Haters of Hill and energy shills dominate the presidential and senate campaigns in Louisiana
by Len Bahr, Ph.D.
On October 9 my wife Guille and I erected a Krewe of Hillary yard sign in front of our home. On October 10 we had the dead wood removed from our live oak and magnolia tree-shaded front yard, during which one of the tree trimmers moved the sign to a position behind a tree trunk, obscuring it from the view of passing drivers.
That evening we put the sign back to a prominent spot and added a Foster Campbell for Senate sign to keep Hill company. Sometime on October 12 a ‘public spirited’ passerby stole the Hillary sign, leaving the Campbell sign in place. The following day we replaced the stolen sign with another one that was missing by morning, again leaving the Campbell sign intact. Our third Hillary sign lasted until the night of October 20, when it was ripped to shreds and left hanging. Let’s see how long its replacement, our fourth sign lasts.
I think of myself as pretty unflappable but I must admit that these incidents have left a certain paranoic taste in my mouth and Guille and I are both upset and angry. Ever since the Trump campaign began gathering steam and Hillary became the Democratic nominee there has been a darkening of the partisan discourse with a racist tone that suggests a return to the Jim Crow mentality at the end of Reconstruction during the 1870s.
What I find most disconcerting is that some folks for whom I otherwise have great respect have succumbed to an equivalency mindset between both Hill and The Donald. This list includes a beloved family member and a local political critic whose work I usually admire. I’m thinking of Tom Aswell, whose recent post on his blog LouisianaVoice.com suggests that our only meaningful voting option is basically a lose-lose proposition, rather than the starkest and most consequential political choice in my lifetime.
I was pleased to see the Hillary endorsement by nola.com|thetimes-picayune, but disappointed that it failed to mention the coastal consequences of a Trump presidency, which would reinforce Louisiana’s traditional Uncle Tom “Yes, Massuh” treatment of the energy industry. It would also replace the Obama climate change agenda with a pedal to the metal, drill-baby-drill energy policy, ignoring the implications to our state of climate change .
On October 18 LPB sponsored a forum at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston for the top five senate candidates running to replace David Vitter. Only one contender brought up the issue of human-caused climate change and our vulnerability to sea level rise and extreme drought and flood cycles. Likewise only one candidate supported the governor’s plan to sue the energy industry for reparations for decades of delta destruction. That stalwart individual was Foster Campbell – from Bossier City no less, not Houma. What’s more all three Republicans at the forum endorsed lowering flood insurance premiums! So much for recognizing that low premiums induce more high risk development.
Not one Republican officeholder or office seeker in Louisiana has joined the growing list of national GOP renegades who have reluctantly disavowed support for the Donald. Here’s the link to a letter sent to Governor Jon Bel Edwards on September 22 by one of our GOP Trumpaholics, district 6 Congressman Garret Graves – who is running unopposed for reelection and who has long argued for downgrading federal coastal authority, while calling for more U.S. taxpayer funding.
When will our Republican representatives wake up, smell the coffee and recognize our need to work cooperatively as partners under the imminent Clinton administration for the good of our coast? And when will this vigilante vandalism of our yard signs end?