Football and politics are the most popular sporting events in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. It was a dismal weekend for local football fans as both the New Orleans Saints and the LSU Tigers lost. Ouch. At least the Tigers lost to a fine Crimson Tide squad on the road in Tuscaloosa. The Saints lost at home to a shitty Tennessee Titans team that had just fired its coach. Double ouch.
I started this post with sports because the now legendary John Bel Edwards BOOM ad ran during the LSU game. It only ran once in the New Orleans market, which was not a bad thing. It’s a gut punch of an ad that’s best seen in short bursts much like a certain ad from 1964 Johnson-Goldwater race:
There’s been some criticism of the Edwards ad as unsubtle overkill by the flying monkeys of the national MSM. That’s piffle, poppycock, and various other P-words. Negative campaigning is all David Vitter knows. I’ve gone into the details here before, so I’ll send you over to CenLamar for Lamar White’s take on the BOOM ad and Team Vitter’s whiny, petulant reaction to this live grenade lobbed into the candidate’s diapered lap. Btw, they haven’t denied it.
Speaking of heavy-handed, Gret Stet GOP honcho, Roger Villere, used a sports analogy to denounce Lt. Gov Jay Dardenne for endorsing the Democratic Goober candidate. He compared Dardenne to former LSU and current Alabama coach Nick Saban. Holy low blow, Batman. It’s also wrong, everyone knows that Dardenne is the Mr. Bean of Gret Stet politics:
I’m not sure if Dardenne is that limber. Since people are already speculating as to what Dardenne *might* get in exchange for endorsing Edwards, I have a suggestion. We could create our very own Ministry of Silly Walks as the Lt. Gov’s reward for being attacked by the suburban florist who runs the Louisiana GOP. It beats the hell out of sitting next to Bitter Vitter at a debate:
There was another nutbar factor-1000 reaction to the Dardenne endorsment. This one came in an open letter to Dardenne from St. Tammany Parish Republican party Chaircreep, Peter Egan:
“Your behavior somewhat parallels what might be in the mind frame and actions of an angry and rageful husband. The behavior of endorsing Edwards is akin to that of a jilted man firing indiscriminately at his ex-wife’s car, mindless of the collateral harm and injury to many innocent people. Unlike the jilted man who cannot take back his impulsive actions, you, however, can redress the damage you may be causing.”
And Republicans wonder why there’s a gender gap.
FYI, St. Tammany is in Vitter’s old congressional district, and is one of the wealthiest and most Republican Parishes in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. The House seat is currently held by our old pal Steve Scalise aka “David Duke without the baggage.”
A few months ago David Vitter looked like a lock to move into the Governor’s mansion next January. He’d won a second term by a landslide in 2010 without having to explain what “serious sin” he committed. Vitter pulled the strings during Double Bill Cassidy’s successful 2014 Senate campaign and continues to own Dr. Empty Suit. The best thing I’ve read about Vitter’s downfall is an article by the great Bob Mann at Salon. Here’s how he closes his piece:
With less than two weeks before the runoff, Vitter must make a move and fast. That may not be easy. The problem is not merely that his aura of invincibility is gone. It’s that when his invincibility vanished, Vitter had little or no goodwill among many prominent Republican leaders from which to draw.
It could be that Vitter’s prostitution scandal, his ill-fated association with Jindal and his fractured Republican Party aren’t his worst problems. Maybe it’s not even that he has a Democratic opponent who is generally immune from associations with Obama.
More harmful than all of that might be that David Vitter no longer has fear on his side. Put another way, he’s finally been exposed as a mere mortal – and a deeply flawed one, at that.
Vitter’s problem may be simply this: The Louisiana Republican who was once the most feared is also the most disliked. Perhaps Camus was correct, after all: “Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear.”
The best thing about the Edwards BOOM ad is that it shows that Team Edwards is willing to do, in Richard Ben Cramer’s memorable phrase, “what it takes” to win. I’ll conclude by quoting a latter-day existential philosopher, Omar Little: “You come at the king, you best not miss.”