Now that Tropical Storm Issac has churned its way past Tampa, it’s time for the Republicans to proceed with their convention. The event should commence on Tuesday with strong intention of proceeding through Thursday.
Republican officials reportedly are concerned about how it would look to hold a convention while a hurricane dishes out damage in states like Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The concern is understandable, if only because the mainstream media would attempt to pound Republicans for being insensitive to suffering, especially on the “anniversary of Hurricane Katrina,” an act of God that the MSM managed turn into a major indictment of George W. Bush.
But, honestly. Does anyone expect Major League Baseball to cancel its midweek games as a show of solidarity with hurricane victims? Or how about the NFL? Its full slate of meaningless midweek pre-season games will proceed as scheduled, weather permitting, I assume. Will there be anything amiss about the “optics” of playing these games while people along the Gulfcoast are trying to cope with Issac? Of course not.
In other words, no one genuinely and in good faith thinks that the Republicans shouldn’t go ahead with their convention. Nor, if the Democratic convention were scheduled for this week, would the MSM be talking much about “optics.”
To be sure, the Republicans could easily get by with a two-day convention. But the problem with cancelling tomorrow’s events is that, from what I understand, Issac is expected to do its worst on Wednesday and maybe Thursday. So cancelling tomorrow doesn’t solve the problem.
In going ahead with their convention, the Republicans clearly should not be oblivious to Issac. If it turns out to be another Katrina (which it almost certainly will not — Katrina’s winds were up to 150 MPH; Issac’s are expected to reach maybe 90, from what I’ve read), the Republicans can consider their options at that point. And certainly, the festive, party atmosphere should be dialed back as necessary– no funny hats, please. Speakers can be appropriately somber and the efforts of Republican governors in affected states can be highlighted.
But the notion that weather in another part of the country should substantially derail a political convention is ridiculous. If the U.S. electorate has become so frivolous as to expect such action, then it is probably too frivolous to elect Republicans.
But we aren’t that frivolous. A big storm isn’t Princess Di and, more importantly, the U.S. isn’t Great Britain.
JOHN adds: Amen. If we didn’t think Republicans have more guts than Democrats, we wouldn’t be Republicans. And, with all due respect to the possible suffering of potential Hurricane Isaac victims, the issues at stake this year are a heck of a lot more important than a hurricane.
ONE MORE THING: Most people no doubt have forgotten that in 2008, the Republicans canceled part of their convention due to some tropical storm somewhere. It was a completely futile gesture, now forgotten. Let’s not do it again, any more than we already have.