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Gustav ex Machina

If Katrina was a Democratic hurricane, is Gustav a Republican? The White House announced today that President Bush and Vice President Cheney will not be attending the Republican National Convention, presumably so they can furrow their brows more effectively in Washington. What to do with Bush and Cheney, who are about as popular as a strain of bacteria, has vexed the McCain campaign for some time. Now, thanks to the weather gods and global warming (which Sarah Palin does not believe is caused by human behavior), Bush and Cheney have an excuse not to attend; they will not rain on McCain's parade. Phew! Close one!

By Harold Meyerson  | August 31, 2008; 2:06 PM ET
Categories:  Meyerson  | Tags:  Harold Meyerson  
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Comments

Another aspect of this situation, which has gone unreported, is that Bush doesn't really like McCain, who was bitter after the 2000 campaign and waged war against the Bush White House with campaign finance reform, etc.

The Obama/Clinton rift gets all the ink, but there are many Republicans who are not at all excited about McCain's candidacy.

And, as for attending the RNC, most Republican Senators who are running close races are *staying away* from the RNC because, as one staffer put it "nobody likes a funeral."

Posted by: Deep Blue | August 31, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Another aspect of this situation, which has gone unreported, is that Bush doesn't really like McCain, who was bitter after the 2000 campaign and waged war against the Bush White House with campaign finance reform, etc.

The Obama/Clinton rift gets all the ink, but there are many Republicans who are not at all excited about McCain's candidacy.

And, as for attending the RNC, most Republican Senators who are running close races are *staying away* from the RNC because, as one staffer put it "nobody likes a funeral."

Posted by: Deep Blue | August 31, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

You can bet the rent, the house payment and your cable bill, W is relieved, well, maybe Dick as well. that he won't have to face an arena full of people who see him as setting up the GOP for the worst political defeat in modern history.

He hijacked the republican party, delivered it lock, stock and barrel into the hands of Perle, Kristol, Rummy and Cheney. Now there are over 4,000 dead soldiers, who knows how many Iraqi and Afhani dead, untold numbers of wounded and displaced people. Add to that he has bankrupted the country, presided over the conversion of a surplus into deficit. Cut taxes for all his corporate friends, need I go on?

Posted by: hadenuff1 | August 31, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Gustav could also boost Republican fortunes in other ways. IF FEMA and the Federal response is perceived as satisfactory, the Republican administration (and by Democratic party definition - Senator McCain) will have reversed a major embarrasment. Republicans will have demonstrated the ability to reform government deficiencies, potentially previewing the coming changes trumpeted by the McCain-Palin ticket.

Posted by: Brian, North Las Vegas NV | August 31, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

It takes two to tango and the Democratic Party has proven to be an enabler of the last eight years of the "Republican Fiasco". No one political party could have done this much damage without the support
of the other. Where were all the Democratic filibusters? Why isn't a woman
on our ticket? Why am I so disgusted with my own Party?

Posted by: Ernie M | August 31, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

How in God's name another hurricane hitting New Orleans "good" for Republicans? What kind of pothead, when a US city is facing a disaster that could cost people their lives, asks "Yeah, but is it good for Bush?" You don't get do-overs on allowing terrorists to take out the WTC or when you lose a city! Myerson obviously hasn't slept all week, either that or he's just so drunk it's no wonder he works at the WaPo. Hope he never has a real job!
"Gee, uh boss, I set then newly rebuilt factory on fire so you can be a hero by calling the fire department!"

Posted by: Marc Edward | August 31, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I am sure that the current administration's response to Gustav will be much improved over Katrina. It is after all, an election year. By the way, anyone remember where George W. was when Katrina hit? At a barbecue, hosted by McCain.

Posted by: Frank | August 31, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Gustav comes as a double-edged sword for the McCain Campaign. Sure, McCain is talking about using his campaign events as charity events, but he will do so at great cost.

The Democratic Convention was everything the Obama campaign could have hoped for. Speaker after speaker attacked McCain by comparing him to President Bush, both Clintons clearly (to everyone but Fox News) endorsed Obama, and Obama himself countered every one of McCain's charges against him.

The McCain campaign needs a Republican convention that meets or exceeds the excitement and fervor of the Democratic convention, especially after McCain's odd choice of VP (which takes away McCain's most effective weapon against Obama - lack of experience). Gustav's arrival is very unfortunate for the McCain campaign for several reasons.

1. The Democratic convention received almost unlimited media coverage. The Republican convention will be competing with another major news story.

2. While McCain is forced to downplay campaign parties to avoid appearing celebratory in contrast to the misery of Gustav, Obama has already had his celebration. He can turn to business without losing the excitement he conjured among voters.

3. Obama still has a TON of momentum from the convention. With Gustav approaching, McCain won't receive the momentum boost he was hoping for. When voters compare conventions, the Republicans may appear as if they don't have their act together.

