GOP Convention: Gustav and Cindy and Sarah, oh my!

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Hurricane Gustav — and memories of voters' reaction to the Kristina aftermath — caused McCain and his fellow conventioneers to freak out over the weekend. In a way, though, Gustav could be the best thing to happen to the GOP this week. At least it gave McCain an excuse to cancel Monday speeches by Cheney and Bush, the party's own axis of evil — an advantage that was offset a bit by Cindy the Robotic Sugarmama's creepy attempt at a public service announcement for hurricane victims. Meanwhile, VP candidate Sarah Palin took a beating from the press after revealing that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant out of wedlock, to which I say, "Who cares?" — or rather, "Who besides Palin's family — and the tight-sphinctered, right-wing busybodies Palin is supposed to appeal to — should care?" There are plenty of reasons not to support Palin, e.g., her embrace of the entire religious right agenda, and maybe even her rush to "develop" Alaska's wilderness areas, but the emotions surrounding a family matter isn't a valid one. As we know, however, that's not how things work in present-day America, and issues alone are rarely the determining factor in voters' choices. Smug Democrats who dismiss Palin as a lightweight should probably take note that the best-selling T-shirt at last year's Alaska State Fair was one that said, "Alaska: Coldest State, Hottest Governor."

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