It seems that Louisiana’s Democrat Party, and their accomplices in the state’s dinosaur media, think they’ve found a wedge issue with which to slime Gov. Bobby Jindal and deflect attention from the highly-unpopular “Louisiana Purchase” vote she made three weeks ago.
An op-ed piece today by AP capitol bureau writer Melinda Deslatte is the latest in the ongoing attempt to shift attention from Landrieu’s vote-selling. Deslatte parrots a two-week-old Newsweek blog post by Katie Connolly with a tired and dishonest theme – namely, that Jindal asked Landrieu to help fix the state’s Medicaid funding gap brought on by a screwy federal funding formula and as such she’s only doing what he asked in selling her vote to open debate on the Harry Reid healthcare fiasco for a $100 million to $300 million tip.
Deslatte takes Jindal to task for not castigating Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck (and, presumably, your humble correspondent as well) for characterizing Landrieu’s vote-selling as political prostitution. It’s relatively obvious what’s going on here – those of us who see the typical Beltway politics Landrieu practiced with the Louisiana Purchase as unacceptable and are willing to call it what it is in frank language are supposed to be toxic, and so the Landrieu defenders out there think it’s a winner to force Jindal to either repudiate the conservative blogosphere/talk radio, thus damaging him with conservatives and limiting his appeal for a future presidential run, or to side with Limbaugh, Beck et al and thus come off as a “crazy right-winger” and a sexist to boot.
Deslatte has her underwear in a bunch about Jindal’s silence, though the cynicism is rather thick…
Despite the degrading criticism, Jindal, who sought the help, is mum on defending Landrieu, refusing to denounce the prostitute slur against the senator.
The governor may hate the bill she chose to use — and could fervently urge her to look for other options — but is it too much to expect him to push for more dignity in the political discourse and to rebuke those who resort to gender-demeaning slurs?
But he’ll surely take the Medicaid money if Landrieu will help get it for him.
Bear in mind that Jindal has already weighed in on this non-issue. He issued a statement on it last week: “The bill is awful, but I won’t criticize our congressional delegation for fighting to correct the flawed Medicaid formula that will unfairly cost our state hundreds of millions of dollars in health care funding if not quickly corrected.”
Deslatte says that’s not enough. It’s almost like the faux controversy about Joe Wilson’s “You Lie!” blurt during President Obama’s healthcare address, where two separate apologies for his bad manners weren’t enough to keep the left-wing arbiters of political etiquette from a collective aneurism. Only in this case, Jindal had nothing to do with the reaction to Landrieu’s poorly-played sellout of her constituents – planting him in the middle of this manufactured controversy is even more ridiculous.
Jindal and his people have been begging the state’s congressional delegation – and Landrieu personally – for help on the Medicaid issue since the beginning of the year. If Deslatte is sincere in her statement that he “could fervently urge her to look for other options,” she’s a bit more inattentive than one would hope an AP writer covering Louisiana politics to be. Otherwise, it’s more than a little telling to see the AP carrying water for the state Democratic party.
Am I assuming too much? I don’t think so. On Nov. 24, the Louisiana Democrat party web site had a release calling on Landrieu’s Senate colleague David Vitter to denounce Limbaugh and Beck…
“David Vitter should immediately and publicly denounce the offensive accusations conservative commentators are making about our state’s senior Senator,” said Louisiana Democratic Party Communications Director Natalie Naquin Harvey.
The state party didn’t get anywhere with Vitter, so now they’re going after Jindal. They just found a proxy to do the dirty work. That Deslatte is female makes her more sympathetic in getting her nose out of joint – and that she’s an AP writer gives her an even thicker veneer of objectivity for what is clearly a duplicitous partisan gambit.
Jindal doesn’t need to say anything else about this – or if he does, he would be well-served to say something like this:
“I’ve been after our state’s congressional delegation, including Senator Landrieu, for better than 10 months for help with a major budgetary problem regarding our federal Medicaid funding, and I have been exceedingly frustrated at a lack of results despite an avalanche of federal spending this year. I continue to hope and ask for some assistance on this issue, as it is justified due to a nonsensical funding formula – and as such I reiterate my statement that we will not criticize members of our delegation for their efforts to help us.
“That said, Senator Landrieu is well aware of the governor’s opposition to the health-care bill being debated in Congress. The bill, as we said, is awful, and it needs to be killed for the good of the people of Louisiana and the nation as a whole. Louisianians are overwhelmingly opposed to the bill, as polls indicate and as Senator Landrieu is aware judging from her calls and correspondence. The criticism she took for her decision to extract the Medicaid concession in return for her vote wasn’t unforeseeable; as I said, I am not participating in that criticism, but neither will I involve myself in a manufactured controversy over statements others may be making. They have the right to their opinions just like anyone else, and my weighing in will not serve to resolve anything in a productive way.”