LA Democrats' leadership choice ensures continued slide
The new overseer has got different equipment and is a couple of shades darker than the old one, but the party’s fortunes seem very unlikely to change for Democrats in Louisiana.
The state party witnessed a coup when former Chairman Buddy Leach got the heave-ho at the quarterly meeting of the party’s state central committee. Clearly, something was afoot as these meetings (as with the Louisiana Republican Party) are plagued with attendance problems where quorums are less common than not, but this issue appeared to get enough members mobilized to oust Leach in favor of state Sen. Karen Peterson 85-75.
Just so. Some months ago, the party attained a black plurality of registrants and by the end of the summer will be black majority. One-legislator majorities of black Democrats exist in both chambers of the Legislature. For the foreseeable future, blacks will be in the majority both in the party’s electorate and officeholders. Peterson is black; Leach is white, and it was about time for a representative change in the running of the plantation.
But of course the most important datum relevant to party affairs is not which demographic group is in the majority, but whether the party is. The state’s Democrats famously within the past few years have lost majorities on every elective policy-making legislative body at the state level, and in the past couple every single statewide elective office. Heaping more ignominy onto it, the best it could pull in any of those statewide single executive contests was 33 percent of the vote. It got 43 percent in the 2010 special election for lieutenant governor, with the 2008 the last time, courtesy of Sen. Mary Landrieu, it got over half the statewide vote and managed to win.
Leach had something to do with that, committing the party increasingly to the left congruent to his own ideology. Democrats and their liberal elites for decades have disregarded the fact that America is a center-right country, and Louisiana’s electorate in that same time span has shifted even further to the right. Conservative candidates in the past few years consistently have won in the marketplace of ideas among voters, signaling that the party’s electoral misfortunes can begin to end by its moving towards the center.
Which means if you are a die-hard Republican, you’re loving the selection of Peterson now. She’s even more reliably leftist than Leach, and whose shrillness in stumping for a hard-left agenda in the Legislature has rendered her singularly ineffective and reduced her influence on major policy to background noise. Had the party been serious about winning elections and wielding influence, if coming from the Senate somebody of the caliber of state Sen. Elbert Guillory would have been Leach’s replacement, he as moderate as they come among Democrats in the Senate, perhaps even when including his white co-partisans.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 16:00