Is anyone surprised? President Bush may not make the Republican National Convention, and from the looks of things they probably don’t need him.

It looks like he’s learned his lesson. The hard way. If you remember what happened in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Bush and team were fast asleep. It could have been because their conservative political philosophy had them believing that government shouldn’t be a conduit of charity (which, it shouldn’t be), but in light of the fact that Bush himself was the one who pushed through the bill providing public funds for religious charities, I doubt that is the case. I rather think that it was sheer incompetence of the highest order.

But not this time. Bush has vowed not to be taken off guard again. This time, he’s going to take a trip himself to New Orleans, just about the time that Gustav is to attack. At first, I thought maybe he was confused and mistook Gustav as a terrorist. But then he’d be flying around in Airport 1 somewhere over Kansas looking for Toto.

Perhaps the Republican Party has decided that Bush isn’t needed. After all, they have Sarah Palin. She represents everything the GOP could possibly want. She’s a minority: That way they can prove there is no glass ceiling. She’s a conservative: That means they haven’t given up on the death penalty, guns, or Roe v. Wade just yet. She’s a Christian: So there is still a reason to fight for prayer and creation science in schools. And … she’s from Alaska, which means that no one in the contiguous states has ever heard of her or even cares. Oh, and she’s an avid hunter, and what more could we possibly need than another sitting vice president who likes to play with guns?

So when you see Bush on your television screen Monday night mispronouncing words to the backdrop of a huge tsunami looking over his shoulder, it’s probably because he’s standing in for the weather man and is smiling at a teleprompter.

Allen Taylor writes the popular and daily News and Media Blog.

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