New Orleans Those of us who live in Louisiana or care about the role of the state and its people in public affairs are just as sorry as we can be every time our junior Senator John Kennedy tries to take the stage with cameras running to provide the sordid sideshow commentary about the impeachment, the President, or almost anything else. When Ronald Reagan or Sony Bono were elected to federal offices, it was clear voters, right or wrong, were pulling the lever for entertainers who had become politicians. Somehow Louisianans who voted for Kennedy, right or wrong, thought they were voting for a seasoned politician to represent the state’s interest in Washington and now discover we’ve humiliated ourselves as he’s decided to act as some kind of cross between country bumpkin, horse’s butt, and total dufus.
He thinks he’s a quipster and comedian of some sort tossing out one-liners here and there appropriate for nothing. We knew this was coming when he said he would rather drink weed killer than support Obamacare, and he didn’t stop even when many roared, “Please!” As the Bayou Brief reviewed his act,
It’s part of a carefully, albeit mysteriously, calculated image to portray a well-educated professional politician as a cracker barrel philosopher; a character straight out of the long-running teevee show, “Hee-Haw.” In short, our senator and former state treasurer thinks he’s Grandpa Jones only without the banjo and the droopy mustache:.
Stephanie Grace, a columnist for the local paper in New Orleans in a rarity, stepped out of her comfort zone recently and zinged Kennedy for trying to act the “class clown,” and worse for being a dupe or a shill for the President’s widely discredited Russian coverup fantasy that Ukraine rather than the Kremlin was behind all of the 2016 monkey-business and election interference. As Grace writes,
…he is a shape-shifter, a worldly scion of Vanderbilt University, the University of Virginia School of Law and the University of Oxford who adopts an aw-shucks demeanor on television, and a former moderate Democrat who put his finger to the wind and tacked hard to the right.
Worse, with impeachment soon heading for the US Senate, who is going to hold the hook that pulls Kennedy and his act off the stage so serious business can be conducted?
We’ve been there and done that before, but Huey Long was an original, and that was last century. He was also a brilliant politician with his finger on the pulse of peoples’ pain and aspirations. Those were different times. There’s no going back.
In 2019, there’s no traction in being a cornpone, country hick in a state like Louisiana trying to move forward rather than backward. Lil’ Abner’s Dogpatch is hardly making it in Arkansas, and only Dolly Parton can be the impresario of Dollywood, but if John Neely Kennedy wants to audition for a part in some atavistic Louisiana hayride role, he should get on with it, rather than practicing that shtick in Congress. The people of Louisiana and America, frankly, deserve better than a comedy act when it comes to dealing with the current tragedy of our government.
Wade Rathke is founder and chief organizer of ACORN and ACORN International. You can find Wade’s recent past posts here Chief Organizer Reports. And you can link to his website here Chief Organizer ACORN/ACORN International