Monday, May 22, 2006

Ray-torical questions

Why are conservatives who spent the past nine months wishing Ray Nagin would be cast into the pit of Hell suddenly fine with his re-election? At least they seem to feel this way at Conservative Cajun:

Nick: As for Nagin, I've certainly been very critical of him, and rightfull [sic] so IMHO. However, another Landrieu with real state power is the last thing New Orleans and Louisiana needed. The Landruies [sic] have done nothing for Louisiana and are part of the problem with New Orleans. My next op-ed will tie in their Louisiana dynasty and the possible dynasties of the Clintons and Bushs [sic], and how dynasties are probably a bad thing for government, plus give my views on how the recent election sheds a light on the election process.

Cajun Tiger: I ditto your sentiments on Nagin over Landrieu. While he made lots of errors during Katrina, one of his biggest obstacles was the city machine (mostly in place since Landrieu's dad) hated him for cleaning up the city corruption and did everything possible to see him fail.

Which are valid points, except that previously I couldn't utter "Ray Nagin" on this site without Nick posting endless comments about why Nagin was the catalyst for everything bad that happened to New Orleans in the wake of Katrina:

"Nagin is to blame for putting his own ass up in a perfectly comfortable position before the hurricane when he could have helped the citizens."

"The mayor is an incompetent idiot. It was HIS responsibility to have those school buses pick up the people to bring them to the Superdome.

[Referring to a caption-central picture] "'Back there is where the buses were that I could have used to try and save some people. We're burning them so that there will be no evidence of my incompetence, and I can blame everything on the federal government.'"

But all of a sudden these guys are basically saying, "Poor Ray! The deck was stacked against him from the start by policies set up long ago by a corrupt Democratic regime." Mitch Landrieu represented hope for lots of people across the spectrum; but apparently some people are so dead-set against another Landrieu being mayor of New Orleans that they will hitch their wagons to a man they've despised for so long.

The more I read about how the Republicans supported Nagin in the mayoral election, the more I suspect that they are completely unable to put politics aside for any reason. I figured if there was one thing I could count on from conservatives, it was sheer hatred for everything Nagin and New Orleans. Now I can't even count on that! Pretty much all that's left now is their impenetrable loyalty towards George W. Bush. Oh, wait...

Damn. Do the Republicans stand for anything anymore, besides hatred of the opposition?


Speechie said...

Did New Orleans just have elections??? Guess all that attempting to ignore Nagin really worked for me.

Anyway, I agree with the sentiments. You've hit it right on the head this time.

People love to hate the bad guys. If the bad guys aren't around they have no one to hate. So of course they have to stand up for the bad guy when he's getting torn down.

It of course also points to how little SO MANY people actually know about what is going on around them. They parasitically adopt the dogma of the nearest willing "host" for as long as it suits them...this happens whenever there is a tremendous shift in political and religious agendas, etc.

Keep up the good work.

Nick said...


Can you actually site when I've had any sympathy for Ray Nagin, other than when I said he's maybe a bit mental like Pat Robertson with his off the wall, idiot comments? No, you can't, because I have no sympathy for Nagin, so don't group me in there.

Nagin left perfectly working (at least before the flood waters) school buses unused when they could have been used to move people to higher ground BEFORE the storm. People wanted to blame the federal gov't, and they are to blame for alot of stuff AFTER the hurricane, but the blame fall squarely on the state and local gov'ts for being able to give a damn about people only enough to bus them to the voting booths, but not enough to bus them out of harm's way before a deadly hurricane, and the Landrieus are part of that problem. I think New Orleans people were downright stupid to vote an arrogant idiot and an arrogant, family-linked corrupt politician into the run-off. Ray Nagin hardly moved a finger to try and safe poor residents before the storm, and the Landrieus are part of the whole reason why New Orleans has become a city with generations of people and families who don't know how to do anything but live off of the government. From the Longs to the Edwards and now the Landriues, these family "dynaties" have done an excellent job of putting New Orleans and Louisiana into the crap-hole it was in before 2005.

I'm not at all happy that Nagin is mayor, but one of the last thing Louisiana needed was another member of its political crony families in power.

Ian McGibboney said...

Then why are you only mentioning the Landrieu effect now? I don't recall you ever citing that before Mitch was up for election.

Another question: if the top two candidates were so obviously corrupt, then why couldn't the Republicans have at least put someone up against them? It seems like the easiest thing in the world to me. Unless, of course, the reason is that having Nagin in office looks good for the GOP in future elections. How crass. I thought the point of this election was to offer the best-possible leader for the city. My bad.

Nick said...

The reason I never mentioned a Landrieu effect is because it was not relevant until he ran for mayor, as daddy Moon was long retired and sis Mary was already cemented into Senate for the time being.

