Harsh criticism, aimed poorly
An addendum to the previous post. Some might disagree with the point by saying that Bush has suffered some pretty harsh criticism this past week and that his polling numbers are tanking. But the point of Lakoff's post and my agreement with it is not that there hasn't been any criticism. The point is that the criticism is not directed at the right target.
The criticism of Bush and the feds in the last week has primarily been on the issue of competence. But we won't win back control of the government if the argument is purely one about competence.
Because argument based on competence concedes that the Republican philosophy of government might work if it just had the right people in charge.
Thus, even the harsh criticisms of Bush and company won't help Democratic fortunes because we aren't making any argument that the flaw in Bush's response is not in his competence (though there is that) but in his whole moral point of view.
New Orleans is not an example of a poorly executed Republican philosophy of government. It is the direct result of a well executed Republican philosophy of government.