Salon.com | "What didn't go right?":
House Speaker Dennis Hastert, asked about rebuilding New Orleans, volunteered: "It doesn't make sense to me." He elaborated: "I think federal insurance and everything that goes along with it ... we ought to take a second look at that." Thus Hastert upheld rugged individualism over a modern federal union. Just a month earlier, as it happened, Hastert had put out a press release crowing about his ability to win federal disaster relief for drought-stricken farmers in his Illinois district. While he was too preoccupied attending a campaign fundraiser for a Republican colleague to travel to Washington to vote for the $10.5 billion emergency appropriation to deal with Katrina's aftereffects, he did finally return to the capital to push for even more drought aid from the Department of Agriculture. Hastert's philosophy is not undermined by his stupendous hypocrisy, for hypocrisy is at the center of the Republican idea. Hastert simply has the shamelessness of his convictions.
That night, at the White House, Bush met with congressional leaders of both parties, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urged Bush to fire Brown. "Why would I do that?" the president replied. "Because of all that went wrong, of all that didn't go right last week," she explained. To which he answered, "What didn't go right?"