Even in the hothouse atmosphere of the Louisiana State Capitol, and with a new legislative session weeks away at least, tempers are getting short.
More than usual? Comments of one of the more easygoing of the legislative leaders, Gene Reynolds of Minden, suggests tempers are really short.
The Democratic House leader and Gov. John Bel Edwards met with GOP leaders and got nowhere, again, on a compromise tax plan that would stave off dramatic budget cuts.
That has happened before, but Reynolds’ account of the meeting was particularly scathing, because as a legislative craftsman his professionalism was obviously offended: His Republican counterparts showed up "empty-handed, without any idea, speculation or estimate as to how many of their own members" would support the proposals.
"We can no longer pretend our Republican colleagues are attempting to do the people's business when they show up to meetings without having even a simple head count of the opinions of their own members," Reynolds said.
Lamely, Lance Harris of Alexandria, the GOP delegation chairman, argued that the governor was asking them to buy into tax bills without details. As if, that is, the two years of meetings and task force reports on the options had never happened.
Maybe it's insider baseball, and maybe you have to know the personalities, but Reynolds’ reaction shows the gap between the administration and the Senate on one hand, and the perpetually stalling anti-tax fundamentalists in the House GOP.
Gov. John Bel Edwards and House Republicans find themselves yet again in a game of who will blink first as the window narrows to avoid the loo…