One of the victims of hurricane Katrina is veneer of politeness that governs our political discourse. You simply are not rude in modern politics. No matter what line of crap someone is peddling, they will be heard and asked polite questions that can be easily dodged. No one has taken advantage of this politeness more than the Bush administration. No has every confronted Bush or his administration directly with a line like "You lied about the WMD, you ass." They are always allowed to offer their worthless explanations because we wouldn't want to be rude, would we?
Well Katrina has brought an end to that. Jack Shafer has a piece in slate outlining all the rudeness from the news people when they are confronted with administration BS. It cumulated in CNN showing the difference between administration quotes and their reporter's reality. Rapper Kanye West just tore into Bush during a benefit concert. The Mayor of New Orleans was losing it in buckets in a radio interview.
So what is different about this event? Why was no one rude about Iraq and WMD? Because people are dieing, slowing, right in front of reporters and cameras and there is no "enemy" to invoke. The dirtiest and most effective rhetorical trick of the right has been to criticism bush aids terrorist/Saddam. But Katrina is just weather. It can't be "aided" Screw ups are screw ups and pointing them out isn't going to hearten the flood waters. So three cheers for the death of politeness!