there is no better example of this than the actions of their president (the tip of an all too large iceberg).
as NOLA collapses into shocking anarchy, it would be hoped that the man who was ushered back into office on the back of his strong-man theatrics (as is well pointed out by bookdrunk) would be (as his office convinced the country he was back in 2001 and again in election) the first down at ground zero, the standard bearer, leading his people out of danger.
instead mr bush had these words for his people.
"We've got a lot of rebuilding to do. First, we're going to save lives and stabilize the situation. And then we're going to help these communities rebuild. The good news is -- and it's hard for some to see it now -- that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house -- he's lost his entire house -- there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch. (Laughter.)" (via boingboing)
this is of course the same trent lott who wikipedia reminds us was involved in:
Tremendous political controversy [...] following remarks Lott made on Dec. 5, 2002 at Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party. Thurmond ran for President of the United States in 1948 on the Dixiecrat (or States' Rights) ticket, whose primary campaign issue was the perpetuation of racial segregation in the United States. Lott said:
"I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either."
so George W's ivory towered reassurance to the people (the poor, black people) being shot and raped and starved in the civic centres and superdomes of new orleans is that a rich white segragationist is going to have a fantastic new house.
it can only be hoped that from such a quagmire of indifference some sea change can be affected, whether it comes from an ineffectual left stung into action or from the people themselves, finally confronted with the illusory nature of Bush's patriotic hegemony.
the right would have america believe that to oppose the policies that Bush has introduced is unamerican, that to not support one's troops, or question homeland security, or disagree with any number of other policies is somehow damaging to america. this spell is all too brutely broken however, when it is made apparent that the people with the most disdain for the american people, the real america haters, are those that have the greatest responsibility to protect them.