While rumbling across the APV proving grounds that are the streets of Lakeview, I noticed a small red professionally made sign challenging New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to repair one particular pockmark on a battered stretch of asphalt that resembled the surface of the moon.
There’s a good chance that the massive pothole and the sign will still be there when Landrieu leaves office in a few months.
Unless of course the mayor sends out a city worker to remove the taunt.
Another “project” Landrieu has decided to walk away from are the Civil War monuments sitting in city storage.
Landrieu removed the statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Generals Robert E. Lee and PGT Beauregard and the Battle of Liberty Place obelisk with great fanfare plus a media tour.
The bowdlerization was a mix of secretive contracting, “legalized” money laundering through a foundation, and the impressment of masked first responders and emergency workers to do a job they were not qualified, trained, or employed to do.
With Landrieu’s arbitrary use of facets of city government to achieve a political goal, New Orleans had assumed the traits a Balkan microstate and at times sharing similar unsafe water quality thanks to neglect from the top down of an essential city infrastructure and the maladministration of political stooges.
If the haphazard manner by which the historic landmarks were removed wasn’t already an indication of such, it became abundantly clear that Landrieu had no plan beyond “take ’em down!”
The “next phase” never seemed to have been real as the mayor immediately thereafter went on a bragging tour to the east coast and Colorado at what proved to be an inconvenient time.
And then came the admission on Wednesday when it was announced that the future of the monuments would be the headache of the next mayor and City Council.
There will be no RFP. The statues will stay out of sight until Landrieu is lone gone. And nobody should be surprised.
Landrieu received tremendous publicity from the fawning national media for kicking off a second round of bowdlerization of American history- a purge that would claim memorials beyond those honoring the Confederacy.
Did anyone think for a second the publicity obsessed mayor would risk the disruption of his self-serving political narrative and book tour having to explain their reappearance somewhere else?
Landrieu needs to further protect his political identity as the guy who brought down the Confederate monuments and not have his leftist cred be diluted by becoming the politician who merely rearranged them.
But you can rest assured that whenever (or if ever) Davis, et al leave the city warehouse, Landrieu will be basking in the klieg lights of the media to criticize wherever they go, because that’s his racket and sole source of relevancy in the national media.
Instead of transferring the statues to an appropriate historic venue that would secure and maintain them, New Orleans is going to be treated to a new round of acrimonious bickering in shouting matches euphemistically labeled “listening sessions”, with the fringes of both sides being prominently featured by the media.
Dragging things out benefits Landrieu’s national stature, though not the incoming New Orleans government, which should be focused on the quality of life matters that will be left festering on their doorstep.
While many historic preservation activists will be relieved that their adversary is passing the buck on to his successor LaToya Cantrell, it reflects poorly on the mayor.
Mitch Landrieu created this mess and after basking in the glow of the leftist media, is leaving the clean up to someone else.
Landrieu manufactured a false urgency as there never was a broad movement to remove the monuments beyond the rantings of cultural Marxists who have as much contempt for our Founding Father’s as they do the Confederacy.
And there wasn’t a practical comprehensive plan for managing the project from beginning to end.
It was unnecessary in terms of the mayor’s agenda.
Landrieu just needed to say he had a plan so as to keep the cooperative local media from pushing too hard for details.
To secure a legacy that would gain some degree of national traction and give Chris Matthews the tingles, all Landrieu had to do was pluck from the city landscape four monuments.