Report from Louisiana: Four more years of decline

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – I saw a meme on social media Sunday morning:  “Waiting for election results is like waiting for a grade on a group project. I know I did my part right but I’m scared the rest of you screwed it up.”

Well, they did.

We’ve got four more years of John Bel Edwards. Pete wrote about this yesterday.  It’s true, as he says, that Edwards is a pro-life Democrat and to a state that is heavily Catholic, especially in the southern regions, that matters.

However, I’d hardly say that his re-election is a mandate. The race was very close and for a lot of us who would like to see business returning to Louisiana, this is not really good news. It means:

Four more years of high taxes.

Four more years of trial lawyers running businesses out of the state.

Four more years of last-in-everything.

Four more years of shackles on the oil and gas industry.

Four more years of decline.

The race was close: Edwards received 774,469 votes and Rispone received 734,128, giving Edwards about 51% of the vote. Voter turnout was about 50% and it is worth noting that Orleans Parish went 90% for Edwards. 

The days leading up to the election were insane: Donald Trump lobbied throughout Louisiana for Eddie Rispone and his rallies drew literally thousands. In the Shreveport/Bossier City area here in northwest Louisiana, Trump visited on Thursday, before the Saturday election.

Interestingly, just days before Trump’s visit, the Shreveport mayor Adrian Perkins (D) issued a “stand-down” order, telling Shreveport police and fire responders to offer no assistance to the security of the President during his visit. Shreveport’s first responders had been in planning meetings and had assignments to assist Bossier City (we are divided only by a river). This stand-down order met with a backlash against Mayor Perkins that resulted in a local defeat of the Mayor’s bond election that was also on the ballot.

The only good news here is that this runoff election granted Louisiana Republicans a supermajority in both the House and Senate, and so Edwards will have a tougher time this term.

Looking at the numbers, it is interesting to consider for example that voters reinstated the Republican Secretary of State overwhelmingly over the Democrat candidate (59% to 40%), but only 51% of those same voters went for Edwards.

I think a lot of the problem for Republicans in this election can be placed on two things: a lot of people see Edwards as just moderate enough that they can take him. The second thing is that Republicans just did not offer up a top tier candidate. Rispone’s name recognition was zero coming into this election and he had no political experience. He’d just made lots of money in the private sector. He knows business and he touted himself as the Louisiana Donald Trump.

If Senator John Kennedy had run, we might be having a very different conversation right now.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.

Profiles in cowardice: The Democrats’ push to impeach Trump

Andrew Johnson statue on the grounds of the Tennessee state capitol

By John Ruberry

One of the heroes in the Pulitzer Prize winning book, Profiles in Courage, which was credited to John F. Kennedy but largely written by Ted Sorensen, was Edmund G. Ross, a Radical Republican senator from Kansas who is credited as the deciding vote against the removal from office of President Andrew Johnson, who had been impeached by the House of Representatives.

Ross was appointed to the Senate in 1866, when, Sorensen wrote, “the two branches of government were at each other’s throats.” Such as it is now between the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and President Donald J. Trump.

Johnson, like the man he succeeded, Abraham Lincoln, favored a quick readmission of the former Confederate states into the Union. But Johnson had few of the political skills of the Great Emancipator, and compared to the Radical Republicans, Johnson was very weak on the Civil Rights. Johnson was impeached in 1868–an election year–for violating the recently enacted Tenure of Office Act for firing Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. The president deemed that law as unconstitutional, it was repealed a few years later and the courts later proved Johnson correct.

Ross, along with six other Republican senators voted to acquit Johnson. Sorensen, in Profiles in Courage notes Ross’ words, written years after the impeachment trial.

In a large sense, the independence of the executive office as a coordinate branch of the government was on trial…If…the president must step down…a disgraced man and a political outcast…upon insufficient proofs and from partisan considerations…the office of the president would be degraded, cease to be a coordinate branch of the government, and ever after subordinated to the legislative will.

If Johnson had been removed from office America would have seen a weakened office of the presidency. One subject to the whims of an emboldened Congress.

Trump’s crimes in regards to the Ukraine call, if any–and I don’t believe there are any–are subject to interpretation. Say what you will about the only other president to be impeached, Bill Clinton, but he clearly perjured himself when testifying about Monica Lewinsky.

