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Louisiana: Is Jindal's Win a Sign of GOP Turnaround Nationally?

Rep. Bobby Jindal's outright victory in yesterday's Louisiana gubernatorial primary was the first piece of good electoral news for the Republican Party in months, prompting talk that the GOP is rebounding from the 2006 debacle.

Gov.-elect Bobby Jindal of Louisiana

Rep. Bobby Jindal celebrates Saturday with his wife Supriya Jindal and his son Shaan Jindal in Baton Rouge, La., after winning the primary election for governor. Jindal will be the nation's youngest governor and the first non-white to hold the state's post since Reconstruction. (AP)

Phil Musser, a former executive director at the Republican Governors Association, called Jindal's win a "crucial shot in the arm for the Republican Party at a critical time." Musser compared Jindal's win to 1993 victories by Rudy Giuliani and Richard Riordan -- as mayors of New York City and Los Angeles, respectively -- and to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's (Texas) special-election win earlier that year. Calling those victories "harbingers of better days the following year," Musser cast the Louisiana governor's race as a potential "first step back from the basement." Remember, those 1993 wins came after Bill Clinton's election in 1992, which gave Democrats control of the White House and Congress for the first time since 1980.

Is Musser right? Is Jindal's win a sign that the Democratic wave has crested and is receding nationally?

On its face, it's seems something of a stretch to draw too many national conclusions from Jindal's win, given the extenuating circumstances in the Pelican state.

While Hurricane Katrina has become a symbol for the rest of the country of the failure of the federal government in Louisiana, blame for the uneven response to the disaster also fell on state officials, in particular outgoing Gov. Kathleen Blanco (D).

So severe was the political damage incurred by Blanco in the wake of Katrina and Rita that she decided against seeking a second term. The problem for Democrats is that former Sen. John Breaux (D) decided against a run after residency questions developed. That left the party's cupboard decidedly bare; the eventual "establishment" pick was state Sen. Walter Boasso, who was a Republican as recently as a year ago.

Republicans, on the other hand, quickly united behind Jindal -- a wunderkind who had narrowly missed winning the governor's race in 2003 and went on to be elected to the state's 1st congressional district in 2004. (Jindal, at 36, is now the nation's youngest governor.)

Jindal ran on a reform platform and against the entrenched Democratic political establishment, a message that resounded in a state full of angry survivors of the 2005 storms. This just shows how different the state-level dynamic is: It's hard to imagine a Republican candidate running an effective reform campaign for federal office simply because the GOP brand has been badly tarnished by voters' increased dissatisfaction with President Bush and the war in Iraq, not to mention ethics scandals involving several GOP members of Congress.

For all of those strategists claiming national implications in Jindal's win, don't forget that early next month Democrats are all-but-certain to defeat Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R) in Kentucky. Again, Fletcher's loss is more about state-based circumstances -- an ethics cloud that has hovered over him for the entirety of his first term -- than any national trend.

On the other hand, the fact that Jindal's messaging may well be unique to Louisiana's political climate doesn't mean that his victory is meaningless for Republicans. Perception is very important in politics, and until yesterday the conventional widsom among politicos was that Republicans were headed off the electoral cliff in 2008.

Jindal's win gives party operatives something to point to -- a sign that things aren't as bad as many people are making them out to be. Every comeback (political or otherwise) has to start somewhere, and we may well look back at Jindal's win as the the moment when Republicans began to believe in themselves and their vote-getting ability again.

There is one more tangible development from Jindal's win -- albeit distinct to Louisiana. Senate Republicans are likely to be even more gung ho about their chances of defeating Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) in 2008. With the governor's race no longer dominating the political landscape, attention will turn to the race between Landrieu and state Treasurer John Kennedy, (R) who was reelected without opposition yesterday.

Recent electoral history should worry Landrieu. In the last two hotly contested statewide elections (governor in 2007, Senate in 2004), Republicans won without even a runoff. The state is clearly shifting demographically in Republicans' favor, a process that sped up following Katrina.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 21, 2007; 5:44 PM ET
Categories:  Governors  
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Marylanders can only hope that a second Hurricane Katrina rid us of Baltimore so that we can have decent government once again.

Posted by: leaberry | October 24, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

As a lifelong resident of La., let me say that most folks just don't get what happened here last Saturday. We have been living here under socialist/populist Democrat control for over forty years. What has it done for us? Louisiana is ranked last in everything you would want to be first in and first in everything you want to be last in. The Dems have destroyed this state. We elected Mr. Jindal with the hope of correcting the decades of decline under Democrat control and turning this state around.

Posted by: southernbirddog | October 23, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Even within Louisiana, it is not clear that Jindal's victory shows a clean GOP revival. On top of the aforementioned fact that Mitch Landrieux was re-elected, the Democrats are certain to retain control of the State Senate and the GOP would need to sweep every run-off election to get a lower house majority, which seems unlikely.

Jindal, by the way, has stated he will not get involved in the run-off elections.

This election, in large part, seemed more about Jindal's own message of reform and good government than it did about the overall GOP message.

At most, this shows the continuing trend of the GOP gaining ground in Louisiania (now hastened by the exodus of Democratic voters from New Orleans). No real national implications, beyond the fact that Mary Landrieux will be highly targeted next year (but everyone knew that already).

Posted by: jeffreyscott | October 23, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't recall laws segregating "Polak" versus non-Polak.

Posted by: mjames2 | October 23, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

This doesn't herald a GOP comeback unless and until David Broder says so. The man who predicted a Bush comeback months ago is clearly the fellow with his finger on the pulse of America.

Posted by: lydgate | October 22, 2007 9:41 PM | Report abuse

"People do not necessarily group people into categories 'in order to harm some... and help others'. People group because that is how our brains work." I thought a reason that people group people is because our institutions and government make us do it on virtually every form, for our employers, for our school applications, censuses, in polls, and so on and so on and so forth... I submit that affirmative action, which requires the collecting of these stats and mandates that we consider and focus on which group people fit in to, has contributed to the indoctrination that we must look at and group people by race, ethnic background, nationality, etc. Pretty much every group that has come to America has experienced some form of prejudice or racism, has been labeled, been given a slur or two. So in a way, I think you are both partially right. Of course, I'm just a dumb Polack so what do I know...

