I have to say that I have mixed feelings about the fact that hurricane Isaac has bypassed Florida to the west and is heading north towards me. I want it to make it up here and give us some rain. And I am glad that it missed my mom in southwest Florida - she had enough hurricane trauma when hurricane Charley veered offcourse at the last minute and destroyed a swath of unprepared Florida, including her home. It's hard enough for the elderly to just live, let alone have to put up with that.
And while it appears that the republican convention won't be terribly disrupted physically, as far as news cycles goes, it is not going to get the spotlight that it hoped to get. That is because the hurricane is likely going to hit in the New Orleans area, on the exact anniversary of the Katrina disaster. That is going to at least equal the news of the convention, if not dominate it.
But it isn't all bad news for the republicans, at least potentially. We all remember how the federal government response to Katrina was pathetically too late and seemingly oblivious to that fact. It embarrassed a lot of the nation, which cares about the plight of those who have been subject to great misfortune. \
But now there are several dynamics going on. First, it isn't the republicans in the white house responsible for the response - it is the democrats. So the public can contrast the difference, if any, in the responses. (and you can bet that Obama will be doing everything he can to see to it that it is a different kind of response). And, there will discussion about how Bush blew it, and questions to Romney about how a government, which he continually downplays its role in society, has a responsibility in a situation like this.
All of this makes for an interesting few days in the political arena. Can Romney get above the news of the hurricane to make an impact on the race? Will Obama be able to coordinate a noticeably better response than Bush did to Katrina? Will Romney be able to convince the public that he has enough compassion to respond adequately to such situations?
I'm sorry for the people of New Orleans, especially if the storm surge does top levees. That is going to cause unimaginable suffering and damage. But there isn't anything anyone can do now - it is going where it is going. And when the worst damage is done it is welcome up here where we have been burning and drying up.