If Trump is impeached by the House, the likelihood of his being convicted by the Senate and removed from office is remote. But a precedent could be set by future Congresses to impeach presidents, well, simply because member of the “loyal opposition” opposes him. Or her, of course.

As Wikipedia writes about the Johnson impeachment:

The impeachment and trial of Andrew Johnson had important political implications for the balance of federal legislative–executive power. It maintained the principle that Congress should not remove the President from office simply because its members disagreed with him over policy, style, and administration of the office. It also resulted in diminished presidential influence on public policy and overall governing power, fostering a system of governance which Woodrow Wilson referred to in the 1870s as “Congressional Government”.

But most of the current crop of Democrat members of the House don’t care about history. They simply want to, in the crass words of freshman congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, “Impeach the motherf—er.”

When impeachment comes to a full vote in the House, will any Democrats–and not just those from districts that are overwhelmingly pro-Trump–offer a profile in courage?

It seems right now that most House Democrats have profiles in cowardice–they answer only to the MSNBC–incited mob who fill their campaign coffers. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Pro-Life Democrat wins in Louisiana

Yesterday Jon Bell Edwards managed to do something a lot of people didn’t expect, he won re-election to the Governorship of Louisiana even after president Trump came down to support his opponent.

A lot of people on the left and in the media are publicly spinning this as a rejection of the president but there is one simple reason why Edwards was able to win, and it had nothing to do with Donald Trump, impeachment or anything else. Edwards won re-election because he is a creature even more rare than an honest journalist…a pro-life democrat who doesn’t equivocate when it comes to supporting life:

Edwards signed into law one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the country, earning praise from groups like the Susan B. Anthony List, which applauded him for “leading the way in the bipartisan effort to bring our nation’s laws into line with basic human decency.”Edwards said, “The pro-life ethos has to mean more than just the abortion issue. It’s got to go beyond that. The job isn’t over when the baby’s born if you’ve got poor people who need access to health care.”
Source: America Magazine on 2019 Louisiana gubernatorial race , Dec 14, 2018

Unblemished anti-abortion voting record
John Bel Edwards says, “We need the exact opposite of what we’ve gotten from Bobby Jindal; he has sacrificed the state’s well-being to further his own self-ambition.” But in some ways, Edwards is more like Jindal than many might think. Like the governor, he is an anti-abortion, pro-gun rights Catholic; his voting record is unblemished on both issues.

It’s worth noting that the left hasn’t been shy about attacking him for it either:

A rarity in his party, Edwards’ anti-abortion stance provokes angry outcries on social media from Democratic voters and disappointment within the party’s broader ranks across the country.
“When Republicans are taking away women’s rights at every step, it’s on the Democrats to show that we are the party that will protect women. When we fail to do that, we make it absolutely hopeless for women around the country,” said Rebecca Katz, a progressive Democratic consultant.

Many Democrat candidates for president and national leaders hit him for the heartbeat bill, NARAL hit him particularly hard:

“Women are the base of the Democratic Party, leading the charge for equality by fighting for reproductive freedom,” NARAL Pro-Choice America Political Director Nicole Brener-Schmitz said in a statement. “Governor Edwards, and any other elected official attempting to use political overreach to roll back our rights, is mistaken to think our fundamental freedoms are up for debate….He won’t get a pass just because he is a Democrat.”

But in the end Edwards didn’t flinch from his position and as a result Democrats kept the governor’s mansion in a race where they lost the secretary of state candidate lost by almost 20 points.

Now the reality is that both candidates in the race were very pro-life and there are plenty of other reasons why a Republican victory in Louisiana would have been a better thing for the state, but I also think that if Edwards’ victory gives Democrats both in the south and elsewhere the courage to stand up for life when the national party and the left demand they abandon it if they want statewide or national office it is a fine thing.

the Democrats / left / media can spin this anyway they want, but today was a victory for life and I suspect the knowledge that they owe that victory to Edwards’ stance against them galls them almost as much as a GOP victory would have.

Closing thought: Abortion is a sine non qua for me. If I have the choice between a pro-life democrat like Edwards and a pro-abortion republican like Brown or Baker or even one who was with me on any other issue, the pro-life Democrat would get my vote every single time.

Nothing trumps life at the ballot box for me, NOTHING.