THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY
Posted April 9, 2013on:
[NOTE: Fredster is having a field day (no joke!) with allergies, pollen and the normal sort of rites of spring. I’m hoping new allergy medicine from the doc will help]
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) is, shall we say, one of the few Democratic “holdouts”, not making a statement in support of gay marriage. Landrieu issued a statement that said:
“According to the U.S. Constitution, marriage and family law are reserved for the states,” Landrieu said. “The people of Louisiana have made clear that marriage in our state is restricted to one man and one woman. While my personal views have evolved, I will support the outcome of Louisiana’s recent vote.” [Italics mine]
Landrieu was referring to the 2004 referendum when 78 percent of Louisiana voters approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. [note-I’m beginning to hate the word “evolve”]
Landrieu was first elected to the Senate in 1996 and won reelections in 2002 and 2008. She is up for reelection in 2014 and that’s probably why you will not see her coming out with a full-throated statement in support of gay marriage. Louisiana politics has changed greatly since 1996 and more especially post-Katrina in 2005. Previously you could probably draw a line across the state in the middle at, say, Alexandria LA and everything north of that to the state line with Arkansas would be strongly Republican while everything below that could be reasonably assumed to the Democratic or leaning that way. Not so much anymore. From 1996, before and until 2005, you could always count on the majority black city of New Orleans for a solid Democratic turnout which could change totals in a statewide race. After the Katrina diaspora, not so much. Hurricane Katrina scattered a very solidly Democratic population of black New Orleanians that could be comfortably counted on to vote Democratic. As the largest city in the state at that time, that vote in Nola could offset the turnout for an opponent in the more Republican northern part of the state. That gave her some breathing room so to speak.
Landrieu can’t be described as being part of the left side of the party. No, she’s a moderate or Blue Dog and she has gone against the party when she thought it was in the interests of the state. And she has been very good at bringing home the bacon to the state, especially after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita so devastated the state in 2005. But even with her being more correctly described as a moderate or Blue Dog, you will read and hear people talking about “liberal Mary Landrieu”. Of course most of these types are the tea party members who probably still have the tea bag string stapled to their heads.
I’m not that worried about Mary not jumping out in support of gay marriage considering the nature of the state’s politics the way they are now. And, I’m not alone in that. Said the Forum for Equality about her statement:
“Forum For Equality realizes the political realities that exist in Louisiana and know Senator Landrieu has been a supporter of equality issues — from ENDA (Employment Non-discrimination Act) to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” said SarahJane Brady, the group’s executive director. “We value her support and appreciate the fact that there is more work to be accomplished here in our home state of Louisiana. We will continue to communicate and educate Senator Landrieu on the importance and impact that marriage equality has on our community and families.”
Okay, I’m cool with that and I’m glad the forum is too. Because you see, we have no choice at this time. Mary’s the best we have right now. Landrieu was looking at possibly having four challengers to her seat, naturally all Republicans and some of them extremely conservative. It looks like two of them have now stated they won’t run but will keep their House seats. A crowded Republican field would be fine for Landrieu but don’t count on it. Among the number of them running, expect the National Senatorial Committee to try to winnow the field down to the strongest one who could knock off Landrieu. As Bob Mann says on his blog:
And who would be the strongest candidate against Landrieu? According to a recent Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey, it’s virtually a dead heat between Cassidy and Fleming, with Cassidy holding a slight edge. But Landrieu leads them both by ten points or more.
My sense is that Cassidy would be the stronger candidate for two reasons – he is not as gaffe prone as Fleming and, because he represents Baton Rouge, he could draw upon a larger, south Louisiana voter base in a general election.
And therein is the problem for Mary. If she were to come out with a full support statement on gay marriage at this time the Republicans would rip her apart for it. Remember that she’s “Liberal Mary Landrieu”. And like it or not, she’s the best thing we have in the state right now. If we lose her in the Senate that’s a seat that flips from D to R. That is not good.
Now some of my brethren in the lavender community did not feel so kindly when they read about the statement she made. I’m going to throw in some of the comments that were made in the article that appeared at Towle Road on Landrieu’s statement.
- Chicken-sh!t wh0re
- You were elected to be a leader. Start changing minds
- Look at the people of Louisiana and see that they need guidance and leadership – not a reinforcement of their incorrect and decidedly anti-freedom bigotry.
- I live in Louisiana and believe Ms Landrieu to be sincere. Thus far she has proven to be a fighter for the common person and environmental issues and so forth. In the end I think she supports equality, and I prefer her to some of the real anti-gay wing nuts planning to run against her. If she holds out, that is probably good for gays in the long run.
- Landrieu is up for reelection, I believe. Louisiana is deep Red. A Democrat will not win…so hurrah if she comes out for SSM, but she will be booted on that issue alone. In the end, we don’t win. [this one gets it!]
- I know for a fact that Mary has helped gay fundraising efforts with her political connections in New Orleans going back decades.And I totally agree with Jim Tideman. Let her get reelected and then make more of a difference next term. Outside of New Orleans, Louisiana is a very conservative state.
So there you go. A few people get it that it’s best to keep the Democrat we have (and know) and not take a chance by throwing her out and getting a batshit crazy Republican to deal with. If Landrieu wins reelection she will be starting her fourth term as Senator and could make it her last. If that happens she may open up more with a statement supporting gay marriage. And I’ll close this part of my post with a statement from a Texan on Louisiana politics:
“I advise anyone who thinks he knows something about politics to go down to Louisiana and take a postgraduate course.” –Texas U.S. Sen. Tom Connally, 1932.
Lil Bobby Jindal failed in his little tax swap deal
Monday was the opening day of the Legislature in Baton Rouge, and that’s a dangerous day to be in that city with so many members of the Lege running amok. However, it’s also a tradition that the guv opens the session with a speech so lil Bobby went to the capitol that Huey Long built and “admitted defeat on the first day of the legislative session during a speech to a joint gathering of the Louisiana House and Senate”. He told the lege he would “park” his plan and
The governor indicated he would support an income tax phaseout. Several proposals are circulating, including five-year and 10-year phaseouts. It is unclear which plan the governor would support or how the lost revenue would be replaced in a state budget that funds health care, education and other public services.
State Rep. Joel Robideaux said:
Robideaux said he is uncertain about the fate of an income tax phaseout in the roughly nine-week session.
“I’m not going to be bold enough to say we’re going to get something all the way through the process. But it’s a possibility,” he said.
Robideaux chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, which will hear tax bills.
So lil Bobby’s bill to screw over the poor folk and middle class went down the terlet shall we say. And because of that I can put up this picture:
As is the usual case, this is an open thread.
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