Why didn't the GOP put someone else in there? I don't know. You ask that as if I know the GOP's plans. However, as I just posted the editorial I promised in the comment you cited, family dynasties are bad regardless of party. Jeb Bush would be a disaster presidency for the United States. Also, another point I made is that the citizens of New Orleans obviously don't want change. They gave themselves two choices, status quo with Nagin or status quo with a Landrieu. As much as you like to deamonize Lousiana and its politics, you should be well aware that families such as the Longs, Edwards, and Landrieus are a big reason why Louisiana and New Orleans was in the position it was in before Katrina and Rita.

As for my personal opinion, I think the guy who ran the successful Audobon Zoo should have been given a shot to help the city, as it could use a real business person to help bring economic growth into the region. I think he was one of the Republican candidates in the primary.

Ian McGibboney said...

"The reason I never mentioned a Landrieu effect is because it was not relevant until he ran for mayor..."

No, what you said was that Nagin's failure had to do with the Landrieu dynasty. If that were true (and not just a Johnny-come-lately political point), then you would have mentioned it during all the times you dissed Nagin. But not once did you ever do that. The only time you decided it was important enough to mention was when it was expedient to diss the Mitch Landrieu campaign. Not that you're the only one who dredged up the Landrieu family baggage as soon as it came down to replacing Nagin.

In terms of an alternative, I can't speak with any authority. Suffice to say, I don't think installing businesspeople is going to help our government or reputation any more than it's helped the last 58 administrations that we've had that have vowed to "clean up and run the government like a business."

But I do agree with you on the point that dynasties are generally bad for politics. The whole point of our government is that we steer away from monarchy. At least in theory. Let's bring back merit, baby.

Phillip said...

something hollywood seems to have figured out is that people love sequels and remakes. i don't think it's a stretch to apply the penchant for the familiar to politics, regardless of reason. not that "reason" has been a big factor in our culture any time recently.

lately it seems like the entire raison d'etre for republicans, especially the down-with-the-ship bush supporters, is only to one-up the other side regardless of principle. conservatism doesn't seem to exist anymore, so i have no clue what else would be the motivation for someone to still lay claim to being a republican unless they have some intrinsic need to be right all the time and are incapable of admitting mistakes.

nick - "I think the guy who ran the successful Audobon Zoo should have been given a shot to help the city..." are you implying something about the people of new orleans? i kid.

Nick said...

"what you said is that Nagin's failure had to do with the Landrieu's dynasty"

Where in the heck did I say that? Please, invent something for my amusement, because I never said that. Here is what I've said:

Nagin is responsible for not finding a way to transport poor and disabled people out of the low-lying areas before the storm. The Landrieu family in one of the big reasons why New Orleans has been and still is full of people who have been taught almost nothing but to depend on the government, along with being a big contributor to running Louisiana and its citizens into the ground with corruption and socialist policies towards citizens and businesses. Nagin, Landrieu, Jesse Jackson, etc., sure as hell made sure the busing system was up to bus people for elections, but none of them lifted a finger to attempt to get them up and running to move people just a couple blocks to higher ground or to Baton Rouge.

Brining in a businessman who is not currently a politician would not help the city? How do you figure? At least it's would be worth a shot rather than electing someone who's whole life has been dedicated towards being a politician for a family that has aided in the demise of Louisiana.

Phillip: Between the rampant looting (not talking about necessaties like food, I would have stolen food too) and the fact that New Orleans has held the title Murder Capital of the Country, sometimes you have to wonder.

Ian McGibboney said...

Nick, the problem with bringing in a businessperson is that they are generally given a free pass because hey, look how much money they can generate! I don't trust business owners to fairly govern any more than you trust "career politicians." Not sure if you know this, but a few years ago an ethics test was given to corporate CEOs and incarcerated sociopaths. Both groups scored almost identically. Anyway, two words counter any illusion of a corporate utopia: Mike Foster! Ultimately, you can't guarantee someone's going to be good one way or the other based simply on what sector they have chosen to work.

Nick said...

At least a good businessman knows not to strangle citizens and businesses in an economically depressed state and/or city with higher taxation, unlike career politicians who can't help but pass tax increases so the money can be used to padden the wallets of their family and friends, but of course there are some exceptions, Mike Foster and Joey Durel being a good example of the exception. However, we already know that neither Nagin or Landrieu can cut it, or at least I do based on history of New Orleans and of the state. Why not try something completely different, rather than elect the same old politicians over and over? That is Louisiana's problem.

Ian McGibboney said...

Mike Foster was so relentlessly pro-business that his election was seen as a mandate to run government like a business. I won't get into the debate over whether that's even a good idea, but suffice to say his practices didn't achieve the desired result.

As for the pet-store magnate Joey Durel, he TOLD ME PERSONALLY that one of his top priorities was preventing the massive brain drain of college graduates from Lafayette. Today alone, I've had lengthy conversations with two graduates (one new and another with the same degrees as myself) who can't buy jobs in this town. If that's the effect of businesspeople in government, then you can have it back.

"Why not try something completely different, rather than elect the same old politicians over and over?"

Because you're all so afraid of Landrieu's name...THAT'S why Nagin got re-elected. As far as I recall, Ray was already mayor, but Mitch never was.