Something that was once said about Buddy Roemer is beginning to apply to Bill Cassidy. Namely, that he’s often wrong but never in doubt.
This morning WBRZ-TV in Baton Rouge had him on to talk about the Comite River Diversion Canal project, which at long last appears to finally be moving ahead, and the Husch Blackwell report about the sexual assault allegations at LSU, which is a burgeoning scandal we don’t see going away anytime soon.
Cassidy’s answers to those questions were unremarkable. He gave a blustery message of intolerance to the LSU stuff without actually saying anything of value, and he made the usual politician’s excuses for why the diversion canal project has been so ridiculously slow to proceed.
But then he was asked about his impeachment vote and the fact that his base of support in Louisiana has completely collapsed as a result.
To which his response was probably the only item of significance in the interview…
Pastorek moved to another topic, mentioning the siege at the Capitol and Cassidy’s ensuing choice to vote in support of impeaching then-President Donald Trump.
Pastorek asked Cassidy if, considering the backlash he received for his vote, he could change his vote on the matter, would he?
Cassidy replied, “Not at all.”
He went on to say, “I took an oath to support and defend the constitution of the United States , I take that seriously. And my complete understanding of that case was, ‘this is the vote to support and defend the constitution of the United States.'”
That won’t serve to quiet the critics much. It’s like Cassidy insists on declaring war on the entire Louisiana Republican Party between the intransigence and arrogance of the impeachment vote and his defense of the jungle primary.
We already know that the factual basis for the impeachment vote, that Trump incited an “insurrection” on Jan. 6, does not exist. To the extent there was an “insurrection” – a fairly peculiar insurrection indeed, since to this day there has not been one solitary report of any of the “insurrectionists” bringing a deadly weapon to their “insurrection” – it was clearly planned well in advance of anything President Trump said that day, and he exhorted the demonstrators to be peaceful and patriotic.
And we know there was never a constitutional basis for the impeachment. Either it’s an impeachment of a private citizen since Trump was gone from office, and there is no constitutional provision for the impeachment of a private citizen, or it’s a constitutionally infirm presidential impeachment since the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court refused to preside over it.
Bill Cassidy is a gastroenterologist and not a lawyer, so perhaps he’s not a constitutional expert. But he’s also a U.S. Senator so it’s not too much to ask that he rise above constitutional illiteracy. But perhaps that’s too much to ask.
One wonders, had Cassidy been honest about where Trump stood with him last year when he rode the President’s coattails to re-election, if he would still be a member of the Senate. The guess is he would have had a Republican challenger of note and a major fight on his hands if he had lined himself up with the tiny NeverTrump faction.
We do expect that will materialize by 2026 when he’s next scheduled to face the voters. If he even bothers to run again.