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