Rarely have we been presented with a policy problem as complex as the crisis unfolding on the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas….
There are countless facets of the crisis to consider. What role are child trafficking laws playing in hamstringing the Obama administration in sending the kids back home? Should we, in fact, reevaluate our asylum laws to reckon with the claims of the new arrivals that they are fleeing rampant political and gang violence in El Salvador and Honduras?…
One could delve into these questions. Or, if among the Beltway commentariat, one could just dwell on the political optics, which means asking, for the ninth time in the past five and a half years, “Is this Obama’s Katrina?” This comparison was inevitable from the get-go, given the spectacle of chaos and human suffering playing out in the nation’s southern reaches, but it has been spurred further by Obama’s decision not to visit the border himself while attending fundraisers in Dallas and Austin this week. (The White House, which today requested $3.7 billion in emergency funding to deal with the migrant surge, says Obama will meet with Texas officials to discuss the crisis, but not at the border.) This close-but-not-present proximity to the crisis is being equated to President George W. Bush’s glimpse of Katrina’s destruction from 30,000 feet above on Air Force One while returning from a vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.
The comparison was made explicitly Monday night by Rep. Henry Cuellar, the Democratic congressman from South Texas, and the pundits have run wild with it. So has GOP political strategist Ed Rogers in theW ashington Post: