Wednesday, May 24, 2006

About the GOP Involvement

Does anybody know whether video tapes or written transcripts of the local election coverage is available somehow? I'm specifically talking about ABC 26's election night coverage. At the very least, does anybody else recall Jeff Crouere's statement that The White House told the Greater New Orleans Republicans that Nagin was their man?

Considering that conservatives seem to be trying to have it both ways, claiming the DNC tried to undercut Nagin (because he was the honest, reform candidate), but also trying to make racial appeals based on Nagin's re-election, it would be nice to have some strong evidence of national GOP involvement.

To begin, if you're not familiar with the oyster-adrastos theory, then click and follow the links. Unfortunately, when I've emailed out-of-state acquaintances about it, they haven't seemed particularly interested. Face it whether it was La. Republicans or New Orleans Democrats who did more to re-elect Nagin, it's still a state and local issue--unless Republicans are trying to make hay out of it.

I speculated before that the White House was involved. In the first week of the runoff, Bush gave Nagin a photo-op and his housing secretary made comments that certainly could have been calculated to help Nagin in the election.

The fact that Nagin has (since his September Meet The Press appearance) consistently put more of the blame for what went wrong during the crisis and for the slow pace of recovery on the state than on Washington, is just one possible reason for the White House to even care.

Still, it was just speculation with nothing to back it, unless there's any record of Crouere saying that the White House told The Greater New Orleans Republicans that Nagin was their man. Clearly the GNOR attempted a political hit on Mitch Landrieu and Crouere says, in effect, that the White House either ordered or approved the "hit."

I suppose that's still just speculation, TV analysts often get their facts wrong. However, Crouere probably knows what he's talking about where the GNOR is concerned. That's five years old, but his BayouBias colleague Mike Bayham is listed among the current leadership.

So if anyone knows how to get a transcript or tape of ABC26's post-election analysis...

Everything that happens in this country is under the scrutiny of the WH for political opportunity or danger.

Nagin's re-election gets them someone who will support Jihndal again and other GOP candidates, and that the spin machine can use to humiliate blacks and urban advocates and to try to block spending on NOLA. And they get to take the Landrieu's down a notch. Remember, they would probably just assume most of NOLA not come home, if it gains them a Senator and a Governor.

They can conveniently ignore the fact that Nagin is somebody who passed on a contract that would have paid the city for car removal in favor of one costing the taxpayers becuase FEMA would pick up the tab. Now there's clear, GOP thiking, eh?

Also, from my own time as a paid political hack is that the GOP always loudly accuses the opposition of the thing they are most afraid of getting caught out at, so that if they are it becomes a he said/she said, everybody-does-it story. The whole Drudge Howard Dean tale tells me, if only inductively, that they were up to the elbows in the NOLA race.
What Markus said. Plus, by killing New Orleans, the GOP has an opportunity to recast traditionally contentious Louisiana politics in more of a Solid South Red State mode for generations to come. They'd probably be stupid not to try. I keep coming back to the point that Landrieu should have called them out on this and run against Nagin on this issue.. this threat to the city's and state's identity from the outside. It's closer to the kind of emotional issues that put Nagin over the top.
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