Posted by: dave | October 22, 2007 9:35 PM | Report abuse

A turnaround for the GOP in Louisiana doesn't mean a turnaround for the GOP anywhere else. I grew up in Louisiana and go back frequently. Frankly Louisiana isn't like any state in the union.
Nevertheless, I am amazed that after the way the Bush administration and FEMA abandoned Louisiana that a Republican can get a single vote. I have to say that Jindal can get a single vote after the way his party failed the State of Louisiana.
And by the way Mississippi did not get everything it wanted and plenty of Mississippians are furious at the way they were treated by the Feds -- and are down on Republicans more than I have ever seen.
Jindal is a bright, well educated and attractive young man. Louisiana is very multicultural or he would never have made it. Still, if he behaves like a Republican, I suspect his success will be short lived.
Still, I have to admit that I am amazed that the failure of the Bush administration could be pinned on Blanco. She did everything she could do under the circumstances. Still, she came across as weak.

Posted by: bghgh | October 22, 2007 8:55 PM | Report abuse

They got rid of the Democratic Black vote in New Orleans because of Katrina. THAT is why he had a chance and Landrieu is in trouble. Why did the reporter leave that out of the story? You get rid of a few hundred thousand Democratic voters, and guess what,the state can turn Republican.

Posted by: siport27 | October 22, 2007 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Colin - They may have changed Fed Crim Law in the 30 years since I last knew what fed perjury was.

If it remains as was, then perjury is
knowing false testimony about a material fact. Lying in a deposition about an event that took place after the cause of action complained of in the lawsuit would be lying about an immaterial fact, or false swearing, a misdemeanor.

Deserved Senate censure and suspension of law license or disbarment; I thought he should resign. Just because Congress exempted itself and the Executive from the employment civil rights laws did not make diddling a star struck subordinate any less distasteful.

In DC, if one is going to have an affair, it should be with a truly independent adult
who wants to keep it a secret for his/her own reasons. Everyone affected should post this rule in his/her Congressional and Executive offices. Save us all a lot of grief.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 22, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Good for Louisiana, now they have a governor that everyone will be watching. Jindl will have to govern well because all eyes will be upon him. Perhaps, he will be one Republican that remembers, that good governance comes with putting the common good above business interests.

The Robber barons under Bush/Cheney have sucked enough of the blood out of the state and US treasuries.

Posted by: CarmanK | October 22, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

The only lesson of this election is "Throw the bums out." We have gotten the state bums out; now it is on to the national bums. This republican administration showed us that political party is more important to them than Americans suffering. They have taken my trust of my own country from me and my healing can't really begin until they are out of power. All levels of government failed the people of Louisiana and Mississippi and change must come at all levels. "Change" is key word. I want to trust my country again.

Posted by: doctorj2u | October 22, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

'Colin, I was only trying to respond to some outrageous comments by our friend. It's OK, and I accept her apology.'

I didn't apoologize Jd, and my position is the same as Colin's, so what's your problem?

Posted by: drindl | October 22, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations are in order to Governor Jindal.

He is very likely a man that the rest of the nation will hear of repeatedly in the years to come.

Governor Jindal's victory appears to more of the consoldiation of the GOP in the Gulf States than a sign of a turnaround for the GOP.

Georgia and Florida continued GOP administrations, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama are all key GOP states.

It appears that the GOP appeal to the Gulf is too far to the right for the rest of the country.

Posted by: pach12 | October 22, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Colin, I was only trying to respond to some outrageous comments by our friend. It's OK, and I accept her apology.

I guess some people can't move on (pun intended) from that event, they have to keep bringing it up.

Posted by: JD | October 22, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

mjames2 writes
"People group other people and themselves into categories (races) based on physical traits, in order to harm some races and help others."

mjames- I agree with most of your post, but the above bears addressing. People do not necessarily group people into categories 'in order to harm some... and help others'. People group because that is how our brains work. Yes, sometimes those groupings turn into negative stereotypes, but at a very basic level, we can't help it.

Posted by: bsimon | October 22, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

The GOP should take this victory as a sign that it is time to open its doors to more voters and tone down the rhetoric that excites the angry white base and Christian evangelicals that have hijacked their party, but I fear that will not be the case. I believe they will do what they always do, which is to bury their heads in the sand and claim that it is some validation of their strategy to beat the dead horse of Ronald Reagan for another generation.

Posted by: Faggyliberal | October 22, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I am not a Democrat, but I did notice that before and after Katrina the GOPULA state senators and representatives did everything to gum up the works and make life hell for Kathleen Blanco instead of shedding their shabby partisanship during very adverse circumstances. Now they will be highly exhasperated when the favor is returned! Government has always been a joke in this state and nothing has changed.

Posted by: cebowman | October 22, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

JD -- Not to be too much of a lawyer here, b/c Clinton clearly did mislead investigators, but he was never convicted of perjury and, in fact, likely would not have been if prosecuted in the court system (perjury is very hard to prove). Moreover, the impeachment proceedings -- which function like a trial -- acquitted him of any liability. In that context, the House's impeachment is only the equivalent of an indictment.

Again, the guy did wrong and I said so at the time. But the idea that his actions were worthy of impeachment continues to bewilder me. For the record, I would have voted to censure the guy and then suggested to the GOP that it get back to trying to govern.

Posted by: _Colin | October 22, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Jindal campaigned telling Louisianans that Louisiana was getting a second chance if they elected him, but considering the crowd behind him, I expect to see the second coming of Edwin Edwards. The same groups are behind Jindal that brought Edwards to power and these backward religious groups set Edwards up even after the Korean bribery scandal occurred and he was booed off the Washington stage. The diaperman leads the religious forces these days. God doesn't seem to have very much integrity left in this state! I don't think that Jindal or Vitter have a bit more integrity than Edwards and his cronies. One story that ran today asked if the American electorate hated Bush or Conservatism. I think that the answer is that we are disgusted with what is called religious conservatism. Instead of the single issues that they once successfully espoused, now they want the whole ball of wax including foreign affairs. Their lust for religious jihad cannot be sated by the trickle of enlistees from their ever thinning ranks. These people should not be making government in the Justice Department or elsewhere!

Posted by: cebowman | October 22, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh, come now! Louisiana is an oil state with massive refineries in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and several in Lake Charles. The oil companies bought this election for Jindal and they will get their money's worth from him! I would guess that they spent between 15 to 20 million dollars to buy the Louisiana electorate. They could have made Imelda Markos Governor with that kind of money. It is a very pyrric victory for the Republicans considering the cost at a time when GOPULA's coffers are near empty. The State Senate is still Democratic and the GOP won't be making much reform when the spoils and the contracts are coming to their buddies. Perhaps they will let Jindal steer on holidays when no important business is at hand. We have never had a two term Republican Governor in my 60 years. It's a nice story, but more for Indian magazines, and not for our own consumption!

