(Advocate/Times-Picayune, May 19)  

Whatever Gov. Jeff Landry is up to, it’s not conservatism as I’ve known it for 60 years now.

It’s just a vaguely attitudinally right-wing power play. It’s Edwin Edwards-ism of the right, without the humor or the quite-so-ostentatious corruption.

Example: For a month now I’ve been meaning to delve deeply into the tort (lawsuit) reform bills that, perhaps with some minor tweaks, should pass easily in a legislature with overwhelming Republican majorities. While it should indeed be easier for aggrieved parties to secure payments covering actual damages plus reasonable attorney’s fees, Louisiana’s system of jackpot justice is so skewed in favor of extravagant punishments against oft-blameless businesses that the American Tort Reform Association lists the entire state as one of just nine “judicial hellholes” in the whole country.

Then there’s Landry’s ongoing push for a state constitutional convention without giving a clue what his goals are. And, rather than allow the public to choose any delegates specifically for the convention, Landry wants it populated by the exact same legislators over whom he now rides herd, along with 27 other appointees of his own choosing. Landry essentially wants to refashion the entire state constitution at his personal direction, without public input or even telling the public why.

This isn’t classical conservatism; it’s Central American caudillo envy — banana republic stuff without the bananas…. [The full column is at this link.]


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