If Bill Cassidy is elected to the United States Senate, his six-year term will start in January 2015. At that time Barack Obama will only have two years left to his term. One wonders what Cassidy will do with the remaining four years of his stint once Obama is gone.
Last Tuesday I watched on television both incumbent Mary Landrieu and challenger, Congressman Bill Cassidy, make their victory speeches as prelude to a run-off. Landrieu came out first and came out swinging. She chided Cassidy for only speaking one message: Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama.
Then the attention shifted to Cassidy. Having avoided most debates, he was so low profile during his campaign that I had not heard much from him. Certainly Landrieu’s teasing was exaggerated, I thought, but then Cassidy spoke. To summarize his speech: “Obama, Obama Obama, Obama … “ Landrieu was right. The congressman did bother to mention that he likes Louisiana but apparently not as much as he dislikes the president, whose name he continued to evoke.
Some of his comments challenged reason: For example, in what seemed like practically every other paragraph Cassidy mentioned that Landrieu voted with the president 97 percent of the time. The truth is, few of the everyday votes in congress are split along ideological lines. Most are procedural; some are bills that are the product of compromise between the parties and the administration. Many votes would not even be taken if there was not some sort of consensus by the final stage. Thus most votes, including Cassidy’s, go along with the administration – any administration – most of the time.
His comments also suggest that the president is always wrong and therefore should always be voted against. If he sees all legislation as black or white, right or wrong, that makes me question his judgment as a lawmaker. Does he not see the grey area inbetween? Also, I wonder how Cassidy felt abut the President’s gutsy decision to go after Osama bin Laden? Was Cassidy 97 percent opposed to that?
In the primary, Cassidy received 603,032 (40.97%) of the votes, though I suspect few were actually for him as much as they were against some sort of perceived evil. Big government is a favorite foil, even in a state that owes its recovery from hurricanes Katrina and Rita almost entirely to the federal government and hardly at all to the willingness of locals to increase their taxes.
Mary Landrieu has been an effective Senator, especially during the recovery. Yet, if Bill Cassidy is supposed to replace her, he owes it to the people of this state to escape his handlers for a day, deactivate the programming chips and speak to us as though he really believes we have an IQ over 60. Talk to us without once saying the word “Obama.” Instead, teach us, inspire us, separate the truth from the rhetoric, make us think, make us laugh, give us heroes and not bogeymen – damnit say something profound.
At the very least, say something different.
BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Errol’s Laborde’s new book, “Mardi Gras: Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival” (Pelican Publishing Company, 2013), has been released. It is now available at local bookstores and at book web sites.
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