Sam Hanna Jr.

"In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.”

When Napoleon Bonaparte offered that remark a couple of centuries ago, he obviously wasn’t thinking about Louisiana politicians and in many respects, the people they serve.

Napoleon’s quote came to mind in recent days on the heels of Gov. John Bel Edwards signing legislation into law that makes it illegal for a mother to undergo an abortion once a heartbeat is detected in her unborn child. In legislative speak, it’s known as the “fetal heartbeat” bill.

Edwards’ signing of Sen. John Milkovich’s legislation put to rest any questioning of the governor’s true position on abortion. He’s pro-life, just as he said he was when he first campaigned for governor in 2015.

As was predicted in this space just a couple of weeks ago, pro-abortionists turned downright hateful and nasty toward Edwards for signing the “fetal heartbeat” bill. Many of them took to social media to castigate the governor. It was as if it was “new” news that Edwards, a Catholic, is a pro-life Democrat. Who ever heard of such?

While the backlash toward Edwards among the lunatics in his party was expected, the failure among conservatives and Republicans to recognize that Edwards had just stolen their thunder was a complete surprise. Time and again Republicans could be overheard proudly proclaiming Edwards had boxed himself into a corner.

Quite the contrary, my friends, quite the contrary.

Abortion is one of two wedge issues that has played a significant role in American politics for the past 30 years. The other one is 2nd Amendment rights, or the right to keep and bear arms.

Here in the Deep South where abortion, as well as gun control, is widely considered an affront to Judeo-Christian principals, politicians who are pro-abortion generally are not well received by the electorate. That’s putting it mildly, to say the least.

As Edwards once said, if a politician in Louisiana isn’t pro-life and pro-2nd Amendment, voters tune out everything else he stands for, even if those views comport with their own.

For Republicans, the path going forward is unclear and littered with unanswered questions. Stated more clearly, which issues are Republicans going to exploit to create a distinction between their views and Edwards’?

Republicans can’t turn to abortion, and they can forget about the pro-abortionists sitting on the sofa on election day and not voting for Edwards. And mark my word, it only helps Edwards among independent and middle-of-the-road voters each time a pro-abortionist rips him for signing the “fetal heartbeat” bill.

Republicans can’t turn to the 2nd Amendment. Edwards, a gun owning hunter himself, has his politics in order with the gun crowd, of which I’m one of them.

Will it be taxes that Republicans turn to next? Good luck with that one since it was a Republican-controlled Legislature that approved the sales tax increase the governor proposed to pull the state budget out of a ditch. Remember?

To summarize, a politician is known by the enemies he has as well as by the friends he keeps.

Sam Hanna Jr. can be reached by phone at 318-805-8158 or e-mail at samhannajr@samhannajr.com.

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