Shut Up, Randall Gaines. You Lost.

I’m getting around to this today after being a little swamped yesterday, but we really don’t want to wait too long to address the sanctimonious idiocy of washed-up state legislator and current chair of the rump Louisiana Democrat Party Randall Gaines, who dropped an uncommonly stupid op-ed at over the weekend.

The title: State Democratic chair: Louisiana citizens must rise up against extremist policies

Oh, OK.

It’s not like your party wasn’t thoroughly rejected 2-1 by the voters last fall or anything.

Here’s what Gaines, the former chair of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus which championed all kinds of policies even their own constituents didn’t want, had to say…

For weeks, we’ve heard the outcry about the harmful bills pouring out of the Louisiana Legislature during the current session and February’s “crime” special session. With so much at stake, including grave long-term public harm, we must convert the rising anguish and protest into coordinated action.

Harmful bills? Really? Like what? Charging teenaged carjackers who kill people like adults?

And what’s this “rising anguish and protest?” Other than a gaggle of malcontent communists on Twitter who seem as pissed off at the Louisiana Democrat Party for its complete ineffectiveness and lack of competitiveness in state elections as they are at Jeff Landry and Louisiana’s conservative legislature, we haven’t seen all that much protest.

We’re pretty surprised, frankly, because we figured there would be riots in the streets over the Democrats’ loss of political power in the state. But they can’t summon that up anymore, it doesn’t appear.

What else is funny is this “grave long-term public harm.” Yeah, OK. Public harm like what? A quarter-million productive Louisianans picking up and leaving over the last eight years? Because that’s Randall Gaines’ legacy as a state legislator carrying water for John Bel Edwards.

You probably saw Steve Wilson’s article earlier today about how during Edwards’ second term, the term when Randall Gaines was the chair of the Legislative Black Caucus (it was especially fun watching Gaines white-knighting for Edwards during the Ronald Greene fiasco), not a single one of Louisiana’s large cities grew. None.

But that’s not “public harm?”

There’s more…

I served in the Legislature during Bobby Jindal’s two terms. I watched Republican majorities refuse to reel in Jindal’s radical excesses. A few of my Republican colleagues stood up against Jindal’s counterproductive fiscal policies, but not enough to make a difference.

As a result, when Jindal’s term ended in 2016, he left Louisiana saddled with a $2 billion deficit. His successor, Democrat John Bel Edwards, working with enough moderate Republicans in both the House and Senate, was able to pull Louisiana out of Jindal’s $2 billion deficit. Bipartisan work saved the state from long-term damage to many of our most vital educational institutions and critical governmental services.

This is a lie. Jindal didn’t saddle the state with a deficit of any real size. There was a nosedive in the price of oil and that made for the need to trim the budget a little. Edwards himself, who was in the legislature and voted for six of Jindal’s eight budgets, ran on a denial that tax increases were needed to solve the budget. Then, as soon as he took office, he declared there was a $2 billion deficit and Louisiana’s college football season would have to be canceled if he didn’t get $2 billion worth of tax increases.

And Edwards’ first state budget was $2 billion larger than Jindal’s last budget.

If you want to accurately analyze this claim, the way to do it is this – the peasants weren’t producing quite enough grain to keep Louisiana’s political lords satisfied, so Gaines and Edwards set about squeezing the peasants for more.

And more. And more.

Many of the peasants fled, but the lords enjoyed a sumptuous banquet at the castle. For the last eight years.

Until the peasants got very damned sick of the arrangement and turned the fat little lords out on their asses. And now Lord Randall is quite perturbed at the new agenda.


How perturbed? This perturbed…

Today, the will in the Republican-dominated Legislature to stand against the current partisan extremism has significantly diminished. Since February, this administration has reversed long-standing effective reforms, taken steps to reduce public protections and stripped away civil liberties. In many instances, the Republican majority has followed the current Republican administration’s directives without sufficient regard for the potentially damaging consequences.

Awwww, how turrible.

We’ve seen common-sense gun laws swept aside, promoting a proliferation of untrained people carrying guns in public and creating a more lethal society.

By reversing productive criminal justice reform, longer prison sentences will be arbitrarily imposed, all at taxpayer expense. They reversed bipartisan reforms despite overwhelming evidence demonstrating that intervention, not longer sentences, is the most effective method of reducing crime and recidivism.

Nothing the Legislature has done puts Louisiana out of line with our neighboring states which have governed themselves according to “extremist” conservative principles for decades while Democrats like Edwards and Gaines have had a greater run in our governance than any of those other places.

And guess what? Those other states are…MORE SUCCESSFUL THAN WE ARE.

Please, give us some of their extremism.

He goes on.

Louisiana’s Republican majority Legislature has passed one of the strictest abortion ban laws and one of the most permissive gun-carrying laws in the nation. House Bill 164 by Rep. Delisha Boyd, D-New Orleans, offered to create exceptions in Louisiana’s abortion ban law for rape and or incest involving girls under the age of 17. Republican opposition killed the bill in committee despite graphic, personal and moving testimony in support.

Dirty little secret: this “strictest” abortion ban in Louisiana was authored by…Katrina Jackson, a Democrat. It was a bi-partisan bill. And it reflects the public sentiment in the state.

As for the “most permissive” gun laws, we’ve got constitutional carry in Louisiana which looks like the majority of the other states in the country. So that’s a bad-faith statement lazily attempting to characterize as extreme something which is pretty mainstream.

Beyond these actions and policies, this Republican administration and conservative Republicans are pushing dozens of other bills, attacking our inherent personal rights: equal protection under the law, workers’ right to organize, a women’s right to health care and the right of our citizens to exercise the freedom of personal choice.

Yeah, whatever. Let’s borrow a quote from Barack Obama:

“Elections have consequences.”

Not a single thing this legislature has done or is doing are out of line with the preferences of a majority of the state’s voters. That majority overwhelmingly elected Landry, the rest of a unanimous Republican slate of statewide officials each of whom won very easy races against Gaines’ fellow Democrats, and a bicameral supermajority plus some in both the House and the Senate.

What Randall Gaines needs to explain is why, if Republicans are so extreme, his party can’t get anybody elected to a state-level political office. And what agenda the Louisiana Democrat Party offers other than using lawfare to deny the will of the public in things like congressional elections.

Democrats are the extreme ones. That’s why they don’t win. And Randall Gaines’ calumnies of Louisiana’s governing majority should not stand.



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