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Paranoiac, clueless Blanco misunderstands own failings

We have the megalomania of Democrat Gov. Kathleen Blanco to thank for her decision not to seek a second term, and the persecution complex that it spawned.

Administration aides indicate that, according to Blanco, the decision to drop out became made firmly when the federal government informed her that the Road Home Program was in violation of regulations regarding fund disbursement. The program was set up so that government, which was Blanco’s preference because her ideology distrusts the ability of the common folk to conduct their own affairs, controlled grant disbursement. The rules, which have existed for a long time and were communicated to Blanco months ago, state at the least that recipients must have the option to get funds immediately or else the nature of the program was such that additional qualification would have to be met.

This apparently was added to a litany of other perceived slights Blanco thinks she gets from the federal government, which include a belief that Mississippi got more hurricane disaster recovery money than it should have relative to Louisiana and health care redesign that promoted taking money away from state institutions and instead giving it to the uninsured. One also could add the federal government only partially removing the state matching requirement for some recovery funds the entire amount of which almost always in the past for other states regarding other disasters has been removed. The motive, according to her, was partisanship by the Republican administration.

Naturally, this worldview betrays an inability to see things as they are and to understand the political world:

  • Mississippi by some metrics did do proportionally better than Louisiana in getting money, but not really because they had Republican senators and a governor of that party. It was because those senators had senior positions relative to the appropriations process, the governor previously worked with those senators and the then-GOP majority as party leader, because the law of long-standing capped the amount Louisiana could get relative to other affected states, and the state acted much less rashly and more effectively than did Blanco in her initial recovery plans
  • Indigent health care redesign is focusing on different ideologies about how to care to the poor: continue to route money into an institution-based charity system that is less efficient and produces worse outcomes, but which brings the state government more money and employees, or to send money to potential patients themselves where they could choose to spend it how they preferred on their care. It wasn’t a basic question of partisanship, but one of ideology: Blanco favors continuing to empower government, while the majority of health care professionals, non-government institutions, patient advocates, other states, and the federal government wish to empower people.
  • The state is being asked, at this point, to return less than 1 percent of the $60 billion (and counting) the state has been given, far more than any state in history, while it has benefited several times that requested refund in terms of tax revenues culled from the federal money and the federal government also built in a way for the state to have the money to meet the match through other disbursements.
  • And why should the Road Home be exempt from regulations any other grant program must follow? Why does Louisiana deserve to be an exception to rule (just like with the charity hospital situation)?

    None of this has anything to do with partisanship, except in the sense that Republicans and Democrats differ fundamentally ideologically. And the richest irony of all is that while Blanco blames the GOP for playing politics, she never has done anything but in her term. For example, records show that as soon as the extent of Hurricane Katrina’s effects became evident, she immediately began to formulate a political response to avoid (unsuccessfully) for being blamed for suboptimal actions she took that made the situation worse. Or, witness her refusal to create pay raises for educators in last December’s special session when Republicans offered to do so if she would cut other spending, and then she blamed the GOP for this.

    Since taking office, Blanco always has displayed an incredible myopia regarding political conflict. She never has understood that she has the wrong ideology to move Louisiana forward, a liberalism that puts more faith in government than in the people, and a populism that had her focusing first on the good of her allies and special interests, and then only on the rest of the state. It is an ideology thinking people oppose on the basis of principle. Unable to grasp this, she therefore imputes all opposition to her (because she, by her definition, possesses a special wisdom that the great unwashed masses lack) as a product of venial political motives.

    While Edwin Edwards may have acted out the Crucifixion in jest, Blanco by her own words would have us believe her political career has died for the sins of a Republican Party out to get her just because she was a Democrat. It’s why, clueless to the end, she seems honestly to believe a simple change of partisan label would have spared her all the criticism she has received for acting on an ideology wrong for Louisiana. Somebody needs to do her a favor and where she cannot help but see it slap a note paraphrasing a Louisianan’s advice to a presidential candidate, altered to fit Blanco’s own paranoiac view: “It’s the ideology, stupid.”
  • 1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    Gee, Jeff,
    Don't be shy. It's OK to speak your mind. Seriously, though, I just discovered your blog. I'll be back. Re: Blanco (or as I prefer to call her Blank - o), someone would have to sit her down and explain to her what the word ideology means. I don't volunteer.