From the Editor: Got chaos? Just get over it
Maybe we should just embrace the idea that we live in the Age of Chaos.
As this is written Tuesday morning, no one knows who won the Democratic presidential caucuses in Iowa. It seems some of the people running the caucuses couldn’t use the app that the state party set up to report results.
When my nephew was 3, he amazed the family by playing a game on his dad’s phone. I’m just saying.
Iowa isn’t the only piece of chaos we’re dealing with. The U.S. Senate is moving toward a vote that seems certain to acquit President Donald J. Trump of the charges on which he was impeached by the House of Representatives. St. Mary’s congressional representatives played a role.
U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins, R-Port Barre, voted against impeachment in the House.
“The articles narrate no elements of any crime,” Higgins said in a press release. “They stand upon opinion and conjecture, they confirm only disdain for President Trump and those who voted for him.
“However, Democrats have moved forward, absent of evidence and with hate in their hearts, to impeach President Trump. The American people will see this for what it is ... an attempt by one party to weaponize impeachment and overturn an election.”
Both Louisiana U.S. senators voted no on the big proposition so far in the Senate trial, the motion to allow witnesses.
“The House managers established a possibility; the President’s counsel established a reasonable doubt,” said U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, in a press release. “Additional witnesses would not change this.”
Like Cassidy, fellow Republican Sen. John Kennedy sent a link to a YouTube video of his question for the House managers.
The video shows Kennedy’s question make its way to Chief Justice John Roberts, who asked on Kennedy’s behalf why the House impeachment managers didn’t challenge the Trump administration’s claim of executive privilege and immunity.
U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries replied that it was because “the president didn’t raise the question of executive privilege. What the president did raise was this notion of blanket defiance.”
Executive privilege is the doctrine that says the president has the right to keep certain communications with his staff secret in order to protect the national interest.
In chaos closer to home, Louisiana Democrats will pick state central committee members April 4, but state Republicans won’t elect their state leaders.
A lawsuit, in which local lawmaker and state Rep. Beryl Amedee, R-Gray, is a plaintiff, is challenging a law requiring the Republican central committee to elect one man and one woman from each House district.
The requirement is from an old law written when, as the saying goes, Republican meetings could be held in a phone booth. It was part of a Democratic move toward inclusiveness in party matters beginning in the 1970s.
The rule may be inclusiveness to Democrats, but to Republicans, it’s a quota. It didn’t matter much until recently, when Republicans reached the registration threshold set out in the law.
So while the Democrats are picking their state leaders, Republicans will be preparing to duke it out in court.
Local elections for Republican Parish Executive Committee seats are still on for April 4, but there won’t be much voting.
Five candidates qualified for the five at-large seats: Coty Fontenot of Morgan City, Christian Gil of Patterson, Patrick Hebert Jr. of Morgan City, Bill Johnson of Berwick and Dallas Mercantel of Morgan City.
Also unopposed are Robert L. Allain III of Jeanerette in District 1, Chet C. Howard of Franklin in District 2, Glynn R. Pellerin of Franklin in District 3, Jeremy Chesteen of Patterson in District 4, Timothy Kyle of Patterson in District 5 and Patrick J. Hebert of Morgan City.
Five districts drew no candidates at all.
In races for the Democratic PEC, five people qualified for five at-large seats: Benjamin J. Anderson of Franklin, Howard Castay of Morgan City, Alfreida B. Edwards of Franklin, Jonathan B. Jones of Jeanerette and Sam Jones of Franklin.
Qualifying without opposition were Lue Pearl Washington of Jeanerette in District 1, Willie J. Peters of Franklin in District 2, Oray P. Rogers of Franklin in District 3, John Stork of Morgan City in District 6, Ann W. Poole of Morgan City in District 8, Gary M. Wiltz of Franklin in District 9 and Sheila Jones of Centerville in District 10.
No one qualified in five districts.
April 4 will also be the date for Louisiana’s presidential primaries. Fifteen Democratic presidential hopefuls appear on the ballot, but latecomer Michael Bloomberg isn’t among them.
Four candidates are challenging the president in the Republican primary. The best-known among them is former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld.
Bill Decker is managing editor of The Daily Review.