…and no, the headline above doesn’t refer to what she thinks of him as the governor of Louisiana.
Landrieu, whose stock is through the floor following her “Louisiana Purchase” vote to open debate on Harry Reid’s nightmare health-care bill and who will host a $4800-a-plate fundraiser for Reid at the St. Charles Avenue home of Barack Obama donor and political animal David Voelker one week from today, issued a lamentation Friday of what she perceives as a lack of support from Jindal following the reaction to her recent actions.
The Landrieu defense of the Louisiana Purchase essentially rests on Jindal’s request to Louisiana’s congressional delegation for some relief to the state’s gap in Medicaid funding from the federal government. The state stands to be short-changed in future years based on funding formulas skewed by federal dollars pouring in for the Katrina recovery. Those dollars make the state look richer than it actually is for the purposes of the funding formulas, and as such there is anywhere from $100 million to $300 million in shortfall for Jindal to cover per federal mandates.
Nationally, though, Katrina Fatigue has long since set in and there isn’t any more money for the state – or any other state, for that matter – when the federal government is already running a $1.4 trillion deficit with a host of bank-breaking legislation like the health-care bill still on the horizon. Thus, while Landrieu may believe she was doing what she could to benefit her constituents by voting to bring a bad bill to the floor – an argument which doesn’t hold water given that the damage to the state’s economy Reid’s health-care bill will cause far outweighs a couple hundred million dollars in a one-time shot in the arm – the national outrage over her selling her vote and the embarrassment to Louisiana that resulted wasn’t a surprise to most people outside the Beltway.
It certainly wasn’t a surprise to Jindal.
While the governor has for months been asking the state’s legislative delegation for help in covering the Medicaid shortfall, something as governor he probably doesn’t have an alternative to doing given the rigid nature of the state’s constitutionally-mandated budget process, he certainly never offered any indication that he was willing to play ball on Reid’s version of Obamacare. Or any other version of it, for that matter. In fact, Jindal has been rather outspoken as a Republican voice for a more free-market model of health-care reform – writing a piece in the Wall Street Journal on July 22 which advocated co-op insurance buying pools, tort reform, expanded health savings accounts and other initiatives completely ignored by the current legislation.
So Jindal’s position is pretty clear. He’s wanted help from the state’s legislative delegation with the Medicaid problem, but not at the expense of Obamacare.
Landrieu, who in the current alignment of the Senate is the state’s best-positioned player to affect things in a positive manner, has had Jindal’s request for help basically all year long. She has produced nothing to date – nothing in the $400 billion omnibus spending spree, nothing in the $800 billion stimulus package, and nothing in the gobs of other legislation coming through the Senate this year. Instead, she waited until the health-care bill – the most controversial of all the legislation in Washington this year – to try to sell her vote for a Medicaid fix.
And now, when the proverbial manure hits the fan, Landrieu expects Jindal to rush in and save her. She defends her vote by putting it off on the fact that the governor had asked her to help find that federal funding for Medicaid.
Jindal played ball, a little. He issued a tepid statement of support for Landrieu on Nov. 20, before she actually voted to open debate on Reid’s bill, saying it’s “unfair to criticize Sen. Landrieu or the rest of the delegation for fighting to correct this injustice to Louisiana.”
And on Friday, as the Louisiana Purchase controversy raged on, Jindal threw her another bone:
“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.”
This was about as much as you’d expect a Democrat senator to get from a Republican governor on the subject of a bill like Reid’s Obamacare, which is a singular affront to conservative principles and also happens to be a major loser with the people of Louisiana. So much so, in fact, that over 15,000 people voted in an online poll for Landrieu’s recall, even though constitutionally the only way to get rid of a senator is impeachment by his or her colleagues, as a response to the Louisiana Purchase fiasco.
So Landrieu, who once threatened to “punch out” President George W. Bush in the aftermath of Katrina, finds herself the object of scorn on national conservative talk radio and throughout Louisiana. With five years left in her term she’s not going anywhere, but she certainly risks the unhappy fate of being the representative of everything Louisianians hate about politicians and particularly Democrats. That didn’t work well for Kathleen Blanco or Bill Jefferson and it won’t work well for Landrieu, either.
What to do? Whine.
From the above-linked Baton Rouge Advocate story:
Landrieu said Friday that she wishes Jindal would be more robust in his defense of her.
“It would have been very helpful. It didn’t happen, and I’m going to move on,” she said…
Landrieu said of Jindal’s Friday statement: “It makes it clear he does support what we’re doing. … I wish the governor was more robust in his defense, but he wasn’t.”
This is laughable stuff. Only Landrieu would read a statement which begins with “the bill is awful” as “support [of] what we’re doing.” So it’s hardly a surprise that she’d be disappointed that Jindal’s “support” wasn’t as “robust” as she’d hoped.
High expectations, indeed. Couple that with a lack of accountability and a disregard for the people of Louisiana – unless the people in question are government employees or wards of the state – and you have our senior senator.
It’s going to be a long five years before Election Day, 2014.