GURVICH: The Crisis Before The Louisiana Legislature’s Special Session

Our legislature convenes in special session today at 6pm. Notably, the legislature called itself into session. This is significant because the Governor has traditionally called the legislature into session- our legislature has called itself into session only once before in modern times, and you guessed it, that was earlier this year. This will be a thirty day session which must adjourn no later than 6pm on October 27th.

The session was called to deal with a host of urgent issues. One would think that as we are still in partial lockdown after seven months, with a major hurricane having recently roared through about a fourth of our land area, and our resources to pay employment benefits rapidly running down, another special session would certainly be in order.

But the liberal press and Democrat politicians have come out precisely on cue to attack those calling for the special session, solely because Republican legislators called it. The press has been aflame for several days with highly partisan columns asserting that the real reason for the session is that right-wing Republican legislators seek to embarrass the Governor by limiting or revoking his power to rule by decree during a public emergency.

Now we would humbly submit that there obviously is a need to address the ability of one man to rule by emergency decree an entire state of over four and a half million people for months or even years at a time, although it is also patently false to assert that this is the only reason for the special session. However, since the press has brought this one subject to the fore, let us continue on with it.

We must never allow the Left to forget, so long as it maintains any pretense at democracy, that the relationship of a government to its people, that is the degree of coercive power that it may employ over them, is of paramount importance in the life of all nations at all times. The ancient Greeks expressed this as a political matter between the government and the governed; the ancient Hebrews thought in terms of the righteousness of God and his expectation of justice for his people.

These two major canons of Western thought combined most perfectly when the Founding Fathers created the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. For those of you who may not have noticed, the issues at stake before us are fundamental- nothing less than freedom of assembly, due process and equal protection under the law, the right to just compensation, the right to freedom of contract without governmental interference, and more.

So whoever argues that this session is nothing but a partisan Republican attack on a Democrat governor, either does not understand the issues or cares little for democracy. That is to say nothing of the arbitrariness of the content of the decrees themselves, or the general lack of consensus among medical experts regarding their effectiveness.

Oh, and there is one more thing to be discussed, a detail easily overlooked by a Democrat political class that has now grown so dependent on government largesse as to have almost no business acumen or understanding of economic fundamentals: Louisiana’s economy must be fully opened up, without reservation, and this must be done now!

Of course, it is well known that Louisiana is a poor state. Truth be told, under this governor we have become poorer as our taxes have increased, the cost of running our government has skyrocketed, and our people have begun leaving in droves for Texas, Florida, and other points. We wake up every day with less income to spend and fewer resources to fall back on than most other Americans.

Add to this sad state of affairs the fact that the  people of Louisiana were hit early and hit hard by the Coronavirus. Our economy seemed to be targeted in the crosshairs of this insidious disease- tourism was snuffed out at one stroke; the petrochemical industry was devastated; our shipping industry was set back.

And all the while that this same liberal media has consistently attacked Republicans, the obvious necessity of reopening our economy has been almost totally ignored. Our savings have run out and long-term economic and social devastation has already begun. Even the federal government cannot print enough money, without ruining the value of the dollar, to keep us afloat much longer, but most Democrat leaders are simply oblivious to this fact.

We must therefore hope that the pressing issues now before our legislature are fully addressed, particularly that most salient issue, the full reopening of our economy. If this Governor will cooperate with the legislature in achieving this goal, then all will be well. If not, there are ways to get around his obstructionism, and our legislators should be prepared to take any measures and call all bluffs. The stakes are too high for anything less.

Louis Gurvich, Chairman
Republican Party of Louisiana



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