On Hurricane Gustav and the Republicans

I feel like this website has turned into all politics, all the time… *sigh*

Hurricane Gustav, as I write this, has been downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane, and it may restrengthen to Category 4 — or possibly Category 5 — later today. The hurricane is expected to make landfall in Louisiana sometime on Monday.

Gustav is going to play havoc in Minneapolis this week — the Republican Convention begins Monday in the Twin Cities.

How has it scrambled plans for John McCain’s nomination?

The “why” is easy — “Last Friday was the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall, and the government’s tardy response still haunts the Bush administration.”

President Bush is unlikely to appear at the convention on Monday: “Bush was scheduled to speak to delegates Monday in what was to be one of his last hurrahs as president. But a top Republican now said he is unlikely to attend.”

McCain himself said that it would be unseemly for Republicans to be having a party while the hurricance devastates the Gulf Coast: “It just wouldn’t be appropriate to have a festive occasion while a near-tragedy or a terrible challenge is presented in the form of a natural disaster.”

And the piece de resistance, McCain may deliver his acceptance speech from Louisiana — “McCain was scheduled to deliver his acceptance speech Thursday but now may do so from the devastation zone if the storm hits the U.S. coast with the ferocity feared by forecasters.”

Katrina three years ago left the country with indeliable images of the Bush Administration’s indifference, from Bush on video ignoring warnings that New Orleans levees would be breached by the flood surge to Bush strumming a guitar while New Orleans drowned (in a moment that brought to mind the story of the Emperor Nero, who fiddled while Rome burned) to Bush’s photo op for McCain’s birthday.

Three years ago, the government was indifferent. Now, this concern smacks of hypocricy and manipulation. Delivering an acceptance speech from the devastation zone of a hurricane? Can that be any more manipulative?

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