Friday, August 29, 2008

Gustav May Help the Party

Some good news for Republicans! No; not the nomination for VP of Palin, although that is good news. The good news I am speaking of is that hurricane Gustav may actually help the Republican Party.

I was reading in the morning’s paper about the preparations being made in case Gustav hits New Orleans. It appears they are ready this time. Seven hundred buses are standing by to evacuate those without transportation. A plan to make sure everyone knows to evacuate including blanketing the city with policemen with bull horns to announce the evacuation is in place. The city does not plan to have any shelters of last resort this time which was such a disaster during Katrina. Detailed plans are in place for the evacuation. FEMA and the Red Cross are standing by. Host cities are standing by. Nashville is among those cities prepared to accept evacuees and we know where they will go and what we will do when they get here.

Katrina was a disaster and there was enough blame to go around but President Bush ended up taking the brunt of the criticism. I always thought the blame should have started with the mayor, then the governor and then the Bush administration. If Hagan would have had a better plan in place the disaster could have been avoided. I remember seeing on TV hundreds of inundated school buses that could have been used to evacuate people. That was Ray Nagin's fault not the fault of George Bush. Unfortunately, weather it is teenage pregnancy or drunk driving or crime or a natural disaster, many people tend to think the solutions must come from Washington and if things aren’t going well then it is Washington’s fault. The idea of individual responsibility, local self-government, and federalism seems to be fading in America.

With the Republican convention to start Monday, the news article I just read focused on the political implications of Hurricane Gustav. The first political consideration is whether or not the convention should be delayed. It may look unseemly to start the convention on Monday if Gustav is a major hit on New Orleans immediately prior to the convention opening. Another possible impact is that if Gustav hits a wallop on New Orleans and the evacuation goes off without a hitch, a lot of the blame heaped on President Bush and by association the Republican Party for the failure of the Katrina response, will be blunted. On the other hand, if it goes poorly again, the Party will suffer

Here is the part that I consider potential good news: ‘The white House is also concerned that Gustav will throw Bush’s schedule off, and possibly force him to cancel his McCain-boosting, farewell appearance as Monday night’s star at the Republican National Convention.”

I have been apprehensive about how the Republicans can handle Bush. You cannot, not allow the sitting President of your party to address the convention. However, with Bush’s popularity so low, and the Democrats trying to paint a McCain win as Bush’s third term, I do not see Bush’s presence at the convention as a boost but instead as a drag. McCain needs to put as much distance between his campaign and president Bush as possible. People do not need to be reminded that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They do not need to be reminded of signing statements and spying on Americans in violation of established law, and run-away spending and appointment of unqualified cronies to high positions. Bush’s presence will just remind people of what a failure and embarrassment Bush has been.

I want to forget why I am disgruntled and instead look to the future and see John McCain elected president. The best that we could hope for is that Bush would make some little forgettable speech lightly praising John McCain and then disappear. Now however, Bush may not show up at all. That would be great news! I don’t want New Orleans to get hit by another major hurricane, but if the threat of a hurricane can keep Bush from attending the Republican convention, that would be a Godsend.

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