Is it just me or does anyone else feel we’re entering Bizarro world with the Republican Party’s decision to put its first day of its national convention on ice because of Hurricane Gustav?
Senator John McCain and his advisers decided on Sunday to halt all but the most essential activities for the Republican National Convention on Monday, sacrificing a major televised platform for his political message…
McCain advisers said the programming for the rest of the four-day convention would be determined on a day-to-day basis, and many questions remained open, such as whether Mr. McCain, of Arizona, and his running mate…would appear here to accept their party’s nominations…
I mean, what does all this mean? Let’s think it through.
First, it means that even Republicans, those political animals so willing to be deluded by the failings of their leaders, concede that Bush’s handling of Hurricane Katrina was an utter disaster. This is confirmed by George Bush’s decision to forgo the convention entirely. Can someone with a better historical memory than I tell me if an outgoing president has EVER ditched his Party’s nominating convention? And I don’t even need a political historian to tell me we’d have to go back a very long time to find a convention not attended by the winning nominee, probably to the 19th century.
This seems at least historic. Beyond this, it also confirms just how extreme a liability Bush is seen to be not just by the average American, but even by Republicans themselves. The only question I have is: did McCain tell George not to come or did George make the decision himself? I can’t imagine it would be the latter. Can you imagine someone like George Bush willingly slinking around the White House with his tail between his legs while his Party turns its back on him and gives him a Bronx cheer while they’re at it??
How will America react to a Party that essentially ditches its quadrennial national convention because it’s too chicken shit that the country will remember it nightmarish handling of the last major national weather disaster? I mean, even if John McCain looks all concerned as he meets with Haley Barbour in a FEMA conference center–how is he going to turn around this sneaking sensation floating through the minds of many that he’s just runnin’ friggin’ scared?
And this comment from McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, is the height of disingenuousness:
“We really don’t have the luxury of trying to evaluate the politics of this kind of situation.”
This guy’s living in an alternate universe if he doesn’t understand that politics is at the very heart of this decision.
And can anyone tell me why any Republican delegate would want to attend a convention when its nominee might not even show up?? It seems to me that if Gustav is as serious a storm as many believe it could be, that these guys have some serious political problems on their hands. And barring a miracle (like Gustav bypassing the Republican south and hitting the Democratic northeast instead) or a Hail Mary pass completion, I don’t see how McCain pulls this one off.
There’s one really sad aspect of all this for me and all those delegates. They won’t get a chance to say a fond farewell to Dick Cheney, who plans to be shooting quail and maybe a Democrat or two, if he can find one, in the Texas back country.
In more traditional cultures, when the weather god turns his back on you and rains catastrophe down on your people, your followers would see you as cursed and turn their back on you. I don’t know if Gustav was sent by a weather god, but it sure does make you wonder whether the fates are not exactly smiling down on Republicans this election season.