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To LA liberals, divisiveness happens only when they lose

At the conclusion of its 2009 regular session, several legislators complained about how conflict and disagreement, part of the governing process, seemed worse than ever this time out. Despite differences in levels of experience, race, and gender, with one exception, all claiming this for the record have one thing in common: they historically have voted for liberal and populist agendas that were largely swept aside in 2009, and the assertion was a defensive strategy to try to avoid more of the same in the future.

It’s a bit ironic that it should be these individuals would register these as complaints because those who share their political agenda on many occasions, given the slightest opening, blasted Gov. Bobby Jindal and his policies. To them, it seemed perfectly acceptable to hurl insults and insinuations at Jindal’s staff during committee testifying, yet not so if they perceived it to be aimed at them. At the same time, it isn’t so surprising neither because consistency means nothing when it conflicts with a standard ploy out of the playbook of liberal elected officials, nor because charges like this by them are a regularly used tactic.

Two attention-grabbing events tried to shape this impression. One occurred among House members, where leaders of three main factions – the caucuses representing Republicans, Democrats, and blacks – endorsed the statement that the House was “fractured” and “splintered.” The only non-liberal to articulate any of this, state Rep. Jane Smith, for whatever reason said it partially was the fault of communication skills of Speaker Jim Tucker. In the Senate, a farewell speech permitted for delivery by state Sen. Reggie Dupre, resigning to take a local government job, complained of “poisoned partisan” attitudes.

This is a typical liberal strategy when conservatives provide vigorous resistance to liberalism’s policy desires, and especially accessed when conservatism is as successful as it was on many issues in the 2009 regular session. At this level, especially when they are used to being in the majority, liberal politicians define “consensus” as “agreement with liberalism,” while being “divisive” is “too effectively opposing liberalism.” Thus, introducing “partisanship” is code for not kowtowing on the altar of liberalism because they try to define “nonpartisan” as “agreement with liberalism.” Thus, partisanship is “bad” and so is the “divisiveness” that can come with it.

Liberals unaware of the bankruptcy of their ideology as nothing more than an intellectually incoherent and factually unsubstantiated set of emotive statements see the tactic of terming opposition to them as “partisan” or “divisive” as a tool to combat what they see as sinister moves to obstruct the “truth.” More aware and thereby cynical liberals see it as a tool to prevent the thinking and informed from realizing that exact bankruptcy which allows them to continue to exercise power and to enjoy privilege. Regardless of motive, “partisan” and “divisive” they strive to attach negative connotations to in order to discourage the competition of ideas where, in a state such as Louisiana, they know they often will lose.

As mentioned elsewhere, “partisan” and other political conflict in fact are healthy and refreshing aspects of democracy. Of course, Smith and perhaps others probably meant conflict based on personal issues should be tamped down, but from the rhetoric from and actions of many leftist legislators throughout the session, one gets the sense they were objecting to the fact that their ideas, after a certain point, simply were losing out and this offended them, to the point they wanted to push legislation simply to try to embarrass their opponents. Indeed, of those crying out on this issue, many probably do so because they looked for and assumed offense because to them it is offensive that their opponents could win majorities on their issues, and that these victors disregarded their ideas totally – to these losers a sign of disrespect. Again, the irony is rich here for in years past when their agendas were ascendant (and slowing grinding the state into the dirt) they steamrolled over their opponents and ignored their wishes totally, and saw nothing wrong with that.

Tucker and Jindal will bear the majority of complaints because it was their agendas that largely muscled out of the way the inferior ideas of the liberal opposition. No doubt this will become an increasingly vocal theme of the minority as the conservative agenda consolidates and gains further ascendancy in state policy-making. Recognize it as an attempt to try to instill some illegitimacy onto the state’s new direction, a delaying tactic by those who, at the ballot box, in committee rooms, in house chambers, and in the realm of public opinion, are losing the debate and will try anything to forestall or prevent that.

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