A lot of us not on the gulf coast forget that hurricanes hit anywhere besides Florida and the eastern seaboard. It takes something like Katrina to remind us that hurricanes can hit west of Florida. The news has been reminding us that Galveston was trashed by a hurricane only a few years ago. Of course, Katrina also got us all concentrating on New Orleans and forgetting about the bayou parishes of Louisiana, or southern Alabama and Mississippi who are, while not as flashy, just as trashed.
But why is Dubya screwed?
Rita is now a category 5 hurricane. This is not something that Texas can likely take care of on their own. There's going to be federal involvement.
If Texas and FEMA don't do a better job in dealing with Rita than Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and FEMA did dealing with Katrina, there's going to be no removing the "incompetent" label from anybody associated with the administration... particularly if the administration is only shown to have learned the PR lessons of Katrina.
If Texas and FEMA do a better job in dealing with Rita, it's Dubya's home state. There will always be a lingering suspicion (particularly among the folks who were ill-served by the response to Katrina) of favoritism; after all, it's only 2 weeks and everybody is arguing about who is going to investigate what went wrong, they can't have come up with solutions yet (well, yeah, they could).
I'd like to see FEMA and Texas do a better job of riding out this hurricane, regardless of any political fallout.