Well, this seems like it should be pretty easy to figure out.
Jim Quinn, a political radio talk show host in Pittsburgh, has claimed on the air that he has a "source with authority" who says that Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius made remarks about the poor response of the National Guard to the Greensburg tornado at the behest of Howard "Barbaric Yawp" Dean and top Democratic Party leadership.
The implication of course, is that the situation was dramatized and exaggerated for political gain. That in fact, the response was more than adequate.
According the source, Sebelius called Sen. Sam Brownback to apologize for her remarks, saying she was sorry and that the DNC had told her "we can't let an opportunity like this go by." The source said Sebelius was told not to ask for National Guard help, so that the situation could later be spun as a lack of response.
For his part, Brownback was (reportedly) saddened and disappointed by the Gov.'s conduct.
Of course, none of this has been confirmed. It's definitely plausible, and I wouldn't put it past Dean and the Dems to try to make political hay. Of course, I wouldn't put it past political talk show hosts to make up this sort story for the sake of politics an ratings.
It seems to me, though, that a phone call could settle this whole thing before it gets started. Get Sebelius and Brownback on the phone, have them explain the situation. Either she said that stuff, or she didn't. Either she made the call, or not (hell, you could probably just check some phone records if you don't trust the two principles involved).
Get them on the same call together and they'll have to agree on what happened. Then let the shit hit the fan or not.
UPDATE [10:18 p.m.]: J.D. is keeping it skeptical over at Evolution. No definitive "evidence" one way or the other, but it sounds like J.D. is leaning toward calling BS on this story.
tagged: Greensburg, Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius, Sam Brownback, politics, Howard Dean, opportunism