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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Running Out of Patience

Even Senator Bill Cassidy is finished with Biden’s bull****

Now, Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy is a man who does not much concern himself with throwing out “red meat,” so to speak, to stir his more conservative constituents. But even he ran out of patience with CNN’s Kaitlan Collins last week when she repeated the White House talking points about how Republicans are wanting to make cuts to Social Security.

Well, Cassidy was having none of it, telling Collins and her CNN viewers that “you know better than that,” and then he laid right into the Biden administration by saying, “They’ve not presented a plan. The president’s willing to let this (Social Security) go bankrupt because he doesn’t want to talk about it before his re-election. It is irresponsible. It is foolish, and it is wrong for the American people.”

But Cassidy wasn’t finished. Contrary to the talking points being parroted in the media about Republicans, Cassidy defended his party by saying, “There’s no pushback (by Republicans). I can tell you that we have made ourselves clear that we’d be open to working with the White House. We have a bipartisan solution that we’re willing to talk to the White House about, and the White House doesn’t want to talk to us.”

And to top it all off, he went after Biden personally: “He’s the president of the United States. He should come forward with a plan, or else there’ll be a 25 percent cut for people who currently depend upon Social Security. If that doesn’t matter to you, you’re either running for re-election, you’re are too old to care or too rich to need the money.”

Of course, you know CNN is getting pretty bad, and Biden even worse, when Cassidy is slapping you down in an interview and eating your lunch for you. You see, this was one of those “congressional hallway” interviews where CNN’s Kaitlan Collins probably just thought she was going to get a nice, straight pitch for a home run from what some consider one of the least conservative (but Republican) senators from the South – only Cassidy wasn’t having any of it this time.

Perhaps Cassidy is beginning to regret backing the wrong horse in 2020. Or is he merely putting his finger in the air and seeing how strongly the political winds are blowing in the opposite direction from where he was headed?

Remember, in 2020 Cassidy voted with the Democrats to convict President Trump during his impeachment trial, even though, by Cassidy’s own admission at the time, “there was no process” and “it’s almost like, if it (the trial) happened in the Soviet Union, you would have called it a show trial.” Many in our state roundly chastised Cassidy at the time (and continue to do so) for his voting with Democrats to convict Trump.

Their frustration makes sense, though.

You see, it was Louisiana Republicans who delivered Cassidy to the U.S. Senate in 2014 with 56% of the vote, beating back Mary Landrieu and marking the first Republican victory for the seat since 1883. And they felt betrayed.

So, has Cassidy had a change of heart?

A conflict of conscience?

Maybe Cassidy sees House Speaker Kevin McCarthy with a 52% favorability rating, among all likely voters, and a 71% favorability among likely Republican voters. Maybe he sees the plummeting favorability ratings of “never Trumpers” like (Senator) Mitch McConnell, who has a 60% unfavorability rating among Republicans, all while President Trump’s favorability ratings among likely Republican voters keeps rising and now tops 77% (with 52% favorability among all likely voters).

Maybe he wonders if that popularity could have been, and might yet be, possible for him, after all. Or maybe his calling out the Biden administration for its failures and foolishness is simply Cassidy taking the same campaign advice that Marcus Cicero received from his brother in 64 B.C:

“Candidates should say whatever the crowd of the day wants to hear.”

"The President’s willing to let this (Social Security) go bankrupt because he doesn’t want to talk about it before his re-election."

Either way, elephants are said to have long memories, and that’s certainly true with Republican voters in Louisiana. He’ll need to have lots more interviews like the CNN one from last week if he expects to ever stomp out the notion that he’s not conservative enough to be the senior senator from Louisiana.

Louis R. Avallone is a Shreveport businessman, attorney and author of “Bright Spots, Big Country, What Makes America Great.” He is also a former aide to U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and editor of The Caddo Republican. His columns have appeared regularly in 318 Forum since 2007. Follow him on Facebook, on Twitter @louisravallone or by e-mail at louisavallone@mac.com, and on American Ground Radio at 101.7FM and 710 AM, weeknights from 6 - 7 p.m., and streaming live on keelnews.com.

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