Friday, December 05, 2003

Department of What's Wrong With Tom DeLay's Idea to House Some 2,000 Republican Members of Congress on the Luxury Liner Norwegian Dawn During the GOP Convention in NYC This Summer

Okay, okay. He backed down from the idea. (Read this, too.) Here, in a nutshell, anyway, are the reasons why it was wrong.

Why does a city host a political party's national convention? 1) To bring in money; 2) to curry favor with the party in question; and 3) to raise the city's profile.

And yet DeLay's plan (as stated in the title of this posting above) effectively nullified all of those reasons: 1) The people who stayed on the ship would be spending their money (hotel, booze, food, etc.) on the ship rather than in the city's hotels, bars, restaurants, cafés, and shops (the ship even has its own health club and theater); 2) No one in their right mind could possibly believe that by having the GOP convention here, New Yorkers are going to vote for Bush; 3) By choosing to stay "offshore" rather than on Manhattan, the GOPers would be sending a strong signal to the effect that they either do not like New York, do not feel safe in New York, do not think New York is high-class enough for them, or do not care about New York, or some combination of these—in any case, it would hardly be a boost to NYC's profile.

To these reasons add the fact that the ship's staff is multinational, meaning lost income for New Yorkers who would otherwise serve and wait on the ship's inhabitants were they to spend their money in Manhattan, and the fact that DeLay's former chief of staff, Susan Hirschman, is a member of the lobbying firm the ship's owners hired to sell the idea to DeLay, and it's clear this idea stank in just about every way, right from the start.

Here, by the way, is a picture of the Norwegian Dawn: