Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Senator Mary Landrieu is Not A Crook or Corrupt (Updated)

Ok I am going to defend Landrieu here.

There has been a lot said about the "bribe" that Landrieu took for her vote to start debate on the Health Care Bill in the Senate. A move as I have posted on I not too happy about. The now so called infamous Louisiana purchase.

There are familiar storylines here when there is a story involving Louisiana. First is the whole "Well they are so corrupt down there". While Louisiana has had a history of corruption this not the Edward years. Things have vastly improved. I am not saying it is great but at this stage I don't think the corruption here is any worse than where else. Still a ways to go but there has been progress.

Further though I have opposed the Landrieus I am hard pressed to think for any serious charges of evidence of corruption against the new political Landrieu generation (Both Mary and Lt Governor Mitch Landrieu's dad was the powerful mayor of New Orleans at one time).

It is not being largely noted but Governor Jindal that has been screaming for these Medicare funds and has a difficult budget to balance is not exactly screaming in protest either.

People and the media have not asked if in fact this was something Louisiana needed or should have had. The controversy with the Federal Government over these funds has been going on for some time. In fact if you notice the GOP Senator of Louisiana David Vitter who opposes the Health Care bill has been pretty mute over the supposed Louisiana purchase.

This might not be the ideal way of running a Government. It is not Plato's republic for sure. But the horsetrading for votes when varied interest are at stake is nothing new in this Republic.

I have a hard time criticizing this as a bribe and getting on to Reid when the Bush White House and the Republican leaderships had to give all sort of "bribes" in the way of projects in order to get the troops funded in Iraq on a crucial vote. That of course was horrible that we had to do that.

Still we use the legislative process to further goals all the time that they were not designed for in a perfect world. During the Dubai Port controversy it should be recalled that leading Republicans and conservatives attached a bill prohibiting the Dubai Port Deal on a appropriation for the troops. Again all of us sort of at times have justified these moves .

I saw a good many projects for the most conservative districts attached to bills dealing with rebuilding the Gulf Coast after Katrina. Is this the best way of doing things? I suspect not. However I am sure for many people now complaining those projects were not seen as bribes but as something of the utmost importance.

Words matter and being from a State that has had a history of corruption I think throwing the words "crook" and "corrupt" too freely is damaging. In other words I don't think this approches some classic Thomas More moment- "You sold your Soul for Wales"

Will Landrieu be hurt by this in the real world of Louisiana politics? Well that remains to be seen. I think Louisiana like most of the nation is very much against the Health Care bill in its current form. If Landrieu is a part of defeating the bill at the end even while playing a smart game of getting funds that Republicans and Democrats are screaming for on a local level she will come out a winner I suspect.

I discuss another angle to this here at Is Obama Holding the Louisiana Poor Hostage Over the Health Care Bill


49erDweet said...

So as I understand your reasoning: 1. Cajuns require more access to healthcare than other Americans; and 2. Since 'everyone else does it' its OK to sell one's vote for "pork".

I'm trying to find something biblical to support your premisses...... Still looking..... Hmmmm, maybe its in......... No, not there. Still looking......

James H said...
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James H said...

To Be clear I am saying there is a "Biblical" basis if Louisiana should receive or not reciece these medicad funds. The issue is much more complicated. As Governor Jindal brought up with Obama himself and I quote

"Jindal said his top priority is to seek relief from a looming $900 million-a-year increase in the state's Medicaid costs, which will begin to affect the state in the 2010-11 budget year that starts July 1.

Louisiana's Medicaid "cliff" is the result of a federal match rate that's scheduled to drop from 80 percent to 63 percent in January 2011. The drop is the result of the federal economic stimulus law expiring and a financing formula that requires states with high per-capita incomes to pay more than poorer states.

In Louisiana's case, the state is being forced to pay more because incomes skyrocketed after Hurricane Katrina, in large part because of the influx of insurance money, Road Home grants and other recovery dollars that generated unprecedented economic activity.

State officials believe the financing formula is faulty because it raises costs for states that get a large influx of federal dollars because of natural disasters. They are asking Congress to change the law in a way that lets the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issue temporary waivers to protect states from sudden increases in their match rate.

"It is absolutely imperative that we get this fixed, " Jindal said."


Well sadly the problems have not been fixed and yes Louisiana is having to find a solution

So I would say this issue has little to do with Louisiana getting more access to medicare than you do.

Again while there has been discussion of the "Louisiana Purchase" there has been little discussion" about what was behind it.

Again I am not defending or promoting Landrieus actions here.

I am saying using the words crook and corrupt are a tad misleading and enters into a abuse of English language.

I say this as a traditional Landrieu opponent.

I wished we leaved in a perfect world. I wished that for a State that produces so much of the food and Natural resources for the nation that we could get justice as to our Coastal Erosion problem and the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone.

Justice and the public good would account for that. In the end I notice that seems to be lacking.