Posted by: cebowman | October 22, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

To return to the initial theme on Jindal's election:

1. As an Indian-American, I have no problem being thought of as non-white.

2. The anthropological notion of South Asians as "caucasian" reflected outdated notions of race as a biological or genetic determinant. Race, as we now know, is not a genetically significant category. Race is, however, a socially significant social construction. People group other people and themselves into categories (races) based on physical traits, in order to harm some races and help others.

3. In this country, all people categorized as non-white have in the past and in the present suffered socially, from the imposition of segregation laws to being targeted for violence or derision. (Cf. the comment about "Apu" at the 7-11.)

4. All non-white groups are not treated the same. The harshest prejudices are against African Americans or Blacks. Asian people - be they East Asian (with heritage from China, Japan, Korea etc) or South Asian (with heritage from India, Pakistan, SriLanka) tend to suffer less prejudice than Blacks. Part of this is due to their economic success, itself a result of immigration policy that only admits people from Asia who has significant education and job skills.

Posted by: mjames2 | October 22, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Um, no. But as Atrios says, "everything is good for Republicans" according to the traditional media.

Posted by: havok26 | October 22, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

"As Apu at my local 7-11 might say, please to be giving us the names of the prosecuting Repubs who have similarly perjured themselves about that?"

I'm not very interested in rehashing that old debate, but in the interest of poking fun at perjurers, didn't Sen Craig perjure himself by pleading guilty to a crime that he now claims he did not commit?

And is there some kind of comedic effort in quoting a generic 'Apu' character in a thread allegedly about Gov-Elect Jindal, who apparently named himself 'Bobby' after that little imp on The Brady Bunch?

Posted by: bsimon | October 22, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Why was a man under oath defending a private affiar to begin with? We will never agree about this--and as for 'explaining it to me' please don't bother.

Oh and here's some news about your boy Vitter, busily trying to dumb down education in Louisiana:

A controversial provision that would have steered $100,000 in federal funds to a creationist group in Louisiana will be removed from a federal appropriations bill.

U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) inserted the earmark into the Appropriations Committee's report on a bill allocating money for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education. Vitter wanted to designate the funds to a Religious Right group called the Louisiana Family Forum (LFF) "to develop a plan to promote better science education."

Critics decried the measure, saying the move was a backdoor effort to bring creationism into Louisiana's schools and. Yesterday Vitter acquiesced.

More than 30 educational, scientific and religious groups joined forces to oppose the earmark. On Oct. 10, they sent a joint letter to every member of the Senate, asking that the provision be removed.

Posted by: drindl | October 22, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

drindl foolishly says, "The 'crime' was the way a personal affair was outed and used to take down a president"

Claudia/drindl, can't you admit when you're clearly wrong? Do you know how silly you look, screaming that the Repubs did everything Clinton did (ie, lie under oath about adultery)?

Let me try, once again, to explain it to you. Many Repubs have affairs. So do Democrats. Nobody's perfect.

But Clinton was prosecuted for LYING ABOUT IT UNDER OATH. As Apu at my local 7-11 might say, please to be giving us the names of the prosecuting Repubs who have similarly perjured themselves about that?

Posted by: JD | October 22, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Now hold it, I am from Lousiana and I voted for Jindal. I even met him, he is a good man! Don't forget to add that Republican controls both state House and Senate. Jindal will have a good year to get things done! Louisiana is now 95% republican controled state and that is what our wishes are! Remember Edwin Edwards? Good God, no more dumbocraps! William Jefferson, Good God, no more Dumbocraps, Mary Landrieu, lives in Maryland and no interest for Louisiana, Good God, No more Dumbocraps, David Vitter, we forgave him and he holds 68% right now.

Posted by: architekker | October 22, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"take down a president." Again, such hyperbole. Nixon was taken down (and rightly so). Clinton got to serve his terms (and rightly so).

Posted by: dave | October 22, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

'That was the crime.' The 'crime' was the way a personal affair was outed and used to take down a president. It should never have gotten to the stage where there was any oath to be taken. It was a bloody pointless waste of time and money.

Posted by: drindl | October 22, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Kentucky IS an example of the national trend. Gov. Fletcher promised to reform Frankfort and the good-old-boy network. Instead of reform, he showed complete willingness to be just as incompetent and corrupt as his predecessors. What Kentucky experienced in four years is almost identical to what the nation has experienced over the last 15. The KY governor election is an example of the public refusing to accept a Rep. candidate's claim of reform because of their own arrogance and corruption.

Posted by: butlermatt | October 22, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I believe that Justice Thomas' term was "high-tech lynching". That said, this reference has nothing to do with the point of your post. The "fuss" was about lying under oath. That was the crime. I'm sure there are republicans that lie under oath but I am also sure that "much of the republican party" does not do it on a regular basis.

Posted by: dave | October 22, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

'Listen and learn. '

No, you listten, buddy. i don't Clinton a pass for anything--but if you recall, most of those screaming for his head at t he time were doing the same thing -- or worse. And overreaching haardly covers it. A colossal circus, full of ranting hypocritcal clowns and one of the biggest wastes of taxpayer time and money in history. Up until we got into Iraq, of course.

Posted by: drindl | October 22, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

urban4, I was responding to someone who said it was entirely the fault of FEMA. I said you must also blame the Gov and mayor.

claudia/drindl, since Dave! has already set you straight, there's no reason for me to. Listen and learn. It's interesting that you give Bill Clinton a pass for what even Dems admit was both adultery and perjury. Not that the GOP didn't overreach in their response; they did.

But you don't blame the cops when the robber, caught in the act, goes to jail - you blame the guy who commited the crime.

Posted by: JD | October 22, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Jindal's win is a sign that citizens of Louisiana will vote for the best candidate,
no matter what his party.

Posted by: janye1 | October 22, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh, is it, dave? As I recall, Clarence Thomas said he was 'lynched' did he not?

Oh and the fuss was about a consensual affair with a woman, rather than a young man or a hooker, as you Rs seem to prefer.

As and far as republicans lying, don't even go there...

Posted by: drindl | October 22, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

"to lynch him for something that much of the republican party appears to do on a regular basis." Most of the republican party lies under oath on a regular basis? I was unaware of that. Thanks for that info. And I believe the correct term is impeach, not lynch.

Posted by: dave | October 22, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

'Couple of notes: I believe the "dark skinned " population of the subcontinent are classified as caucasian by anthropologists '

This is correct. And I also have Latino friends who bristle when they are called 'non-white.' Sad but true.

