In the last few days, Mitt Romney has had to walk back yet another of his previous stands, that he’d do away with FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It’s an article of faith among conservatives, despite conspicuous evidence to the contrary, that the federal government can’t do anything as well as state governments, and that governments in general can’t ever do anything as well as the private sector. Then something on the scale of Sandy hits, overwhelming the ability of any local responders, private or public, to handle the massive rescue, cleanup and rebuilding efforts. The only entity with resources close to sufficient to deal with the scale of the disaster is the federal government. It’s been a bit comical to watch Romney and his running mate appealing for contributions of canned goods and cash to the Red Cross while Obama puts the machinery at his disposal to work. So I guess Romney’s stance now will be that we should wait to disband FEMA until after all of Sandy’s damage has been cleaned up, and hope there’s not another one on this scale for a while. When the next natural disaster strikes we can test the conservative theory of limited government. I’m sure the cans of soup I have to offer will make all the difference.