The one benefit of Gustav's arrival is the it gives Bush and Cheney an excuse to avoid the Republican convention. McCain can breathe a sigh of relief...sort of. It's hard to overlook the fact that it took a state of emergency for McCain to break his association with Bush and Cheney. Good luck defending that one, Maverick.

Overall, Gustav has the worst timing in political history. The hurricane fumbles everything for McCain, but doesn't offer him very much opportunity to spin the situation positively. I think he's doing all he can and he handled the situation responsibly, but McCain and Palin have a tough road ahead of them.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

I commend the quality cooperation and teamwork between the Bush administration, Governor Jindal's administration, and Mayor Nagin's administration in preparing to protect the people of Louisiana and neighboring states from Gustav. This is bipartisanship at work doing the work of the people and is a nice thing to see.

Posted by: Frank from Maryland | August 31, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I commend the quality cooperation and teamwork between the Bush administration, Governor Jindal's administration, and Mayor Nagin's administration in preparing to protect the people of Louisiana and neighboring states from Gustav. This is bipartisanship at work doing the work of the people and is a nice thing to see.

Posted by: Frank from Maryland | August 31, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Harold has it exactly right. There was no graceful way for McCain not to have Cheney and Bush at his convention, but Gustuv gives him an out. But more important, it gives McCain an excuse for dumping the convention entirely, as apparently they are going to do. McCain knew that the script for his convention (a stale re-run of the trash and burn red meat-eating 2004 convention against Kerry) would have been a disaster, showing Republicans to be petty, small-minded and visionless in comparison to Obama's spacious and inclusive view of leadership. So for McCain it may be a case of "saved by the storm."

Posted by: Ted Frier | August 31, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Harold has it exactly right. There was no graceful way for McCain not to have Cheney and Bush at his convention, but Gustuv gives him an out. But more important, it gives McCain an excuse for dumping the convention entirely, as apparently they are going to do. McCain knew that the script for his convention (a stale re-run of the trash and burn red meat-eating 2004 convention against Kerry) would have been a disaster, showing Republicans to be petty, small-minded and visionless in comparison to Obama's spacious and inclusive view of leadership. So for McCain it may be a case of "saved by the storm."

Posted by: Ted Frier | August 31, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I commend the quality cooperation and teamwork between the Bush administration, Governor Jindal's administration, and Mayor Nagin's administration in preparing to protect the people of Louisiana and neighboring states from Gustav. This is bipartisanship at work doing the work of the people and is a nice thing to see.

Posted by: Frank from Maryland | August 31, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

If it's in the Washington Post, it's good news for Bush.

Posted by: Jay Schiavone | August 31, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

What evidence do you have that global warming and human behavior are causing Hurricane Gustav? Who/what are the weather gods? Please refer to specific scientific studies in your news article.

Posted by: Paul Rigterink, PhD | August 31, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Between Palin and Gustav Obama and company have been knocked completely off the news. Prediction: No post convention bounce for Barack.

Posted by: Tom | August 31, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Well, Obama put out an email list for Gustav Aid. Is his name on it?

Posted by: ooxomoxoo | August 31, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I cannot imagine a better way out of the entire RNC than this hurricane. Bush and Cheney totally out of the equation, the Bush administration doing all the right things to make ammends with the people of NO. McCain not having to invent a speech that will cover how different and similar he is to the Bush administration. That by itself would have been quite a feat to pull off. Also, he would not have to talk about Obama's lack of experience in the midst of all the talk about his newly assigned second in command post to an unknown rockie from somewhere in the Alaskan wilderness. I have no idea what the heck he can possibly talk about during the RNC that would be positive , inspiring or hopeful. This Gustav is probably the best strike of good luck for McCain yet. Hopefully, the last one as well.

Posted by: SISL | August 31, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

PHd, I started to go into a lenghthy diatribe about how hurricanes are heat engines and how water temperatures have risen and the reasons for this increase. But instead of wasting my time with you I will instead agree with tom. Everything else has come together to stop any bounce coming out of Denver, but I don't think that matters in Aug anyway. I think Sen MacCain will win (just watched Head of State again)and there will be nothing changed and my President still will not represent me.

Posted by: Ro | August 31, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Gustav is very bad news for the Republicans. Most have a stone age mentality which views storms like this as manifestations of divine wrath, especially troubling in the aftermath of the election of the ultra-right-wing Piyush Jindal as governor of Louisiana. Expect these ignorant savages to be in a fearful and dazed state throughout their "convention" and afterwards.

Posted by: mnjam | August 31, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

I read that they are going to send Blackwater there for clean up duty so perhaps they are staying home to write the checks to their disaster capitalist friends.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 31, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Actually I think I may open a contingency consultant agencya long the lines of a Blackwater the assist local gov't in the event of natural disasters. Especially since we outsource everything else, why shouldn't I make some cash off of other people's misery too?