Posted by: drindl | October 22, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

'nd of course he let his enormous appetites ruin any chance for more progress in his 2nd term.'

actually, JD, it was the R party's 'enormous appetite' to bring him down that ruined the chance for any progress to be be made -- and the willingness to spend years -- and $70 million taxpayer dollars-- to lynch him for something that much of the republican party appears to do on a regular basis.

Posted by: drindl | October 22, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Midmorning coffee break for me and I think this morning's posts have been terrific.

Couple of notes: I believe the "dark skinned " population of the subcontinent are classified as caucasian by anthropologists - they were when I was in college, so long ago. I was only trying to comment on the pervasive depth of skin color popular classifications that continue to invidiously divide us.

Gergen has said that GWB, like WJC, does not have a racist bone in his body and I believe that.

JD, you are correct in your perception of
a certain condescension by those who would characterize people by skin color to "help" the ones perceived as "not white".

If Jindal, like Rice and Powell and others, can succeed as Americans while affiliated with the R Party, it will be good for the Rs and even better for America. The last
possible result we could ever want is parties divided by skin tone.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 22, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Well, there are a few things you have to know about Louisiana before you can make too much political analysis. First, we are a divided state. The northern half of the state is more rural and populated by many conservative people, typical of much of the rest of the South. The Southern part of the state is more industrialized, and is inhabited by more people of French descent, who tend to be slightly more liberal. New Orleans is the most liberal area of the state, and bears little resemblance to the rest of the state. Also, as in most places in the South, there is a difference between black and white voters, with the black vote going 95% to the Democrats.
Louisiana has been somewhat behind the trend of other southern states in electing Republicans to statewide office. The election of David Vitter a few years ago was a turning point in my mind. Blanco certainly hurt herself by not being more proactive during Katrina, but she was not very popular even before that.

Most people in this state understand that it was not the federal government or Bush who stumbled here, it was Blanco and Nagin.

It was widely reported in the state and local media that Bush was calling Blanco several days before the storm hit asking her to evacuate New Orleans, and offering federal assistance in the evacuation. She declined, saying the state had it under control and they didn't want the federals involved. The Bush administration even threatened to over-ride her authority and declare a state of emergency, but the constitutionality of that move was in question. It wasn't until the day before the storm hit that she and Nagin evacuated New Orleans, and by then it was too late to evacuate the people that had no transportation. They also broadcast that the Superdome had no supplies and would not be used as a shelter, but later allowed people in anyway. Blanco didn't ask for Federal help until Monday morning, after the levees broke and it was obvious the city was flooding. Blanco then made matters worse by crying on TV and immediately blaming FEMA.

As a part-time EMT and reserve deputy, I was part of the rescue effort. The reason things were so messed up is that mob rule broke out in NO. Gangsters and looters were shooting at helicopters and rescuers. Also, there was no plan on how to get people and supplies into and out of the city. Our crew was detained at a checkpoint by state police for more than a day trying to get into NO. We finally left and went south of the city, to help in some smaller towns which didn't have the security problems. Things went much smoother in those areas.

By contrast, the govenor of Mississippi declared a state of emergency and allowed the federal government to assist much earlier in the process. They ordered evacuations of the costal regions a couple of days before. Mississippi got hit MUCH harder by Katrina than Louisiana, which only got a glancing blow in the southeastern corner of the state. The quicker response in MS was not a case of favoritsm, it was because Blanco was not willing to work with the Feds at the beginning, while the MS Govenor was. A few weeks later when Rita hit Lake Charles on the other side of the state, Blanco called FEMA in early, the cleanup went very smoothly, and little attention was given to it in the national media.

This is not an opinion by the way, these are the facts. I was there.

Posted by: akeithwelch | October 22, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

JD, you say "You could argue that ignoring race completely (including doing away with Affirmative Action, set-aside contracts, university admissions preferences, etc) is the ONLY path towards non-racism. Seems to me that liberals are the racist ones by that test."
I agree with the first sentence - sort of. What you describe is the ideal. However, to ignore the effects of 200+ years of racism does not make them magically vanish. Minorities in this country - especially African Americans - still do not have consistent access to the same opportunities (safe neighborhoods/schools, internships, jobs) available to whites. This may be more a function of economics than prejudice, at least in some areas, but it was to a large extent prejudice that established the economic patterns which determine what opportunities are and are not available to minorities. Whether or not that prejudice is still the deciding factor I don't know, but in any case to ignore the continuing effects of past attitudes and behaviors is to silently condone them.
I have no doubt that you yourself do not treat people well or badly based on their ethnic background, and it's not a factor for me either. But I think we have to recognize that as a society we at one point put a process in place which allocated resources and opportunities based in part of racist social thinking, and I believe it is our continuing responsibility to acknowledge and work to correct that.

Posted by: bokonon13 | October 22, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I would say that the Author probably missed out a very obvious thing.

If you go back to the last 15 years, whenever there was a republican governor in louisiana, we have a democratic president, and whenever a democratic governor got elected, we have a republican president. Now that we have a republican governor -elect, isn't it a signal that we will have a democratic president??

Posted by: bailas_guy | October 22, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Considering disparate views on issues amongst Republican presidential contenders as seen in yesterday's debate, what does it really mean to be Republican anyway?

Posted by: xira | October 22, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

claudia/drindl, I do not hate the Clintons; if anything, I'm in awe of their awesome political abilities and machine. For the record, I'm virtually certain HRC is our next Prez.

Bill did many things I love: NAFTA, welfare reform, reduced spending (largely through the 'peace dividend', but still, he gets props by my book).

On the downside, he should have listened to Breaux's panel and reformed SS when he had the chance, and of course he let his enormous appetites ruin any chance for more progress in his 2nd term.

Posted by: JD | October 22, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Blarg, once again I take your point. I do not mean to criticize minorities who vote Republican, although I don't understand why they would. And in re: national security and the economy, the Republican party has not for a long time given voters of any background any reason to be more comfortable with their positions on these issues. Who ignored warnings of 9.11? Who has been making a stink about Barack Obama's church and minister? Who failed to get bin Laden when he was cornered, then pulled troops out of Afghanistan and invaded Iraq for no reason? Who has taken the economy from surplus to massive deficits?
I know you understand what I'm saying, and I'm pretty sure that you would agree. For the record, once again, I do not and did not mean to say that anyone is obliged to vote any way due to his/her ethnicity... I'm just putting together the facts as I see them.

Posted by: bokonon13 | October 22, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Boko said, "Blarg, the entire GOP is not racist. But the GOP platform that all national candidates have to adhere to is at best dismissive of the issue"

OK, not to defend the GOP here, but:

1) As a candidate you NEVER have to 'adhere to' a platform - deciding on planks in the platform are just a parlor game for true believers

2) You could argue that ignoring race completely (including doing away with Affirmative Action, set-aside contracts, university admissions preferences, etc) is the ONLY path towards non-racism. Seems to me that liberals are the racist ones by that test.

