LA misses boat on USS Opportunity

ULM Hawkeye

In his State of the Union ad­dress, Pres. Barack Obama blew a whistle loud enough for any resident of a fledgling state to hear.

The whistle signaled a “now boarding” call for his cruise lin­er: The U.S.S. Opportunity.

Sadly, Louisiana’s leaders will be waving bon voyage from the shore.

Conservative leaders and bloggers wasted no time blast­ing the president for not utter­ing a single word about the BP oil spill or the job killing deep-water drilling moratorium.

Perhaps their anger is well placed.

After all, Obama himself once referred to the crisis as “the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced.”

Maybe there is one statement conservatives and the president can actually agree on after all.

Once again the issues of the gulf coast have been placed be­low deck with the ship-hands.

But now that the point has been made, Louisiana should stop whining about the condi­tions of its bunk and take the first-class, ocean-view upgrade Obama has offered.

Obama made it clear during his speech that he plans to see America “out-innovate, out-ed­ucate, and out-build the rest of the world.”

Where better to start than Louisiana?

Louisiana is poor. Land values are low.

Higher education will contin­ue to bear the brunt of budget cuts.

With the president ready to dish out money to improve the nation, Louisiana’s leaders should take advantage and pitch Obama the idea that this state is a bargain for investment.

Unfortunately, this will never happen.

Once the picture of modera­tion, Louisiana is now firmly in the grasp of the GOP.

Blue Dog Democrats like Charlie Melancon are no lon­ger able to compete in statewide elections because of the taboo “D” that follows their name on a ballot.

Voters fear that such candi­dates may secretly hold the same liberal views of the Northeast or California.

Instead the state leadership has become pawns of the con­servative movement. Sen. Da­vid Vitter hounds Obama like a petulant child trying to provoke a sibling into a fight.

Gov. Bobby Jindal could nev­er go along with anything on the president’s agenda.

This is for fear that it might hurt his already slim chances of winning the White House himself (say what you will Bobby, but people do not hold fundraisers around the country if they never intend to run for president.)

Partisanship is going to cost Louisiana, not help it.

The Republican leaders of the bayou should set aside party agendas and serve their state, serve their homes.

And when someone offers you a ticket for a cruise, do not turn it down simply because you do not like the captain.

contact Cole Avery at

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