Monday, December 11, 2006

Team New Orleans: Quotes

As one might imagine, the recent elections in Louisiana Congressional District 2 are still roiling commentary around New Orleans. I was driving around town with my cousin’s husband today and we listened to talk radio the whole time. The atmosphere and conversations about this have been aggravated, frustrated and defensive. Can't imagine why.

To paraphrase one quote I heard today from talk show host – he was discussing with his callers how New Orleans is perceived by the rest of the country and how that affects the recovery – was ‘they re-elected Nagin and re-elected Jefferson. Wow, they’re really turning it around down there, we should send them more money.’

Remember that huge post I wrote earlier that Dante eviscerated? Yeah, well, that was just one facet of a very, very complicated election in a very, very complicated place.

So, in the spirit of quotes, here’s a roundup:

"It's not the end of the world. We've already been through that in August 2005." Library Chronicles. (This guy accurately picked the outcome of the election, btw.) More here.

Some numbers breakdown:
After “objectively” “hacking” the voter returns for the 2nd Congressional District race, I found that majority white precincts in Jefferson Parish voted about 4 to 1 for Jefferson. By contrast, white precincts in Orleans Parish voted about 20 to 1 for Karen Carter. Majority black precincts in Jefferson Parish voted about 40 to 1 for Bill Jefferson, and in Orleans parish, the ratio was about 8 to 1 for Jefferson. Since I’m missing about a half dozen precincts that were redistricted after the 2000 US Census, I may revise these numbers later if I have more time to “hack” (but it’s very time-consuming).
There’s even a map involved, for those who want a visual.
More here, and here.

Also, folks, New Orleans ain't the first place that's elected or re-elected someone with a gynormous dark cloud hanging over their head. And we won't be the last. My personal favorite was how Boston political icon (at various times Mayor, Congressman and Governor) James Michael Curley kept winning elections in spite of two pesky felony convictions. The Boston Rascal King makes Dollar Bill look like a piker, y'all. Louisiana is NOT the only place in the US with a rich history of exuberant corruption (New Jersey, Maryland, Texas, Illinois and New York also come to mind) we're just more fixated on it. We're also way too fixated on our IMAGE and how others see us. Do you think Italians give a shit if the Swedes disapprove of past papal/wise guy dominated right wing governments? Hell no, they drink some red wine, say 10 Hail Marys and flip-off the Swedes.
I'm also NOT surprised that West Bank voters voted in their local self-interest and didn't care what outsiders thought. This is how this community has *always* been. In the unflooded parts of the city post-K, neighborhood leaders have had a very hard time getting their people interested in anything that doesn't affect their own blocks. To quote or paraphrase Jeffrey: "All politics is local and New Orleans politics is local-er."
Read more here, and here.

What happens now?
Clancy DuBos made one good point: if Jefferson survives the indictment, the party primary system will make it almost impossible to unseat him in two years. That's something for all the clever strategic voters who voted for Jefferson in hopes of getting a better choice after the indictment to think about.
-Moldy City

-World Class New Orleans (I had a quote, but Word must have eaten it on the clip and paste. Please read whole article.)

How did some folks on the left react?
If you're in the mood for a little self-flagellation, hop on over to Kos or MyDD. The brain trusts there are saying that, since Jefferson Parish voted for Jefferson, then we don't deserve rebuilding.
Read more here.

"Now cross your fingers and lets hope he gets indicted...Call it an overtime" -The American Zombie.

"I want Run Oliver Run! yard signs printed in advance so they can be put out, en masse, the day after Jefferson gets indicted." - Your Right Hand Thief

Perhaps a more permanent remedy is in order?
The political class in Louisiana, both Democrats and Republicans, have used their power to create permanent jobs for themselves. They will go out of office when they are damned good and ready, money in the freezer or whatever. I’m just as bewildered as everyone else about why we are putting up with this, but am I the only one who now has a greater understanding of why the French chopped off their king’s head? What do we have to do to get rid of this embarassing, entitled royalty of ours?

"Quibble, yes. Not as serious as levees/federal government v. hurricane/personal failure but worth noting." -GBitch

And finally:
[The Saints] are a better team than we deserve. If you voted for Dollar Bill or stayed home and let him be re-elected; if you voted Republican in the past and acquiesce in (if not endorse) the sort of politics that left him unindicted on the odd chance he might be re-elected to provide some future political advantage or a West Banker who helped send a future felon back in our name on the odd chance you might do better next time, don't be putting on your Bush jersey tomorrow. You don't deserve to wear it. If you want to be part of team New Orleans, then you damned well better start acting like it.
We need to shake off Saturday and remember the levee and assessor vote, the election of a new city council in all the repopulated districts.
We need to get up tomorrow and get back to work at being a city worthy of what we saw, of what the nation saw on television tonight. We need to figure out how to be a team that models itself on the 53 men who did honor Sunday to the names New Orleans and Louisiana. All right, now shower up and get on the damned bus so we can start over tomorrow on doing it right.
-Wet Bank Guide.

New Orleans: home of jazz, spectacular writers and a winning NFL team. Our ass-tastic government officials get on TV so yours don't have to.


Schroeder said...

What? No comments?

Here's one: I'll never understand why hatred is considered a "conservative" talk show value. How guys who make big bucks by spewing hatred and making the airwaves a toxic no-go wasteland could so harshly criticize a place they've never visited post-Katrina ... well, I'll just be "conservative" in my reaction and simply say they have absolutely no idea unless they've been here to gut a house.

Our ass-tastic government officials get on TV so yours don't have to.

Patrick Armstrong said...

Nope, no comments. I did think there'd be more on this thread, but some of those quotes knocked the ball out of the park.