Posted by: JD | October 22, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

JD, I just want competent leadership that treats people fairly, in which category I most definitely include: protection of civil rights, concern for both those traditionally considered "less fortunate" and those who have (through no fault of their own) been left behind by our Brave New Economy, the recognition of the importance of and responsible action on such pressing international issues as climate change, labor standards, and the proliferation of arms, and the equitable use of public money. I have not seen this kind of leadership on any issue over the past seven years.

If that makes me a 'lefty,' so be it.

Posted by: bokonon13 | October 22, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

'Who are - coincidentally? - largely blacks who vote for Democrats. That may be too cynical a statement, but I'm going to let it stand for now.'

Nope -- not at all, boko. An awful lot of people think so. I know a few folks at Tunlane, and they say that's the opiniion of many who live there.

'at least the lefties have such a hatred of Bush et al that they feel compelled to speak up more."

So if someone criticizes bush, they hhave a 'hatred' of him? But you criticize the Clintons -- does that mean you hate them?

Posted by: drindl | October 22, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Bokonon, I agree that the Republican platform ignores racial issues. But I don't think that disqualifies minorities from being Republicans. They might not care as much about racial issues as they do about the Republican position on national security, the economy, etc.

I suppose the analogous issue for Democrats is religion. Religious voters are "supposed" to be Republicans. The Republican Party actively supports religious issues, such as prayer in school and faith-based charities. The Democratic Party opposes or ignores these issues. But there are plenty of religious Democrats, who care more about other Democratic policies than they do about standard religious issues. I think it's wrong to criticize religious voters who choose to be Democrats, just like it's wrong to criticize minorities who choose to be Republicans.

Posted by: Blarg | October 22, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

On topic, Jindal looks like a smart and savvy young politician, and he was given the perfect environment in which to preach his, uh, stuff. As someone else noted, the Feds have an ENORMOUS share of the blame to bear for the failure of post-Katrina reconstruction - remember, the state and city governments had begged for money to rebuild the levees, but it was tied up in Iraq, and building a fence on the Mexican border, etc. And now FEMA is proving unable/unwilling to fund and facilitate the rebuilding and re-population of New Orleans, making it particularly hard for residents of the poorer, worst-affected areas to return.
Who are - coincidentally? - largely blacks who vote for Democrats. That may be too cynical a statement, but I'm going to let it stand for now.

Posted by: bokonon13 | October 22, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

JD writes
"I'm reasonably sure there are more lefties here than righties, or at least the lefties have such a hatred of Bush et al that they feel compelled to speak up more."

I am an unrepentant, possibly incessant, critic of Bush, but that doesn't make me a 'lefty'.

Posted by: bsimon | October 22, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Colin--I hadn't even heard of charismatic catholics before.

Immigraton tends not to be as big an issue for dems for a number of reasons, IMO because we see it as a very complex issue economically. Having grown up in California and understanding the structure, I know that a lot of small farmers will go under if they have to pay decent wages for pickers. Or they will have to raise prices dramatically and the cost of food will rise sharply. This is an economic reality that has developed over many years and won't change overnight. We do have a two-level economy and that's why we have undocs. You can't afford to live here on what these people get paid. It's that simple.

In any case, for most dems I know, the big thing is Iraq and war profiteering, rampant and corrupt privatization, waste of taxpayer money and fraud and contract abuse, and affordable health care.

Posted by: drindl | October 22, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Colin et al, I used 'troll' in the standard blog colloquial:

"One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument"

There are trolls on both the left and right on this site; maybe I'm one of them sometimes. I'm reasonably sure there are more lefties here than righties, or at least the lefties have such a hatred of Bush et al that they feel compelled to speak up more.

Posted by: JD | October 22, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Blarg, the entire GOP is not racist. But the GOP platform that all national candidates have to adhere to is at best dismissive of the issue, as it is of so many other concerns of those who are neither conservative Christiand nor GOP donors.
And bsimon, Colin, et al: I was raised Catholic, although I have not been a church-goer for many many years. The Catholic church may not have the same idea of "reborn/born-again" found in fundamentalist Protestant sects, but it has gotten steadily more and more conservative/traditonalist/reactionary throughout my lifetime, to the point where I have heard some of the Christian right speak uncritically of the pope and hierarchy as "moral allies." To the limited extent that I have any contact with the Catholic church and those who attend it, I find it hard to recognize what seemed growing up to be a caring and community-focused organization. This is not a strange or unexpected grouping at all.

Posted by: bokonon13 | October 22, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

This is a good article and a question we are going to have to wait a year to answer. However, my own analysis suggests that this is 1 election and not a national trend. It is, though, impressive that Jindal, a member of the congress with an approval rating of about 11%, was able to run as a reform candidate and win. Blanco's name had been tarnished and democrats never got off the ground in this one. However, Mitch Landrieu won the lt. gov. race with 56% of the statewide vote. So how much trouble is his sister in? I think Kennedy is a great candidate and will enter, after this election, as the front runner. He has basically already started campaigning by running for st. treasurer even though he was unoppossed. Next month Republican Miss. gov. and former RNC chairman Hayley Barbour will win re-election by a very wide margin vs. petty competition from dem. nominee Eaves. He'd be a great VP pick for Guiliani or McCain, if either wins the R nomination. Kentucky will likely be close, as gov. Fletcher always outperforms the polls. But as a governor whose whole term has been scandolous and he had to pardon everyone involved in the scheme and then accept a plea bargain to get out of it, it will be hard for him to win this one. He did outperform and win the R primary, and many thought he would lose that. So it's possible he wins, but Beshear is the front runner right now. If Flether wins that one, then Dems. really have reason to start worrying. Right now, Jindal was expected to win and he won.

Posted by: bryant_flier2006 | October 22, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Judge crater says the Republican Party is hostile to immigrants.

I agree. The party hierarchy supports amnesty, which is a disastrous policy for low-income immigrants in that it floods the labor market with people willing to work for slave-type wages and under horrid working conditions. That policy also is a tremendous assault on our nation's proud tradition of immigration- in that it sends the message to people in foreign nation that the United States loves those who violate our laws, and hates those who respect our nation.

My job is in an industry (aerospace) where a huge percentage of the employees are immigrants. I have occasionally walked into a discussion a number of them were having about immigration policy, and I found it interesting how angry they are about illegal immigration.

