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Story Archives: A Senate race in a perfect world
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|A Senate race in a perfect world|
This fall's U.S. Senate race most likely will evolve into a name-calling affair that will yield absolutely nothing of substance for voters to grasp.
That's exactly what we should expect to witness if the media coverage of the Senate race thus far and the content and tone of news releases issued by one campaign and one national political organization are indicative of what's on the horizon.
That begs the question or two.
Are any adults working in politics these days in Baton Rouge and on The Hill in Washington? And what happened to rock-solid reporting by political reporters who at least attempted to hide their own biases?
At the very least, some members of the working media should disclose that they're doing their best to breathe life into Congressman Charlie Melancon's unimpressive bid (thus far) to unseat Sen. David Vitter, an outspoken Republican who hails from a somewhat "Red," anti-Obama state.
The latter doesn't bode well for Melancon, a Democrat who fancies himself as a "Blue Dog," or a Democrat who claims to be a conservative on fiscal matters. "Blue Dog" or not, Melancon has a serious problem on his hands in light of the perception that all Democrats -- sooner or later -- take marching orders from the Democratic leadership in the Congress. Melancon's open, vocal support for Obama during the 2008 presidential race will come back to haunt him, too. Mark my word.
Though his vote against the health care reform bill was a politically calculated move to curry favor with hundreds of thousands of voters in Louisiana who oppose anything advocated by Obama and other liberals in Washington, Melancon made a grave error when he did it. That's the case because Melancon turned his back on the two core constituencies of the Democratic Party -- minorities and ultra-liberal white voters, which can be counted as Obama's most loyal supporters as well.
Instead, Melancon should have voted for health care reform. If he had, he would be in a position today to turn to African-Americans and misguided whites and say, "I stood with you and our president. Now, I need you to stand with me."
Melancon can't do that because he held his proverbial finger in the wind, gauged which way the wind was blowing and voted accordingly. The irony of it is Melancon will be criticized for health care reform, which remains unpopular in Louisiana. He'll be blamed for it simply because he's guilty by association, or guilty because of his party affiliation.
While porn star Stormy Daniels' plans to enter the Senate race could be interpreted as a potential problem for Vitter in light of his past association with a call girl service, one must ask why a porn star would entertain a foray into politics. The answer to that question is simple -- she's being encouraged to the muddy the water, so to speak, to cause problems for the incumbent, Vitter.
If the Democrat-turned-Republican Daniels sticks to her guns and qualifies for the race, Vitter will easily defeat her in the Republican primary election in late August. That would set the stage for a one-on-one match-up between Vitter and Melancon in November, assuming former state Sen. James David Cain abandon's any thought of entering the Senate race as an Independent. The 71-year-old Cain should remain retired.
In a perfect world, which we don't live in, we would witness Melancon and Vitter engage in a substantive debate or debates over issues of concern to Louisianians. Voters would have a clear choice because the candidates and their views and the votes they've cast in the Congress in the past, by and large, represent opposite ends of the political spectrum.
Vitter is a conservative. Though he may be fairly conservative in his views privately, Melancon has a track record of towing the Democratic Party line when it counts. We know what that means.
A clear choice indeed, but we may never see it. We most likely won't see it because gutter politics and the political hacks who get paid to peddle it will see to it that the voters are given no choice but to vote for the candidate who offends them the least.
|Frank Morris Murder Series|