A Landrieu-Cassidy race would be one for the ages. Cassidy would present the voters with, arguably for the first time, an articulate conservative of a national stature commensurate with Landrieu as an alternative to her.
But the mainstream media in this state will be in the tank for Landrieu like nothing you can imagine. She gets kid-gloves treatment as it already stands, as evidenced by the recent bit of love thrown her way on the Louisiana Purchase and the state being hit on FMAP funding thanks to the payroll tax cut extension.
Louisiana lost $1.5 billion in federal Medicaid dollars out of that deal, but the narrative is that since that money really wasn’t supposed to go to the state Landrieu should be thanked for getting the $1 billion we held on to in the first place.
As such, we should be grateful to her and forgiving of the fact she voted against the wishes of the people of the state on the Blunt Amendment last week, tabling a piece of legislation which would have allowed religious institutions to opt out of Obamacare mandates on things like birth control pills. Landrieu’s speech at the Baton Rouge Press Club yesterday was picketed as a result, and that will certainly be an issue in two years.
We should also be forgiving of her Blunt Amendment vote because she’s good on oil and gas, goes the narrative.
Let’s unpack that one, shall we?
Landrieu has been a defender of sorts of the state’s energy sector, and because of that we should support her for re-election regardless of whether she sucks on every other issue.
Assuming her opponent is Bill Cassidy, who is also very good on oil and gas, why is this somehow an asset for Landrieu? There’s no either-or proposition here; in a Landrieu-Cassidy race you’re going to get a defender of the state’s oil patch regardless of who wins. So voting for Landrieu because she’s good on oil is a waste of time if you think she’s terrible on other issues.
Like taxes. Or the budget. Or – and if it’s Cassidy, you can bet your bottom dollar this will be enormous – Obamacare.
Landrieu is also touting the fact she’s already been in the Senate for 16 years and it’ll be 18 when she’s up for re-election, and if she gets a fourth term she’ll officially be a Big Shot in the Senate, with the ability to do all kinds of awesome things for Louisiana. But if the GOP takes over the Senate, which will happen this fall (don’t be swayed into thinking otherwise; Obama is cannibalizing all the money the Democrats will need to wage Senate races and that’s going to play heavily into the results), a fourth-term Democrat Senator in the minority has no more power to get things done than a first-term Republican Senator does – particularly if that Republican is seen as a rising star.
It’s going to be a fun election. And Mary deserves our thanks for sticking around; it’s about time one of the state’s Democrats actually mounted a statewide contest and gave the folks a chance to unequivocally reject that party in Louisiana.