "bold leadership" from the "anointed one".

The sick part is - there isn't even ONE Republican on the planet that cares!

Posted by: Mark-NC on June 10, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

And this email is a surprise ? ? ?

Posted by: Chief on June 10, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Once again the cabinet of the eop is delusional. Yes, Brownie was incompetent...but to think that recognition of his incompetency was distracting us from the incompetency of the boob that put him in charge is sheer delusion.

It was Bush's inability to see, understand, or put into place any kind of relief or recovery effort. Want proof? Look at Katrina's wake nine months later. Brownie's been gone a long time, and it's still a mess. We all KNOW who to blame, and we always knew. Distraction? Yeah. Right.

Posted by: jcricket on June 10, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK


AMERICAN HAWK: The president is actually working. He has better things to do than to confirm or deny every rumor that courses through the liberal media.

Name one.


Posted by: jayarbee on June 10, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Jayarbe-- He's working with the senate to try and get the IRS out of the business of graverobbing.

LINK: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/08/washington/08cnd-tax.html?hp&ex=1149825600&en=08d9d8f3e32bb180&ei=5094&partner=homepage

Posted by: American Hawk on June 10, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK


AMERICAN HAWK: He's working with the senate to try and get the IRS out of the business of graverobbing.

To the extent that an estate tax may be called "graverobbing" (which is not at all), it is made up for thousands of times over by all the people Bush sends to their graves.


Posted by: jayarbee on June 10, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

oh american hawk, you faux troll, you hate the billionaire's tax? you a long-lost scion of bill gates? you hate great republicans like theodore roosevelt? you think andrew carnegie knew nothing of the consequences of inheriting great wealth? you hate this country? are you one of those spend and spend "conservatives"? do you believe in irresponsibility? do you say 'ask not what i can do for my country; ask what my country can do for me?"

Posted by: mudwall jackson on June 10, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

The WH should confirm or deny, but before I get too excited about this - isn't an email quite easy to fake? I'm pretty ignorant of these matters, but I'm fairly sure I could send out emails with an eop.gov, too.

Posted by: mrkranky on June 10, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk must be DougJ from John Cole's place. For those that don't know him, Doug goes to political blogs, adopts a Republican personna and says the dumbest things imaginable to see how long it takes for people to figure it out.

Good work DougJ. I'm embarrassed that it took me this long to figure it out.

Posted by: Mike S on June 10, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

When was the email in relation to the President's "heckuva job, Brownie" attaboy?

Posted by: twc on June 10, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

jayarbee: To the extent that an estate tax may be called "graverobbing" (which is not at all), it is made up for thousands of times over by all the people Bush sends to their graves.

Hee!

When was the email in relation to the President's "heckuva job, Brownie" attaboy?

Does it matter? We've seen over and over that the words that come out of his mouth bear no relationship to an actual cognitive process.

Posted by: shortstop on June 10, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Another fake but accurate claim?

The deuce you say!

Posted by: Birkel on June 10, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Dems are too stupid to take advantage of any of this.

Unless the Dem leaders grow some balls, all this whining should stop.

Posted by: nut on June 10, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

I'm pretty ignorant of these matters, but I'm fairly sure I could send out emails with an eop.gov, too.
So which is it, pal. Can YOU do it of not?

Posted by: someOtherClown on June 10, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

It was Bush's inability to see, understand, or put into place any kind of relief or recovery effort. Want proof? Look at Katrina's wake nine months later. Brownie's been gone a long time, and it's still a mess. We all KNOW who to blame, and we always knew. Distraction? Yeah. Right.

It's unfortunate that the Democratic Party is just as corrupt as the Bush administration. For instance, instead of trying to get the former residents back working to rebuild their city, Harry Reid supported the illegal aliens who were taking rebuilding jobs from American hurricane victims. And the media helped.

Posted by: TLB on June 10, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

"The president is actually working"

Yeah, and he's working hard. Because, see, being President is hard work. And he works hard at it.

Say, is it August yet?

Posted by: Cal Gal on June 10, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder about the ethics of CNN publishing a story based on a doubly unsubstantiated e-mail.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 10, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder about the ethics of a President going to war based on doubly unsubstantiated WMD rumors.

Posted by: Disputo on June 10, 2006 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

To be sure, there are a couple of degrees of hearsay involved...

Gee, ya think? But hey, it makes a good story.

Posted by: rnc on June 10, 2006 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

"Propose a toast to the votes he gets
The feel of power and the thought of sex
The people must have something good to read
on a Sunday" ("The Leader" - The Clash)

American Hawk, didn't I tell you to go stick your finger in a light socket?

Posted by: Red on June 10, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

Mike S - Sometimes I think that's what Ann Coulter really is.

Posted by: Speed on June 10, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

The president is actually working. He has better things to do than to confirm or deny every rumor that courses through the liberal media.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Wee! hee hee! "working" - that's a good one!
"liberal media" - ha ha ha ha ha!

snort!
still laughing...

Posted by: craigie on June 10, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

birkel: Another fake but accurate claim?


like this one....


"We are fully prepared." - GWB 8/29/05

Posted by: thisspaceavailble on June 10, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

someOtherClown replies:
"I'm pretty ignorant of these matters, but I'm fairly sure I could send out emails with an eop.gov, too."
So which is it, pal. Can YOU do it of not?

You don't actually need to "send an email" - you just need to produce a text file with plausible header information.

Posted by: Zandru on June 10, 2006 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

Shrotly after the storm, several emails that were extremely embarasing to Brown surfaced, apparantly leaked. Just exactly who leaked them? I have not seen any sort of investigation on this one by anyone. Just wondering...

Posted by: celcus on June 10, 2006 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

"[T]he 'leader'?" First "decider, now "leader." This guy kills me. Bush is the reincarnation of Louis XVI. When I return from Iraq, I'll make a point of studying more European history so I can compare Dubya to more knavish, hereiditary monarch who led dissolute lives (the big-time Christian was/is a drunk who live in a "singles apartment building), ascended to the throne and threw their countries into war and otherwise misgoverned. Imagine, Bush is so much like them, especially--sacre bleu!!--Louis XVI, a frog. But then the word that describes people like Bush who either enter military service and use connections to avoid combat or otherwise avoid military service--despite war-mongering; think Cheney--is French: embusque.

Posted by: Allen on June 11, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly