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Harris must learn if you walk, quack like duck ....

It took him awhile, but state Rep. Lance Harris maybe has figured out the cause of his athlete’s mouth and seeks to begin a curative regimen. Whether that works remains to be seen.

Harris, co-chairman of the Louisiana’s Republican Legislative Delegation, famously opened wide for that foot when he sought to defend not just the rampant tax-raising (some of which is unconstitutional) too many of the GOP indulged in this spring during the regular legislative session, but also alleged in the process that the branch’s Republicans had held the line on other issues when in reality he helped oversee policy reversal in some areas. It was an amazing display of ineptitude, unawareness, and of claiming himself adorned in new clothes when actually naked.

Yet now, despite the fact that he spent much effort this spring voting for a few hundred million dollars in tax increases while trying to prevent the most defensible of hikes, in cigarette taxes, the owner of a chain of convenience stores has started a policy forum called “Take Back Louisiana” that reputedly will present an agenda to fix problems in fiscal, transportation, education, and individual freedom policy areas. Accordingly, one may add “chutzpah” to the qualities listed above, being that if he lifted a finger to back a number of good pieces of legislation in these areas in the recent session, he was entirely ineffective in their resolutions.

The promised website with details has yet to roll out, so it’s difficult to judge the quality of this effort, or whether it’s even serious. One wonders whether its establishment has anything to do with upcoming elections, as a preemptive move just prior to qualifying for fall elections both to retain his seat and his leadership of GOP legislators should he return next year.

But the guy’s recent past record in leading a conservative agenda shows him to be all filter and no tobacco. His acquiescence to tax increases and Medicaid expansion and failure to guide to victory bills to expand religious freedom and limit abortion, among others, made him an object of exasperation among many conservatives if not one who drew disparagement.

Harris must learn that you just can’t say you did something and expect people to swallow that uncritically, all the while putting self-interest ahead of the people's best interests. Depending upon the content of the action plan, it could begin to assuage conservatives’ dismay at him. However, if the anger of those in his district is not enough to prevent him from being reelected, it’s how he tries to implement these preferences that really will determine whether he earns rehabilitation among Louisiana conservatives.

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