Posted by: ro | August 31, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Once Obama or McCain settles into The White House, believe me, Bush and Cheney will begin to look pretty good for all their faults. Many are saying the race is two empty suits, an empty head and a real American. Too bad Mrs. Palin doesn't head her ticket.

Posted by: Francis X. Krauthämmer | August 31, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I think this is good news for McCain.
He and the GOP have no message, no vision, no direction. I just can't imagine what they would talk about all those days. I think McCain would be happy to cancel the whole thing altogether.

Posted by: thor | August 31, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Nothing can erase the failure of the Bush to provide meaningful aid to the victims of Katrina, not even a hurricane.

As for the McCain and the Republican party its all posturing before the television camera. If McCain seriously cared about the folks may live in Gustav's path he would helping to build the sand bag barriers on the levies. Instead, he did a photo-op tour of an emergency center.

Gustav is currently rated as a Cat 3 hurrican. It may go to 4 or 5 and it may not. And, no one knows where landfall will be. It could be anywhere from the Alabama-Mississippi border to the Padre Islands and Brownsville. It might even make land fall over a relatively un-populated area.

It is important to be prepared: evacuations, shelters, food, repair equipment, medical services available, etc. Beyond that it is just wait and see what happens.

Anyone want to talk about Hurricane Hannah which is right behind Gustav?

Anyone notice that Obama will be asking his supporters to make relief contributions should it be necessary and decided to stay away from New Orleans lest he step on the evacuation and relief preparations. Who is the decent and respectable and honest man here?

Posted by: Peter | August 31, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Ro - Hurricanes are heat engines and water temperatures do rise over the summer. I am not aware that the waters of the Gulf are significantly warmer this summer in comparison with the past. Implying that Hurricane Gustav was caused by global warming is questionable science. For your information, my son and his girlfriend have known Barack Obama and his family for the past few years. We believe he will be a good President.

Posted by: Paul Rigterink | August 31, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

It is impossible to point to any one storm and say that it was caused or even worsened by global warming. In fact, the simple fact that glaciation has been modal during the quaternary suggests that global warming could well trigger an ice age. Not that this would be a desirable outcome. The central point the global-warming deniers miss is that, even if there were only a fifty percent chance that global warming is happening the STAKES are so high that it is a foolish gamble to bet against it being real.

Posted by: scientist1 | August 31, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Is Meyerson saying that Gustav is a due to global warming?

What an idiot.

Posted by: rmorrow | August 31, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Obama needs to bring this up in the debates.

"I note that Bush could have appeared at the convention remotely, or he could have appeared after the hurricane, instead he was kept off completely. Are you ashamed of your party's record over the past 8 years? Why isn't it part of your campaign?"

Posted by: MorganaLeFay | August 31, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Global Warming is a misnomer in the context of specific storms like Gustav and Katrina. A better term would be "climate instability" which is characterized by wilder than usual fluctuations in temperatures and other factors affecting climate. These fluctuations are both up and down, this is why we have those crazy cold snap days when pundits make fun of global warming predictions. In the end however, big storms (not Gustav in particular of course), temperature fluctuations and general climate instability are all predicted by the climate models based on global warming trends.

Posted by: Travis Lynch | August 31, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing that in this brief statement the author managed to put a dig into Sarah Palin. Is feels like the same treatment that Hillary received - even if the article is completely unrelated to her add in a jab or two to bring her down.

It is time for women to unite for equal opportunity in the same way African Americans united for civil rights. While we women may disagree on many issues we all want respect.

Vote for Sarah Palin and break the glass ceiling for ALL women. United we all win!

Posted by: Women for Ending Sexism | August 31, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

"The central point the global-warming deniers miss is that, even if there were only a fifty percent chance that global warming is happening the STAKES are so high that it is a foolish gamble to bet against it being real."

Sounds like the same argument for the Iraq War

Also, it sounds pretty harsh to label global warming skeptics "deniers" when you yourself don't give global warming more than a 50% chance of being real. Your arguments might be a lot more persuasive if you didn't have the tradtional liberal habit of calling those who don't share your narrow views names.

Posted by: Bob Moses | August 31, 2008 10:41 PM | Report abuse

"It is time for women to unite for equal opportunity in the same way African Americans united for civil rights. While we women may disagree on many issues we all want respect. Vote for Sarah Palin and break the glass ceiling for ALL women. United we all win!"

It doesn't help women to vote for McCain and Palin who go against women's best interests.

Plus, only being a vice president will not break the glass ceiling. A woman (Palin) will still be second to a man (McCain)and the ceiling will still remain.

In order to break the ceiling for real, a woman needs to be president.

Hillary in 2012!

Posted by: tazmodious | August 31, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Women for Ending Sexism; you are probably a Republican and a man.

