What is it with state Democratic Party chairpersons these days?
South Carolina Chairman Dick Harpootlian, whose term just recently ended, has hurled repeated tasteless insults at Palmetto State Governor Nikki Haley, who is of Indian heritage. His final parting shot: Haley needs to be sent "back to wherever the hell she came from." Louisiana's Democratic Party chairwoman joined in the "fun" earlier this week on the floor of the state's Senate (HT Campaign Spot; bolds are mine):
A New Orleans lawmaker is sticking by her statements the "race" is playing a role in the opposition to the President Barack Obama health care overhaul.
This week, the Louisiana Senate Finance Committee killed a bill that would have required state health officials to accept federal dollars under the Affordable Care Act also know as Obamacare.
The proposal by State Senator Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans, would have forced the state to expand Medicaid health care coverage for the estimated 400,000 people in the state who are currently uninsured.
Carter Peterson expressed her disappointment on the floor of the Senate.
"It's not about how many dollars we can receive, it's not about that," she said. "You ready? It's about race. I know nobody wants to talk about that. It's about the race of this African American president."
Metairie Republican Senator Conrad Appel was on the Senate floor when Carter Peterson took the mic.
"The only card I guess she has to play and it's unfortunate, perhaps is the race card," said Appel. "The race card was so out of place in the context of this discussion. It was never even an issue."
Appel says "trust, not race" is why many lawmakers oppose Obamacare.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal joined in the denunciation with firm but measured words: "I think there are many, many people in Louisiana, in both political parties that disagree with Obamacare, that think it was poorly written, poorly conceived, poorly executed, don't agree with this law. I don't think they are racist."
Why should Peterson back down? She probably won't get anything more than a brief bit of negative press in the Bayou State. Most of the rest of the country won't ever find out, as long as the Associated Press maintains its current treatment of the story. A search on "Peterson Louisiana" (not in quotes at 11:40 p.m. ET came up empty.
That is not what usually happens when a Republican state legislator says something ignorant or inflammatory.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.