The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Batten Down the Hatches for a Storm of Tasteless Jokes


From the Thursday edition of the Morning Jolt:

Batten Down the Hatches for a Storm of Tasteless Jokes

The notion of Tropical Storm/Potential Hurricane Isaac inflicting another round of mass suffering on Haiti may make snickering like this bit from Dana Milbank look more than a little tasteless:

Has God forsaken the Republican Party?

Well, sit in judgment of what’s happened in the past few days:

— A report comes out that a couple dozen House Republicans engaged in an alcohol-induced frolic, in one case nude, in the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus is believed to have walked on water, calmed the storm and, nearby, turned water into wine and performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes.

●Rep. Todd Akin, Missouri’s Republican nominee for Senate, suggests there is such a thing as “legitimate rape” and purports that women’s bodies have mysterious ways to repel the seed of rapists. He spends the next 48 hours rejecting GOP leaders’ demands that he quit the race.

●Weather forecasts show that a storm, likely to grow into Hurricane Isaac, may be chugging toward . . . Tampa, where Republicans will open their quadrennial nominating convention on Monday.

Coincidence? Or part of some Intelligent Design?

He leaves Ann Althouse rolling her eyes: “If God controls the weather, let’s not worry about global warming. Or are you going to say He controls the weather but not the climate? We’re talking omnipotence, or do you think that’s some kind of joke?”

It’s an easy layup for Glenn Reynolds: “They told me if I voted for John McCain, crazed theocrats in Washington would be reading theological implications into everyday events. And they were right!”

But wait, let’s look at another of the Post’s columnists, Joel Achenbach:

The elites of the Republican Party are praying that Tropical Storm Isaac will gather strength and slam into Tampa. The sober party bosses need a cyclonic distraction. They need a hurricane to wipe the Todd Akin disaster off the front pages.

Achenbach can be a great writer when he wants to be, with a book about the response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. But that opening is just crass, snide, and stupid in an effort to make a pedestrian point: Boy, Todd Akin has created a headache for the GOP.

Elsewhere, you see the usual folks making the usual points — a Daily Kos diary entitled, “Does God hate the GOP? Hurricane Isaac seems to say, ‘YES!’” But we’ve come to expect that sort of thing from those corners of the Internet.

The word on Isaac, as of last night:

Isaac’s path remains uncertain, but some computer models show the storm slicing its way up Florida’s peninsula. Others send it farther west, into the Gulf of Mexico.

Officials are taking the threat seriously.

Gov. Rick Scott will talk about Florida’s preparations for the storm at a media briefing Thursday morning at the State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said his city is prepared for the 50,000 people headed to his city for the Republican National Convention, which starts Monday.

The latest forecast map from the National Hurricane Center in Miami shows Isaac passing near south Florida late Sunday as a Category 1 hurricane and northwest of Tampa by Monday evening.

“We have contingency plan after contingency plan,” Buckhorn said. “We are ready in the event that it happens. I don’t think it’s going to be a factor in this particular convention. But we are prepared in the event that it is.”

Convention spokesman Kyle Downey said the situation is being monitored “very closely.”

Possibly complicating matters, the convention site — The Tampa Bay Times Forum — is a mandatory evacuation zone once storms reach 96 mph or a Category 2 hurricane, according to the Hillsborough County Hurricane Guide. The current forecast doesn’t have Isaac reaching that status.

Tags: Hurricane Isaac , Republican National Convention


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