Bruce at Q&O dives into the swamp known as Gustav in relation to the RNC. It’s a worthy article, but one point of disagreement:
Frankly, keeping Bush out of the convention limelight is a positive. How to do that without Gustav is all but impossible. Gustav provides a perfect excuse and, interestingly, Bush himself grabbed it quickly.
The “do-over” aspect is very important. Even if New Orleans floods, the orderly and well planned evacuation is a huge positive story to tell. If NO comes out relatively unscathed, weathering a hurricane which is, according to all reports a little more dangerous than Katrina (because of its landfall category and where it is hitting), then this becomes a very, very positive story – one of redemption for the Bush administration.
But here’s the thing;
Bush got the blame from many people for the way Katrina got handled… and I think unfairly. The blame should have gone to the state and local governments, particularly the clueless then- governor of Louisiana and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.
Bobby Jindal is running things down there, now, and Ray Nagin has apparently learned a hard lesson about how the buck stops at his desk… he can’t simply push it up the line, as he did in the case of Katrina. Miraculously, buses were located this time that were not, last time out, and they’ve managed for the most part to get the people the hell out of the way of the storm. It’s called perperation and taking charge… something Nagin did not do last time.
I would suggest to you, as a result is what we’re witness to now; This is a huge boost for Republican style independence and self-reliance. The local and state governments have taken charge of the situation, and miraculously, things are running much more smoothly. This is not a failure on the part of the federal government, (Nor was it in Katrina’s case) it’s what happens when the state and local governments do their jobs, versus Katrina, when they decidedly did not.
The short term political result is a little cloudy, give the immediate impact on the Convention in St Paul. That said, however, in the longer term, I see this as a victory… clearly, given the way things are going with Gustav vs Katrina, minds have been changed about whose responsibility the thing really is… and the results are remarkably different. I see this as resulting in at least marginally less knee-jerk dependence on the federal government.