I have been watching the news for quite awhile, mostly for politics, tis true, but it seems that the weather can sometimes play the game of politics. This time it is a Hurricane named Gustav. Gus, pictured above, is an angry cuss, who looks like he could possibly hit the New Orleans as a category three and possibly a category four Hurricane. And his timing could not be worse, at least if you are a Republican. It is hitting just as the Republican Convention is getting underway, and is hitting almost exactly 3 years to the day after one of the most devastating natural disasters to hit America, Hurricane Katrina. The Initial reaction to Katrina to that Hurricane was both slow and woefully inadequate.
Thousands died. New Orleans is still not 100%, and may never be.
I know you know this. Why bring it up then? To highlight the differences in reaction between then and now. Now both parties and the President seem to be bending over backwards to do what they can to help before it has even made landfall. The Republicans are suspending all non-necessary business at their convention and are going to look to use their time fund-raising for those in the path of Gustav. The Democrats are going to use their vast on-line resources, and use their 2,000,000 + person E-mail database to go out and collect relief funds for the victims of Gustav.
So how is the Hurricane playing politics? Well, in actuality it can’t, it’s simply weather phenomena, it doesn’t have a political affiliation. But the people affected by it do, as do those who watch what happens as a result of it. And someone is going to come out looking good here because of that, irrespective of their trying to do so. The purpose of this post is to paint some potential pictures in this vein. And understand me, I do not think anyone will try to take advantage of the actual event, the hurricane, but there will be spinning after the fact, you KNOW that. Let’s see what can go right and wrong here for the Republicans.
Spin Cycle 1) Republicans can come out smelling like a rose if they can make it look like they are simply trying to help, just being humble Americans trying there best to just help out their fellow man and being equal to the task of helping out everyone in the area.
Spin Cycle 2) Republicans can come out looking stupid, even if they give every last dime they have. How? Play it Up. Advertise. Tell the World how great a group of Americans they are by pointing out how good they are being to all the poor poor victims of Gustav. Nobody Likes a showoff. Giving will help, advertising giving won’t
Spin Cycle 3) Republicans can come out neither ahead nor behind by simply doing just enough to look like their doing something. You know, a lackluster campaign on their part. I see this as the Least Likely, especially in an election year.
Spin Cycle 4) Republicans can die a painful death even if they do everything they can simply by being overwhelmed by the magnitude of the storm. This is the one no one wants to see. No One. the storm simply being so large that there is nothing anyone can do. Katrina left deep scars and anything that brings those memories to surface, like a complete collapse of the levies, would be the death knell to more than just those in the area. It would Murder the Republicans.
Why do I not mention the Democrats? I am not sure that the political repercussions of Gustav are as severe for the Democrats as it is for the Republicans. I could be wrong though. We will see.
Personally, I would like to live in a world where I don’t have to see these possibilities. But we don’t get to choose the world we live in, do we?
I would bitch about the crap going on in my world, which to me is not insignificant, but in terms of those who could lose their homes and even their lives in a hurricane, they are of no consequence.
Let’s all hope everything comes out alright here.
One Video before I go. A press conference with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin on Preparations for Hurricane Gustav:
That’s it for me. Later.
Today’s Nugget, Via Wikiquote: Nearly all creators of Utopia have resembled the man who has toothache, and therefore thinks happiness consists in not having toothache. They wanted to produce a perfect society by an endless continuation of something that had only been valuable because it was temporary. The wider course would be to say that there are certain lines along which humanity must move, the grand strategy is mapped out, but detailed prophecy is not our business. Whoever tries to imagine perfection simply reveals his own emptiness. George Orwell
Latest edit: 11:03 P.M. 8/31/08