If there is one singular issue that the GOP has attack relentlessly on, it is that of offshore drilling. From the GOP staging their lights out 'sessions' as the Congress recessed, to McCain sticking the 'Dr. No' moniker on Obama, to millions of dollars in advertising, the GOP has made it clear that their energy plan rests on offshore drilling. Even yesterday at the Dem convention, Pelosi was confronting GOP supporters chanting 'drill here, drill now'.
Given any Dem skill or media acumen, the GOP is about to have their offshore drilling parade rained on and blown about - by the exotically named chaps Gustav and Barack.
The accuweather.com hurricane tracker shows Gustav making landfall sometime Tuesday, with the first effects being felt on Monday, the same day that the GOP convention opens. Perhaps the day that McCain names his VP is the day that offshore oil rigs are being evacuated.
The religious of the Democratic party will no doubt remember when McCain was thwarted in his efforts to visit an offshore oil rig in July for a photo opp. The reason then was again a hurricane. It seems the heavens have lined up for a Democratic squall over the real dangers of offshore drilling.
IMHO, the Dems have to take the risk of incurring calls of 'playing politics with a disaster' to settle this issue once and for all in the minds of voters. The graphic footage of the hurricanes is something that the truly undecideds will take note of, before the GOP ad and radio hammer leaves it's mark.
To be sure, conditions will never be more favorable to make the case that alternatives are a more stable and secure supply of energy - with far less 'blowback' both natural and man-made. If the Dems are able to demonstrate the instability and dangers of fossil fuels, and gain a few % of undecideds now, they will have taken the issue off the table and leave McCain looking for a pet economic issue.
In addressing the issue, DemocratS will sustain momentum as their convention dies down and the GOP winds start blowing. Obama can apply the full part of his skills in lambasting the GOP and imprinting the thought in voters mind that his case is strengthened both by principled conviction and the practicality imposed by hurricanes.
On the human themed side of things, will McCain even have to consider leaving the convention to counter images of Barack helping with the evacuation and cleanup?
Time to throwing McCain and GOP words back in their face at 90+ mph hurricane speeds. Drilling here only invites disaster at home.
Some of the early comments seem to indicate a very nuanced approach to dealing with offshore drilling. Nuance doesn't win the middle ground.
A reminder, imagery is what is memorable for the vast majority of people not spending their time reading a political blog.
"Putting more energy eggs in 1 basket, right offshore where the hurricanes hit" is something even the most casual observer can remember and understand. Dems need 2 pictures side by side for a week:
- Obama saying it's too dangerous and not reliable to go offshore
- pictures of the damage caused by hurricanes
Who would disagree with that logic? Just as importantly, it's memorable.
As was brought up by a civilized NO poster by the name of Apelican, some people will take offense at trying to make a point - whether it's valid or not. So what follows is a rebuttal to those who claim that linking offshore drilling and hurricanes is point scoring...
There's enough destruction to deal with in a hurricane without worrying what's in the water. As New Orleans understands, it was as much what was in the water that caused damage as the water itself. The water was a toxic soup, which was caused in large part by the industries that were sited in NO because of the petrochemical imports that are tied to the port. The water eventually went away, but what it left behind in NO was contaminated buildings.
Offshore drilling and a continued reliance on petrochemicals will magnify the effect of future damage caused by hurricanes - chemical contamination is far more difficult and expensive to deal with than wind and water damage. As such, alternative energy will help secure our heartland and our coastlines, where the vast majority of our population lives and plays.
Alternative energy is more than the cost of a gallon of gasoline, alternative energy goes right at the issues of hurricane damage and other coastline threats such as water quality and even global warming.
If this hurricane had to happen now, it's better that it allows us to see the true nature and danger of some political decisions - side by side as it may be.