Most immigrants seem to be somewhat shy about being active politically, however. That is not surprising for new members of our society. Over time, they will become more active politically. When that happens, the open-borders lobby is in big trouble.

Anyway, I agree the Republican party is anti-immigrant.
And so is the Democratic party.

Posted by: bot_feeder | October 22, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

There are too many people who spout off about politics that can't separate advocacy from analysis.

They are like the sports fan who is constantly angry because the referees are ALWAYS making the calls wrong at the expense of their team.

So, with that preface, let me say that I am a Republican and that the Jindal victory means virtually nothing regarding the standing of the Republican Party.

The one thing that it does for the party is that it takes a highly-regarded player out of the farm team and puts him in the major leagues. In other words, any significance of the Jindal victory for the Republican party lies in whatever future benefit he himself proves to be as a leader in the party. And that may very well turn out to be significant. But his victory means nothing in terms of the Republican party's prospects in the 2008 elections, which are dismal.

Republicans have one huge liability, and his name is George W. Bush.

The only main asset the Republicans have is the cockiness of the Democratic party. They are acting like the Republicans after winning the House in 1994.

The biggest policy achilles heel for the Democrats is "comprehensive" immigration reform. There is a growing popular uprising around the country against open-borders policies. The Democratic party is on the wrong side of the issue. Fortunately for the Democrats, they have had the wisdom not to demand ideological purity on that from their local candidates. They won the House, in no small part because they ran a bunch of moderate candidates who do not support open borders.

But the leaders of the Democratic party are at odds with the populist movement on immigration. They have had political cover up to now because George Bush is in lockstep with Ted Kennedy on that.

And the Democrats may luck out and another open-borders Republican (Giuliani) may be their opponent in 2008, which may provide them a continuation of the political cover they got from Bush. At the very least, Giuliani will be in no position to be able to campaign against Hillary Clinton as being soft on illegal immigration.

Posted by: bot_feeder | October 22, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

con_crusher, I think you're being unfair. First, it's wrong to call all minority Republicans Uncle Toms. It's the choice of each individual what party they want to represent. And if a minority supports the Republican Party's position on social issues, taxes, immigration, etc., that's their business. That doesn't make them an Uncle Tom or a race traitor. The Democrats shouldn't assume that they're owed support by everyone except white males.

Second, you mock the Republicans for putting up a bunch of white men for president. You forgot Alan Keyes, who's supposedly in the race, and is black. It's true that he has no chance to win. But Sharpton and Mosely-Braun didn't have a chance to win in 2004, and I doubt you faulted the Democrats for that. Every major candidate for president has been a white man prior to this election cycle; I don't see the point of criticizing Republicans for having white male candidates.

I really hate having to defend the Republicans. But your implication that the entire party is racist and doesn't deserve support by any minorities is just wrong.

Posted by: Blarg | October 22, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

bsimon & drindl -- perhaps he's a Charismatic Catholic? From what I gather that's a growing movement, especially in the west and amont more recent immigrants to the U.S., and is very similar to protestant evangelical faiths.

Posted by: _Colin | October 22, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

con_crusher: in response to your comment "Jindal isn't an immigrant. His parents were" that's exactly what my comment "...actively hostile to both immigrants and their children..." referred to.

Setting aside the fact that the Right hates the fact that US-born children of immigrants immediately have the right to stay here, if a political party hates your parents why would you personally vote to advance its causes?

Finally, I wish Jindal all the luck in the world in dealing with LA's problems. It's a good thing he's so young since he'll need to go without sleep to attempt to put a dent in them.

Posted by: judgeccrater | October 22, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

La is rather clearly continuing its rightward drift, so I agree that this is a bad sign for the state democratic party. More broadly, however, it's hard for me to understand how this can be viewed as particularly important nationally.

Also, as an aside I am highly doubtful that Jindal is going to prove succesful as governor. He's a bright guy by all accounts, but all of his previous government experience was the result of political appointment -- and none of it lead to any substantive accomplishment. Moreover, his platform is a carbon copy of every conservative republican without any real inovation. La is in rather rough shape and desperately needs strong leadership. Color me skeptical that this guy is up for the challenge.

JD -- I'm a pretty huge critic of George Bush based upon his abysmal record. Does that make me a troll and/or uber liberal? Or in this instance are you using both terms as descriptors for to the left of you?

I'm largely kidding, but sometimes one side really does deserve more blame than the other. Although on this particular point, I don't disagree that Blanco and Nagen were putrid.

Posted by: _Colin | October 22, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

bsimon - never heard - 'born again' used for a catholic. Since it refers to a specific fundamentalist christian experience, and involves complete immersion underwater [the water is referred to as the blood of christ] I don't understand it's usage here. Unless practices have changed since I was a kid.

Posted by: drindl | October 22, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

judge crater writes
"One need only to examine the more obvious circumstances of Jindal's win - an Indian-American representing a party that on the national level is actively hostile to both immigrants and their children - to know how unique this situation was."

and con_crusher writes
"Jindal isn't an immigrant. His parents were. There's a huge difference between immigrating to America, and being the children of immigrants."

con- true enough, though Gov-elect Jindal's situation is worth pointing out, particularly to the anti-immigration types. The LA Gov-elect is an example of a child born to visitors to this country - the article I read this AM said he was born six months after his parents arrived; his mother was here for grad school. This is a textbook example of a so-called 'anchor baby' where parents are here on a short-term visa, but have a child here & end up staying. Perhaps, given the obvious success of Gov-elect Jindal, we can learn the lesson that immigration - and the children of immigrants - can be beneficial to this country.

Two other observations, both from the article I read this AM. Firstly, the Gov is shockingly young - 36. And he's already had an extensive career in gov't. It will be interesting to see if he can clean up LA gov't (as he's pledged to do); and if so, what he turns to afterwards. Secondly, and this is a minor point, when did we start referring to people converting to Catholicism as 'born again' Catholics? I was raised Catholic & went to an evangelical school for a couple years; this is the first time I've heard 'born again' applied to a catholic. Is this the 'new' lingo for plain-old catholic baptism? Or am I just out of touch?

Posted by: bsimon | October 22, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Dan Balz has done a reasonable job, considering the R debate was as silly and content-free as they all have been. Too bad theese guys aren't as interested in taking on bin Ladin as they are in taking on Hillary:

Once again, none of them [except Ron Paul] would do anything different frm bush in any way...

'Pressed on how he would achieve what Bush could not, Huckabee said the president had made his case poorly: "When he used the word 'privatization,' it scared the daylights out of a lot of people."

ONe of the silliest comments. I'm surprised at Huckabee. Privatization was exactly what bush was talking about, so by what phony euphemism should he have called it?

