This is not to make light of the difficult times ahead for those folks in the gulf states in Hurricane Gustav's path. Needless to say, we should all be keeping them in our prayers and hoping it finds its way elsewhere where it would harm no one. Thankfully it appears that the (all-GOP) Governors of MS, AL, LA, TX and FL have learned the lesson of Katrina i.e. if they fail at their level, even a picture perfect response by FEMA and the rest of the Federal government would not make much of a difference.
In a perfect world, politics would take a back seat at a time like this, like it should have taken a back seat back when Katrina struck. Unfortunately, this isn't a perfect world - for some people, like the Democrats and their friends in the media in August of 2005, such disasters present an opportunity to point fingers and score political points.
On Friday, Michael Moore was sharing a laugh with his friend Keith Olbermann over the prospect of Hurricane Gustav making landfall while the Republican National Convention is holding in Minneapolis. Supposedly, this is supposed to remind voters of the supposed "bungling" of the Bush Administration's response to the Katrina catastrophe which would therefore negatively impact on the McCain/Palin ticket because they also happen to wear the red 'R' just like George W. Bush.
To quote the corpulent fabulist as he and Olbermann giggled at the prospect: "I was just thinking, this Gustav is proof that there is a God in heaven ... To have it planned at the same time – that it would actually be on its way to New Orleans for day one of the Republican Convention, up in the Twin Cities – at the top of the Mississippi River."
Now, quite a few people are sure to pipe up and point out that Michael Moore is on the fringe of the Left (even though the activist rank and file of the Democratic party consider him to be quite "mainstream" and a former Democratic President counts him as an asset to the party) and therefore he should not be considered representative of the typical high-profile Democrat.
However, a former Chairman of the DNC and a currently sitting Democratic Congressman have been caught (by, some fortuitous twist of fate, Redstate's own absentee) expressing their mirth at the prospect of another devastating hurricane hitting New Orleans. And strangely enough, Don Fowler eerily voices the same sentiment of Gustav proving that the Almighty is on their (the Democrats') side. [Well, Obama is the Messiah, after all, isn't he?]
Gustav being a positive for the Democrats is hinged also on another thing; voters watching Republicans celebrating in Minnesota while their fellow Americans are suffering down at the coast. Obama's campaign team, the DNC and their friends in the MSM have already begun to count on fodder for campaign ads and campaign ads (loosely) disguised as news stories from this episode.
However, it would seem as if the McCain Campaign has already anticipated this in preparing for just that eventuality in such a way that it does the most good in helping those who would need it ... and gives him and the party a way to positively contrast our convention with theirs. Per the NY Post;
John McCain and the GOP are considering scrapping political speeches and turning their St. Paul/Minneapolis convention into a "service" program to help victims of Storm Gustav, The Post has learned.Sources told The Post that McCain himself might visit the Gulf Coast during the week of the Republican National Convention, which begins Monday. McCain is not scheduled to make his nomination speech until Thursday.The contingency plan – a worst case scenario if the storm devastates coastal areas – would turn Republicans into Red Cross-type volunteers who would help collect donations, food and goods to help storm victims. McCain - whose campaign motto is "Country First" – said helping people during an emergency will take precedence over accepting his GOP nomination for president."It wouldn't be appropriate to have a festive occasion while a near tragedy or a terrible challenge is presented in the form of a natural disaster," McCain told Fox News in a pretaped interview airing today.
I'll be honest; I'm impressed. When you add this up to the Palin pick (which is not something I'm a 100% convinced of but nonetheless something that I can 100% support) I really don't think the Democrats should be counting their Gustavian windfall of poll numbers quite yet - rather than win them an election the way Katrina did (thanks to Bush letting them get away with it by not correcting the record), Gustav and the way the GOP will react to it in Minnesota may very well lose them this one.