Sunday, August 31, 2008

Rain, Rain Go Away

Be Careful What You Pray For

How High’s The Water, Mama: The Republican choice for President, Senator and pilot John McCain, has named his navigator: the governor of the 49th state. Roll back the video tape to mid August when the Demos announced that their nomination acceptance speech would be held in the INVESCO Denver Bronco football stadium, an open air venue. The right wing-nuts began immediately to come out of the closet. Stuart Shepard, media director of the right wing Evangelical group “Focus on the Family” called for Christians to “pray for abundant, torrential rains” during the Democratic convention. Presumably this would drown out the splash that Demos had planned at Denver’s INVESCO field. He went on to urge Christians to pray for rains that would create flash floods and “swamp the intersections.” He continued, describing the Noah nemesis type rains as, “Umbrella-ain’t-gonna-help-you rain.” Shepard directed the sheep to pray that the rain begin “two minutes before the acceptance speech begins” but forgot to look ahead for the next 40 days and 40 nights.

The Worst Kind of Juxtaposition: We’re not sure how many of Shepard’s faithful members of “Focus on the Family” heeded the words of the news release creator, but Senator Obama’s acceptance speech came off without a hitch. The Focus flock-tending Shephard was left high and dry – or was he? Democratic Senator John Morse who hails from Denver responded to Shepard’s remarks with, “Is praying for rain wrong? No, its soulless.” Focus on the Family is one of the most powerful evangelical groups in America and is led by Bush Backer James Dobson. Another Evangelical televangelist, John Hagee, whose endorsement was solicited by Senator McCain, told a radio audience that Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment of New Orleans for having a Gay Pride parade. In later comments Hagee described the hurricane in New Orleans as a curse. Another hurricane threatens New Orleans as we write this blog. This one not only threatens the city of Mardi Gras but the Republican convention several states away.

Chickens Coming Home to Roost: In view of comments made by Pastor Hagee and calls to Focus on the Family of praying for rain, the real irony is that rain is now falling and seems to be the answer to the Shepard’s prayers. But instead of raining out Senator Obama’s acceptance speech it might completely rain out the Republican convention. Are Obama’s former minister Jeremiah Wright’s words coming back to haunt the Republicans? Are the chickens coming home to roost? Maybe it is time to separate church from state. Perhaps it is time to at least remove the hate mongers in the religious community from the equation. The only way that can be done is to denounce the endorsement of radicals such as Farrakhan and Wright (as Senator Obama did) rather than embrace hate mongers such as Hagee and Shepard.

The Rain on the Plain May Allow Avoidance of Pain: At this writing the Republicans have not decided what to do about their convention, scheduled to begin tomorrow in the twin cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul. One plan would be to shorten it to one or two days and cram in the necessaries of a political convention – get the candidates nominated and get out of Dodge. The hard truth is that Republicans up for reelection want to distance themselves from the disaster of the Bush Administration and many have already sent their regrets that they will be unable to attend the convention with the Bushman. Earlier today President Bush and Vice President Cheney announced that they will not be able to make the party either. That whooshing sound you hear is a sigh of relief from those who still plan to attend the convention if it goes as scheduled. It will be interesting to see how many of those who already sent their RSVP regrets will suddenly discover that their schedules will now allow them to attend, especially if the convention can be spun for a positive photo opportunity – say for example if they decide to have a blood drive in conjunction with the convention.

Woe be Politicos if the Evacuation Becomes a Bust: Politicians will always be politicians. No way will the Repubs be able to come close to the splash and dash created at the Demo convention so they must strategize what would give them the most bang for their buck. Cancel their convention? Do a condensed version? Politicians pandering? Perish the thought. But what if Hurricane Gustav ends with a whimper? What happens the next time an evacuation appears to be necessary. A delicate line must be walked between being the CNN Boy who cried Wolf Blitzer and the government mandating evacuations to save people from their own poor judgment of not evacuating in light of an impending hurricane.

A little blogging music Maestro... “Stormy Weather” by an number of artists. My favorite version is by Etta James.

Dr. Forgot

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