With Edwin Edwards insinuating himself into the 6th Congressional race the dynamics of the program changed.
First, Mr. Edwin doesn’t do anything unless there’s a buck to found, cornered, captured, skewered and skinned so as to nourish his family and his more than pedestrian tastes; somewhere. In the modern world, candidates work overtime (before they announce their candidacies) to ferret out people with sufficient dollars assuring they make entry into the race. Nobody gets a free ride and, even though Mr. Edwin presents himself as a salable, marketable candidate, we all know the odds are against him.
This is the real reason politicians form “exploratory committees”: to determine whether they’re able to pool enough campaign dollars to launch, conduct, maintain and sustain a campaign to a successful conclusion. It has nothing to do with determining the needs of the voter. Exploratory committees have nothing to do with determining the issues confronting the voters or the other candidates’ positions. None of it has anything to do with what’s wrong with the State of Louisiana, the United States or any other line a politician feeds you: it all has to do with money. It’s not your money mind you; that will come along later after the election’s won and the spoils of this particular war are understood. No. At this moment it has to do with the big-bucks offered by money-men and women having agendas we, the people never see.
Number TWO is where we need to understand politics is a process as much as it is an activity and a covert pursuit using the interrelationships between people, groups and organizations in a particular area of life so as to gain power and influence. The people holding the checkbooks, those willing to smile into the faces of candidates approaching them appreciate just how much influence can be bought also make it known there’s a cost to get the dough they’ll knead and massage until it’s capable of nourishing their campaign agendas. These modern money lenders work in the halls of legislatures as they once did the Temple in Jerusalem. They do so with the full knowledge and consent of the modern Pharisees getting a little of the “Vigorish”, or the “vig”, also known as juice, the cut or the take. The term is Yiddish slang for winnings. It’s the amount charged by a bookie, for taking a bet from a gambler. In the United States it also means the interest charged by a loan shark.
There’s always a cost. Oil people seek an ear in Congress concerning legislation affecting the development of petrochemical policy. Manufacturers and other business people want malleable personalities beholding to them for the coins dropped into their offertory baskets. Social groups, unions, environmental organizations and the like all contribute in order to exert directional control over the winner when he graduates from the ranks of also ran.
Third, the more candidates enter a race, the lower the percentages of the vote other candidates may gain. We have run-off elections in Louisiana. Candidates must be winnowed, then culled to assure a winner will acquire at least 50% + one vote to beat an opponent. This means the greater a candidate’s name value, recognition and marketability has a lot to do with how many votes can be taken by a spoiler. This means the candidate, though he has NO chance of winning plays Judas Goat at the front of the herd to get the low information voters to follow mindlessly. This negates the possibly weaker but more intelligent and reliable candidate from the race. This happens because he couldn’t attract the voters the Judas Goat led astray.
That’s what the Edwards candidacy is all about. A lot of big money interests want to keep somebody out of office. And they’ll pull an ex-con with a sense of dash, flash and daring out of mothballs, dust him off and send him out to lead the voters to slaughter by distracting them from the issues. They’ll place the spotlight on an expensive suit, a mystique more a legend and a vaudeville sense of sleight-of-hand not allowing you to see what the one hand does without the knowledge of the other.
So, to paraphrase the Edwards campaign bumper-sticker from his race against the Neo-Nazi: “Go ahead, vote for the crook because he hasn’t changed a bit”.
Some people can’t be rehabilitated.
Thanks for listening.