I've been listening to some more of Bobby Jindal's reply to Obama's speech and you've really got to marvel at the gall of some people. He's actually holding up Hurricane Katrina as an example of why government can't run things. That may seem like a slam-dunk argument but you have to think things through.
With Democratic local and state government and a Republican federal government at the time, that gave the three separate levels an excuse to all blame the incompetence on each other. The truth is that they all stuffed up mightily and there's more than enough blame to go around.
But this is where Jindal and the Republicans' utter gall comes into it. They assume that when government cocks something up, it's not a personal failure on their part, but a failure of government as a concept.
Having replaced Democrat Kathleen Blanco as governor, Jindal could have pointed to those previous failures and shown how much he'd learned from it and how much better his administration is at handling things now. But no, instead, his reading of the situation is that government simply can't manage things at all so it's better to just get out of the way and let others handle it.
That seems to be the Republicans' platform at the moment,
Vote for us. We promise we won't do anything!
We'll give it all to someone else. Anyone else. What have you got?
It makes you wonder what on earth government is for if not to govern.
Here's the real lesson:
Things don't fall in a heap just because they're managed by government.
Things fall in a heap when they are managed by stupid governments.
Don't use previous government failures as an excuse to delegate your duties, learn from those failures so that you can do the job properly this time. Government is not the problem. Stupidity is the problem.