One wonders why the New Orleans Times-Picayune continues to carry the insipid and arrogant Bob Mann as a columnist given that his scribblings in the paper’s pages rarely result in enlightenment, information or the provocation of thought. Mann’s columns, which we have generally given up reading, are little other than a recitation of the usual left-wing name-calling, and he’s less articulate in that regard than the Picayune’s other partisan Democrat columnist Jarvis DeBerry in calling everyone with whom he disagrees a bigot or racist.
But Mann’s latest screed caught our eye, solely because of this…
Maybe, but I suspect something far more prosaic. The collective failure of conscience by these Republicans tells us how they regard their constituents.
Trust me: Sen. John Kennedy, Rep. Steve Scalise and the rest of our delegation understand well the voters who elected them. The uniform silence of Kennedy, Scalise, Sen. Bill Cassidy and Reps. Garret Graves, Clay Higgins, Ralph Abraham and Mike Johnson tells us volumes.
What it says is they believe criticizing Trump is a political loser. They know denouncing Trump’s racism will cost them votes.
For all the talk about “economic anxiety” as the motivation for many Trump supporters, his greatest appeal has always been thinly veiled racism. Now that Trump has revealed himself as nothing more than a champion of the rich — and his poll numbers among Republicans remain strong — let’s call economic anxiety what it really is: racism.
Does this mean every Trump voter is a racist? No. But for most, racism is not a deal breaker and is, in fact, Trump’s greatest appeal. And it’s that appeal that intimidates Kennedy, Scalise and the rest.
Kennedy, Cassidy, Scalise and the rest know all this. And they know something else: their votes come from the safe, white precincts the state Legislature carved out for them during the last redistricting. And they’re certain they’ll keep winning elections so long as they do nothing to alarm their Trump supporters, which would happen if they condemned Trump’s racism.
It is easy to cast Kennedy, Cassidy, Scalise and Co. as faux Christians who look the other way as Trump spews racist vulgarities and whose callous attitude toward the oppressed mocks the spirit of the scriptures. That’s an accurate indictment, but it doesn’t explain why they ignore Trump’s racism and why they neglect the poor and powerless.
They do so because, in their deeply red districts, they believe there is nothing to be gained by making life easier for those on the margins. It’s not where the votes are.
First of all, you do know how to translate “Trust me” when it comes from someone like Bob Mann, right? It translates into “F**k you.” And in this context it’s unmistakable, because the entire screed is nothing else but a giant “Trust me” to the state of Louisiana. Mann quotes an old line from a former Democrat president, Lyndon Baines Johnson, to the effect that if you tell the lowest white man he’s better than the best black man your victim won’t mind that you’re picking his pocket, and then imputes that to modern-day Republicans – thus implying that Republican voters in Louisiana who vote for Steve Scalise, John Kennedy, Bill Cassidy, Garret Graves, Clay Higgins, Ralph Abraham and Mike Johnson constitute the “lowest white man.”
Which is what Bob Mann and the sneering leftists who religiously read his column actually believe.
What’s fun about this screed, which in a more honorable time might well have resulted in someone challenging Mann to pistols at dawn, is the sloppy ignorance involved in alleging that John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy, who are U.S. Senators elected statewide, are the product of gerrymandered Republican districts. Someone with a resume as well-padded as Mann’s his who styles himself an academic in the realm of political science shouldn’t make so clear an error, lest he expose himself as a charlatan and a dunce.
But this isn’t the first time Bob Mann has covered his computer screen with spittle obscuring obvious errors of fact. And based on the Picayune’s ideological bent it’s unlikely this will be the last time his rants devolve into such embarrassment.
The question is why anyone would subscribe to or advertise with a publication which presents such inaccurate, insulting and poorly-conceived material on its editorial page.