In tragic circumstances, it is time for Americans to come together.
John N. Kennedy doesn’t get it.
He set the tone for the defiant by voting in the immediate aftermath of the Capitol riot to overturn the will of the nation in the last election.
A vote of 93-6, in which our senator was one of the shameful six, should be remembered by every responsible voter if Kennedy seeks reelection in 2022.
And it is a measure of how partisan our times have become that Kennedy was not alone. Many members of the Louisiana delegation joined in at least one vote to attempt to overturn the November election.
The House members who did so — Steve Scalise of Jefferson, Mike Johnson of Benton, Clay Higgins of Lafayette, Garret Graves of Baton Rouge — also should answer to their constituents in 2022.
A howling mob desecrating the sacred symbols of American democracy wasn’t enough for them to come together?
The bogus nature of the objections to the election results should be obvious and responsible Republicans across the nation — including our own U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy of Baton Rouge — should be praised for rejecting them, even before the assault on the Capitol.
The leaders of both chambers, Mitch McConnell in the Senate and Nancy Pelosi in the House, should be praised for carrying on the people’s business despite the riot.
But the many votes on the election challenges against the freely expressed will of the people, whether in Arizona or Pennsylvania or elsewhere, demonstrated a sickness in the Party of Lincoln, as corrupted by President Donald Trump.
The party of order embraced flimsy arguments for political reasons. That incited rioters as surely as did the president.
Many of the senators and congressmen who before the riot had embraced the challenges dropped away after chaos engulfed the Capitol. That our Louisiana folks did not do so as well is a testament not to their commitment to principle but to their political fear of Trump’s large majority here in November.
America’s friends in the world were dismayed by Wednesday’s chaos. But the vast majority of our elected representatives overruled the pettifogging legalisms of Kennedy and the others. Our democratic republic still stands.
Louisiana was named for French monarchs. Our French heritage is special to us.
That is why we are grateful for our friends around the world sticking by us, not least President Emmanuel Macron. His speech, with the Stars and Stripes as backdrop, was an eloquent statement of faith in America’s greatness.
“We believe in the strength of our democracies,” Macron closed, in English. “We believe in the strength of American democracy.”
As we say in Louisiana, merci, M. le Président.