Monday, December 11, 2006
Post-Katrina Irony Parade
There's been a bit of hoo-ha over the fact that Louisiana's William Jefferson won his Congressional runoff re-election campaign against Karen Carter despite the looming indictment, his less-than-exemplary actions during Katrina, and his only embracing the local black community when he got into deep trouble. I suspect that the simplest explanation is that the people of New Orleans itself -- not the white suburbs of Jefferson Parish, but the actual city of New Orleans -- have been made so cynical by events (and who would blame them?) that they figure that all politicians are crooks anyway. That, and the fact that nobody likes to be lectured to by outsiders, and Karen Carter's campaign was percieved to be the latest in a series of lectures from outsiders (and generally white outsiders) trying to tell the still-largely-black residents of New Orleans how icky they are. Speaking of the black residents of New Orleans, the fact that both candidates were black (and that the Republicans were never a factor) shows that, contrary to the salivating wet dreams of several GOP strategists, New Orleans hasn't been turned into the Republican white man's paradise just yet. Remember all those predictions that post-Katrina Big Easy was going to be whiter than white (and thus Republican as all get out)? Sure looks like that didn't happen, now, did it? One ironic reason therefor is the number of illegal immigrants the cheap-ass carpetbagging contractors brought in for the rebuilding work -- people they brought in instead of hiring locals and putting money into the local economy. These illegals are of course mostly Hispanic, and they're now putting down roots in New Orleans, much to the tighty-whitey-righties' dismay. While Hispanics aren't as solidly Democratic as New Orleans' black population, they sure as hell aren't fond of the Republicans and their Brown-Folks-Are-Evil policies, and the more the GOP rushes to use racism to shore up their tighty-whitey base, the less Hispanics are likely to see the Republicans as being a good fit for their values. UPDATE Matter over at the comments threads at Gilliard's blog posted a comment from someone who has a somewhat different take on this. Thanks for posting this, Matter!
Why the Unindicted Bribe-Taker Won Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: 2006-12-10, 10:42AM CST At first glance, Dollar Bill's victory is confounding. But then a closer look at the election results makes sense of the outcome. In a parish-level breakdown, http://www.nola.com/elections/1209_returns.ssf, you can see that while the margin was a tight 4 points in Orleans Parish, Jefferson Parish slammed the door on Karen Carter, 71% to 29%. These results in JP can be attributed to several factors. Derrick Shepherd, the ultra-right wing asswipe, was the main player. If the Republicans weren't so racist, he'd be one (so would Jefferson for that matter). Shepherd cynically campaigned for Jefferson, under the theory, which has been advanced here before, that Jefferson will be indicted and forced to resign, thus giving him another shot. Shepherd also found Jeff's right-wing positions dear to his perverted heart. Likewise, right-wing racist Harry Lee actively campaigned against Carter, taking umbrage at being called out on his racism in that Spike Lee Katrina joint. So there you have it. Right wing racists in Jefferson Parish brought the victory for Dollar Bill. We can take comfort in the fact that yes, Dollar Bill WILL be taking a trip to Club Fed in the future. Hopefully soon, but as long as it happens, I'll be satisfied.Matter goes on to question the idea that Carter will get Jefferson's seat:
Also--regarding "Karen Carter, who will probably get the seat in the end"--no, I don't think so. Carter has no base in Jefferson Parish, which has become a key deciding factor in this district. Derrick Shepherd came in third in the primary, and if it comes down to Shepherd vs. Carter in the special election, he may well be the winner, as he's much more of a Jefferson clone than Carter. He'll also likely get Jeff's support (unless one of Jeff's daughters runs, which has been Jeff's preferred succession plan).
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