It´s a fair bet that President Bush´s recent ninth trip to Louisiana since Hurricane Katrina will be his last for some time, perhaps this term, given his newly revealed attitude toward aiding the state´s recovery.
The worst that can be said of his opposition to the buyout bill of Congressman Richard Baker--besides that it´s unjust--is that it took him so long to conclude that the plan violates his core values by adding "unnecessary layers of bureaucracy" to his administration´s inadequate response.
So what does Louisiana do about the presidential "kick in the teeth," as the governor diplomatically put it, or the "death blow to the state´s economy" as GOP ally Baker framed it?
Louisiana must soldier on. Congressman Baker is not giving up on his bill, nor should he, despite the long odds against it. The Senate Banking Committee will hold hearings on Sen. Mary Landrieu´s companion bill in two weeks. Congressmen from both parties who have visited Louisiana have said that the federal government has not met its obligations. That case must continue to be made.