New Orleans’ mayor Mitch Landrieu is the perfect choice for the Democrats in 2020, for all the reasons they’d prefer to ignore.
Ever since the live images of the famous Alexander Doyle statue of Robert E. Lee dangling precariously from a crane, swinging dangerously close to the pedestal upon which it had stood for 130 years, with an amateur work crew plucked from the ranks of the New Orleans Fire Department gawking on as the statue was deposited on a flatbed truck bound for an ignominious storage location in a lousy part of town, the national media has begun inflating the stature of the Big Easy’s mayor.
They’ve made much of Mitch Landrieu’s supposedly “brilliant” speech explaining the removal of the Lee statue, plus three other historical monuments in the city including one to P.G.T. Beauregard, Louisiana’s most famous Civil War figure and, ironically, a former mayoral candidate who lost an election because he ran on a civil rights ticket. They’ve given Landrieu a Sunday show platform to spout the usual Democrat social justice drivel. And they’ve given him friendly interviews to expound on the importance and sagacity of America’s big-city mayors, as if the rest of the country is deluded enough to believe they as a group are doing other than a disastrous job.
Landrieu has apparently worn his newfound notoriety and fame so well that last week he was named the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. In his new designation, he blurted forth a series of thorough inanities, among them…
- A missive to members of Congress howling about a bill proposing to sanction sanctuary cities;
- A broadside attack on President Trump for his “myopic, narrow view” on the issues of the day;
- A trashing of the Senate version of Obamacare repeal, accusing it of “making us sicker;” and
- An exhortation of mayors to lead from “the radical center.”
That’s not a comprehensive list.
Landrieu’s national profile isn’t an accident. Earlier this year he put together a political action committee called NOLA PAC, and began hosting fundraisers for it — one of which was at the posh Uptown New Orleans home of James Carville and Mary Matalin (typically Matalin will make herself scarce on nights Carville is feting Democrats, and vice versa). Interestingly enough, that PAC has a website (which consists of nothing more than a donor page at present) and Landrieu converted his Facebook page into an advertisement for the PAC, but as of yesterday a search for it at the Federal Elections Commission turned up no results. It does turn up in a search at the Louisiana Board of Ethics site, however, with a host of donations from companies and law firms doing business with the city.
He’s trying to find some sort of national role beyond that of mayor of New Orleans, and none is available to Landrieu in Louisiana. There is no more unpopular political figure in that state than Mitch Landrieu; he would be dead in the water as a candidate for any statewide or federal office in the Sportsman’s Paradise, and he knows it.
So naturally, he’s trying to position himself to run for president. Right?
When Politico asked him about those plans, this was the response…
“I’m not planning to run for president, I’m not running for president. I can’t tell you if they offered me the job I wouldn’t take it, but that generally is never going to happen.”
There’s a non-denial if ever you’ve seen one.
Here’s hoping Landrieu is telling lies, like he commonly does, and is truly positioning to run in 2020 for the Democrats’ presidential nomination. They’ll love him, and so will we. Here are three reasons why:
The Democrats Are the Party of People Incapable of Doing a Proper Job
A quick anecdote: in the first few days of 2006, as New Orleans was just beginning to recover from the devastation of Katrina, at a social gathering I met a tech entrepreneur who had transplanted himself to New Orleans from New York. The conversation turned to politics, and specifically the mayoral election then just a few weeks away between then-mayor (and current federal inmate) Ray Nagin and Landrieu, who at the time was Louisiana’s Lt. Governor.
My new acquaintance, who identified himself as a rock-solid economic conservative, surprised me by saying he was for Nagin. And his reason why stuck with me. “Look, they’re both lefties and they’re both terrible,” he said. “But between two socialists, you always want the incompetent one. He’ll be the guy you’re better off with, because he won’t know how to ruin the business climate. With Landrieu, I’d get nothing but harassments and shakedowns from this inspector and that one, and while I’m in startup that’ll kill me. Nagin’s so dumb he and his people will leave me alone.”
Nagin won the race, and from 2006 to 2010 New Orleans’ economy absolutely boomed. By the time Landrieu did win election in early 2010 he inherited one of America’s most dynamic local economies. And has proceeded to choke it off almost completely.
Nagin didn’t do a good job in his second term, mind you. New Orleans was in a state of near anarchy for the duration of those four years. But you could make a buck amid the chaos.
With Landrieu, there is a different kind of chaos. Business owners like the one I met that night in January 2006 are saddled with the typical urban-socialist regulatory state, and the old system of municipal corruption that has plagued New Orleans for decades is back with a vengeance.
