Liberally quoting (because he says much more eloquently than myself some things I've been trying to say) from Bob the Angry Flower's site:
But if a month ago you'd asked people "Do you think the Federal Government has a responsibility to render immediate aid and assistance to the victims of a National Emergency like a terrorist attack or natural disaster?" I think most folks would answer "Of course." And if you then asked, "Yeah, but what if the local and state authorities really screwed up? I mean really blew it. Wouldn't that absolve the Federal government of responsibilty?", most people would (should) look at you like you were nuts.
A wise comic book once said "With great power comes great responsibility." Responsibility goes up. It doesn't stop when the guy below you drops the ball. Indeed, it is activated. As you go higher up the chain of authority you get more power and more responsibilty. That's what being the boss is. That's what being the President is.
And what's been so galling and angering and horrifically appealing in all this is how George Bush has been so perfectly George Bush during this crisis. He played out his part as the clueless asshole sham president to a T. Monday evening he relaxed at his mansion. Tuesday he popped over to San Diego to spin bullshit about Iraq and clumsily play some chords. Wednesday he grumpily returned to Washington and chuckled during his speech. Thursday he said that nobody had anticipated that the levees would be breached, by "nobody" meaning him, by "not anticipating" meaning somebody had told him a few times about this disaster scenario in New Orleans but he hadn't really been paying attention. Friday he finally dared to visit the scene and complained that the people that had just gone through the worst week of their lives hadn't done enough. The man who cut short his vacation and usurped state authority to extend Terry Schiavo's living corpse for political advantage couldn't bring himself to do either when thousands of American lives were on the line. Classic Bush.