Living Through Sandy (and No Obama Leadership)

Yossi Gestetner
No, my apartment did not get flooded and my car did not get crushed by a tree, but yes... Thousands of people in my community in Rockland County, New York are living through Sandy on the third day since it arrived: From utility wires obstructing traffic to downed trees making it difficult to pass to thousands upon thousands of homes (including my home) being without power. The mess is all over.

Monday night we spent in the dark and in the wind. Luckily, a close relative living in Brooklyn invited us over, so Tuesday eve we left town; after emptying the fridge and freezer and leaving our apartment to the mercy of local cops if they show up once a night to survey the dark streets.

Of course, heading to Brooklyn via the sections of the FDR that were open Tuesday eve we were not able to miss the fact that Lower Manhattan, blocks and blocks of The City That Never Sleeps, is in total darkness.

To my family and myself, Sandy, with God's grace, represents only a loss of income and displacement for hopefully just a few days, but the point is that many sections of Rockland County, New York, and many areas in the region suffering destruction from Sandy, are not on the radar of the national media, FEMA, or the President. Desperation and frustration are running high. Local governments are half dead; state government is nowhere to be found; and the only sign of the federal government is the local AM dial or Twitter informing us that Obama will today be in the media-focused New Jersey.

For good reason did NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg ask Obama not to come to New York. Bloomberg knows Obama has little to add to the table at this time. As for Governor Christie from New Jersey... Well, he is tired from long hours and emotional from the devastation, so I'm sure he is happy that Obama called him three times on Monday. But then again, aside from Obama pressing the redial button to a busy governor because he has nothing else to do; and aside from a public address from the private sector Red Cross because the federal government has little to show for itself, I really have no clue and no idea what Obama is doing to help us.

Few people in my community say or mention the word "Obama" these days. The story in real life is beyond him. In fact, it is beyond liberal commentators sitting in LA, DC, or perhaps in the unaffected areas of NYC. No sane person thinks, knows, or feels that Obama or FEMA has anything to contribute. Again, this is exactly what we have come to expect from government. But please, liberal hacks: don't insult our intelligence by telling yourself or your viewers that "Obama Sounds Presidential." As far we here are concerned, Obama can go campaign in FL or Ohio. It really makes zero difference to us if he glares on a screen "monitoring the situation" from AF1 or from 1600 PA Avenue.

No, my apartment did not get flooded and my car did not get crushed by a tree, but yes... Thousands of people in my community in Rockland County, New York are living through Sandy on the third day since it arrived: From utility wires obstructing traffic to downed trees making it difficult to pass to thousands upon thousands of homes (including my home) being without power. The mess is all over.

Monday night we spent in the dark and in the wind. Luckily, a close relative living in Brooklyn invited us over, so Tuesday eve we left town; after emptying the fridge and freezer and leaving our apartment to the mercy of local cops if they show up once a night to survey the dark streets.

Of course, heading to Brooklyn via the sections of the FDR that were open Tuesday eve we were not able to miss the fact that Lower Manhattan, blocks and blocks of The City That Never Sleeps, is in total darkness.

To my family and myself, Sandy, with God's grace, represents only a loss of income and displacement for hopefully just a few days, but the point is that many sections of Rockland County, New York, and many areas in the region suffering destruction from Sandy, are not on the radar of the national media, FEMA, or the President. Desperation and frustration are running high. Local governments are half dead; state government is nowhere to be found; and the only sign of the federal government is the local AM dial or Twitter informing us that Obama will today be in the media-focused New Jersey.

For good reason did NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg ask Obama not to come to New York. Bloomberg knows Obama has little to add to the table at this time. As for Governor Christie from New Jersey... Well, he is tired from long hours and emotional from the devastation, so I'm sure he is happy that Obama called him three times on Monday. But then again, aside from Obama pressing the redial button to a busy governor because he has nothing else to do; and aside from a public address from the private sector Red Cross because the federal government has little to show for itself, I really have no clue and no idea what Obama is doing to help us.

Few people in my community say or mention the word "Obama" these days. The story in real life is beyond him. In fact, it is beyond liberal commentators sitting in LA, DC, or perhaps in the unaffected areas of NYC. No sane person thinks, knows, or feels that Obama or FEMA has anything to contribute. Again, this is exactly what we have come to expect from government. But please, liberal hacks: don't insult our intelligence by telling yourself or your viewers that "Obama Sounds Presidential." As far we here are concerned, Obama can go campaign in FL or Ohio. It really makes zero difference to us if he glares on a screen "monitoring the situation" from AF1 or from 1600 PA Avenue.