Or John “Call a Crackhead” Kennedy will be Our Next Governor

Anitra Brown

John “Call a Crackhead” Kennedy is thinking about running for Governor. 

And he should! Whose going to stop him?

Hell, the way the he just ran roughshod over the Louisiana Democratic Party, John Kennedy might want to consider throwing his hat into the 2024 presidential race. It’s his season!

No . . . I don’t actually mean that. Bear with me. I have an uncontrollable affinity for sarcasm. 

The truth is John Neely Kennedy needs to be stopped, sat down, sent home . . . real bad (in my Yung Miami voice)

He should have been stopped on Nov. 8, but he wasn’t, unfortunately. And if the Louisiana Democratic party doesn’t get it together, there will be no stopping him next fall If he sets his sights on the governor’s mansion, it will be his for the taking.

This guy is dangerous; and Louisianans with a basic knowledge of U.S. election law or just a smidgen of common sense and a moral compass ought to be embarrassed that he represents them in the U.S. Senate.

Don’t be fooled by the stupid, insensitive political commercials couched in that foolish Gomer Pyle “Aw, shucks” act that he puts on in a lame attempt to come off as affable and folksy. This guy is not benign. He is as malignant as they come. I am talking refusal-to-certify-valid-election-results-thereby-cosigning-an-attempted-insurrection-of-the-United-States-government dangerous. 

And yet he managed to win his bid for re-election to the Senate. That alone says a lot about our state and sort of explains why we are last in everything good and first in everything bad. Truth is, we do some butt-backwards things, sometimes.

Still, my beef is not with Kennedy. I know who he is. The Mississippi native and St. Tammany Parish resident opposes common-sense gun control and a woman’s right to control her own reproductive health. He voted against a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill designed to help reduce recidivism and improve conditions in federal prisons. No slight against our furry friends, but Kennedy has shown, as evidenced by the types of bills he has and has not offered as a U.S. Senator, that he is more concerned with where pets fly on board an airplane than whether working people earn enough money to take care of their families.

He is duplicitous. Out of one side of his mouth he condemns the Jan. 6 Trump-supporting rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol; and then, out of the other side, he objects to the certification of Arizona’s electoral votes — one of only six U.S. Senators to engage in this despicable act, which made his condemnation of the rioters nothing more than hollow words. With his objection, Kennedy came just about as close to treason as one can get, in my opinion.

The former Democrat, who left the party in 2007 to join the GOP, is who he is. He makes political ads with racist undertones. He has shown us; and I believe him. 

If he runs for governor of Louisiana and is elected, the residents of this state will get exactly what they deserve and will have no one to blame but themselves . . . well, themselves and the Louisiana Democratic Party, of course.

Louisiana’s Democrats didn’t even put up a fight in the recent U.S. Senate race. I never really felt like the state party put its weight behind any Democrat in the race.

There was the progressive Gary Chambers, who earned The New Orleans Tribune’s endorsement with his forward-thinking platform and who came in second with just under 18 percent of the vote. Then there was moderate Luke Mixon, who barely captured 13 percent of the vote to come in third despite having the endorsement of the state’s moderate Democrat governor. 

Neither of them came close to even pushing Kennedy into a runoff.

And I have been wondering why. If the most recent voter registration statistics available from the Secretary of States Office are correct, Louisiana is not a red state at all — at least not nearly as red as we have long been led to believe. There are, in fact, more registered Democrats than Republicans here — almost 182,000 more.

So I just could not understand why enough of those voters could not be mobilized to send Kennedy packing. At least that was until I got an e-mail a few days ago from the Louisiana Democratic Party asking me for a donation and using Kennedy’s recent announcement that he might make a run for governor to put a scare in me.

The last two paragraphs of the e-mail read:

“Many folks want to write Louisiana off as a cherry-red state, but we have a track record of electing Democrats statewide, and we intend on keeping it up. We elected a Democratic governor in 2019, and we need to do everything in our power to keep the pendulum from swinging backward.

. . .  the ball is ours; we just need to protect it. Gov. Edwards has been a great Democratic governor, but he’s term-limited. Therefore, we need to build on his progress by electing another great Democrat to succeed him. We’re building up our campaign early, and we need your support now to keep the Governor’s Mansion sapphire blue. We only have six weeks left until 2023, so can you chip in $5 today to give us a jumpstart?”

And in those few words, I found the answer to my question. The Louisiana Democratic Party is almost as duplicitous and as dangerous as Kennedy.

Sapphire blue? Hah!

If anything, it’s indigo. Maybe even berry — or some other blue hue that has just enough red swirled in to lean purplish. 

“Another great Democrat”? Come on, now. While I will concede that Gov. John Bel Edwards has probably been a better governor than David Vitter would have been had he won in the 2015 runoff, that’s not saying much. Yes, Edwards expanded Medicaid when he first took office six years ago. And he has been riding that wave ever since. I have had with patting politicians on the back for doing the stuff they are supposed to do to help the every day men and women they are elected to serve. He was supposed to expand Medicaid in Louisiana or die trying.

The thing is that state Democratic Party is not alone. The entire Democratic establishment is entirely too moderate leaning for my taste.

Truth is, Edwards is so ever-loving moderate that he could not even bring himself to fully condemn Kennedy’s tasteless “Call a Crackhead” political ad without trepidation.

Instead, Edwards said this: “I don’t believe in defunding the police, and that’s not what we’ve done in Louisiana. I support law enforcement. I come from a line of law enforcement. I believe crime is too high. You can make all of those points, and I think 98% of the people will agree with you. So there was probably a better way for him to do it.” 

If that’s the kind stuff a “great” Democrat says, I sure hate to hear what the mediocre ones utter.

As of Nov. 1, there were 1,189,715 registered Democrats in Louisiana. I am one of them, and I will NOT vote for Democratic candidates who don’t plan to fight tooth and nail for the issues that matter to me.

I am no longer holding my nose when I step inside of an election booth, looking for the lesser of two evils. 

I am voting for the woman or man that has no problem picking up a bat and playing hardball for my community. Period.

So Dear Louisiana Democratic Party:

As you prepare for the next gubernatorial election, get serious about putting your financial and human resources behind a candidate that is not going to dither, waffle or play it safe. 

As of right now, there are at least two Republicans that are considering a run for governor. In addition to Kennedy, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy says he will decide soon if he will put his hat in the ring. Meanwhile, state Attorney General Jeff Landry has announced that he will indeed run. State Republicans could be potentially splitting their votes three ways.

All you have to do is find one truly great Democrat that will fight for change in this state and not apologize for it. Take the hint, the progressive Chambers bested the moderate Mixon, who was endorsed by the Governor.

And another thing:  Stop acting as if “progressive” is a dirty word. It’s going to take much more than some middle-of-the-road Demopublican or Republicrat to get my vote. You want to mobilize Democrats across Louisiana and actually turn the Governor’s Mansion sapphire blue, then act like it.

One more thing: Any donkey that stays in the middle of the road too long will probably get run over.

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