Posted by: tazmodious | August 31, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

You mean I don't get to see one after another stale republican trying to create enthusiasm in some other group other than the wingnut bloggers?? As a dem, I feel robbed of the joy of seeing Bush and Cheney stamp their brand on Mccain's desperate candidacy, not to mention the train of speakers trying awkwardly to find some balance between their own very real and horrible past and whatever imagined future they feel is possible for them to conjure. Gustav is McCain's new best bud and the best argument that dems should stop trying to save the planet if it won't save itself!

Posted by: chuck, PhD. | September 1, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Saved by the Hurricane! What a relief for Bush and Cheney. Palin, however still emains a mystery!

Posted by: GARosby | September 1, 2008 3:28 AM | Report abuse

Saved by the Hurricane! What a relief for Bush and Cheney. Palin, however still remains a mystery!

Posted by: GARosby | September 1, 2008 3:30 AM | Report abuse

It is amazing that in this brief statement the author managed to put a dig into Sarah Palin. Is feels like the same treatment that Hillary received - even if the article is completely unrelated to her add in a jab or two to bring her down.

It is time for women to unite for equal opportunity in the same way African Americans united for civil rights. While we women may disagree on many issues we all want respect.

Vote for Sarah Palin and break the glass ceiling for ALL women. United we all win!

Posted by: Women for Ending Sexism | August 31, 2008 10:33 PM

---
I sure hope you're a paid spammer.

A vote for sarah palin is actually a vote against women. Her extreme abortion views - no exceptions, even in the case of rape or incest - is just intollerable by most women. She's also anti-contraception. Basically, her views on womens rights and issues haven't progressed since the 60's - she's pointing the wrong direction on issues pertinent to women.

Her nomination is, in itself an insult to all women. Her selection was made out of desperation - mccain needed a woman - any woman, and he got one. To assume that a woman will vote for palin simply because she's a woman is ludicrous - it's an insult to our intelligence. But it's not out of the rhelm of typical republican patronization. She was selected because shes easy on the eyes and is an evangelical. That's it. There's nothing else there. She's a token. Knowing this, you really think she'll bring respect for women? Please. That's insulting. Women will be her harshest critics, and as you can see by the early polling, she's not fairing so well.

I personally think that her nomination will not win votes for mccain - her views are too backward and extreme. She is not a proponent for womens issues like clinton was - she's the enemy. She could do more harm than good to womens progress. There are so many truly capable and qualified women out there, and he picks the bottom of the barrel.

She's a horrible choice. Sara Palin will lay a heavy layer of concrete over that glass ceiling.

Posted by: julianne | September 1, 2008 3:33 AM | Report abuse

What if Gustav weakens and there is no disaster? I think that would be the worst case scenario for the RNC. All this build-up and then... nothing. There's no emergency that McCain can step up to and act like a leader (remember Bush after 9/11? He had the world in his hands! And what did he do with it?). Katrina is still on our minds, Bush and Cheney have to make their mandatory appearance. Back to the boring reality of trying to explain why America should reward the Republican Party for the last eight years of Bush's reign with another Republican president.

Pray for sunshine, Rev. Dobson!

Posted by: black dog clan | September 1, 2008 4:49 AM | Report abuse

Yonkers, New York
01 September 2008

For probably the first time in U.S. history, a Republican presumptive nominee is avoiding the incumbent Republican president as if he were a leper, a pariah.

Personally, John McCain may not really feel that badly about George W. Bush--but certainly there are people in his campaign who must have convinced Mr. McCain that inviting Mr. Bush to speak before the Republican national convention in St. Paul and hobnobbing with him can only have negative consequences for his faltering presidential campaign.

Mariano Patalinjug
MarPatalinjug@aol.com

Posted by: Mariano Patalinjug | September 1, 2008 4:55 AM | Report abuse

If McCain wins, in spite of all of these negatives, then I'd have to suggest that the Ultra Liberal Elitist wing of the Democrat Party should be purged. Center Dems, as epitomized by Senator Clinton, have shown they can carry red counties, state by state, and there isn't the same evidence Obama will be able to do the same. I would contend that there are plenty of people who want to find any excuse they can to vote against Obama. Not necessarily for McCain. But against Obama.
He is a phony.
He has made as many preposterous claims for being one of the world's most experienced men alive, as Giuliani. In fact, since he's lasted longer than Giuliani, he's been far more successful at b.s.ing the public. This is remarkable, in that hardly anyone wants to say it. The media IS very definitely enamoured with Obama, and has done and will continue to do whatever it can to get him elected.
I haven't necessarily believed this "liberal media" myth much ... but this year, I've seen it clearly. Obama has gotten far more free passes than anyone -- and that's what Affirmative Action is about: giving someone a handicap so they can come out ahead of others equally qualified, based on race. Or gender, age, handicapping condition, etc.
We deserve a Colin Powell, if only he had walked away from the Bush Iraq War. Had he, he'd be the first African-American President with honorable and deserved credits to his name. Obama is a shell. It is indicative of the desperation people have that they are willing to overlook these deficiencies, because he's such a gifted speaker. Reminds me of someone else, who dazzled people with b.s. before he led them astray.
Obama, the phony.
If McCain win's, then we are definitely living in a divided society. As the Empire falters, disintegration and dry rot from within will be an inevitable factor in the pace of the decay.
I won't vote for either. I'll write Senator Clinton in. Clintonites can write her name in, and vote essentially solid Democrat, and send a powerful signal to the DNC: stop putting up these ultra liberal candidates. Move more to the center, left, and get elected with a substantial majority.
Another close election will help no one.
The Dems are too dense to see their own radicalism as destructive as the extreme right.

