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This is pretty big:

Republican Sen. David Vitter lost his bid to be the next governor of Louisiana on Saturday, and it wasn’t even close. The two-term senator lost the runoff election to Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards by double digits, setting the stage for the state to potentially become the first in the Deep South to accept a pivotal part of Obamacare.

[…]

Jindal also rejected federal funding to expand Medicaid. Edwards has pledged to sign an executive order authorizing the expansion of the program on his first day in office. That’s a really big deal. Such a move would provide coverage to about 225,000 residents in one of the poorest states in the nation.

Edwards is no progressive hero. But if he’s able to expand Medicaid that in and of itself makes the election worth it. Of course, a “dealbreaker” theory of electoral politics would counsel not voting for Edwards, which is precisely why they’re stupid.

Some interesting background from Weigel:

In Louisiana, it’s an open secret that Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) concluded a years-long blood feud with Vitter by ending his presidential campaign on Tuesday.

“You can’t get anyone to admit it, but it’s what everyone thinks,” said Julia O’Donoghue, the state politics reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “We spent two days talking about refugees and then two days talking about Jindal. Those first two days were the only ones in the runoff when John Bel [Edwards, the Democratic nominee] was on defense.”

So, in the asshole contest between Jindal and Vitter, the latter won. Which is good news for poor people in Louisiana.

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  • keta

    Amongst all the right wing hysteria since the attacks in Paris it’s perhaps Vitter’s disgusting and dangerous lying, in a last-ditch effort to save a failing campaign, that most enrages.

    What a colossal failure as a human being.

    • kayden

      And thankfully that big whopper didn’t even help him. He’s not running for the Senate either so I guess he’s done with politics. What a nasty way to go out.

      • endaround

        He’s done with elective politics. I’m sure he will still be doing politics.

    • ThrottleJockey

      I’ve seen cockroaches that were more human than Vitter.

      Does anyone know how his wife could stick with such a slug???

      • dl

        she’s into diapers too?

  • dp

    JBE is conservative on gun control and abortion. Otherwise, he’s a straight-ticket Democrat — civil rights, voting rights, criminal justice reform, labor rights, minimum wage, K-12 education, higher education, you name it — he’s where he should be. Tonight is a happy night for anyone who doesn’t espouse Ralph Nader purity beliefs.

    • RabbitIslandHermit

      Also Syrian refugees, though I suppose he probably would have been toast had he not tacked to the right on that.

      But whatever his faults he’ll no doubt be a much better governor than any Republican, so good for him and glad to see a Democrat winning in red territory. Also hurray for less pointless death and suffering.

      • ThrottleJockey

        Amen to that!

    • Joe_JP

      Being conservative on those things is bad but realistically especially in regard to abortion not sure how much it really changes things in this state. In fact, marginally at least, his other positions might help in those categories somehow since issues tend to bleed over especially if anti-abortion doesn’t mean he is totally crazy on birth control issues.

  • It would seem that incivility when encountering shitweasels is a winning strategy.

    • Calming Influence

      I for one am encouraged by this. And not just because “Incivility” is my middle name.

      • Gregor Sansa

        Calming Incivility Influence. Catchy, that.

        • Calming Influence

          My parents were both bipolar.

          • Lee Rudolph

            In or out of phase with each other?

    • Manju

      Shitweasel in diapers no less.

      • ThrottleJockey

        I see what you did there.

    • DrDick

      Incivility is always the appropriate response, and the only effective one, when encountering shitweasels.

      • dp

        Indeed

      • Pat

        His campaign guys should double their rates. Those attack ads were fantastic.

  • AMK

    I would love to go on a nice long 50-state strategy rant…how with the right candidates and a willingness to swap pointless cultural crusading for bread-and-butter issues, Democrats can win anywhere. But alas, I’m not sure if this wasn’t just a case of Vitter being such an inept and transparent asshole in the shadow of Jindal’s unique assholery.

    • Connecticut Yankee

      I wonder in what sense abortion rights are “pointless cultural crusading” or not a “bread-and-butter issue.”

