It's not neglect. It's design. The Republicans took a hit for their incompetence in handling Katrina, but in the long run they stand to benefit greatly from the African American displacement outside the state. The reconstruction delays and "not so blind" neglect serve the goal of a much lower black population in New Orleans. Louisiana is likely to be a deep red state from now on.
Perhaps that sounds too cynical, just as the idea that Bush would do nothing significant to help the poor victims sounded cynical last year. But after Bush vs Gore and the Texas gerrymandering and the California recall and voter disenfranchisement and on and on, I think it's incredibly naive to think they wouldn't make lemonade out of the Katrina lemon. The modern Republican party is deadly serious about electoral politics and nothing is too cynical for them.
Naturally, the refusal to protect Blue State cities from loose nukes in shipping containers is part of the same plan.
After election 2004 and the Social Security bamboozlepalooza, where Bush refused even to admit non-supporters to rallies, even while funding the rallies with every taxpayer's dollars, anyone who thinks Bush is president of all the people is a fool.
New Orleans is only the first blue city these guys would like to wipe off the map.
And why wouldn't they? After all, blacks are subhuman, gays are evil, and Democrats are traitors. Heck, it's not they'd like to wipe us out; from their perspective, its their spiritual and civic duty to do so.
NOTE For more on The Plan, see Ethnic cleansing, anyone?.