Left fears too many voters will find Landrieu fraudulent
You can tell the political left is worried about the self-inflicted wounds Sen. Mary Landrieu has inflicted upon herself, because its mouthpieces understand these provide the linkage mechanism that exposes her most fully as a fraud.
The Democrat has survived now 18 years in the Senate, despite having strung together a far left voting record while representing a conservative electorate. In order to distract from this, a number of tactics are used, such as claims of her indispensability from serving many years, emphasizing non-ideological issues, and trumpeting the rare non-liberal vote as a form of prophylactic protecting her from being seen as what she really is by getting the public to buy that the exception is the rule. These have been adequate enough to date to have enough voters perceive her as she wishes to be seen rather than by what her behavior verifies that she is.
As information about politics becomes more plentiful and the public increasingly cognitively able to think for itself, the internal contradiction of her image vs. fact has become clear to more voters. Still, for a voting public the vast majority of members of which pay minimal attention to politics, getting them to expend cognitive resources in making the logical connection that concludes she is a fraud is not an easy task – especially when the least informed among conservatives are the most likely to vote for her (joining their poorly-informed liberal brethren who almost uniformly vote her without any knowledge of her issue preferences).
However, opening their eyes to the fact that she votes against their interests becomes much easier when the concept of her fraudulence on issues can be extended to the idea of fraudulence on other visceral behavioral items. And, as it turns out, Landrieu has had a bad streak of publicity recently concerning her personal conduct as an elected official which points to her claiming to be one thing when actions demonstrate something else.
The latest concerns her residency in Louisiana, now subject to a lawsuit with really no chance to succeed. The Constitution sets very relaxed requirements regarding the stricture that senators must be inhabitants of the state from which they are elected, in that the residency requirement for being an elector qualifies one. That’s 30 days, and Landrieu has been registered at her parents’ home (now owned by her and her mother and siblings) since 1997. Even as she spends next to no time there, she legally qualifies as a Louisiana resident.
But the following the letter and spirit of law are separate matters, where the judicial system adjudicates the former but voters the latter. Landrieu since her initial election has spent almost all of her time in and around Washington, D.C., living in a mansion of over 5,000 square feet costing $2.5 million to build with her two daughters in private school nearby and her husband raking in huge bucks by being a real estate agent to the area’s political stars (some of whom have connections to Landrieu’s political decision-making). When second-tier Republican candidate retired military/corporate functionary Rob Maness clumsily tries to challenge her legal residency, complemented by the suit by former candidate state Rep. Paul Hollis, it only serves to remind the electorate that she is about as far removed from living amongst them both physically and socially as she can be and still qualify legally.
This compounds the recent controversy she encountered when it was discovered she illegally had charged the federal government for campaign travel expenses, made all the worse by her giving exculpatory excuses that are highly implausible to say the least. Forced politically into a self-audit as other questionable travel expensing arose with those results forthcoming soon, this will remain fodder for the remainder of the election cycle.
These only add to other ways in which Landrieu’s choices scream that she is a phony. Archbishops of New Orleans past and present have criticized her for actions that betray her stated Catholic faith. For a campaign advertisement she staged a committee hearing without disclosure. She claims to support oil industry while her political action committee donates to politicians who almost always vote to hamstring the industry and American energy independence sensibly done in order to pursue a radical environmentalist agenda. The constant drip into a balloon over time makes it burst.
But you wouldn’t know it from the typical boilerplate you get from Louisiana’s leftist scribes. A representative of the Angry Left dismisses the effect of the residency questioning. Another who has made her mark with puerile analysis counsels that Landrieu probably only made an absolutely honest mistake (even if repeatedly) with the travel controversies and so that’s not really going to matter.
Which tells us either they don’t understand Louisiana politics, which seems unlikely, or that they are telegraphing that they have realized that the volume of such issues threatens to create enough of a critical mass around the idea that Landrieu is a fraud as to bring her down finally, and wish to deflect away from the issue to forestall that. (It’s also possible there’s some self-deceptive, hope-against-hope, whistling into the wind going on as well.)
Yet it’s not going to go away, for even if the media embargoes it, Maness and top-tier GOP challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy as well as other groups independent of them will bring it up with regularity, because it promises to be the campaign strategy that bridges the gap. With credible evidence showing that Landrieu is trying to hide the fact that she’s not a typical Louisianan but only wants to live off their taxes, emphasizing that will lead some to wonder whether they can believe she votes in their interests rather than in the interests of others. And once these new skeptics are guided to investigate that, this will deliver the coup de grace to her political career.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 11:30