Diary

Once and For All: Senators Cannot Be Recalled.

Recently there’s been some talk, here and elsewhere, about a burgeoning campaign to recall Mary Landrieu (D-Storyville).

Anger against Sister Senator Mary (a little Moon Griffon lingo, there) was already palpable here in Louisiana, and fueled further by the recent revelation that, in addition to that 300 million bucks, her health-care vote was sold in exchange for a promise to make her little brother the Mayor of New Orleans.

At this point just about everybody inside the state and out wants Landrieu gone, and since Louisiana has a provision in its constitution allowing for the recall of elected officials, somebody got the bright idea to start a drive to recall the highest-priced hooker in Louisiana history. Thing is, we’ve already tried to recall one member of the 111th Congress, and Attorney General Caldwell returned an opinion to Secretary of State Dardenne that the recall of federal officeholders is Constitutionally impermissable. As he correctly stated:

“The United States Constitution does not provide for, nor does it authorize, the recall of United States officials such as United States Senators, Representatives to Congress, or the President or Vice President of the United States. No United States Senator or Member of the House of Representatives has ever been recalled in the history of the United States.

“The power to regulate the members of Congress, however, has been reserved by the United States Constitution to the respective House of Congress.”

A shame, really; it was a nice thought. Or was it?

Personally, I’m not a believer in the recall. As has been made abundantly clear to us over the last year, elections have consequences. And because they do, it behooves us to make our choices carefully — especially regarding senators, whom we don’t get another crack at for six years. When we make those choices, we have to live with them; no “do-overs”, no opening the floodgates to abuse of the system, and to elections that are never settled matters.

We had our opportunity to turn out Mary Landrieu in November 2008. Once again, we blew it, returning her to a third term in office even as we handed Obama an even larger defeat in the state than we had dealt John Kerry four years before. Our motives were low and selfish — after a spate of retirements of long-serving congressmen during the decade (Billy Tauzin, Jim McCrery, Richard Baker) along with the departure of the sainted Senator John Breaux, we got spooked about losing our seniority in Congress and decided that our best option was to return Landrieu to the Senate yet again so as to maximize our chances of receiving lots of federal bucks we could use for something other than levee reinforcement. Because we couldn’t be bothered to figure out how the Democrat senator we were returning to office would enable the Democrat presidential candidate we rejected so overwhelmingly, Louisianians ended up voting to socialize and ruin their health-care system and wreck their oil-and-gas industry, which pretty much finishes off the economy of the state, Mardi Gras tourism notwithstanding.

We made our bed and now we have to lie in it. No do-overs. Maybe we’ll figure it out in 2014, if we last that long.