Posted by: Zenhead | September 1, 2008 5:43 AM | Report abuse

Mariano:
Al Gore avoided Bill Clinton in the 2000 Campaign wherever he was able to.
Already forgotten?

Posted by: Gerd | September 1, 2008 7:20 AM | Report abuse

bush-cheney: SAVED by Gustav! We all know how they hate to have their vacations interrupted! Besides, WHO even WANTED those LOSERS at the convention? Bush now has the distinction of being the WORST president in our history!

Cheney, the one who selected HIMSELF as bush's VP, "bush's brain", is the biggest failure of all. Good riddance to both of them, and I will say THANK GOD as I see the two of them get on that helicopter and LEAVE Washington on January 20, 2009!

Posted by: Amanda | September 1, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Ernie M -
Becuse you're a Republican, another RNC blogger and blowhard.

Until 2006 Republicans controlled both houses - and now Republicans can block things in the Senate. If there was an enabler it was Senator Clinton - which is why she didn't win the nomination.

Dems are not as dumb as you Republicans we don't believe your mindless obvious partisan disinformation. If you like Gov Palin so much move to Alaska.

Posted by: Fla Joe | September 1, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I'm reading a lot of bitterness about there not being a female on the Democratic ticket. Let me start by saying that I also think it would be fantastic to have a woman on the ticket. If Hillary Clinton had won enough primaries to win the nomination, you can bet I would be throwing my support before her. But, democracy did what it does, and she didn't get the nomination. If you're wondering why Obama didn't pick her for his VP, look at her husband. For Obama, he is a political liability. Bill Clinton has difficulty being a behind-the-scenes politician.

I think the issue we're dealing with is bitterness that Hillary Clinton, not just any woman, is not on the Democratic ticket. A lot of people are focusing WAY too much on the characteristics that don't affect the candidates' suitability for President. Barack Obama being black doesn't qualify him to be President any more than Hillary Clinton being a woman. However, I understand the symbolism that made her campaign so hopeful. But we're not voting for symbolism. We're voting for the person we believe is best suited to be President.

For the first time in a LONG LONG time, the Democrats had two EXCELLENT candidates, both of which made history. Hillary Clinton certainly paved the way for women to make it happen far sooner than anybody expected. Look on the bright side, though. The Democratic VP choice is a fierce proponent of women's rights. That must count for SOMETHING, right?

Sarah Palin doesn't have half the credentials Hillary Clinton has. McCain seems to think that any woman will do. That wasn't Hillary Clinton's draw. She is a woman with particular characteristics. If you are a Clinton supporter voting for McCain BECAUSE he has a woman as his running mate, you are completely ignoring the issues and policy positions. Clinton and McCain are worlds away from one another's policy positions.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Bush wants plenty of distance from anything related to Katrina. McCain seams on a roll: Obama toned down from the Hilton celebrity likeness observation, then trumping the Obama speech review with his vp candidate, and now storm surge--smoke and mirrors--McCain the youthful reformer appears. Interesting election, a more even match than before.

Posted by: bruce | September 1, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes I cannot tolerate the Internet. It has become little more than a tool for each of us to expose our ignorance and hate. I'm not a Luddite and I know its wonderful that I am able to read the Washington Post at 6 a.m. in SF, but really folks, politics as "entertainment?" Natural disaster as partisan politics? Give me a break.

I've been trying t coin the next catch phrase -- poli-tainment? electo-tainment?

What we surely need are real elephants and real donkeys -- someone's already sent in the clowns.

Posted by: Mary | September 1, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

The US is handing Anbar province back to the Iraqis today, Anbar province for crying out loud!

I say at least on Iraq and the Surge, McCain's judgment has been head and shoulder above anybody else.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

God has changed his mind. Obama is no longer the chosen one; McCain is!

Posted by: norman ravitch | September 1, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

The prediction that Global Warming may lead to stronger hurricanes is from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. Not surprisingly, most right wing writers believe these distinguished researchers are just a bunch of idiots.

Posted by: jreed11665 | September 1, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Everyone keeps talking about how the Republicans are going to get slaughtered - the worst political defeat in decades, nobody likes a funeral, etc. But for the undecided voters, like myself, we see a phenomenally close race between two very non-Bush candidates. I agree that the conventional wisdom was that the Democrats were handed power on a silver platter - first Reid/Pelosi, and then Obama. But they do have a knack for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Pelose and Reid haven't done ANYTHING they promised 4 years ago. This is the worst Congress in history. So I say this race is a toss up.

Posted by: Wm Schurman | September 1, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I'm not voting this time around. The entire process has become irrational and emotional. Partisans yell at each other and call each other names. Nobody seems to value diversity of opinion and experience. Is this what "post-partisan" means? The two parties have just turned into advertising agencies.

Posted by: Jim | September 1, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I thought it interesting that Alaska had a 4.6 earthquake and New Orleans got a category 2 hurricane right after McCain picked Palin. Are the gods saying something?

Posted by: zounds | September 1, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Those who complain about Bush not visiting Katrina have never been on the receiving end of a presidential visit. Not creating the logistical and security nightmare of a presidential visit during a disaster can only be called sensible.

Posted by: realtat | September 1, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

The Palin selection is little more than a bad joke. Not only is John McCain too desperate to make a responsible decision regarding a VP running mate, Palin compounds the problem by accepting the offer. This woman with her year and a half of governing Alaska and a couple years of being the mayor of a tiny town that is little more than a spot in the road doesn't have the sense to decline. Apparently, so impressed is she with her great success as mayor of Wasilla, she truly thinks she is qualified to run the country. (What is it the vice-president does every day? -- God help us)

Face it folks, this election is not about Palin's religion, or her runner-up status as Miss Alaska. Nor is it about her gender, although there's no question that was foremost in McCain's mind. Where she is concerned, this election is about who would take the place of a 72 year-old president who is a cancer survivor, and who is already showing signs of age-related mental deterioration.

This country is in serious trouble, thanks to the morons who have held the reins of government in Washington for the past 8 years. And if we're going to pull our nation out of the muck and mire the Bush administration has created for us, we need a president and vice president with sound ideas and the energy to implement them. Whether or not you like Obama and/or Biden, they make a good team, and if something should happen to Barack, Biden has the experience and maturity to take over. I'll change my mind when I hear him ask what he is supposed to be doing every day as Veep.

Posted by: American Reflections | September 1, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

While people are in jeopardy of losing everything they value, again, with the looming dangers to those who remain in Louisiana, all this talk of Gustav being a "boon" to the McCain presidency is disgusting.
Since McCain is the one who, between mouthfuls of cake, told Bush "not to overreact" while people were dying, it makes sense after all that his supporters would display his complete coldbloodedness and sense of priorities.
It wasn't until later, when the general chorus decried the Bush White House's lack of response that McCain joined the chorus. Check your facts about the history of Katrina and you'll see.
McCain's photo op of a trip to Louisiana this week is just that. It's Obama who is using the national network he built from the ground up, to assemble aid in the form of donations and personnel to send aid to Louisiana.

Posted by: Chloe | September 1, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

McCain's campaign understates, while Obama's hystericalizes.

When you want a group of kids to listen to you, it's often more effective to lower rather than raise your voice. McCain lowers the voice. Obama's glitzy shows include everything but the candidate dancing nude to attract attention.(Will he next include a little Elvis-like pelvic thrust with his speeches?)

I think most of us are a bunch of kids. When an adult whispers, we get worried and try to hear what he is saying.

Posted by: realtat | September 1, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Realtat, you denigrate the 'kids' and turn a blind eye to the fatcat 'adults' in Washington DC who have run this country into the ground. You can lie to yourself all you want, but you are the 'kid' around here. The adults here realize we need change, not a continuance of the current ruinous status quo. Keep deluding yourself that your viewpoint is mature; It isn't. It's stupid.

Posted by: ErrinF | September 1, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

How in God's name another hurricane hitting New Orleans "good" for Republicans? What kind of pothead, when a US city is facing a disaster that could cost people their lives, asks "Yeah, but is it good for Bush?" You don't get do-overs on allowing terrorists to take out the WTC or when you lose a city! Myerson obviously hasn't slept all week, either that or he's just so drunk it's no wonder he works at the WaPo. Hope he never has a real job!
"Gee, uh boss, I set then newly rebuilt factory on fire so you can be a hero by calling the fire department!"

Posted by: Marc Edward | August 31, 2008 6:40 PM

------------------------
Yes! Good post! Also, it is a reminder of Katrina which is in no way a positive topic for the GOPS.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I love the earnest show of concern by all parties involved (and those who
really aren't involved because, last I checked, we haven't had an election
yet).

It's especially comical watching Bush and Chertoff and all their related
cronies/flaks trip over themselves to get to the nearest microphone.

As the old saying goes..."character is who you are when no one's
looking"...and we all saw their TRUE character when Katrina hit in 2005.
Nice try, hypocrites!

Posted by: Alan Gberg | September 1, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

The Democratic convention showed us:
1) The Democratic Party has never been so divided.
2) Obama would like be a rock star but is too shallow to be a leader.
3) No matter how big a show you buy, no matter how much coverage you can get from the media; it can all be erased in an afternoon by an unknown Female Governor from Alaska.

