Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Skeptic's View of Why the GOP is Scaling Back its Convention

Logically, it doesn't make sense that Hurricane Gustav's threat justifies the Republicans essentially canceling its convention. Doing so won't improve the nation's response to Gustav, let alone save a single life.

I believe Gustav provides the Republicans with an excuse to cancel the convention. The GOP calculates, correctly, that its convention just cannot compete successfully with the Democrats' star-studded Hollywood spectacular.

Apart from such glitz as the fancy cardboard Greek-pillared set, the Dems had some remarkably good speakers, for example, Hillary, Obama, and the surprising best of the best, Dennis Kucinich with his electrifying "Wake Up America" speech, (Don't get impatient--its relatively slow first minute merely provides room for the speech to maximally build.) Those speeches were much stronger than anything the Republicans could muster: John McCain, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin? Gimme a break.

If the Republicans held their convention as planned, it would almost certainly yield a loss of votes, especially on style points which, in the crazy world of U.S. politics, trumps substance. The GOP convention would also be hurt by the liberal mainstream media, which would demean the convention as dwarfed by the Democrats' extravaganza rather than praising it for being longer on substance than on style.

Instead, if the Republicans scale the convention way back, claiming it's because of Hurricane Gustav, many naive people will perceive the GOP as valuing public safety above politics and thereby gain votes, while simultaneously saving the Republicans millions of dollars, which they can then divert to the rest of the campaign.

What do you think? Am I being cynical or insightful?


Charles said...

I'm sure there is some truth to your assertions, but I believe they are more concerned about seeming negligent, out of touch, and insensitive. In other words, this is another attempt to distance themselves from the current administration.

Anonymous said...

If it was merely strategy to make it look like they value the nation above the party (I think I saw McCain say something about the party being "Americans, not Republicans" during this time), then it makes sense, and I'd say it was rather smart.

But if they're only canceling because the Democrats had better speakers, then why bother speaking at all? Why bother with debating? And as for being hurt by the liberal media, that's going to happen anyway, convention or no.


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