No Shame

American Crossroads has no shame and Senator Mary Landrieu should feel no shame. Both are simply doing their jobs but American Crossroads aired an online commercial that paints Senator Landrieu work on behalf of the District of Columbia as something unseemly and thereby shirking her duties as a representative of the people of Louisiana. While the ad might be smart politically in a conservative leaning state it’s intellectually disingenuous and misleading (sadly trademarks of many good political ads). There should be no shame on Senator Landrieu’s part because she is simply doing her job, the job which the people of Louisiana elected her to do while also promoting the basic tenets of our democracy.

There is an underlying implication in the commercial that standing up for and standing with District citizens is something that she should be ashamed of and that Louisiana voters should be mad at her for. It’s fascinatingly depressing that our body politic sees a tactical advantage in looking down upon someone who simply stands up for 660,000 US citizens who are required to pay federal taxes but are denied federal representation in Congress. Senator Landrieu, on a very small scale, has tried to give voice to the voiceless and yet somehow voters are supposed to think there is something wrong with that. If American Crossroads had either an enlightened core or a moral soul that were consistent with the beliefs articulated on their website they would be praising Senator Landrieu for standing up for the unfinished business of the American Revolution instead of condemning her.

If American Crossroads were intellectually honest (again two attributes they seemingly have neither of) they would, as Perry Stein in the Washington City Paper points out, be airing ads against Andy Harris of Maryland or Thomas Massie of Kentucky both of whom have spent considerable time and oxygen using their powers as members of Congress to meddle in the local laws of the District. And unlike Senator Landrieu their forays into local District affairs were not asked for, were unwelcome, and were contrary to the opinions and feelings of the vast majority of District citizens on their respective causes. Their actions were contrary to good principles of democratic governance but American Crossroads remained silent. Representatives Massie and Harris were congressional interlopers of the first degree yet American Crossroas remained mute on their actions which speaks volumes of their hypocrisy.

There should be no shame that our mayor referred to Senator Landrieu as ‘our Senator’ until we become the 51st state. What’s sad is that more Senators don’t act on our behalf  by listening to and respecting the will of the District citizens and standing up for us in a body where we are denied representation. Another fundamental flaw in the ad is the fact that Senator Landrieu serves on the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee and was previously chair over the subcommittee that had oversight of the District (since we are a federal district and all). Therefore it literally has been her JOB to work with and support the efforts of the District government. It’s part of her Senate committee assignment duties. Were she not to help the District she wouldn’t be doing her doggone job. Criticizing her for caring about the District is simply criticizing her for doing her job well and that is about as un-American as taxation without representation.

American Crossroads created a political attack ad that was as good as it was disingenuous and misleading. As a District citizen I’m not ashamed of who we are but I am ashamed at times of the country we live in when people are deemed unworthy of elective office when they simply stand up for the democratic rights of others. There is no shame in what Senator Landrieu has done for the District and I hope that she lets the people of Louisiana know that she’s been doing her job and doing it well for them and for those of us who are still denied a voice in Congress.

If American Crossroads or any other organization has a problem with her spending too much time focused on the District I suggest they get on the bandwagon for statehood for the people of DC so that we can have our own two Senators who can work exclusively on our behalf. We would welcome the change. There should be no shame associated with Senator Landrieu for simply trying to walk the talk of the American Revolution by working to respect the will of a free people by supporting our rights to have autonomy and equality in the American union.

 

Josh Burch

Brookland, DC

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