I think that Dan has the right of it, here:
Louisiana governor's race reminding us what Louisiana politics will revert to when Jindal leaves https://t.co/Ve2Eprxhjz
— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) October 24, 2015
Basically, for those who didn’t click through: a Louisiana political candidate caught somebody surreptitiously (and apparently illegally) filming him at breakfast. Said operative turns out to have been in the pay of an enemy of the political candidate. The wrinkle here is that everybody involved is a Republican:
[Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell] Normand, who faces token opposition in his re-election bid for sheriff Saturday and had publicly flirted with a bid for governor, is a longtime political enemy of [US Senator and gubernatorial candidate David] Vitter.
“What do I have to do with the governor’s race? Everybody knows I endorsed (Lt. Gov.) Jay Dardenne,” Normand said. “Everybody at that table is very upset with this. I didn’t know we had become the state of Russia.”
No, Sheriff Normand… but you are in the state of Louisiana, which is effectively a one-party state these days. Or, more accurately, has gone back to being a one-party state. The post-Katrina collapse of the Democratic party in Louisiana has had many salubrious effects on good government in the state, but reform is a process, not an event. Once Bobby Jindal’s out of the governor’s mansion*, watch out.
I’m afraid that I don’t have a good answer for this one, sorry. Our political system works best when there are two healthy state parties; unfortunately, the need of state Democratic parties to conform to the Left and mid-Atlantic Coasts’ rather parochial and blinkered worldview makes it increasingly difficult for Democrats to run normal candidates in normal states. This can give Republican state parties headaches, because when we capture the center we also unfortunately get all the morally vague, sleazy politicos who are happy to mouth whatever slogans will allow them to keep feathering their own nests. Then again: ultimately, this is really the Democrats’ problem to solve. The sooner they stop caring quite so much what a bunch of politicians from California and Massachusetts think, the sooner they can maybe fix what’s wrong with their state parties.
Lastly: the first round of the Louisiana elections is, of course, today. I’m not going to tell you how to vote, because people get cranky about it when I do and that’s fair. But I will ask that, if you can vote in Louisiana, that you take a really good look at the candidates that you’re supporting. Obviously the Republican has to win – aside from everything else, Louisiana Democrats have not yet learned their lessons – but which one wins is perhaps more important than usual.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*When you think about it, it’s remarkable how little we’ve heard on the scandal front from the Jindal administration. I mean, seriously. It’s Louisiana.