When does reality set in?

/ 16 September 2005

I have to admit that it’s getting harder and harder for me to keep to my pledge (an internal one) that I would read more right wing blogs to stay in touch with multiple “sides” of an issue. Today I find myself almost too disgusted to go on. At Powerline (a blog written by some local guys here in Minnesota, which grew “famous” in the aftermath of the CBS/Dan Rather stuff), there is a piece that goes on at some length about the incompetence of the mainstream media, and their inability to cover the story of the hurricane response fairly. One of their complaints is that the media aren’t comparing the government’s response this time to previous disasters. Well, they must not be paying attention!

There was an interesting -- but appalling in its implications -- story on NPR this morning where a FEMA official who's been with the agency since 1979 (I think that was the date) pointed out how woefully inadequate the response was, and how much it was NOT what was to be expected based on planning and past experience. So even the government's own officials are going on the record to compare with the past, and in the process to condemn the response this time.

So here's my real concern: when does reality set in? When do we enter a "fact-based reality" that we share? If the right wing refuses to accept even what government officials are saying as reality, is there any way we can be in the same reality together? And how will we learn from this experience so as not to repeat it in the future?