There is a general rule not only in politics, but in life: if something is self-destructing, do not intervene. If you see a building about to collapse, you don't go and try to push it over because it could hurt you. The same goes with political campaigns: if they are falling apart, stay away. Barack Obama knows this, brushing off questions of Bristol Palin's pregnancy and asserting that the families of politicians are off-limits for political debate. Don Fowler, however, missed that memo regarding self-destruction etiquette.
Fowler is caught on camera on a plane somewhere joking with Representative John Pratt (D - South Carolina) about how Gustav's landfall coincided with the beginning of the Republican National Convention. He even went so far as to say that it proved that "God is on our side." Not a good idea.
Now many right-wingers have (justifiably) come out and condemned Fowler's comments. Fowler's defense? He claimed that he was making fun of the Reverend Jerry Falwell for his comments directly after 9/11 saying that the terrorist attack was partly the fault of gays, abortionists, paganists, the ACLU, etc. This, of course, would violate the above-mentioned rule of do not touch self-destruction. Falwell's legacy will be remembered as an intolerant person who blamed social liberals for 9/11 and fought the "good fight" when he charged the Teletubby Tinky Winky with being gay. When you cement your legacy like this, is further mocking really necessary?
To save face Fowler simply needs to say, "Yeah, I screwed up. I'm sorry." Don't offer up some half-ass excuse about making fun of some religious nut who did a fine job making himself look stupid without help. Invoking God into politics is never a good idea, and this is no different. Did Gustav interrupt and steal some of the RNC's limelight? Sure. Was it poetic justice? Maybe. Divine intervention? Hardly. Peace.
Photos - Don Fowler, possibly laughing at one of his own lame jokes (www.clevelandleader.com)