Republicans simply make delicious targets in this town

Hieronymus Bosch, Ship of Fools

I still think I was right. There is nothing more damning than the facts, but the NYTimes editorial department must have had fun with this one, and their product shows it.

I wouldn't want anyone to miss its bravura, so here it is in its entirety.

Bobbing Aloof From the Apple

New York's landlubbers find it more ludicrous than insulting that Tom DeLay, the majority leader of the House of Representatives, may offer to house hundreds of solons, fat-cat donors and lobbyists in a luxury cruise ship off the Manhattan shore during next summer's Republican National Convention. If he prevails over growing G.O.P. embarrassment at such a floating symbol of gated plutocracy, we urge Mr. DeLay to forgo any "Master and Commander" regalia he may have in mind. Instead, the flinty Texan should borrow Nathan Detroit's double-breasted pinstripes to come ashore from the newest established permanent floating avoidance game in New York.

At the rate he is going, Mr. DeLay will steal the show from President Bush — in ways the Republicans may regret. His plan to have a children's charity help underwrite the expenses for convention galas and provide a tax-free spot for major donors to deposit their cash is controversial enough. But having some of the G.O.P.'s best and richest walk a gangplank to and from the city each day has just the hint of xenophobia that already finds Democrats dancing in the streets. The Republicans made much of their decision to hold the convention in Democrat-heavy New York, in no small part as a gesture toward the city's perseverance after 9/11. Mayor Michael Bloomberg welcomed the custom for the city's hotels, restaurants and nightspots. But Mr. DeLay's former chief of staff has been lobbying for the mass embarkation to the Norwegian Dawn, a 15-deck, 14-bar, 10-restaurant ship offering ultrapriced rooms and what Mr. DeLay's office deems "good security" for up to 2,200 passengers.

What is the normally bold Texan afraid of? The ghosts of squeegee beggars? Pedestrian Democrats? There are scores of thousands of fine hotel rooms available for a closer sense of the city. We urge Gov. George Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg to show some hometown clout in demanding that conventioneers be firmly housed. True, both parties can't help reaching for touches of skybox Babbittry for their conventions. But going offshore is going too far in New York.

[image via Brad McCormick]

About this Entry

Published on December 2, 2003 6:12 PM.

previous entry: what's it mean?

next entry: Metropolitan Avenue deli, Williamsburg