John Neely Kennedy is the phoniest member of the United States Senate. The competition is stiff since Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are also members of that body. The man I call Neely has cultivated an image as a rube, not a Rubio. It’s a sham: he has degrees from Vanderbilt, University of Virginia law school, and Magdalen College. That’s Oxford, y’all.
Instead of deploying his intellect and erudition, Neely persists in sounding like a cross between Foghorn Leghorn and Mister Haney from Green Acres. He was once called the smartest man in Louisiana government, now he’s mocked as a peckerwood moron. His current style is an insult to voter’s intelligence as well as downright insulting.
I’m something of an expert in explaining and deciphering Neely for a national audience. A 2017 post I wrote about him Drinking Weed Killer With John Neely Kennedy was quoted in the Washington Post. Holy humblebrag, Batman.
I used to find his cornball aphorisms so amusing that I wrote an extended piece about his Neelyisms for Bayou Brief. The Neelyisms aren’t funny anymore.
Since becoming a senator, he’s sounded more and more like a cornpone Insult Comedian. The Neelyisms used to have a scintilla of charm and wit, but they turned uglier than boiled sin during the Trump administration as the man himself might say.
I’ve seen Neely’s style wrongly compared to Andy Griffith. To extend that analogy, Neely has gone from sounding like Sheriff Andy Taylor to Lonesome Rhodes the hick fascist in A Face In The Crowd who said shit like this:
Rednecks, crackers, hillbillies, hausfraus, shut-ins, pea-pickers – everybody that’s got to jump when somebody else blows the whistle. They don’t know it yet, but they’re all gonna be ‘Fighters for Fuller’. They’re mine! I own ’em! They think like I do. Only they’re even more stupid than I am, so I gotta think for ’em.
Like that Lonesome Rhodes quote, Neely’s hick shtick drips with contempt for the people who sent him to Washington.
Neely’s brand as Gret Stet treasurer was as a straight-shooting skinflint who was willing to go toe-to-toe with Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Neely’s brand as a senator is that of a rabid partisan who spouts talking points crafted to own the libs. Yesterday, Neely decided it was time to own the commies.
Senate Republicans suggested on Thursday that a Soviet-trained communist was about to take over a key office in the country’s banking regulation infrastructure.
President Biden nominated Cornell University law professor Saule Omarova to be comptroller of the currency in September. But at her Thursday confirmation hearing, Republican senators played on Omarova’s birth in the former Soviet Union to suggest that she was a Marxist sleeper agent.
“Have you resigned from the young communists?” Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) asked Omarova at the hearing.
Kennedy was referring to Omarova’s early years in the USSR. Born in what is now Kazakhstan, Omarova received the prestigious Lenin scholarship to study at Moscow State University. As a child, she was also a member of the komsomol, the communist youth — a common group to be involved in in the USSR.
It’s all red meat for opponents of Omarova’s candidacy on the Senate Finance Committee, which held a confirmation hearing on Thursday.
“Did you send them a letter resigning?” Kennedy asked, referring to Omarova’s komsomol membership.
Committee Chair Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) interrupted him, saying that Omarova had “renounced her Soviet citizenship.”
Kennedy pressed on with Omarova: “I don’t mean any disrespect — I don’t know whether to call you professor or comrade.”
Neely’s McCarthyite antics covered all the Trumper bases: xenophobia, sexism, racism, and red baiting.
It’s particularly depressing coming from a former Democrat who I voted for twice as state treasurer and in his first senate race when he ran as the most liberal Democrat in the field. I am not making this up.
His past political persona is one reason he poses as a rabid wingnut, he doesn’t want to be primaried from the right by someone like genuine peckerwood Clay Higgins. The other reason is that he’s a rank opportunist as well as a fake hick hack. How’s that for a tongue twister?
John Neely Kennedy spent his political life lusting after a senate seat. He finally achieved his ambition in 2016 on his third try. And what has he done? He became a troll whose only accomplishment is owning first the libs, now the commies. What a disgusting waste of a fine mind.
I wrote a post in 2020 called John Neely Kennedy Can Go Fuck Himself. The sentiment still applies as does the last word by Harry Nilsson: