As you might know, the Louisiana Democratic Party has embarked upon a 10 day, 35 city scavenger hunt for relevance called The Getting Back to Basics Tour.
Party officials are crisscrossing the state to meet with hundreds—perhaps even dozens—of Democrats in an attempt to rebuild the party in the state and find anyone who will help form parish committees or run for statewide office.
It’s not going too well, if a meeting I attended in Jonesville this morning is any indication. Six people turned out for the meeting at the Catahoula Parish Library. Democratic Party Chairman Buddy Leach didn’t even bother to show up for the meeting and sent a couple of acolytes in his stead.
The tour is being billed as an effort to “rebuild our statewide base and grassroots network, to bring state party resources out of Baton Rouge and to the people, and to discuss our commitment for rebuilding a sustainable and successful state party.”
I learned that it’s also somewhat therapeutic in nature, as well, and is being used to reassure Democratic activists that they are not alone and shouldn’t get depressed. They are almost alone, not not ALL alone.
Here, Louisiana Democratic Party Executive Director Renee Lapeyrolerie gives the comforting news:
To be fair, Jonesville is a small town and the meeting was held during working hours. However, since many Democrats don’t work and over 60 percent of voters in Catahoula Parish are registered Democrats there should have been a better turnout.
The meager turnout is no big deal, because if Democrats really put their donkey nose to the grindstone they might even be able to produce as many as three time the number for the next event, said Director of Communications James Hallinan.
With some work, they could draw 18 people. It never hurts to dream big:
Maybe Democrats could make up for the pitiful showing by the enthusiasm dispalyed by those who did come—only they can’t.
See what happened when participants were asked who would commit throwing their hat on the ring for a committee post. If you listen carefully, you might be able to hear crickets in the background. I think I did:
Well, at least discussion at the meeting was riveting—the parts I didn’t nod off in were.
I won’t post any of it, because you might be reading this at work and I don’t want to get you in trouble for sleeping on the job.
I can sum it up by saying that I learned that Republicans don’t care about veterans—they send them to war and then won’t take care of them—and they just want to cut Medicare and other services for the poor and elderly.
Needless to say, that there was no mention of President Obama cutting hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicare to pay for Obamacare, which threatens to bankrupt Louisiana’s healthcare system.
The obligatory race card was played, of course, with Republican politicians being accused to using coded racial language by saying that only blacks and minorities use food stamps and other social services:
I was curious about this outrage, since I have never heard Louisiana Republicans say these kind of things.
I wanted to get the gentleman who raised the issue to name names, so we could expose the racists among us. Only, he couldn’t— though it’s something he has heard many times.
Also discussed was all those DINOS–Democrats In Name Only–who have jumped the sinking Democratic ship and become Republicans, giving the GOP the majority in both houses of the state legislature since Reconstruction. I wanted to know why party officials thinks this has happened and why they were unable to present a viable candidate to run against Gov. Jindal in the last gubernatorial election:
So, Democrats say this won’t happen again as they work to rebuild the party. Believe it or not, I wish them luck—they are going to need it.
As I have written before, Louisiana needs a strong Democratic Party to keep Republicans honest. They won’t get very far in bringing the party back to its former glory until they open their eyes to what’s really wrong.
Louisiana has always been a conservative state and state Democrats are going to have to work to distance themselves from ultra-leftist national Democrats like Obama and Nancy Pelosi. Using the language and tactics of national Democrats—painting Republicans as uncaring and racists—isn’t going to serve them well.
If this is the only message that party officials can produce from their statewide tour, they would do well to save their gas money and stay in Baton Rouge.
They are going to need all the money they can get their hands on to go against a Republican Party that continues to widen its support and strength in Louisiana as the Democrats ride farther into irrelevancy.