      • Well, the former is definitely in the “not at all” category.

    • Atrios

      a big reason for the 50 state strategy is that in any given election cycle there’s a nontrivial possibility that several candidates – especially GOP candidates some reason – are going to implode over some scandal or similar. That doesn’t mean you send millions to every congressional race, but you at least have a viable candidate on the ballot who is actually running a campaign.

      • Peterr

        A lesser but still important reason for this strategy is that it forces the GOP to defend ALL their seats, rather than allowing them to completely coast on some and divert their resources of time, money, and strategists to other, more competitive, races.

        • Karen24

          This is, and the comment from Atrios, are both enormously important! I also note that having a viable candidate means that in a at least a couple of races scandals that might never have been noticed if there hadn’t been a viable opponent. The existence of an alternative can provide the push to publicize a scandal.

          • DrDick

            Exactly. Make them fight for every inch.

            • ThrottleJockey

              I don’t think anyone objects on principle to a 50 state strategy? Isn’t it more a matter of money? While Wall Street has plenty to burn, how cozyier do you want the Dems getting with them? I’m uncomfortable at the extent to which Obama had to rely on Wall Street money, and as much as I love him, I fear it retarded the DOJ’s interest in prosecuting bankers for their role in the ’08 collapse.

              • Davis X. Machina

                Down-ticket candidate recruitment is hard. Really hard.

                The very people you want to see elected are the ones most reluctant to give up a year of their lives in a losing cause.

                • Atrios

                  one reason candidate recruitment is hard is that the DCCC is, well, horrible.

                • jeer9

                  DCCC does indeed stink.

              • djw

                I fear it retarded the DOJ’s interest in prosecuting bankers for their role in the ’08 collapse.

                It’s a pretty safe bet that particular outcome was overdetermined.

    • Murc

      I would love to go on a nice long 50-state strategy rant…how with the right candidates and a willingness to swap pointless cultural crusading for bread-and-butter issues, Democrats can win anywhere.

      What, pray, are these “pointless cultural crusades” you see the Deomocrats going on that they should swap for “bread and butter issues?”

      I’m ever so curious.

      But alas, I’m not sure if this wasn’t just a case of Vitter being such an inept and transparent asshole in the shadow of Jindal’s unique assholery.

      It almost certainly was.

      Here’s my prediction for the next four years; Bel Edwards will be forced by the large Republican majorities and the fact that even the Democrats in Louisiana are pretty fucking conservative to adopt wholly insufficient methods for digging the state out of the hole Jindal dug for it (assuming that the statehouse doesn’t simply adopt a strategy of willful sabotage), while continuing to enthusiastically service the extraction industry in whatever vile ways they demand he do so, because that’s what Louisiana Governors do.

      Then in 2019, with things being not much better than they are now, the Louisiana GOP will nominate someone who can walk and chew gum at the same time, and suddenly the electorate there will remember how much they hate them some gun-grabbin’, homo-huggin’ Dhimmicrats, and he’ll be voted out.

    • Origami Isopod

      Yeah, it doesn’t at all affect women’s ability to earn “bread and butter” by being saddled with unwanted pregnancies. Fuck you and fuck all fauxgressives who push that bullshit.

      • Jackov

        White women supporting Republican politicians who want to strip them of their bodily autonomy at a level I find baffling is no longer surprising. Sadly, I’m thinking this means the end of reproductive freedom – it’s the only way many white women can say ‘you don’t represent me’ to “elites” and “feminists.” Since white women do not vote to protect their freedom at levels I find sufficient, I no longer prioritize supporting their freedom or freedom for all other women. It is all very unfortunate. Sigh.

        • Hogan

          Yes, when I hear “women,” I too automatically translate it into “white women.”

          • Jackov

            “Progressives” translating one group into another in order to justify their ‘fuck ’em’ attitudes appears to be an increasing problem. Usually it is X into a subset of X that they disprove of,especially if some portion of that subset (e.g. white women) votes the wrong way.