Posted by: drindl | October 22, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

It's so funny to watch people fight over which party is better and completely ignore the real issues. Well, maybe sad is a better word than funny.

Posted by: unpluggedboodah | October 22, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Every article I've read about Jindahl winning in Lousiana states that he is the first non-white elected since reconstruction. Was there a non-white governor of Lousisna before reconstruction?

Posted by: mhollar | October 22, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

response to: (judge.c.crater | October 22, 2007 08:43 AM)

Jindal isn't an immigrant. His parents were. There's a huge difference between immigrating to America, and being the children of immigrants.

Secondly, there's something called Uncle Tomism. After examining the history of the two parties and what they stand for, it's unfathomable how anyone of an underrepresented ethnicity could vote Republican. In other words, in the grand scheme of things--it's not in their best interest. I always hear how the Republican party's conservative stance on social issues attracts immigrants from conservative countries. That may be so, but the Reduhblicans put up 10 white men to run for pres, and they wonder why Hillary is rippin' them a new one.

Condi Rice said that she didn't experience racism growing up. Republicans always talk argue that affirmative action is reverse discrimination. BS! Whites have most of the money in America, the powers that be is mostly comprised of tired-old white men, and contrary to what Repuglicans claim: racism still exists in America.

I don't know much about this Jindal character. From what I've read, he seems intent on dredging the swamp of Louisiana politics and taking a bipartisan approach. Those are certainly admirable goals. However, most of America will never see beyond his ethnicity or skintone. For that reason, (virtually) associating himself with opponents of the abolition of slavery, and the Civil Rights movement is not in the best interest for underrepresented ethnicities. If I were a minority in Lousiana, no GD way I'd be a Republican for the sole reason that a Republican ex-Klansman ran for the position in recent memory.

The situation reminds me of mAnn Coulter arguing that not allowing women to vote would result in perpetual Republican victories in presidential elections. A very ugly thought there, unless you're for the status quo.

Posted by: con_crusher | October 22, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

"Hey Judge, CC doesn't seem to want to talk about the 'values votrs' debates-- and they are certainly an important segment. Wonder why?"

Drindl, I think he's working feverishly on it right now. There were a lot of pithy comments made producing multiple possibilities for shifting the dynamics of the race. Certainly it'll be hard to produce a list of 'losers' since many of the leaders landed some zingers on each other.

Posted by: judgeccrater | October 22, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

'The state is clearly shifting demographically in Republicans' favor, a process that sped up following Katrina.'

Or rather, 'was expedited by' shipping huge numbers of poor black democratic voters out of state and quite systematically altering the state's demographics in favor orf Republicans.

Hey Judge, CC doesn't seem to want to talk about the 'values votrs' debates-- and they are certainly an important segment. Wonder why?

Posted by: drindl | October 22, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Just a note that I, like many of the 'junkies' here on the Fix, am looking forward to a CC summation of the GOP's Florida debate. Plenty of fireworks as they ignored Reagan's 11th Commandment!

Posted by: judgeccrater | October 22, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin: I see what you mean. As always, the WaPo was searching for an appropriate term to exacerbate the newsworthiness of this event. In doing so they seemed to have stepped in something but I don't see that in itself as being newsworthy. See
which states that "Many people object to the term nonwhite for referring to people by what they are not rather than what they are. Of course there are occasions, as when discussing an exclusionary policy such as the former system of apartheid in South Africa, when this emphasis is entirely appropriate. In many other cases, if it is relevant to mention race or skin color at all, a term such as person of color is often preferable to nonwhite."

The term "person of color" is nearly a textbook example of political correctness. More to the point, it uses up more caption space than "non-white" which probably explains its use here.

Also interesting is the fact that a google search for "non-white" just brought up Jindal's victory as 5 of the first 10 results. Betcha a donut that goes up to 10 out of 10 by the end of the day.

Posted by: judgeccrater | October 22, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Mark, Jindal clearly isn't white. Look at the pictures of him. He has dark skin. I guess the caption could have referred to him as the "first dark-skinned governor", but that would sound insulting. I don't see anything wrong with the caption as is.

Posted by: Blarg | October 22, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Judge, did you notice the caption to the photo? Jindal is described as "non-white". If ever there was evidence that "race" is in the eye of the beholder and has nothing to do with genetics, WaPo describing persons from the subcontinent as "non-white" beats out Apartheid South Africa's description of "colored".

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 22, 2007 8:59 AM | Report abuse

One need only to examine the more obvious circumstances of Jindal's win - an Indian-American representing a party that on the national level is actively hostile to both immigrants and their children - to know how unique this situation was.

Posted by: judgeccrater | October 22, 2007 8:43 AM | Report abuse

response to: (mscannon_35 | October 22, 2007 02:08 AM)

You're right. George W. Bush promised to be a new type of Republican and politician. He turned out to be neither. While Republicans by definition tend to be more hierarchical in nature, Dems sometimes aren't better. John Kerry didn't seem to be wholeheartedly into running for president. As the increasing number of Repubs who are retiring/refusing to run next year indicates, the corrupt Repub/FOX News/Karl Rove smear/cheat machine won't be enough for them to win next year. While the Dem Congress hasn't been as indolent/corrupt as the Repub Congress, it hasn't used triangulation often enough. For instance, Bush Jr. has taken an uncompromising stance on Iraq that most of the country--even the majority of non-extremist Repubs--cannot support. SCHIP is a perfect example. Dems should hold billionaire Repubs who oppose it--accountable.

Posted by: con_crusher | October 22, 2007 4:53 AM | Report abuse

Put this in the context also of MA-05's election last week:
GOP had a moral victory that had a lot to do with the district, but the perception will be that the Republicans are still alive.

Posted by: campaigndiaries | October 22, 2007 4:51 AM | Report abuse

Being a Louisianian, I can tell you for a fact that this isn't a sign of a GOP turnaround; we elected a person, not a party. If anything, seniors in both parties should be sweating. This election wasn't about Democrat vs. Republican, it was about old-guard vs. fresh-blood and the fact that people are getting fed up with government inaction. The message is simple: whether you have been in office for one year or twenty, if you aren't accomplishing what you were elected to do, the voters will replace you.

Posted by: mscannon_35 | October 22, 2007 2:08 AM | Report abuse

response to: (adamcgray | October 21, 2007 08:27 PM)

You made some valid points. If I may interject, Fletcher is not only unpopular, he's crooked as a barrel of snakes. When Dems win statewide elections in the deep South, it usually means in part that Republiklans played themselves.

