A Nurse with a Gun

Friday, October 28, 2005

Democrats Scramble for Scattered Votes

A Boat Without a PaddleWith the evacuation of New Orleans to regions all throughout the United States, an unexpected consequence occured in Louisiana. One of the most powerful political forces in the nation was effectively dismantled. New Orleans was a Democratic voting block like few others. The demographics of Louisiana made politics almost a certainty throughout the state. As goes New Orleans, so goes the state. With Hurricane Katrina, that political force was demolished as surely as the levees that contained it.
Now, with the bungling attempts at rebuilding the Big Easy, the political machine it supported has suddenly realized their vulnerability, on a national scale.
Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala., and Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisc., touted a bill Thursday that would allow evacuees of Hurricane Katrina to vote absentee in their home districts through the 2008 elections, regardless of where they move temporarily. They must first sign an affidavit indicating an intent to move back after the area is reconstructed. Counting all the votes in this case is simply not enough," Feingold said. "We must do everything we can to ensure that those votes are cast." Election laws vary from state to state, but in most places, getting a job or buying a home somewhere else is legal proof that a voter has moved and that his registration should too.
Davis said that's fine for people who intend to move permanently, but he believes hundreds of thousands of evacuees intend to return to Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama once they can. In that case, they should have the right to vote for the officials who will preside over the reconstruction, Davis said. Mayor Nagin (D) is up for re-election in 2006, Governor Blanco (D) in 2007.
For over a century, the politics of Louisiana were a given, and often taken for granted. Louisiana politics were laughed at when we were forced to vote for David Duke or Edwin Edwards because of our own ignorance. Louisiana politics were appreciated by the Democratic Party though, because New Orleans could be counted on to get out the vote for the Democrats. That tenuous thread was snapped. Those votes are now scattered to the four corners of the country. The Democrats suddenly realized........'Damn!' and they are struggling to maintain that voting block.
Guess what Dems, even if you pass the bill, you may loose the votes. The people whose votes you need have seen what you helped create in their city. They have seen their Democrat Mayor and Governor try to starve people out of the Superdome rather than give them food and water. They have seen drowned out busses that were not staged to help them evacuate. It may not matter whether you pass this bill or not. You have likely already lost these votes. These people are evacuated, but they are not stupid.

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