            Of course, you are already aware of this though you may have forgotten the specifics of a very recent example of the trend.

            • Hogan

              I dare you to make less sense.

              • Jackov

                May all the rainbows & unicorns be yours!

      • AMK

        I am in fact a huge “fauxgressive” at heart. You know why? Because in my fantasy world, I wouldn’t just make sure abortion was safe and legal in Louisiana. I would declare large parts of the Republican Party in the South and Midwest an unconstitutional conspiracy to restrict democracy in violation of the 1st and 14th Amendments. I would invoke the Enforcement Acts to reoccupy the South and round up GOP leaders and operatives the way President Grant did with the Klan after the Civil War.

        I wouldn’t stop there though. In my fantasy world, I would declare every GOP Super-PAC and Dark Money “social welfare” organization a money-laundering conspiracy under the RICO Act, which would give the FBI the power to arrest everyone involved, right up the ladder to the Kochs themselves. Of course, the Kochs and their ilk tend to be physically fragile older people, so if certain “accidents” were to happen in custody (it happens often enough to black people) well, that’s too bad. The Likudniks would get special treatment; they would be tried and executed for treason on the spot. Of course, the Treasury would immediately appropriate all the personal assets of these people, to be placed in a special fund for heathcare basic research, and education.

        …..My point here is that we don’t live in a fantasy world. We live in the real world, with real political constraints, like the fact that a majority of the voting public in Louisiana opposes abortion rights. So we can stand on the sides and talk about fantasy scenarios where Shreveport becomes Brooklyn (and get nothing), or we can decide to do what we can by putting people who will give us most of what we want and still improve people’s lives, while laying the groundwork for future progress.

  • At this point I’d take the worst Democrat over any Republican.

    • cpinva

      in most cases, it’s not even a marginal difference. in this case, Edward’s anti-choice position means things haven’t actually changed, for the women of LA.

      • DrDick

        Sorry, but, as dp notes upthread, this is just wrong. Yes he is bad on abortion, which is important to me (I will not use Catholic hospitals because of this), but it is not the only issue. He is vastly better on most issues and will make a difference for many people in the state.

      • Pat

        Perhaps he can spearhead a pro-contraception strategy for Louisiana.

      • Brett

        Honestly, if it just stays as a position and he doesn’t do anything on the issue, then it would be a huge improvement over Jindal or any Republican governor.

    • kayden

      Given how extreme Republicans have become, you espouse a fair strategy.

      • DrDick

        Indeed, the only viable strategy for anyone sane with a sense of decency.

    • ThrottleJockey

      The worst Democrat fishing beats the best Republican working.

      • Pat

        Given what their work produces, I’ll give this comment a +1,000,000.

  • MAJeff

    More good news out of this: Vitter announced he won’t be running for re-election to the Senate in 2016.

    • djw

      While it’ll be nice to see him gone, I’m not sure this is all that valuable. Unless the Democrats have another strong candidate waiting in the wings, the chances of an R victory seem pretty strong regardless, and it’s not at all clear they’re marginally lower without Vitter, especially now.

      • snarkout

        Mitch Landrieu, but he’s probably not going to run if it’s not against Vitter (and while I think he could beat Vitter or Jindal, I don’t think he could beat Generic Republican).

        • djw

          He’s been pushing for the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue and renaming Lee Circle. I’m inclined to take that as a sign that he doesn’t have any intention to try to win statewide anytime soon.

      • Murc

        That’s a little troubling, though, isn’t it? If we can’t compete in Louisiana in a Presidential year with widespread dissatisfaction (by Louisiana standards, at least) with the Republican Party, doesn’t that basically mean we’re fucked when it comes to the Senate basically forever?

        We need six seats next year just to get a majority, and that majority will be slim and completely useless for passing major legislation because at least one traitor dem will get the vapors if killing the filibuster is suggested. It won’t be useless; a Clinton Presidency with a slim Senate majority and nothing else probably goes hard on staffing the judiciary. But if she takes the White House with a completely hostile Congress, hoo boy.

