I agree with Oyster. There have been rumors that Sen. Mary Landrieu will switch parties if the oil lease revenue sharing bill doesn’t receive the support of Democrats. I don’t believe that would happen and I think Oyster correctly points out why…..<p.
Now, anyone with a lick of political sense knows that she’s bluffing. The LA GOP hates Mary. They have a visceral disgust for all things Landrieu, and everyone would distrust her if she “converted” to the GOP (including Rove in D.C.). Her political future would be over. Even if her party-switching allowed the Republicans to maintain control of the Senate by one vote, she’d still be persona non grata among GOP conservatives, because they believe she’s a corrupt liberal. So, going to the GOP makes absolutely no sense as a political strategy, but it makes a ton of sense as a bluff– especially to folks outside the state who might not know any better.
Landrieu’s votes have given me fits in the past but I must admit to a new found respect for her in the post Katrina world. In the first week of Katrina, Landrieu looked shocked and resembled a deer caught in the headlights. Something changed between Anderson Cooper reaming her out on CNN and her threat to punch out George Bush on This Week with George Stephanopoulos. She’s been fighting for her state since. In a meeting at the end of March with Bush’s point man in NOLA and the commander of the Army Corps of Engineers, Landrieu learned that lower Plaquemines Parish would be left out of the plan for rebuilding levees. Her reaction…
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“If you say you aren’t going to protect lower Plaquemines, what’s next? Lower Terrebonne? Lower Lafourche? And then what, the middle parts?” asked a visibly angry Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., as she walked out of the meeting with Powell and Lt. General Carl Strock, commander of the Corps of Engineers. “Seven months after Katrina, they still don’t realize they have a bill to pay. They don’t want to pay. it.”
And when Bush continued to drag his feet on levee funding she vowed to block Bush’s judicial nominations. When the levee funding came through she stated she would still hold her perogative to blocking nominations “to prod the Bush administration, to support a form of revenue sharing.”
I’ve learned enough of the complexities of Louisiana politics to be humbled by what I do and don’t know. Others ought to be willing to learn the same. But I will venture this opinion based on Landrieu’s behavior this past year… she will do what she must for her state. If bluffing brings movement all the more power to her. But changing parties? If I learned anything from watching the NOLA mayoral election it is that the LA GOP despises anything Landrieu.
So while I never thought I’d praise Mary Landrieu I never thought I’d see an American city lying in ruins a year after a disaster with little discernable outrage for that fact. I never thought I’d see the federal government cut and run on searching for our dead in just a short month. I never thought I’d see America leave its dead citizens to rot for 11 months with little knowledge of that fact or the moral outrage that fact should incurr. So yes, as Landrieu is “pulling out all the stops” for her state as Oyster puts it, I’d have to say she’s doing her job. I give her a lot more credit than most in Congress for that but then matters of Life and 1580 Deaths can have that affect.