Knowing that the direction of public opinion and recent records makes the longshot candidacy of Rep. Charlie Melancon unlikely to triumph against Vitter and that the emergence of any serious challenger to Jindal improbable, Democrats continue to revert to the tired strategy of manufacturing presumed shortcomings not based on issues of the day that they try to tie to Vitter and Jindal, regardless of any credibility that such charges may have to anybody who can rub two brain cells together.
In Vitter’s case, it’s that his operatives blew the whistle on the Orleans Parish Executive Committee which tried to hoodwink the University of New Orleans into hosting a campaign event for Melancon, despite UNO’s long-standing policy of not allowing use of university facilities for such things (I remember discussion of that when I was there over 20 years ago). Burned and publicly humiliated, Democrats have tried to claim that somehow Vitter’s office threatened that to allow the rally would result in his preventing federal funds from coming to UNO.
This is laughable. Federal funds coming into the university directly are either in the form of student aid or the spending bill funds of 2009, none of which any senator can influence because of the nature of the grants. Indirectly, money may come in for research but, again, the procedures are such that if any senator wanted to try to influence these results it would require a tremendous effort to try to track every single request and then a considerable deployment of effort to try even to influence the competitive process. No senator would try to waste so many resources on the faint hope of affecting any grant decision, and no university official would believe anyone could even if such a threat was made.
Rather, Orleans Democrats and Melancon operatives got caught doing something dishonest. Following the dictum that if you do something outrageously stupid you then accuse your opponents of something as egregious to cover up your error, Democrats have done precisely that. As ridiculous as the charge is, it fits the pattern where Democrats are trying to throw everything they can at Vitter, no matter how absurd, to deflect from their own candidate’s shortcomings on issue preferences.
In the case of Jindal, a leftist group bankrolled by George Soros which, in order to claim “nonpartisanship,” criticizes Democrats using objective standards but saves most of its venom for Republicans using ideologically-biased criteria, calls his actions “unethical and incompetent.”
Never mind that a respectable and truly independent group studying ethics issues, the Center for Public Integrity, rates Jindal’s record as exactly the opposite. As well, note the supposed transgressions of Jindal, which bear little relation to objective conditions and/or are presented in a selective way:
- Supposedly undercut ethics enforcement by stripping adjudicatory power from a nonprofessional political body to give it nonpolitical professionals.
- Was “hypocritical” because the state accepted most spending bill money despite his argumentation against it – if this has anything to do with “ethics and incompetence,” they’ll have to tell us in which universe with its own peculiar laws this applies.
- That campaign contributors of his got jobs in state government – never mind there is no proof these donations had anything to do with selection choices, but just how exactly does this differ from their 39 governors, disproportionately Democrats, who did not get tagged by the group as “unethical and incompetent?”
It’s little wonder that Democrats, with the