Search This Blog


Will calling out Democrat lap dog produce GOP win?

When a sports team runs a play that succeeds again and again, it’s up to the opposition to find something that counters it. With some help from Democrats, Republicans in Acadiana are showing they can do it and may provide lessons for campaigning in the next couple of years.

For years, the Democrat playbook has been to present an image to conservative constituencies that comprise a majority of a district that their candidates are conservative enough to win their votes, yet to do everything possible to obscure the fact they are more than willing to vote for liberal policies demanded by their party leaders. Perhaps the most accomplished practitioner of this strategy in Louisiana is the area’s own Rep. Charlie Melancon, who in 2008 managed to run unopposed for a third term in a district that gave only about 35 percent of its vote to his co-partisan Pres. Barack Obama.

The rise of national Democrats to heights not seen in three decades, largely dependent upon lap dogs such as (his tactics earning him the nickname) Con Man Melancon, at the same time sow their own seeds of destruction of that success and of politicians of Melancon’s ilk. Because they have a comfortable majority, the very liberal White House and congressional Democrat leadership pursue policies that are simply too publicly too liberal for these lap dogs to be able to disassociate themselves from their masters. However, Republicans can benefit only if they take advantage of this opening.

At least one seems to be. Republican former Lafourche Parish Councilman Brent Callais has sent a campaign ad highlighting opponent Democrat lobbyist Norby Chabert’s congruence with Obama – and by implication his agenda – in the special election for state Senate District 23 to be contested Aug. 29. Chabert has responded with the standard lap dog playbook recommendation – claim this “distorts” his views while simultaneously attacking Callais for making true statements.

Chabert’s weaseling on the situation which turns it into a pot-calling-the-kettle-black episode raises questions about his ability to govern. Chabert himself actually began the distortion days earlier when he accused, on the basis of Callais expressing a desire to “moderately support” privatizing Houma charity hospital Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center (named after his late father, a long-standing local political boss who once held this seat), that this equated to Callais wanting to close the facility.

Chabert certainly cannot think critically very well if he cannot understand that if a need is there, privatization of the facility will not close it and this should provide more efficient use of state resources. And if the demand is not there, then why waste taxpayers’ dollars on something not needed? Privatization does not mean automatic closing, and to think so shows Chabert either wants to use the issue to score political points, or lacks the intellect to be an effective state senator.

Another demonstration of this weakness comes in his response to Callais’ ad that reminds the public that Chabert voted for Obama. Chabert claims too much is being made of the vote which he said, in part, came from Obama’s opponent Sen. John McCain’s vote against a water resources project that Chabert asserts was unwise. This means one of two things. One, Chabert is akin to a single-issue voter that cannot look beyond that to make judgments about what is best as a whole for the people, if we are to believe his implication that he’s really kind of against Obama (despite sharing party labels) but he was more against McCain because of that one issue. The other is that he simply needs an excuse because he agrees more than disagrees with Obama’s agenda. So either his district would get a senator unable to see the bigger picture, or one who is mendacious.

Thus, when Callais also asserts that Chabert “cannot be trusted,” there is real evidence to back this up, in terms of the former’s trying to explain away his affinity for Obama and willingness to distort Callais’ statements. Yet Chabert pouts that this mailing is a “negative” attack that he said Callais said the latter would not do. This also is a common Democrat lap dog tactic, that when their inconsistencies are pointed out, they accuse opponents of being distorting and negative. But the flier only points out that “Norby Chabert supports Barack Obama. Brent Callais opposes Barack Obama and his government-run health care,” both simple statements of fact neither disputable. Yet Chabert wants to delegitimize the veracity of Callais’ notification by trying to stigmatize it as “negative” and somehow untrue – again, leading one to wonder whether somebody who thinks like this is qualified to serve in public office.

Therefore, the election Saturday after next could demonstrate a Republican strategy with sharp reverberations for future state contests. A Callais win using these tactics, in a district historically represented by Democrats and whose electorate gave the majority of their vote to Democrats in the primary, will show that a relentless exposure of the inconsistent words-to-behavior aspect of Democrats in conservative districts is the key to winning. If subsequently followed by others, it could mean the death knell for Melancon’s political career in 2010, and other Democrat state legislators in 2011.


Got Dog Crates said...

Interesting point Jeff. It will also be interesting to see how other Republicans respond.

Anonymous said...

Chabert won. I guess we can look forward to some tortured explanation about how how Chabert's victory actually proves your point?