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Landrieu rhetoric hides her inability to deliver for Louisiana

Sen. Mary Landrieu’s credibility took another hit when, after first criticizing the presidential administration of George W. Bush, she then threatened him, and people in general who criticized New Orleans police or sheriffs, with physical violence.

Granted, no level of government has distinguished itself in response to the crisis (in part man-made by state and local government) provoked by Hurricane Katrina, but that’s the nature of government. It’s inefficient, the nonprofit sector does better and, because it is driven by political rather than market forces, it will let you down a lot. But to blame Pres. Bush yet ignore her own actions simply is dishonest.

We know where the real blame is to be laid if you’re going to assign, and primarily it doesn’t rest with the federal government. But if you are going to blame the federal government, it is disingenuous to declare one official as culpable when your own actions leave you open to the same charge.

Yes, the federal government, under both Republican Bush and Democrat Bill Clinton should have made a greater commitment to flood protection because the Democrat state and local governments were abdicating their responsibility. Yes, the federal response could have been quicker, and may well would have been had Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin been more competent and less partisan.

But where was Landrieu in all of this? If both the Clinton and Bush Administrations were assigning upgrading of levees a low priority, why didn’t she raise their consciousnesses, having 9 years in office to do so? If she were a really effective senator for Louisiana, she would have succeeded in this task and in the last week she would have provided leadership to have cajoled the obstinate Blanco into accepting federal assistance earlier.

I’ve criticized some state officials here. It’s not the New Orleans Police (whose leaders failed them and drove some to desperate measures) or any sheriffs, but, Sen. Landrieu, go ahead if you like, punch me. Punch me like you’ve used the state and citizens of Louisiana as a punching bag for the past 9 years as our senator. Just in the past couple of years, you’ve voted to support abortion, to increase government spending, against tax cuts, to use taxpayer dollars to support abortion, to rescind tax cuts, to discontinue welfare reform, and against a qualified black nominee to the federal courts. And what have you done exactly to help this state, besides make partisan attacks to hide the fact you’d rather follow an ideological agenda (and try to make excuses for your brother Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu’s tepid response to the crisis and your father Moon Landrieu’s reign as New Orleans mayor which began to city’s slide into ungovernability) than do what’s good for the state?

So, take a swing at me. You can’t hurt me worse than what you’ve already done to this state, and the dishonor you bring it with your outrageous remarks.

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