You probably know this already; it’s fairly obvious. But we have a real problem with standards among Republicans in the Louisiana legislature, and if it isn’t solved soon our status as a red state will be both meaningless and short-lived.
At The Federalist, Aaron Benn has a very good piece about Indiana politics (it originally appeared at his Substack). making an excellent argument for the contention that trading social conservatism for supposed economic benefit is a dead end bargain. Benn notes that Indiana’s GOP politicians, and particularly the ones who come from the Indianapolis metro area, essentially sold out their religious voting base to simp and shill for Corporate America in hopes that it would lead to prosperity…and it didn’t.
Indiana is economically stagnant and outside of Indianapolis most of that state is noticeably declining. The supposed benefits of corporate-friendly tax policy and a “truce” on social issues haven’t materialized in anything like the volume that was promised.
Mitch Daniels, now the president of Purdue, was the author of the “truce” that sold out social conservatism in that state. But Daniels was a social conservative himself, and he took great pains to make regular Indianans know that he was one of them and that the “truce” wasn’t a surrender from his point of view. When Daniels was Indiana’s governor he didn’t give ground on social issues; he just wasn’t aggressive on offense to push them.
Daniels was succeeded by Mike Pence, who supposedly was a creature of the social-conservative Right. But Pence surrendered on gay marriage and other issues under pressure from the corporate set, a prelude to his weak leadership as Vice President (and no, we’re not talking about January 6; think the COVID response that had Pence’s fingerprints all over it). And now, Indiana’s current governor Eric Holcomb, a Chamber of Commerce stooge who had been Daniels’ campaign manager, recently vetoed a girls’ sports bill for fear the NCAA, whose headquarters is in Indianapolis, would punish the state somehow.
The legislature in Indiana is almost certainly going to override Holcomb’s veto, as legislatures in Arkansas and Utah have done to similarly weak GOP governors on analogous bills.
What does this have to do with Louisiana’s legislature? Well, last week, while we were making preparations for Wednesday’s blockbuster Hayride dinner, the House Education Committee killed HB 837, a bill by Rep. Dodie Horton which was a little more aggressive version of the Florida anti-grooming bill the Left has tried to slam as a “don’t say gay” bill.
The major difference between the Florida anti-grooming bill and HB 837 is that while Horton would have extended the ban on grooming kids for alternative sexualities through eighth grade, while in Florida the law stops at third grade.
Apparently, Horton’s HB 837 was too extreme for three of the Republicans on House Education – Vinny St. Blanc, Barbara Freiburg and, naturally, Stephanie Hilferty (Transferty?). They voted, at the behest of the House Speaker, we’re told, to kill the bill. All four Democrats joined them.
Had two of the three voted in favor the bill would have gone to the floor.
Florida is passing bills keeping cultural Marxists indoctrinated in our colleges from grooming five-year-olds for alternative sexualities, and in Louisiana, those bills can’t even get out of committee.
And don’t tell me Horton’s bill is more “extreme” than the Florida bill which enjoyed the support of a majority of Democrat voters in that state. If you think protecting 12- and 13-year-olds is “extreme” and protecting six- and seven-year-olds is not, then amend Horton’s bill to mirror the one in Florida.
Failing to do that is a good indication that AT BEST these are the same corporate-simp Republicans who have so fizzled in Indiana. And even that is giving them too much credit – you can’t find much of anything Freiburg, Transferty or St. Blanc have done to promote economic development in Louisiana. None of them are bringing substantive tax or regulatory reform, for example, or fighting to reduce the size and scope of government to free up capital and energy in the private sector.
Horton’s bill isn’t the same thing as the other social-conservative bill which overshadowed it last week. We don’t have any particular brief for Rep. Danny McCormick’s bill which would outlaw abortion – in fact, we think the critique of it offered by Louisiana Right to Life, that state law should treat women in a panic over an unexpected pregnancy not as criminals but as potential victims of the abortion industry and not put them at legal jeopardy of a murder charge. That bill has people talking about social conservatives in the state as extremists and we’d say it’s probably not a good idea even though we don’t hate some aspects of it – like forcing John Bel Edwards to veto an abortion ban and thus shoot holes in his less-than-honest protestations of pro-life commitments.
But Horton’s isn’t an out-on-a-ledge bill. This is a bill more or less just like what passed in Florida and represented a huge win for the conservative movement and set a new standard for bold leadership on the crucial subject of stopping the Left from using public schools to destroy the nuclear family (and yes, teaching kids there is no societal value differential between the straight lifestyle and the gay or trans variety is an assault on the nuclear family, because you need straight people to create nuclear families and the fewer straight people you have the fewer nuclear families you’ll get).
Can’t even get that bill out of committee, amended or not. The only solution is to get the people responsible out of the legislature. St. Blanc (who’s just a stooge for Clay Schexnayder and not much else), Freiburg and Transferty need well-funded and well-prepared challengers willing to make votes keeping Louisiana at least on the same page as Florida, and those challengers need to win next year.
Otherwise that “R” next to the candidates’ names won’t mean any more than it does in Indiana.