Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Circus Postponed: Elephant Still On The Ball

Much to discuss, and little time/energy to spare; the week-end was dominated by the wedding of my brother (in-law). It was truly a fine shindig, and a most auspicious pairing; may even shinier days await!

When I was able to steal away and sip some news on my ever-so-handy phone, I was relieved to read of the hugely improved response of local, state, and federal agencies to the thankfully less-than-catastrophic Hurricane Gustav. We have been hearing over the last couple of years that the lessons of Katrina had been learned, and that residents of the Gulf Coast would not be caught so devastatingly unawares again. It was gratifying actually to see the machinery of evacuation, policing and engineering swing so decisively and efficiently into action, and no less so even as the worst projections did not come to pass; better over-prepared than under in situations like these. One can only hope that the fine performance this time around does not lend itself to complacency when the next system takes aim at the Big Easy and environs.

On another front (as it were), I was also greatly impressed with the response in the Twin Cities, as the Republican National Convention, with virtually no notice, shifted gears to morph into a giant fund-raising and assistance convention. No, "shifted gears" does not begin to cover it. More like "turned on a dime." Political conventions are massive, excruciatingly carefully-orchestrated and choreographed affairs, with a very considerable momentum (and inertia) once set into motion. For the RNC to table all but the minimal, procedurally-mandated business, and also to retool itself, on the fly, into a storm relief telethon (complete with arrangements to fly delegates' families out of harm's way) demonstrated a degree of nimbleness which only the most jaded of partisans could fail to see as well-nigh miraculous. Also, the pitch-perfect decision to eschew political rhetoric at a time of potential national disaster cannot help but be seen as admirable sensitivity from a Party which some persist in accusing of crass politicization (in notable cases shamefully --if unsurprisingly-- failing to hold themselves to their own supposed standards).

Bravo, RNC! Hopefully tomorrow will bring yet another change, and a resumption of celebratory normalcy at the Convention, which will have been earned as few before it can be so audacious as to claim.

No comments: