Roughly two to three years ago, U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy paid a visit to West Monroe to speak to the Ouachita Parish Women’s Republican Club.
The women who belong to the Republican club in Ouachita are nice ladies, and they are a lively bunch. They meet monthly, and usually at least one of the club members will reach out to the press to invite them to their meeting, especially if a very important person (VIP) such as a U.S. senator is scheduled to speak.
At this particular meeting of the Republican women in which Cassidy was the guest speaker, Louisiana’s senior senator struck a somewhat odd tone. It was odd, mind you, because Cassidy spoke in such a conservative, populist manner. It was unlike him. He sounded like a Donald Trump Republican. In other words, he touched on all points that President Trump usually touted at his large rallies and was entirely detached from his high-minded, silk-stocking Republican self.
Only later did it dawn on yours truly what Cassidy was up to that day. In typical Washington fashion, Cassidy had shed his Republican establishment cape and instead peddled a message that was certain to endear himself to the Republican base in advance of his 2020 re-election campaign. Simply put, Cassidy had accurately recognized he needed to drift to the right in order to pass himself off as a Trump Republican and ward off any potential Republican challenger in the 2020 election cycle.
During his re-election campaign last year, Cassidy’s paid media didn’t miss a beat in proudly proclaiming he was one of Trump’s allies in Senate. It served him well. So well, that he rode President Trump’s coattails back into office for another six-year term thanks to 59 percent of the voters who cast ballots in the Nov. 3 election. Make no mistake. The lion’s share of them were Trump voters.
But that was last year.
This year, Cassidy miraculously has discovered Trump was bad for the country. So bad, that Cassidy was one of seven Republicans in the Senate to vote last week to convict Trump on articles of impeachment. He claimed Trump was guilty of inciting the crowd that staged a protest at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Meanwhile, 43 other Republicans in the Senate, including Sen. John Kennedy, didn’t buy the highly partisan impeachment charade the Democrats pursued. Since it takes a two-thirds vote in the Senate to convict someone in an impeachment trial, Trump was acquitted for the second time. Remember, Democrats approved articles of impeachment against Trump last year, and like last week, the Senate acquitted Trump then as well.
Any reasonable, level-headed individual could spend all day picking apart the Democrats’ allegations against Trump. Anyone of a sound mind could dissect Cassidy’s reasons for siding with Democrats on impeachment.
Perhaps it can be explained very simply. For starters, Cassidy no longer needs Trump. Trump is no longer president, and Cassidy is no longer running for re-election. He is free to return to his Republican establishment ways, which is what he always was at heart.
It is quite possible Cassidy has no plans to seek re-election in 2026 and is looking to leave the Senate prematurely for a high paying job in the private sector. Bowing out of politics for a lucrative job makes sense. Cassidy is not a wealthy man, and at his age — early 60s — he needs to give some serious thought to making some real money for a change. Parachuting out of the Congress for a lucrative, do-nothing job in the health care industry could be just what the doctor ordered. After all, Cassidy is a medical doctor, and he is regarded as somewhat of an expert on health care reform, assuming anyone in the health care industry is truly interested in revamping a system that’s already making scores of individuals very wealthy.
It’s worth noting Cassidy could not leave the Congress for the private sector without obtaining assurances from Democrats that they won’t attack him — cancel him — for being a Trumpy. Voting to convict Trump on impeachment charges should be enough for Cassidy to extract assurances from Democrats not to ruin him if he pursued a post-political career.
Or perhaps Cassidy did what he did because he’s simply an ingrate.
It could be that simple because Trump sure as hell wasn’t guilty.
Sam Hanna Jr. can be reached by phone at 318-805-8158 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.