Posted by: Richard Morse | September 1, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Palin rhymes with Nailin
McCain rhymes with Mctrain and
Obama rhymes with Yomama and
Biden rhymes with Triden

Get it everyone, its so obvious.

It's not what you do that counts, it's what you don't do.

So be a do be and not a don't be. Vote

Posted by: Neils Bohr | September 1, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

It might surprise Meyerson and a ton of other people to know that there remains a huge debate about the global warming issue. There are a slew of incredibly responsible scientists who, while acknowledging the effects of human activity, are not fully convinced that other major factors far outweigh human activity. Note: they are neither in the pockets of the oil companies (the knee-jerk line from conspiracy theorists) nor are they crackpots. The established dogma about global warming has a lot of money behind it--and the history of science has many examples of great minds who lost their grant money and watched their careers dwindle for taking an unpopular, independent view of scientific issues. I RESENT the attempt to smear Palin for her reservations--this is not religion. They are well published scientists who look at the data differently. I direct you to a Wikipedia overview of the controvery Mr. Meyerson at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming_controversy. Antarctica is getting colder. There are many physicists who adhere to changes in solar activity as being the prominent factor as well (see
ScienceDaily: "Sun's Direct Role In Global Warming May Be Underestimated, Duke Physicists Report"--http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051001100950.htm) As I said, its like U.N. "relief organizations" right now--with huge money, jobs and careers involved in what is NOT a concensus that we humans are the primary factor. The implications are enormous. The REAL "weirdos" may well turn out to be those who have not paid attention to the anomalies in the data--Palin apparently is not one of them and Meyerson, you should interview her at greater depth rather than malign her "heretical" view of global warming.

Posted by: Ph.D. Guy | September 1, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Three years ago when Katrina hit New Orleans, some evangelicals called it God's wrath for the lifestyle in New Orleans. This time Gustav missed New Orleans but curtailed the Republican convention. Is this God's way of telling us what he thinks of Republicans?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Meyerson's Palin jab was not "at" a woman - it was at a vice presidential candidate who believe we can piss on and blow smoke into Creation without causing any damage to it.

She's not just a lady and a mom now: she is a public policy professional, and her positions are fair game.

Posted by: Mom | September 1, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Sorry mister, even an exemplary performance by the Bush administration on Gustav will not erase the absolute screwup they made of Katrina! Heckuva job Bushy!

"Gustav could also boost Republican fortunes in other ways. IF FEMA and the Federal response is perceived as satisfactory, the Republican administration (and by Democratic party definition - Senator McCain) will have reversed a major embarrasment."

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Hear Arnold the Governator has also decided he cannot attend THE Convention. Something about important budget issues in California.

Which leads to the question: Who is minding the store in Alaska when Governor Palin hauls her sick child and pregnant daughter around the country? Seems critical to have a tough reform executive in alaska keeping an eye on the russians and guarding the critical aleutian islands at this time of crisis.

Posted by: Lindel | September 1, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Sorry kewpie doll, but most of the few credentialed scientists who doubt the existence of human-caused global warming are earning big salaries from carbon fuel corporations (oil, coal, gas). Academic scientists really have nothing to gain by global warming being true - most wish it were otherwise (any of us that live through the next 50 years are going to greatly regret not doing anything about it).


"There are a slew of incredibly responsible scientists who, while acknowledging the effects of human activity, are not fully convinced that other major factors far outweigh human activity. Note: they are neither in the pockets of the oil companies (the knee-jerk line from conspiracy theorists) nor are they crackpots."

Posted by: Nerd Scientist | September 1, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

democrats blame the republicans, republicans blame the democrats. Katrina was the fault of the republicans, Gustav is the fault of the democrats. Everyone blames it on the other. Sick of it all, Perhaps we should tell the two parties, Mother Nature is getting tired of all this power play, lip service, lies and what ever man seems to condemn, didn't capitalize, no error on my part. Both parties deserve each other, small pickings.Need another party to put the blame on. God help us! perhaps we should put those on the ticket, GOD and MOTHER NATURE, certainly would be honest and forthright.

Posted by: joan ca | September 1, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I am less and less concerned about the health and well-being of our two glorious political parties as they become less and less concerned about the middle and working class. A hurricane will make life easier for the Republicans? How nice for them. Bush and Cheney can now act like they care in year eight of their chronically suspicious rule. Since it looks like Gustav has threatened the oil industry in Lousiana instead of New Orleans, maybe they really will care this time. They can demonstrate their compassionate corporatism since they can't seem to apply that theoretical compassion to actual human beings.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Global warming has nothing to do with Gustav.

You all are brain washed.
Maybe you should have said Bush had the USAF create Gustav with Lithium Crystals.

