On May 6 I read, with much approval, The Advocate’s chastising of U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, for refusing President Barack Obama’s invitation to the White House to discuss raising the debt ceiling.
After the editorial advised Landry that it would benefit both him and the state to be more respectful of the executive office and to have a more diplomatic demeanor, the lawmaker felt obliged to defend his position.
It turns out Landry doesn’t disrespect the office, just this particular president, whom Landry says has ignored Congress, the courts, the Constitution and the American people.
In other words, he hasn’t done exactly what the Republican stalwarts want him to do.
On one hand, Landry states how the poor Republicans have been ignored, but then when they are called up for negotiations, it’s all for publicity.
Did Landry know in advance that it was going to be a public relations move by the president, or was it just GOP intuition?
Landry claimed the summit wasted taxpayers’ dollars by “hauling hundreds of representatives across town.”
Nightly news footage showed that in fact the lawmakers walked from Capitol Hill to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. I’ve made that walk and didn’t find it overly taxing.
Exactly how did that cost the taxpayers money? Were the legislators compensated for footwear stress, paid for travel expenses, given meal allowances? (There are hot dog vendors in the area.)
Landry explains that the taxpayers’ dollars were better spent with him, shirt sleeves rolled up, as he was “working at my desk to actually find real solutions to America’s problems.”
So how did that work out? Did the congressman come up with anything?
Landry’s righteous indignation is par for the course. Like Gov. Bobby Jindal, U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, and U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and a host of others, he knows it is good politics to appear contemptuous of Obama in the Rouge state.
They rail against taxes, although taxes are at a 50-year low.
The deficit under this president is the gravest of dangers, although when his Republican predecessor was running up debt with unfunded, unnecessary wars, tax cuts favoring the privileged and an unfunded drug prescription plan, there was no outcry.
What is the difference?
What is it about this president that makes his opponents rely on hate, fearmongering, demagoguery and distasteful decorum?
One has to wonder.