Setting the Record Straight

August 30, 2008

Gustav & McCain’s Party

Irony Doesn’t Get Much Better Than This     

     What delicious irony for the Republicans on the eve of their national convention.
     They considered delaying their convention beyond its Labor Day opening because a major hurricane threatened to strike the country that day.
     But wait, the convention is set for St. Paul, Minn., about as far north as one can in the United States from New Orleans where landfall was expected. That part of the country has never seen a hurricane.
     About-to-be presidential nominee John McCain, not normally known for compassion and sensitivity, said it would be insensitive to hold such a gala convention while people are suffering the throes of a natural disaster. This would be a change. No one’s ever done that before so far away from the event.
     Louisiana mobilized unusually quickly and with great strength in preparation for the visit of Hurricane Gustav. The entire Louisiana National Guard was mobilized—all but the 360 members of its Air National Guard deployed in Iraq. Along with its fleet of helicopters. But the local guard solved that problem by borrowing helicopters from other state national guards.
     The people living in 3,000 specially provided trailer homes in the New Orleans Parish were warned they would have to be evacuated because their homes would not be safe in such a storm. The people in those trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency because their homes were destroyed on about the same date three years ago.
     FEMA, which won plaudits from the president just three years for its response to another New Orleans hurricane, geared up with unusual haste in the advance of Gustav. The same president was scheduled to deliver a speech at the GOP Convention on opening night.
     But neither the president nor the conventioneers would be able to revel so far away in St. Paul the on Labor Day if Gustav struck far away in New Orleans on the same day.
     That might be too much of a reminder at the opening of the GOP presidential candidates campaign of the two major disasters of the lame-duck president who preceded him, forever tied to the major twin failures—Hurricane Katrina and the invasion of Iraq.
     Sorry Louisianans, but what delicious irony. But then, The GOP convention schedule already was ironic. Opening on Labor Day, traditionally the day for workers, mainly union workers whose ranks have been decimated by years of Republican anti-labor policies.
     And what if it turned and hits Tampico, Mexico instead of the United States, would it be okay to party then?



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