I hate to say it, but the Bush administration is in the middle of another episode that you might call Katrina II.
Katrina I featured President Bush saying, "You're doing a heck of a job, Brownie," when everybody could see that wasn't true.
Now we've got the Bush administration — led by Treasury Secretary John Snow and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff — saying it's quite OK for a company based in Dubai to be running major U.S. ports, when everybody can see for themselves it's just not.
Here's the quote from Secretary Chertoff about why it's really OK that a country like the United Arab Emirates would be running the ports of New York, Philly, Baltimore and Miami:
"Without getting into the specifics of this particular classified discussion, I can tell you that the process is designed for Congress to be rigorous and to make sure we properly take into the account of security when we approve any transaction."
Well I can tell you, Secretary Chertoff, that isn't flying with anybody. Red state Republican supporters of the president don't believe it, and blue state opponents of the president see a ready-made issue like a dog sees a bone.
It pains me to say it, but if Secretaries Snow and Chertoff don't get it, they really shouldn't be in their jobs.
This is a potent political issue to be used against President Bush. And for two of his cabinet secretaries to be so tone deaf, to have such a tin ear for this kind of issue means they have somehow gotten too far out of touch to stay in those jobs.
Democrats have found gold with this issue. It is beyond gold. It is a political gusher, a mother lode, the mother of all pay dirt.
Why? Because it's so obvious. And if you say it's not obvious you are just spinning yourself.
You don't want the home country of two of the 9/11 hijackers running the ports. We actually don't want the home country of fifteen of the hijackers holding a chokehold on the world's oil supply, but we can't do anything about that. We can do something about the port situation and the quicker the president's men realize this is a stone loser, the quicker they can pull out of this nose dive.
President Bush, wake up. Brownie's in charge again, and you're going to have to step in and fire another Brownie again. Stop the bleeding. End the pain. Do it quick.
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