Posted by: Ed | September 1, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Meyerson,

Michael Moore said that the hurricane was a blessing from God to the Democrats because it would over shadow and diminish the effectiveness of the RNC. You are saying that it's a blessing for the RNC buy keeping Bush and Cheney away. As your fellow ultra liberal pundit Keith Olberman would say: You are the second worst and Michael Moore is the "WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD". Move to China, Cuba or any communist state, you may be happier. I know that myself and many other red blooded, non hate mongering Americans like myself would be happier without the likes of you and other ultra liberals in our great country.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone notice the Bush, Cheney and Rove only appear in safe places, like American Legion or Republican gatherings. I call this cowardice and I believe they are glad to have an excuse for not appearing in Minneapolis.

Posted by: Larry | September 1, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Ro - Hurricanes are heat engines and have been occurring since the beginning of recorded time. Why is now any different? The Southern Oceans are actually cooling, and there is no link between perceived human behavior and the frequency or intensity of storms, which themselves are up for debate. Not to mention the fact that the most important greenhouse gas is water vapor, not CO2.

Can someone please tell me what the proper temperature of the Earth is supposed to be, since the grant funded scientific/political (read: money grabbing) classes are telling us the Earth is getting too warm? And what exactly is the temperature of the Earth? i wasn't aware of any one thermostat that shows the overall temperature of our entire globe. I thought that the "temperature" was a compilation of recording devices that are disproportionately in and around cities and airports, which are affected by the "heat island" effect. Bottom line" the Earth has been heating and cooling since the first amphibian sprouted legs or whatever and will continue to do so forever. The only thing that may change is one group of people using this non-threatening event as a pretext to tell other groups of people how to live their lives, what to eat, how much they can drive, and how they can earn a living.

Posted by: Alfred | September 1, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

I think the state of New Orleans, Core of Engineers and Federal Government (the nation) must come together as one and demand the New Orlean levy system reinforced to withstand a Katrina (+) type storm. Get the troops out of Iraqi and send appropriate reinforcement to the region who is responsible for 9/11 attacks. Use the funds saved from not fighting & rebuilding Iraqi to pay for construction.

The fact this hurricane was dud, Bush and FEMA are spared from another embarrassment. Now stupid, get it fixed - the right way!


Posted by: TR | September 1, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Palin with a two years as mayor of a small city and one and a half years as governor of a state the same size as Biden's Deleware, just a heartbeat away from the presidency.
Obama with 146 days in the Senate and a few years as a political street activist in Chicago, not a heartbeat away from the presidency but as THE PRESIDENT!

What is the difference? I'll take my chances on McCains health!

Posted by: Bob Gonzalez | September 1, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Gustav is God's message that He is tired of Republicans taking His name in vain... ;^)

Posted by: Steve | September 1, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

I hope you will take a detailed look at another kind of storm, namely the one conducted by the sheriff in Minneapolis. Amy Goodman has quite a different story to tell than the brushoff in the WP's convention web page. Look at the Democracy Now web page, and look at the story DN ran Monday evening. That kind of trampling of both civil rights and journalists' rights should not be buried or spun out of existence.

Posted by: Jay in Pa | September 1, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Typical U.S. media headline: Is Hurricane Gustav "Good" for Bush. That's all that matters, right, Meyerson? By the way, where are the articles in your illustrious newspaper about the misery Gustav left behind in Cuba, or the one million homeless and one thousand dead in flooding in India? Oh, those tragedies don't matter because they didn't happen here in the good ole U-S of A-holes.

Today's corporate media sucks a big one, including Meyerson.

Posted by: JLE | September 1, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Does the GOP (Republicans, better known as the Bush Administration) really want to win this election? I don't think so!

If you look at the timeline over the last 2 years I think you can "check off" the number of times the GOP has attempted to help the Democratic Party to win this election.

Several GOP candidates who were still in the running for the nomination, only to suddenly drop out; Republicans crossing over in open primary states to attempt to bolster Senator Clinton's campaign against Senator Obama believing she had a better chance to win.

And now nominating an inexperienced, unknown Governor from the State of Alaska, whose family values include abandoning your family in order to pursue your political aspirations, and a destiny to crush a former brother-in-law's career in order to appease a sibling.

In case you are unaware of this, the McCain Campaign is being managed by a former counsel to Vice President Dick Cheney, and was an assistant to GOP henchman Karl Rove.

I'm sure the GOP understands that it will take a Herculean effort to gain control of a country that is so far out of whack due to an Administration that has raped our treasury and our Constitution, and lost any respect we held around the world with our allies, that the American public may hold that President in disregard for years to come. The GOP understands that and realizes that if a Republican President were elected in this election year, it could do irreparable damage to their party.

This latest catastrophe to hit John McCain’s campaign is just a little bit too incredible to be just a coincidence. If John McCain is really the “Maverick” his campaign is trying to portray him, maybe he rubbed the Bush Administration, the Christian Conservatives, and the “K” Street gang the wrong way a little too often.

Posted by: Hello | September 1, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

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