Monday, April 4, 2011

"Caroline Fayard Hates Me" - or How The Louisiana GOP Never Turns Down An Opportunity

We could take a lesson from them.

They took both the House and the Senate from Louisiana Democratic majority over the past few years.

Louisiana's Republican Governor Bobby Jindal is no friend of ours.

The formerly Democratic AG switched parties last month to zero repercussions.

And now we have not a single declared statewide Democratic candidate in Louisiana in an election year.

And that's not good enough for Louisiana Republicans. Because they've learned: When your opponent is drowning, hand them an anvil.

So, poor little Caroline Fayard, daughter of the richest trial lawyer in Louisiana, former Clinton White House intern, ivy-league educated, cute enough on the eyes with a darn good brain in her head (she worked for Goldman-Sachs for awhile), jumped into the Lt. Gov.'s special election last year, spending approx. $1.5 million to garner 43% or so of the vote.

And she wants another run at it.

She can't decide which office to run for - Secretary of State? Governor? Lt. Gov.? - or on some days which party she's with - but last week she made some off the cuff remarks at a Washington Parish Democratic meeting that are par for the course for some of us. But either Fayard was unaware than there was a reporter in the room - or she just didn't care.

According to several blogs, these are the quotes attributed to Fayard: “I hate Republicans. I hate Republicans. They are cruel and destructive. They eat their young. They don’t think. They don’t allow people to think. They are bullies.”

“I don’t hate conservatives,” she added. “I am very conservative. I go to church on Sunday. I’m Catholic. I’m pro life.”

Whether you cheer Fayard's comments or shake your head, this isn't about the comments, which have been parsed in the media for a full week now. This post is about the Louisiana GOP's response to them. Not content to just publicly fry Fayard in every newspaper, on every blog and every radio station - the LA GOP is now reportedly (party staffers are so tickled that they're privately bragging about the upcoming printing) printing up bumper stickers - presumably as a fundraiser. They say "Caroline Fayard Hates Me."

It's brilliant, in a totally evil sort of way. Fayard is currently considered the strongest possible Democratic statewide candidate out there. It makes total sense to discredit her NOW before she finally picks a race and jumps in. Why not raise some money while putting your boot on the neck of her fundraising?

Why don't WE do stuff like this? It seems to me that the other guys have figured out what works, at least as far as persuading voters. I don't agree with their tactics, and God knows I disagree with just about everything they stand for.

But here's my personal take-away from this. They never rest. They are never content with winning by five points. When they have out-raised you they go back into call time. When they have discredited a candidate they go the next step and print bumper stickers.

We could learn something from that kind of tenacity.