But that’s for the people who choose to obey the law. And in a city where only 12 percent of the murder cases are cleared, where motorists traveling on I-10 through the city are regularly pelted with stray — or not-so-stray — bullets, where two tourists from Boston are savagely beaten while walking on a major thoroughfare at 9:00 p.m. in the supposedly-safe French Quarter and where the power to the city’s Central Business District is cut in the middle of a Thursday afternoon because thieves have stolen a copper grounding rod from the power substation feeding juice to the downtown area, it’s pretty clear. If you don’t feel like living by Mitch Landrieu’s laws, then laissez les bon temps roulez.
Nobody with any pride in their work, or any expectation of quality in the work of leadership, would even think of voting for someone with the track record of Mitch Landrieu. On the other hand, that statement could be made of every other potential Democrat candidate in 2020.
Mitch Landrieu as the Democrat Nominee Will Spotlight Weaponized Governmental Failure in American Cities
There’s the old thinking, and the new. The Democrats have cracked the code, and the rest of us haven’t quite figured out how to call them on it. But with Mitch Landrieu bearing their standard, it starts to become easy.
The old thinking was that if you got elected to something and did a poor job in office, you were going to pay the price for it when it came time to be re-elected. That’s still true in a lot of cases — but not in the case of big-city politics. There, the reverse is true — particularly if you’re a Democrat.
For example, when the last Republican mayor of Detroit left office in 1960, that was the richest major city per capita in the world. Bar none. It had the richest black community in the world. Bar none. And in a half-century the Democrats wrought utter destruction on the place, so much so that they brought municipal bankruptcy down on a city whose population was less than half of the 1.8 million the Republicans had left it with.
And who were the people who left? Why, the Republicans of course.
There never were any Republicans in New Orleans, at least not since Reconstruction, but the city had the same middle class voters Detroit had, and just like in Detroit those voters decamped for the suburbs once they got a whiff of the leftist policies the Democrats had in store for them. The “white flight” (it’s not particularly white, by the way — the black middle class escapes urban socialism just like the white one does) in New Orleans really began apace under the misrule of Landrieu’s father Moon, and it’s largely complete. When Landrieu’s replacement is elected this fall, it’s going to be someone with virtually zero demonstrated administrative skill, no understanding of market economics or business to speak of, and all the same fantastic delusions about crime and human nature Landrieu brought to the table.
And why? Because with the middle class largely gone and the remainder consisting of the very rich and the very poor, the electorate will no longer demand high levels of service in the legitimate functions of government at competitive rates of taxation and will instead ask for inanities like the destruction of historical landmarks to make famous expatriates like Wynton Marsalis feel better.
We call this Weaponized Governmental Failure. You run off the middle class, and the tax base that goes with them, and you get to rule without accountability. You’ll rule over a ruin, but you’ll rule. And if your party controls Washington, the federal government will subsidize your ruin.
Landrieu as the Democrats’ nominee will present the best opportunity yet for the GOP to expose this scam and message against it. That failed when urban machine pol Barack Obama was the nominee; this would be another bite at the apple.
By All Means, Let’s Have More Stupid Identity Politics Driving Our National Discussion
Please, Lord, grace us with the opportunity to run an election campaign against a man who said this…
“I respectfully ask if you’ve ever thought about the possibility that these monuments, in a way, are murder.”
That came from an appearance Landrieu made at the Center for American Progress earlier this month, when Landrieu was asked whether it constituted a good prioritization of the city’s resources to focus on removing Lee, Beauregard, and the rest while the city was in the midst of a crime wave so pronounced that more than 700 people have been shot in the first six months of 2017.
Landrieu is the most consistent panderer on race in America today, and he comes from a family of shameless panderers on race. His father was well-known for it, and his sister Mary, who was turned out by the voters of Louisiana in the 2014 Senate race after 16 years in office, explained her failing campaign as the victim of the racism and sexism of Louisiana’s voters.
There is no better avatar for the utter lack of substance in today’s Democrat party than this man, and he doesn’t even bother to wear it well — because, as is the case with most of that party’s leading lights, his constituents have been trained to vote on therapeutic rhetoric and tribal politics. Landrieu isn’t black, though he has some African ancestry going back a century, but he’s spent his entire political career posing as a facsimile of a black politician and he spouts the language of social justice as though he were Ben Jealous or Al Sharpton. It’s all he knows.
And we know, thanks to Trump’s election, the evisceration of Democrats in statehouses across the country, the four special Congressional elections this year and countless other examples, that social justice rhetoric and identity politics repel the majority of American voters.
By all means, Democrats. Give us more of the same, only dumber. We look forward to the Trump/Landrieu donnybrook to come.