“You don’t have to go to Baghdad to see what happens when government loses its monopoly on force; just visit New Orleans,” writes Nicole Gelinas in City Journal.

The problem isn’t that George Bush hasn’t mailed the city enough blank checks. It’s that a city with historically high crime, the result of among other things bad policing and low conviction rates, now has even more crime. But the real problem is the elite culture of the city:

“Good policing and prosecution cost money–and after Katrina, New Orleans’s regular annual revenues are down 23 percent. So it’s reasonable for the city to ask the feds and the state for operating cash the city suffers high crime because it won’t control its predominantly underclass criminals, I have received lectures on how the real problem is anything but failure to enforce the law. I just don’t understand, I’m told, how bad schools, bad parenting, a lack of inner-city jobs, or some combination of the three must be fixed first. New Orleans’s moneyed, mostly white, elite–which could have played a vital role in changing the political debate about crime, just as such citizens did in New York–often voices this ‘root causes’ theory. As one longtime resident bluntly noted, ‘the white elite is cowed by political correctness.'”