Posted by: con_crusher | October 22, 2007 1:50 AM | Report abuse

Katrinia and the subsequent blame game have given Lousiana Repuglicans something to get a little bit giddy about. That said, Lousiana is not a microcosm of a nationwide shift to the Repubs, or a harbinger of future '07 or '08 results. As you mentioned, the situation resembles the one in Kuntucky more than anything else. Expect moderate to huge pickups for the Dems next year, including the White House. The Repubs are rebuilding, and the process won't be completed by next year.

Posted by: con_crusher | October 22, 2007 1:44 AM | Report abuse

Yes, congratulations to Jindal. It is wonderful to see diversity and competence among GOP elected officials. Let's hope that he'll live up to high expectations. Although I don't wish him to be confronted with another Katrina.

Posted by: urban4 | October 21, 2007 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Jindal is very bright with no sniff of scandal, according to my friends in LA.

There are few straight shooters across the Sabine in either Party. I hope Jindal proves to be one and I hope he can figuratively drain the swamp.

BTW, the N.O. Mayor is reputed to be one of the straight shooters, but he does not have a reputation for competency like Jindal's.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 21, 2007 10:53 PM | Report abuse

JD, I don't think that Blanco and Nagin are the only ones to blame. The Bush administration was extremely unresponsive in providing aid to LA. Contrast that with the swiftness of federal response to Missisipi, Florida or Texas, whenever there is a disaster in the latter states. This political favoritism has permeated the Bush administration. US attorney firings, homeland security grants,federal contracts, you name it. All dictated or influenced by politics.

Posted by: urban4 | October 21, 2007 10:53 PM | Report abuse

dude, grow up.

Posted by: bokonon13 | October 21, 2007 9:22 PM | Report abuse

JD wrote:
"trolls on this site are highly left wing"
You're wrong and you're right.
You're wrong with "trolls" (name calling).
You're right with "highly" as we all know the Democrats like to get high on acid or pot (nudge nudge wink wink grin grin).

Posted by: edlharris | October 21, 2007 9:13 PM | Report abuse

HA !
Return of the GOP ? ?
That's rich!

Posted by: onfire | October 21, 2007 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: parkerfl | October 21, 2007 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Let's not take anything away from Bobby Jindal - for a Republican to win an absolute majority in the primary is still a relatively rate feat in Louisiana, so he deserves congratulations on his win.

But this doesn't represent a Republican upswing for the following reasons:

Blanco's mis-steps had made a Democrat win at the top of the ticket virtually impossible, whoever had run. In the same way that Ernie Fletcher losing the Kentucky Governorship next month will not, in itself, show a Demcrat upswing in that state, nor is this result anything more than voters ousting an unpopular regime.

Second, if there really had been a seachange, Republicans would have swept the board - but Mitch Landrieu was more comfortably re-elected (57%) than Jindal; and another Democrat won outright in a statewide down-ballot vote, while Democrats are favoured in a further two down-ballot run-offs next month.

We have no realistic measure of the political impact of Katrina yet, but it seems that a large proportion of the migration from New Orleans was within-state (to Baton Rouge, for example), with the consequence that other parts of the state actually become more Democratic without tipping New Orleans to the Republicans.

But this is ultimately immaterial; the Republicans have so little to target in 2008 that this would have been their top shot regardless of the result.

Posted by: adamcgray | October 21, 2007 8:27 PM | Report abuse

so Brownie being head of the

ARABIAN HOORI's SOCIETY, and bushCO and CRONYs manipulation of the

situation in New Orleans,

the same kind of non compete CONTRACTS given in IRAQ,

awarded to the bushfamilies of graft/influence peddling/comity/pork and a way of life...

Trent Lott, that limp wristed tap dancer of reknown.....

yeah, I guess the Republicans are changing....nothin.


Posted by: afraidofme | October 21, 2007 8:25 PM | Report abuse

hello simpletons....

why is New Orleans turning Republican???

how many people are parked behind an EXXON-MOBIL holding facility in Baton Rouge???

how many are black?

how many black voters have not returned to Louisiana???

what color is Jindal???

there are mixed messages at work here, Louisiana has long been the land of money talks walks and buys elections...

I wouldn't think what happened in Louisiana meant Jack about what the country was doing....I'll be giving you some insights on Republicans later...


Posted by: afraidofme | October 21, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Jake3_14, you suggest:

"Given how crappy Lousiana's state services were before Katrina (thanks to business cronyism at all levels of gov't.), a Republican administration wouldn't have performed any better than Blanco's."

I'm not sure how you can say that with any confidence.... it was a Democratic Governor and Mayor who dropped the ball there, in addition to FEMA. I know that most of the trolls on this site are highly left wing and that's fine, but if you aren't going to back up your assertions with anything resembling facts, you will be chalked up as yet another liberal Bush hater, as opposed to someone who uses logic, reason, or other tools of persuasion.


Posted by: JD | October 21, 2007 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I think it's less a sign of a Republican turnaround than it is a sign that the GOP's situation wasn't as uniformly bleak as people were making it out to be. Louisiana has been pretty rough going for Democrats for quite a while. The one's who've managed to win have, for the most part, had to loudly proclaim their old-fashioned Yellow Dog bona fides, and even then they have hard-fought races every single time. Katrina made it harder in two ways: her perceived weak performance kicked the chair out from under Kathleen Blanco, and the mass exodus from New Orleans and environs was overwhelmingly composed of people unlikely to go for the Repubs. The only reason for the Democrats to be seriously worried is that this shows Mary Landrieu will probably have a long, hard road next year. Jindal may be someone to keep an eye on for the future, too, though he's going to have a pretty hard time keeping a reputation as an exciting maverick after he's waded around in the ethical swamp that is Louisiana Politics for a few years.

Posted by: Budikavlan | October 21, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

hardly, LA is the only state that is really leaning Republican because the Democrats happen to be in power during Hurricane Katrina, and a large portion of the democratic voters are still displaced because of this administrations lack of response for LA, but Mississippi (lead by Rs) gets all they want. Its ridiculous.

Posted by: sjxylib | October 21, 2007 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Having just read "What's the Matter With Kansas?", I can see Louisiana as another example of the populace voting against their own interests. Republicans are the brass-knuckled enforcers of their corporate masters, yet the voters are begging them to screw the electorate. Given how crappy Lousiana's state services were before Katrina (thanks to business cronyism at all levels of gov't.), a Republican administration wouldn't have performed any better than Blanco's. The fact that Landreux, who's a DINO (Democrat in Name Only), will have trouble next year just highlights the tendency that most people can't think beyond blaming the most convenient scapegoat.

Posted by: jake3_14 | October 21, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

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