The Southern Republican Leadership Conference convened in New Orleans this week, and for the first day, at least, the topic of Hurricane Katrina was conspicuously absent from every speech given. This would be odd enough in itself, but as it comes shortly after Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell failed to mention slavery in his declaration of "Confederate History Month," the timing is especially unfortunate. McDonnell has since apologized for the slavery omission, and Sarah Palin's Friday speech at the SRLC included a nod toward those who "have rebuilt, revitalized, restored after Katrina," but bloggers have still drawn a link from Virginia to the SRLC, and suggested there's a pattern of Republicans treating racially freighted tragedies like afterthoughts.
- 'Another Major Omission,' reads the title of a David Kurtz blog post about the SRLC at Talking Points Memo. Though Kurtz doesn't refer to McDonnell specifically, TPM has given extensive coverage to the story in Virginia this week, and it seems clear that that's what Kurtz is alluding to here.
- Is Anyone Surprised? sniffs New York Magazine's Dan Amira, who points out that Katrina was "an event that doesn't conjure especially fond memories for the GOP." In a blog post dripping with sarcasm, Amira suggests that "to use the words of Bob McDonnell, maybe [Katrina's] just not 'significant' enough" to mention.