How important to a state are their government representatives being in the position to send money back home to build infrastructure, grow the economy, and rebuild areas devastated by natural disasters, such as hurricanes or coastal erosion?
How important is seniority and experience in government so that top officials can make the correct decisions on important issues based upon that knowledge and experience? Or, are the years served in government of little value and actually more harmful to the people whom the official serves?
These are some of the major issues being discussed throughout the nation as we near Tuesday’s mid-term elections.
They are the over-arching questions and topics of discussion in Louisiana in where opposition forces have run campaigns not on their candidates respective records but on the record of United States Senator Mary L Landrieu and her political relationship to president Barack Obama. They support the proposition that Sen. Landrieu has lived out her usefulness to Louisiana.
Senator Mary Landrieu’s seniority has led her to be the powerful chairman of the US Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee, a very important position for Louisiana--greatly dependent upon the industry for jobs and tax revenues. Also, as Chairperson of the US Senate Homeland Security appropriations committee, she has been and is in the position to help dedicate funds for Louisiana which help churn the state’s economy.
In particular, US Sen. Mary Landrieu, who has been dubbed as the "Queen of Pork", for her ability to send money home for jobs, highways, roads and other important and desired projects such as Hurricane Katrina rebuild, coastal restoration, army bases and the like. The Senator is under attack, in part, for doing what she was hired to do.
While Landrieu has spent 18 years in Washington DC and before then, a stay in the Louisiana legislature and as State Treasurer, the argument against her experiences helping the nation govern is that--she, and others, have been in the public sector too long.
Her detractors, have turned the core of her strength to be the essence of her weakness. In doing so, these voters, political operatives and party loyalists--so frustrated by gridlock, scandals, self-dealings are rejecting her ability to lend her life’s and governmental experiences that could greatly help Louisiana and the nation. They do not like her politics and voting record and totally discount what she has and can do for Louisiana. She is not alone. Other Democratic US Senators, particularly, in the Deep South, who have their own records of contributions are being rejected by this population sector for many of the same reasons. No matter how much Landrieu has helped and can help Louisiana, this is not enough because they believe she has cast her lot with Barack Obama.
Obviously, voters are quite angry at Mary Landrieu and others in her party because of the vote on Obamacare and other major legislation. They see her and her associates as the embodiment of what is wrong in Washington, rather than being in a keen position to provide solutions.
In doing so, are they rationalizing and creating arguments against her because of their dislike for her voting record and her party’s politics thus discounting and ignoring the same positions lodged against similarly-situated politicians in their own political party. Is their disagreement with her and the Democrats, so intense, that they might be giving up stroke and clout that money cannot buy?
These are some of the topics and underlying themes Jeff Crouere and I discussed during our weekly Tuesday morning WGSO-Bayoubuzz Google Hangout Webcast.
I believe these same discussions are taking place at the water coolers at work, on Talk Radio, online and at home.
Here is the transcript a segment of the program and the video of that segment.
Where do you stand on the issues? Tell us below:
SABLUDOWSKY: You're going to say that her presence, whether or not she's second in charge or first in charge of those committees, you're going to say that does not matter at all?
CROUERE: I'm going to say this, what matters more, more than the power, more than the pork, ok, is the fact that she's not listening to us. And she can say, I'm giving you the money you need, I'm giving you all this because we deserve this and i' up there fighting for you but she's not listening, her boss is not Harry Reid is not Barack Obama, it's us, and we're telling her to vote one way, she's not doing it, for that, she needs to go, she needs to be fired , she needs to be on her way to work in the private sector, she's been there too long, Steve, 35 years in office, that's obscene
SABLUDOWSKY: So, it's funny that you call it pork, during Katrina and after Katrina
CROUERE: Okay, it's been nine years after Katrina
SABLUDOWSKY: After Issac would you have called that Pork? the 55 billion dollars (referring to Katrina) is that pork?
CROUERE: What is pork is a lot of other states larding on to relief and getting gymnasiums and getting parks and getting all kinds of other things things because how they do business up there in Washington. It's not just us who benefited from all these relief programs there's billions of waste in there. people who are suffering from hurricanes need relief Steve I'm talking about what they do in Washington is broken what they do in Washington is wasteful what they do in Washington is fraudulent and I'm not going to defend any of that I'm not going to defend Mary Landrieu and bringing home the bacon because in that bacon is lot of waste fraud and abuse
SABLUDOWSKY: okay so let's not bring home any money at all, then Jeff
CROUERE: no let's get some new people up there; okay let's get rid of these folks and let's have a whole new system, with term limits, we need people serving and then getting the hell out of there and coming home
SABLUDOWSKY: So, let's get rid of the generals, so, let's get rid of the generals in our military, let's just go with the colonels and privates and sergeants
CROUERE: There putting their lives on the line for the country, ok
SABLUDOWSKY: my point is, you don't think that experience matters
CROUERE: people are lining their pockets
SABLUDOWSKY: So let's take it across the line and let's get rid of people in charge of the military, right?
CROUERE: people are lining their pockets..people are getting paid almost $200,000, they've got perks out the wazoo, change up there to be lobbyist and make millions after they serve...they need to go