Jeff Sadow did a nice job this morning covering the most important trend in Louisiana politics, which is the Gary Chambers-led takeover of the Louisiana Democrat Party on the verge of happening as a result of how this year’s Senate race is shaping up.
Jeff’s absolutely right, and in this he’s echoing something I talked about last week. Blacks are 60 percent of the registered Democrats in Louisiana, and they’re 31 percent of the registered voters in the state overall. Without massive black turnout which is virtually unanimous in favor of a Democrat candidate, there is no Democrat victory in a statewide race. And yet it’s been white Democrats like John Bel Edwards, many of whom like Edwards who have nothing to offer the black community and who ought to be offensive to black voters (Edwards’ family didn’t just own slaves but actively traded them, and later they were segregationists and maybe Klan members, and Edwards’ brother is the sheriff in Tangipahoa Parish where there are all kinds of criticisms of law enforcement over abuse of black arrestees), who the party’s white elite insist on running at the top of the electoral ticket.
The justification is that only the white Mary Landrieu/John Bel Edwards types can win. In Edwards’ case that was true in 2015 and 2019, but both of those races were special-circumstances cases to be charitable. Anybody lucky enough to catch Eddie Rispone and his out-of-state, out-of-touch political consultants busily stealing his money while ignoring the advice of his own supporters can win. Otherwise, white Democrats have been hopeless causes in major Louisiana races since Landrieu was blown out of office by Bill Cassidy in the 2014 Senate race.
Black Democrats in Louisiana know this, and they aren’t impressed. They realize that the white Democrat elite has done very little for them. Louisiana’s economy is moribund, and that means Louisiana’s black community has very little net social mobility. Black neighborhoods across Louisiana are getting worse, not better, and black-majority cities like Shreveport, Monroe, Baton Rouge and New Orleans are all in decline as a result of poor economic development statewide. Medicaid and food stamps are not a substitute for abundant well-paying jobs.
Along comes Gary Chambers, who isn’t what you would call the most racially-enlightened individual. Chambers is no fan of white Democrats. He attacked Mike Erwin, a white Democrat judge in Baton Rouge, over a rumored racial slur Erwin may have used in an argument at a bar, and he’s demanded that a black district attorney replace Hillar Moore because Moore prosecutes too many black people for misdemeanors.
But Gary Chambers’ chief motivation is that he wants to convert his racial grifting into a good living. Last year when he ran for Congress, and then threw in with Karen Carter Peterson after coming in third, Chambers got an introduction to Stacey Abrams – the leading expert in black racial grifting in American politics – and got a good look into both how it’s done and what the possibilities at the state level can be in Louisiana.
And it’s very clear Chambers’ run for the Senate is all about cementing himself as a Louisiana Abrams.
The white elite found a true political nobody in Luke Mixon, an airline pilot from Bunkie who reminds us a lot of an alpaca and has, like Edwards, a military service record. Their plan is to load up Mixon’s teleprompter with a bunch of mean-tweet attacks against John Kennedy over his vote on Jan. 6, 2021 not to certify Arizona’s electors and his opposition to Biden’s infrastructure bill. None of which is of much interest to Louisiana’s electorate. It’s crap, designed to get a bit of press attention from the Tyler Bridges and Stephanie Graces of the world. Moon Griffon expertly dissected the out-of-touch pointless stupidity of Mixon’s campaign yesterday…
But then this morning Chambers uncorked this, and it’s a nuclear bomb dropped on Mixon’s head…
My first campaign ad, ‘37 Seconds.’ #JustLikeMe
I hope this ad works to not only destigmatize the use of marijuana, but also forces a new conversation that creates the pathway to legalize this beneficial drug, and forgive those who were arrested due to outdated ideology. pic.twitter.com/G0qKvmUGKD
— Gary Chambers (@GaryChambersJr) January 18, 2022
Mixon’s barking at Kennedy over the infrastructure bill seems a bit hollow and small measured against this, right? Chambers isn’t just calling for full legalization of weed, he’s saying everything the government does on weed is racist and hurts black people, and he does it while smoking a joint in the ad.
All of a sudden Luke Mixon and his Edwards-affiliated political consultant Richard Carbo are hilariously irrelevant.
There’s a poll we check once a week or so. It’s from a polling firm called Civiqs, and their method is that they’ve built a universe of respondents they’ll hit with online polls again and again. They’re tracking Biden’s approval rating through that universe, and because it’s so large they’re able to drill down into the demographics pretty heavily. Nationally, Biden is now at an abysmal 35 percent.
What’s Biden’s approval rating among white people in Louisiana in the Civiqs poll?
And Richard Carbo is running Luke Mixon with a campaign designed to capture all of that 12 percent of Louisiana’s white voters.
Or 7-8 percent of the total vote in Louisiana. Honestly, there is no reason Mixon should get any more than that if he wants to talk about Jan. 6.
Meanwhile Chambers is telling black Louisianans that the po-lice are out to get them over smoking weed and that he’s been oppressed just like they have, and he’s gonna do something about that.
He’s already uncorked the statement that “there are more of us than there are of them,” which is only true in the context of Democrat Party membership by race. Now he’s saying that “we” are being oppressed by the cops over weed.
Louisiana is moving in the direction of marijuana legalization. There is no doubt about that. Some Republicans are even on board with it.
But while it might be a majoritarian position that decriminalizing or legalizing cannabis is worth looking at, it’s something else entirely to play the race card and then smoke that stuff in a TV ad. Chambers is staking out the most radical position possible with an eye toward cleaving black votes off Mixon.
What’s the alpaca going to do now? Try to get to the left of Chambers? Agree that the cops are persecuting black people with misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession?
He just had the door slammed in his face where the black community is concerned and he’s going to struggle to even get into double digits in November now. He’s going to top out at eight percent.
And Chambers has 31.
Kennedy probably gets 61, like he did last time running against Foster Campbell in the runoff. None of this will affect John Kennedy in the least. But it will create Gary Chambers as the Jabba the Hut of the black electorate in Louisiana – the guy you’ve got to go see if you want something. He’ll be the Jabba the Hut of the Louisiana Democrat Party, too.
And that’s a pretty good grift to make a living off of. Just ask Stacey Abrams.