GOP convention/Hurricane Gustav open thread

Post your thoughts about today’s events. The front page of Barack Obama’s website has a link you can click to find ways to help Hurricane Gustav victims.

John McCain has seized the opportunity to distance himself from George Bush and Dick Cheney. They had been scheduled to address the GOP convention on Monday night, but those speeches have been canceled. Instead, Laura Bush and Cindy McCain will speak briefly on how Americans can help hurricane victims.

Meanwhile, McCain is touring the Gulf cost and talking about turning the Republican convention into a service event. Fits nicely with his slogan about “putting country first,” except when you realize that his visit is likely to distract the local officials trying to manage evacuation and disaster relief efforts.

He obviously doesn’t want people to remember that the day Hurricane Katrina made landfall in 2005, Bush was celebrating McCain’s birthday in Arizona.

This diary by Muzikal203 compares how McCain and Obama have reacted to Gustav and both senators’ records on matters related to Hurricane Katrina.

UPDATE: I’ve been reading some disturbing posts about police tactics in St. Paul:

A concise roundup by mcjoan is here.

Glenn Greenwald has a lot more detail, including footage of Amy Goodman, host of the Democracy Now! radio program, being arrested while covering the protests at the RNC. Greenwald observed on Monday:

Beginning last night, St. Paul was the most militarized I have ever seen an American city be, even more so than Manhattan in the week of 9/11 — with troops of federal, state and local law enforcement agents marching around with riot gear, machine guns, and tear gas cannisters, shouting military chants and marching in military formations. Humvees and law enforcement officers with rifles were posted on various buildings and balconies. Numerous protesters and observers were tear gassed and injured.

Lindsay Beyerstein wrote this piece at Firedoglake.

Open Left has published several pieces on this, including this post with photos by Matt Stoller.

It is depressing to see such an overreaction to political dissent.

  • As someone at Kos said

    A hurricane is a disaster, not an opportunity.  McCain is pandering big time like a concern troll.  

  • Hurricane Response

    I agree that it isn’t smart to go down there and get in the way. However, in the GOP’s defense, they are kind of in a bind. It would be nearly impossible to reschedule their convention, and they have to have one to formally nominate their candidate, so they can’t cancel. On the other hand, if they just celebrate as usual, they would be critiqued for that as well. I’m pretty sure that if the Democratic convention were being held this week, we would be doing the same thing.

    The reality is that McCain’s convention won’t get the same press attention that Obama’s did because press attention will be divided between that and the storm. I would not be surprised if McCain’s convention bounce won’t be as high as it would have been if the hurricane were not happening.  

  • Desmoinesdem

    Since you visit some of those conservative mommy blogs, have you seen any reactions to the Palin daughter story in those circles yet?  I’m just curious.

    My immediate personal reaction is, how could Palin and McCain do this to her daughter?  Knowing the scrutiny involved in a presidential campaign, why would she agree to subject her daughter to this?  Everyone must have realized this would come out.  I can’t imagine conservative moms and parents thrilled about this.  As a parent, even a liberal like me is stunned.  

    • not yet to that specific story

      but Ladies Against Feminism continues to post links to posts saying Palin should not be on the ticket because she is a woman.

      I feel very sorry for Bristol Palin. Whether she is pregnant now or was pregnant before, how horrible to be in the national spotlight as a 17-year-old like that.

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