The Widdershins


Posted on: April 9, 2013

mary pointing

[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.



I tend to agree with your conclusions surrounding Mary Landrieu. You know more about the state of politics within LA than I. This is the same state that elected BobbyJindahl so the conclusions you lay out make sense. Unfortunately.

The tragedy is that people must “kiss the ass” of bigots and morons who would deny the rights of equal protection under the law to those they view in contempt.

I am so sick of listening to idiots who speak out against women and gays from a pulpit of discrimination while wanting to smash them in their self righteous faces to make myself feel better.

Mary is a true Blue Dog, and the main thing that has rescues her is her affiliation with the oil companies.

I am also starting to really hate the word “evolve!”

Pat@1: I know in her “heart of hearts” that Mary probably has no problem with gay marriage. She may have or may know another Senator who has a gay staff member or two and I just don’t think it’s a big issue for her. But because of the damned politics and her running for reelection next year she can’t say it. I guess it’s similar to what a lot of us had to do in November with B.O. (sigh)

DYB@3: Ain’t it the truth!! 😆

As usual, I won’t comment much on your politics but will chime in on one point – Better the devil you know, particularly as she’s been of assistance during dire times. I just hope she can mobilize overwhelming support during the next election, and that LA voters wake up really quickly. In the situation up here, voters were demoralized and didn’t turn out for the election, so our current government was elected with something like 35% of the people who bothered to vote. Unfortunately only 45% of eligible voters actually voted, meaning that we are being governed by a party that was elected by 35% of 45% of eligible voters, meaning roughly 20% of eligible voters elected a conservative government. Now we are spending mega billions on stuff that a large percentage of the electorate didn’t want, and abortion and gay marriage are again being brought up, although both have been settled law for many years.
“Evolve” has been kidnapped, much as “feminism” has – and both are being deliberately reinvented to mean something that is no longer recognizable, so I agree with DYB 100%.

chat@2: What was that line from Urban Cowboy: “Daddy does oil and all that that implies”. Well, it’s still important in La too and you can tell because when lil Bobby was coming up with this failed sales tax swap thing, he made sure oil and gas was covered and nothing was going to affect them negatively like changes to the severance taxes on them. Other business and industry didn’t fare so well and I think that’s one reason his plan was .d.o.a. when it hit the Capital.

HT: Yep, she’s been able to assist the state financially by being in the majority party in D.C. and that has helped tremendously.

Pat: the lege convened in Baton Rouge yesterday and here’s the big story on a demonstration on the capitol steps about (sigh) gun control and the 2nd amendment. That’s the types that would run someone against Landrieu.

About two dozen Louisiana politicians Monday stood on the steps of the State Capitol pledging to guard against attacks on the Second Amendment and to strengthen gun rights in the state.

“We think it’s time to take a strong stand,” said state Rep. Jeff Thompson, R-Bossier City, who organized the “Defend Louisiana” rally on the opening day of the 2013 legislative session.

Among the bills are those that would allow a lifetime concealed weapons permit; stop enforcement of federal restrictions on ownership or possession of semiautomatic weapons; and ban the release of names of those with concealed handgun permits.



Cassidy said Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, whom he plans to challenge in 2014, is part of that Washington crowd, and at the same time, he called her “a very nice woman.”

Well! Southern Chivalry still exists I suppose! 😉

What is it with people that want to own any killing machines yet who feel it is A-Okay to deny equal rights to women, children and LGBTQ people? I don’t understand and I’m not sure I want to understand, but why? Automatic Weapons, concealed guns, semi automatic weapons – et al. Why?

HT@10: If you look at the link, I believe it states there were all of a hundred people there. It was all for show. There’s nothing that a state legislator from La or any other local politician can do to, for, or about the 2nd amendment to the U.S. Constitution. They might try to write a state law that does some particular thing, but if it’s against a federal law or regulation it’s probably gonna be struck down.

Granted Fredster, but I did read the link and I still do not understand why people want to own killing machines. To me, it’s horrific. Vis a vis the post, I find the fact that people want to deny other people rights who are just like them with one or two differences (sexual orientation, gender) are just as horrific. Equal rights are just that – equal.
I give up, I’ll never understand something that to me seems so simple. If I have a right, you should too – simplistic but it is what it is. there should be no questions about it.

If I have a right, you should too – simplistic but it is what it is. there should be no questions about it.

And that’s the way that crowd felt about their firearms. But it was all for show. No one is going to take away their shotguns, but you can’t convince them of that.

@3 DYB — Amen — now, every time I read “evolve” I replace it with, “I was wrong before…”

Great link!

D@15: Oh that was hilarious! I had to tweet that one.

Meanwhile at the lege in B.R. some fool filed this bill. If it passes, no one will understand anything other than what the lede says and I see a booming business for the ambulance-chasing lawyers.

House transportation committee passes bill allowing drivers to turn left on red lights

It’s gonna get ugly.

@18 – you have got to be kidding. Nobody could be that stupid…..could they?

@19: Oh yes they could. So much so that they had to add language to clarify the bill.

Turn LEFT on red? WTF???

DYB@21: You got it. And apparently just to solve one situation at two intersections in one city in La.

the bill is centered around two intersections in Lafayette that replaces the green circle in the signal at intersections where drivers can turn left with a flashing yellow arrow. The flashing yellow signal indicates drivers can proceed through the intersection with caution, but still gives oncoming traffic the right of way in the event of a car crash.

“It alleviates traffics jams of people trying to make a left turn,” Landry said. “I think it’s forward thinking and I applaud the department for coming forward with this.”

Once the signal stops flashing, drivers should prepare to stop, Landry said, just as with other yellow lights.

Dumb isn’t it. 😆

Okay, now this is just being silly over the sequester. i cannot believe that D.o.D. does not have the funds to continue these things.

U.S. Navy cancelled the rest of the popular Blue Angels’ aerobatic team’s season because of automatic federal budget cuts.

As news trickled out that the Navy had cancelled the remainder of Blue Angels’ season, business owners and residents of the coastal enclave where the team is based expressed resignation and disappointment.

“I just think it’s sad that there are political games being played. I doubt the Blue Angels are even half of 1 percent of the entire Navy budget,” said Lloyd Proctor, co-owner of Blue Angel Hot Tubs in Pensacola. Proctor and his wife named their business after the team 10 years ago.

I have heard this “left on red” idea from more than one person. I can tell you right now, New York drivers could not handle this. In my area, they barely even comprehend the difference between the lanes, and often decide that the red light means “go straight ahead.” (If you are in their way when they decide this, they just go right around you. No big deal!)

I wonder how many car accidents it will take before people admit this is the stupidest idea evah?

Oops, I got hung up in a server maintenance thing so I left for awhile.

You’re right MB, it’s going to be a clusterf*ck and only the lawyers will love it.

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