Leave it to Louisiana to pass a law so breathtakingly ridiculous that it boggles the mind contemplating its twisted logic and leaves it as the butt of late-night comedians’ jokes.
Governor Jindal signed Act 389 passed in the 2011 Regular Session of the legislature which bars the use of cash for secondhand transactions in the state of Louisiana in an effort to curtail the theft of copper and other metals. The law of unintended consequences immediately came into effect as it was realized that any cash transaction at a yard sale, flea market, or antique store could be in violation of the new law. The new law’s legislative sponsors are spending their time defending the intent of the Act from angry citizens and incredulous journalists.
I recall reading that Louisiana had elected a Republican governor and that the Legislature recently swapped over to Republican control for the first time since Reconstruction. Governor Jindal, touted by many in national Republican circles as a worthy presidential opponent to Barrack Obama, signed the Act into law apparently agreeing with its premise. So, it seems to be fashionable in Republican politics to increase the reach of big government into its citizens’ affairs in order to insure the interests of government are protected, namely the collection of tax revenues. Surely there were some principled Republicans in the Louisiana House that voted against such a bill so at odds with conservative philosophy. But alas, there were none as the bill sailed through the House 97 to 0 with 8 absent. On the Senate side, only one Republican, Senator Neil Riser from Columbia, voted against the bill as it was passed 34 to 1 with 4 absent.
Apparently all the talk of Louisiana’s seismic shift to the Republican Party failed to mention that conservatism wasn’t part of the deal. RINOs seem to be alive and well in Louisiana and thriving as their ranks have recently swelled due to the influx of former Democrats seeking political cover from the train wreck of Barrack Obama’s tenure as president.
The Tea Party has gone to great pains to defeat moderate Republicans with a great deal of success in the 2010 elections. The Republican establishment continues to whine that this is a losing strategy even as its adherents seek new employment. The Tea Party correctly targeted moderate Republicans as the greatest threat to conservatism in their go-along-to-get-along attitude. Americans have seen the radical progressive agenda up close and are rejecting it overwhelmingly. They seek a clear alternative to this agenda and liberalism-light isn’t going to cut it. While the Tea Party of Louisiana has its work cut out for it next year, it also has a target-rich environment from which to pick its fights.
Louisiana is now a Republican state and the Tea Party shouldn’t fear losing it back to Democrat control. Louisiana Democrats are demoralized at having to be associated with Obama, a president destined to join Jimmy Carter as one of America’s worst, if not the worst. Louisiana is known as the Sportsman’s Paradise for its abundance of hunting and fishing opportunities and diverse wildlife. In that rich tradition, it’s time for the Tea Party to go RINO hunting in Louisiana as the season opens next year, and remember that there’s no limit on this species.