Saturday, September 25, 2004

Hurricane spin machine

Well, the Republicans have already spun the Florida Hurricanes (and Ivan's 2nd coming) to their advantage, as expected. Had one or more Hurricanes suddenly changed course and headed out to sea, you can bet preacher Pat Robertson, founding of the Republican Christian Coalition and key Bush voter getter, would have explained that this was somehow an indication of divine favor for the Bushes. (He based his own earlier run for the Presidency on just such a sudden change of direction by a hurricane). They hurricanes hit Florida, so now the Republican spin machine has come up with other reasons why the hurricanes will be good politically for the Bushes. (Of course, there not, by any stretch of the imagination.)

In a Reuters article, the Republicans site the hurricanes as resulting in endless photo ops for the Bushes, and endless opportunities for the incumbent president to fly around the country promising billions in federal aid to hard-hit areas (which may, or may not, actually be delivered when the time comes.) Supposedly really good politically Bush.

Well, maybe not. Some political scientists have found that voters tend to vote against incumbents and incumbent parties in unusually inclimate years. They blame Gore's loss to Bush on an unusually inclimate 2000, Wilson's loss in the 1910s to shark attacks along the Eastern coast etc. (It was felt that the Democrats weren't doing enough to help weather victimes in both cases).

The Republicans say their sensitive to this, pointing out their own suspicions that King George I may have lost against Clinton in 1992 because it was felt King George I was not doing enough to help victims of Hurricane Andrew. They hope that by having George II flying about the country like mad promising billions in federal aid (which might, or might not, ever be handed out) will avoid the problems that George I had.

Most models show the economy may actually be more important. But newsmedia reports show the large number of hurricanes hitting Florida (five named systems and four hurricanes so far this year) are actually going to have an immediate negative impact on the US economy. It's already interrupted oil production in the Gulf, which has caused global oil prices to jump (despite George II's opening of the Strategic Oil Reserve this week). Higher oil prices usually mean inflatation, and in turn, will likely mean higher interest rates and will mean making a slow economy slower.

Of course, the Bush brothers are, in their own way, responsible for the wind and monster waves now battering the coast of Florida as I write this. George II is notorious in Europe for killing the Kyoto Global Climate Change Treaty, one of the few pathethic attempts by humanity to stop the severe Global Climate Change responsible for these monster storms.

Even experts in the Pentagon have private advised Bush is worried that severe economic problems caused by Global Climate Change could affect geo-political stability and international balance of power. Ultimately, some Pentagon advisers have concluded privately that Global Climate Change (as demonstrated by the monster storms in Florida) is a bigger threat than terrorism. (In economic terms, the storms did more damage in Florida than Osama bin Laden ever did in NYC.)