        • djw

          That’s a little troubling, though, isn’t it?

          Indeed it is.

          doesn’t that basically mean we’re fucked when it comes to the Senate basically forever?

          Forever is a long time, and demographic change is putting the coastal South in play, but I’m inclined to think the formula that worked to elect Democrats in the interior South died with Prior, Landrieu, etc. Other than “hope for a perfect storm” I don’t know what the new formula for electing Democrats is going to look like.

          We need six seats next year just to get a majority, and that majority will be slim and completely useless for passing major legislation because at least one traitor dem will get the vapors if killing the filibuster is suggested.

          I’d say the larger difficulty in passing major legislation is getting the house back, not overcoming the filibuster. Although they’re both substantial. 2008-2010 was the window, there’s not another one on the horizon.

          • Murc

            Forever is a long time, and demographic change is putting the coastal South in play, but I’m inclined to think the formula that worked to elect Democrats in the interior South died with Prior, Landrieu, etc.

            I don’t quite understand what you mean here by “putting the coastal south in play” vis-a-vis the Senate. Almost all the southern states are on the coast, and one of the two senators you name as having used the old formula for getting elected in the “interior south” was from Louisiana, the quintessential “coastal southern state.”

            Other than “hope for a perfect storm” I don’t know what the new formula for electing Democrats is going to look like.

            There may simply not be one. You can’t make people change their priorities, and as long as the south has enormous numbers of people for whom cultural issues that are anathema to the Democratic Party trump all other concerns, we might be drawing dead there.

            And even above and beyond policy considerations, you have to make people change their tribal identity. Despite the Democratic Party deciding in the sixties and seventies that their policies no longer aligned with racism and the patriarchy, it took like twenty years for that tiller to move the ship to where the Republicans could start winning reliably, and then another twenty to get where we are now.

            I’d say the larger difficulty in passing major legislation is getting the house back, not overcoming the filibuster.

            For me, the filibuster looms large because even in a post-realignment world, I can see the Democratic Party regularly getting Senate and House majorities.

            But getting to sixty again? That’s next to impossible absent another major realignment. Demographic change may do that, but you can’t rely on it.

            But yeah, for 2016-2020 in particular the House is one hell of a hurdle, isn’t it? I predict that the 2016 election recap will include yet another frustrating “a few million more people voted for Democrats than Republicans, Republicans maintain sizable house majority” factoid.

            • djw

              Sorry, I meant Atlantic coast.

              • Murc

                Oh!

                Yes, the long-term trends in Virginia, NC, and Georgia are somewhat encouraging, aren’t they? (Even though NC is currently in the grip of wingnuts at every level of government.)

                South Carolina I’m less sure about. And Florida of course isn’t part of “the south” as traditionally conceived.

                • djw

                  SC is happening more slowly, but the same trend is occurring (and, because of the large-by-southern-standards African-American population, they don’t have as far to go as some Republican states. McCain and Romney only won by 9-10 points.) The currently 50-something majority of white conservative Republicans are as conservative as you’ll find anywhere, so I’m not sure they’ll be particularly good at adjusting to a new reality where they have to peel off some carpetbagger/non-white votes.

            • Brett

              We already crossed the rubicon of partially removing the filibuster, for judicial nominees. I don’t think ending it for other bills will be as difficult as that – it’ll probably start with ending it for other nominees, then ending it for basic budget continuing bills, then finally ending it for all legislation.

  • Joe_JP

    The “dealbreaker” bit directly touches upon a back/forth I had on this very election on RH Reality Check blog (reproductive rights) & used the Medicaid expansion example too. Noted the winner could be the lesser evil but abortion rights was a dealbreaker. Even suggesting he was the lesser evil meant I didn’t respect women’s rights and wanted them in particular to be harmed. This even though I tried to apply the principle by using other people being harmed in one way but not as much as the other choice.

    This sort of emotion laden irrationality is a big problem even when it comes from people who as a whole support good things. The irrationality isn’t suddenly going to limit itself to these people. And, such lack of good sense in the fight for progressive values as Scott notes is counterproductive.

