Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The anti-government party, the party that believes in an ownership society -- "you're on your own" -- is holding its convention in Tampa, Forida as hurricane Isaac is following a storm track eerily similar to hurricane Katrina towards New Orleans, nearly seven years ago to the day. Katrina and the drowning of New Orleans is the enduring symbol of the failure of their philosophy.
As Joan McCarter writes at Daily Kos, Republicans treading stormy waters as convention proceeds:
The RNC avoided the direct hit to Tampa that they most feared, but now they've got an entirely different problem on their hands: optics. How do you stage a celebratory convention full of pageantry and people dressed up in inane costumes when the rest of the nation is focused on the Gulf Coast, with Katrina and the massive failure of the last Republican president still fresh in the nation's collective memory?
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This will also pit the key message of the Republicans—smaller government and austerity to pay for the tax cuts for the wealthy—against the response of President Obama and his administration to the impending disaster.
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Meanwhile, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's budget would reduce the funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the agency responsible for predicting and tracking storms, by $725 million, endangering nearly 15,000 jobs. NOAA's work is critical to emergency response planning for the whole government.
The Republican Party doesn't believe in a federal government response to natural disasters. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's fight to prevent emergency funding after Hurricane Irene last year proves it, if you needed more proof after Bush's Katrina disaster. But that's the last thing Republicans want highlighted this week. Too bad Mother Nature had other plans for them.
UPDATE: Just how worried are Republicans about these optics? Worried enough to plot out a worst-case scenario, a one-day convention:
One of the worst-case scenarios would be Romney delivering a brief speech declaring the emergency is bigger than politics, shuttering the convention and turning the public’s attention to the Gulf Coast.
"That might not be the worst-case scenario” politically for Romney if he’s seen as putting people ahead of politics, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss convention options.
I think this worst-case scenario should be Plan A at this point. Spike Lee's "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts" (HBO 2006) is the definitive award-winning documentary on hurricane Katrina.
Say a prayer for the residents of the Gulf Coast.