The Republicans made a big show of scaling back the RNC ahead of Hurricane Gustav’s landfall.

The mere fact that such a drastic response seems appropriate is a searing indictment of 8 years of Bush rule. If the administration had a functional emergency management system, an intact national guard, and less well-deserved guilt about abandoning a major American city three years ago, the show could go on. The Southern governors and the president would be called away, the partisan rhetoric would be toned down, but the convention could continue.

Shame and dread are the real motives here. The Republicans are terrified that they’ll be caught celebrating during another human-compounded natural disaster. If they could honestly say that the Bush Administration had taken all reasonable measures to safeguard the Gulf Coast, the public would be a lot more understanding. They’re paralyzed because they know that they haven’t.

Lindsay Beyerstein

Lindsay Beyerstein

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