Tuesday, May 23, 2006

New Orleans: The Inside Story

Louisiana political activist/media personality/columnist Jeff Crouere delivers the inside scoop on the New Orleans mayoral election, explaining how "vanilla Republican" voters defeated Mitch Landrieu and re-elected Ray "Chocolate City" Nagin:
For the last week of the campaign, Nagin surged while Landrieu faltered. Nagin received key endorsements from former candidates Virginia Boulet and Rob Couhig and used them effectively in his advertising campaign. Election results show that Nagin held his base of black voters, receiving 80%, while expanding his support among white voters to over 20%. .... Nagin’s victory, with the help of GOP voters, will probably accelerate “white flight” from New Orleans, as the chocolate city will become an even darker flavor. Many people say they are leaving because they have no trust in Nagin or his ability to revive New Orleans ....
Only in New Orleans could this type of scenario occur. Let’s hope that the Republicans who took a chance on Nagin do not live to regret their controversial decision.
By all means, go read the whole thing -- the amazing inside story the MSM will never report!

New Orleans is (a) a major Democratic Party stronghold, and (b) one of the most shamelessly corrupt cities in the United States -- not unrelated phenomena, one might suspect.

Political journalists have long strained their vocabularies attempting to describe the "endemic" and "notorious" corruption of New Orleans, which so staunchly Democratic that the city's vote has been able to prevent Louisiania from mirroring the Republican re-alignment trend that has swept the South in the past 15 years. This is why Democratic Party leaders:
Sought, even before Katrina hit, to falsely blame the disaster on the Bush administration.
Repeatedly tried to frame the flood and the subsequent botched relief efforts in racial terms.
Raised such an unholy fuss about making sure that New Orleans evacuees must be allowed to continue voting.

On pages 139-141 of DONKEY CONS, we cite New Orleans as a classic example of the historic connection between Democratic Party corruption and the chronic misery of the inner-city poor. This pattern (Chapter 8) which can be traced all the way back to the party's origins with Aaron Burr, founder of the infamous Tammany Hall machine in New York (Prologue & Chapter 3).

The Katrina disaster in New Orleans -- like disastrous 50-year death-spiral of Detroit -- shows how the corruption, racial demagoguery, and wrong-headed liberalism of urban Democrats have betrayed the poor people who are the Democratic Party's most loyal constituents.

Katrina, then, presented a double danger to Democrats:
  • If thousands of the city's loyal Democratic voters should be permanently dispersed to surrounding states, Democrats might lose Sen. Mary Landrieu's Senate seat in 2008, and forever abandon hope of recapturing the seat won in 2004 by Republican Sen. David Vitter.
  • If those who watched the Katrina chaos unfold live on their TV screens ever understood how deeply the liberalism and corruption of New Orleans Democrats were implicated in that disaster, it might do serious damage to the carefully cultivated myth of Democrats as noble guardians of the poor and oppressed.
From the moment the levees gave way, smart Democrats -- including such Louisiana natives as Cokie Roberts, James Carville and Donna Brazile-- understood the seriousness of the threat the New Orleans situation posed to the Democratic Party's hopes of regaining national power.

Some conservative pundits have foolishly tried to make a joke of the post-Katrina mess, joking about "School Bus" Nagin and his unfathomable (to outsiders) "Chocolate City” rhetoric. Understand that Nagin was first elected as a moderate reformer. Nagin was supported by white businessmen weary of the crude corruption, lax law enforcement and left-wing race-baiting that were the bitter legacy of the Morial dynasty -- a real liability to the city's tourism-based economy.

The Katrina mess was no joke to Democrats. That's why Howard Dean and every other national bigwig in the Democratic solar system was fretting over this mayoral election. Jeff Crouere's observation that "vanilla Republican" voters provided the margin that re-elected Nagin is thus very significant, with potential ramifications that may not become fully apparent until 2008 or later.

Previously on NEW ORLEANS:

5/21: Caught on tape!
5/3: Illegal to give, illegal to receive?
4/4: A tale of two congressmen
4/1: New Orleans judge investigated
3/20: Sanity in New Orleans
3/18: Police looting OK in New Orleans
3/18: Paging Dr. Howard Dean
2/17: You know it's bad when ...
2/15: Morial spews a flood of lies
2/4: New vote fraud opportunities
1/17: Knee-deep in the Big Muddy


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DONKEY CONS: Rave review
DONKEY CONS: Another rave review
DONKEY CONS: Yet ANOTHER rave review
DONKEY CONS: Vilmar loves it!
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DONKEY CONS: About the book
DONKEY CONS: On Capitol Hill
DONKEY CONS: About the authors