While national Democrats – and their Louisiana lackeys – attempt to obscure a year of policy failure by unsupported fantasy and hyperbole about unrest at the U.S. Capitol on year ago, the anniversary is relevant for Louisianans in that it set the stage for the political decline of Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy as he launched his quest for Strange New Respect.
Almost immediately after a mob infiltrated the Capitol seeking to delay Electoral College tabulations over the belief insecure elections in several states made an accurate victory declaration impossible – who video footage showed after members of Congress fled, with many of the few hundred many ushered in by Capitol police, mostly wandered aimlessly, acquired souvenirs of various kinds, and engaged in very minor vandalism before trickling out, kind of like the dog who actually caught the car and didn’t know what to do with it – the political left not only went into hyperventilation mode about the “insurrection,” but also it tried to paint Republican former Pres. Donald Trump as the genesis of it all. Never mind, of course, in a speech given to nearby protesters Trump never hinted that a bunch of listeners should deploy violence down the street to accomplish their aim, and even went so far as to instruct that any such protest should occur peaceably (although the Federal Bureau of Investigation already knew, and later would confirm, a handful of protesters were trying to organize a less peaceful response), all the while not engaging in any legally or constitutionally suspect behavior.
Nonetheless, Democrats quickly tried to paint Trump as, if not the center of a conspiracy to overthrow the federal government, dastardly enough to rile a revolutionary army into existence to prevent a change in executive power. Within hours this hoax began to unravel and has done nothing else since, and anyone with a scintilla of political judgment astute enough to govern the country and honest enough to exercise it from the start knew the very worst about which Trump could be accused on this issue was adhering to his typical undiplomatic leadership style by not anticipating that any remarks, no matter how benign, might encourage more high-strung members of the listening audience to engage in trespass.
A category of politician which apparently excluded Cassidy, who a month later bought the hoax as part of a made-up crime that appears nowhere in the Constitution that led to his vote to convict Trump in an impeachment trial based on the events of that day. While undoubtedly many of the Democrats could see their fabrication as necessary and therefore couldn’t act politically honestly in rejecting conviction because of their party’s agenda, with Cassidy on the other side of the aisle, it’s clear that it wasn’t an ideological or partisan imperative but simple stupidity, as measured by his explanations, that led to his vote about which he presently distorts and makes excuses in order to avoid criticism.
Or was it? A switch seemed to flip in Cassidy after he won a third term where he has put conservatism on the back burner in his decision-making in favor of a goodie-dispensing pragmatism indicative of being captured by Washington and unmoored to the genuine desires of the state’s majority. In other words, by presenting himself as a Republican who joined Democrats in condemning Trump, as well as becoming a lite version of a Democrat when it came to tax and spending policy, he wins the applause of Washington and the chattering classes even as this sells out Louisiana. Apparently, winning those plaudits has become more important to Cassidy than doing right by his constituents based upon a coherent set of principles, even as he might mistakenly continue to think he does act consistently, as brainwashed as he has become in chasing the respect of who he sees as his betters.
Reinforcing the view that this gestalt shift has invaded Cassidy’ thinking, witness his behavior concerning the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, where he shamelessly flogged for the bill until its passage by all Senate Democrats and two-fifths of Republicans. Questionable in the first place because of the significant expansion of debt it would trigger – going even further past the point where borrowing negatively impacts economic growth – its composition made it even more unsuitable in the wasteful spending it enables, designed more to aid big-spending Democrat-controlled states than Louisiana. It’s no accident that every other Republican elected to national office from the state voted against it.
By no means has Cassidy become a Democrat in GOP clothing. But his Washington-centric dreams have impaired his judgment about what is best for Louisianans, and dozens of his party’s elected officials in state and national government have shown better judgment than he has in the past year. He has demonstrated, by his own actions and attempted explanation, that he has become unable to render consistently superior political decision-making, prompted initially by events of a year ago, and thereby invites Louisianans in five years to replace him with a Republican who can.