    • Origami Isopod

      This sort of emotion laden irrationality

      Oh, how nice, “emotion laden irrationality” in reference to women concerned about “women’s issues.” Since this thread is full of people championing incivility, I’m sure nobody will object to me inviting you to go fuck yourself.

      • Thirtyish

        “Emotions are for ethnic people”–Crow T. Robot.

      • mikeSchilling

        emotion laden irrationality

        Are you calling women terrorists?

      • Joe_JP

        This even though I tried to apply the principle by using other people being harmed in one way but not as much as the other choice.

        That is what your selective quotation applied to — PEOPLE in general who do that. So, if an anti-war male had his own issue and couldn’t understand how one person can be less evil than another because both are pro-war, I would say the same thing.

        The EXAMPLE took place with abortion but since the guy is also pro-gun, which for some might be their sine qua non, a MAN could do the same thing. People being irrational is my concern. It is rather stereotypical to think only women can be that after all.

        Oh, and since abortion rights matter to men too, MEN actually might make this a sine qua non, though some of the comments blithely said it “affected” women as if denying a man’s daughter abortion rights doesn’t affect him too.

        • Origami Isopod

          Yeah, no. Sexist dogwhistles don’t work that way. Oh, and thanks for the bonus What About Teh Menz.

      • dl

        This is where incivility is not helpful–at least as a means for persuading others. Strategically and rationally, JoeJP is almost certainly right. He gives logical reasons for his beliefs, and you call him an asshole instead of responding substantively. What does that do, besides make you feel better momentarily?

        • Origami Isopod

          If you can’t grasp how deeply sexist Joe’s language was and how your use of “rationally” is no better? You can cram it up your fauxgressive ass too.

          Jesus, this place sometimes. I’m sure you also want backpats just for being pro-choice, don’t you?

      • Brett

        Seriously. Even if I support Edwards despite his shitty anti-choice beliefs out of “lesser evil” theory, I would never describe pro-choice activism as “emotion-laden irrationality” anymore than I’d describe pro-civil rights activists as such.

    • Brett

      For me, it’s shitty that he’s anti-choice, but at the very least he’s not worse than Jindal on such issues. Put some primary pressure on him, and while he’ll still espouse anti-choice beliefs he won’t go out of his way to promote anti-choice bills.

  • Lee Rudolph

    Oh, how nice, “emotion laden irrationality” in reference to women concerned about “women’s issues.”

    As a Salute to the Season, I propose “emotion basted irrationality.”

    I’m sure nobody will object to me inviting you to go fuck yourself.

    With a turkey baster!

    • Lee Rudolph

      P. fucking S.: I know damned well I posted this as a Reply to OI. WordPress has been seriously fucking with me all fucking week, and I guess I’m just going to have to fucking take it, but I DON’T HAVE TO LIKE IT.

      And Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

      • Hogan

        I guess I’m just going to have to fucking take it, but I DON’T HAVE TO LIKE IT.

        Coincidentally, that’s pretty much how I feel about Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards.

  • mikeSchilling

    It remains true that

    * Even after Jindal wrecked Louisiana’s finances, it requires running against a candidate as vile as Vitter for a Democrat to win statewide office there.

    * There’s a consensus that Vitter would have had a chance to win if his last-minute demagoguery on refugees hadn’t been overshadowed.

    So there’s a limit to how hopeful this makes me feel.

    • dl

      it ended up being a pretty big margin though

  • tsam

    There’s an awful lot of disturbing “meh” concerning the assault on women’s’ rights. We’re fucking losing that war, and it’s time to refocus our efforts on that issue.

    • EliHawk

      If you want to win that war, keep voting for Democratic Presidents and Democratic Senators until Scalia/Kennedy kick the bucket.

      • Brett

        It’s not enough. It’s like with Civil Rights – it wasn’t enough just to win a couple of Supreme Court cases like Brown. We needed the Civil Rights Acts and other congressional acts to really anchor it.

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