Some on the right might have been hoping that Sandy would be President Obama's Katrina, but Paul Krugman is having none of it: Instead, the president's handling of the superstorm has won him much well-deserved praise and even a bump in the polls, he writes in the New York Times. Of course, there are still some insisting on comparing Sandy's aftermath to that of Katrina, "but there's really no comparison," Krugman writes. After Katrina, "top officials seemed oblivious" to the thousands stranded in squalor in New Orleans. After Sandy, the National Guard rolled in to Hoboken immediately with food, water, and rescue equipment.
"The federal government’s ability to respond effectively to disaster always collapses when antigovernment Republicans hold the White House, and always recovers when Democrats take it back," Krugman reasons. As proof, he takes a look at the history of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which failed under the first President Bush and made a comeback under Clinton, only to devolve once again under the second Bush. That's because small-government-loving Republicans think it should be up to the devastated state itself to handle disaster recovery and relief, which is just plain silly, Krugman says. And if Mitt Romney wins tomorrow, FEMA will return to "Bush-era incompetence." Click for Krugman's full column.