So, the GOP convention is in shambles. With Hurricane Gustav likely to hit the coast on the convention's first day, organizers are debating postponing or severely cutting down on the convention.
Given the GOP brand's damage, the fact there was so little interest in it, that so few big name GOPers were attending, and the open dislike for Monday's speakers -- Bush and Cheney -- this may actually be a good thing for the GOP.
Bush not appearing is clearly a gift.
The line is that it would be inappropriate to be "festive" during a time of great suffering may strike us Democratic Partisans as laughable. Especially given where Bush and McCain were during Katrina. (But, of course, the trad media hasn't been reminding people... I'm shocked.)
The idea of a convention shuttered -- in the veil of the GOP's shame of Katrina -- may further strike us Partisans as just desserts.
But I wonder if the optics of this may be exactly what the GOP needs.
Shelving the cravenness of looking at a could-be natural disaster through a political lens, (I'm sorry) there is opportunity for the GOP here. Big opportunities.
Reports have them maybe making care packages on the convention floor. Maybe turn it into a telethon for victims. It costs them the chance to dig on Obama, but offers a chance to appear above the fray.
But really, conventions exist just to help the nominee get free air time. And in a case where the GOP has a truly un-telegenetic nominee -- this could be the best opportunity to save McCain the embarrassment of giving yet another boring speech.
With news today that McCain himself may not attend the Twin Cities convention, and instead give his acceptance speech from the disaster area -- assuming there is one -- will give McCain an out from trying to match Obama's grand night.
McCain couldn't come close to matching Obama's oratory -- or speech content. There is no way that McCain, which his halting, insincere delivery and awkward smile cues, to connect as Obama did. And given the unpopularity of many of his stances, the content would be unlikely to match up as well.
But by speaking in a subdued way, to a small number in a flood zone, McCain could hide these deficiencies and do that whole "looking Presidential" thing. He could be political while pretending to do the opposite -- and it would be hard to call him on it.
Really, McCain has an easy task. Any failure on the governmental level, he can take the opportunity to distance himself. Any success can be claimed by the GOP, since they control FEMA, the area governorships, etc.
And we can't count on the media to point out the ludicracy of such commentary.
I could even see GOP apologists in the media looking at Gustav as a GOP redemption for the crimes of Katrina.
This is just a muddled ramble, but something that worries me. I was disgusted how the GOP claimed 9/11 for themselves, and profited from it, and I'm wondering if they're not about to do the same here.
Turning national tragedy and times of goodwill into partisan gain is a GOP expertise.