Three of Spades: U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (LA): Trying to fool all the people, all the time, and fooling nobody

Kennedy was one of six Republican senators to object to the certification of Arizona’s electors in the 2020 presidential election.

 

January 2021: Kennedy unfiltered:

theadvocate.com, Jan. 2, 2021:

Louisiana Republican U.S. Sen. John Kennedy said Saturday he would join an effort to refuse certifying electors from six states, in hopes of denying the presidency to the election’s winner, Joe Biden. Trump won those states in 2016, but voters there backed Biden in 2020.

In the weeks since the Nov. 3 presidential election, President Donald Trump has claimed, without evidence, that widespread voter fraud allowed by allegedly improper counting protocols gave Biden the victory. Trump and his Republican allies filed 60 unsuccessful legal challenges, including two that were summarily dismissed by U.S. Supreme Court justices, a third of whom were selected by the president.

Instead of confirming Biden as the next president, Kennedy recommends an audit of the election results, which could throw out votes now accepted and could change the outcome, the statement says. Nine other Republican U.S. senators and senators-elect have joined the statement.

May 2021: Kennedy waffles, Louisiana-style, Trump-style:

https://www.wwltv.com/article/news/politics/sen-kennedy-says-he-refused-gop-calls-to-overturn-bidens-win-over-trump/289-48e00f9f-33ab-4e0d-bb7c-d0e1e4691152, May 12, 2021, (Updated: May 18, 2021):

Kennedy is up for re-election this year.

“You will never find where I ever said, anywhere, that the election was stolen or not stolen,” Kennedy told WWL-TV in his first extended interview about his votes Jan. 6 and the Capitol riot that attempted to derail the peaceful transfer of power.

“Now, having said that, I have never seen demonstrated evidence proven in a court of law that it made a difference. I’m not saying it did. I’m not saying that it didn’t. I’m not sure anybody knows,” he said.

Kennedy acknowledged that “some people” say there were no significant voting irregularities at all, but said even if that were true, “people perceived that there were. And that’s undermining our election integrity.” 

Trump’s false claims that the election was “stolen” through widespread fraud — which were repeatedly debunked in courts across the country, through recounts and audits in closely contested states and by his own attorney general – continue to roil the Republican Party.

The issue has also divided Louisiana’s two Republican senators, with Sen. Bill Cassidy saying Biden won the election fairly and voting with five other Republicans to convict Trump at his impeachment trial. Kennedy voted not only to acquit Trump at that trial but also joined five other senators to challenge Biden’s election win in Arizona.

“Here’s what my thinking was: In my opinion, it is a demonstrated fact that in some states, Democrats exploited the pandemic to change their state’s election laws in an unconstitutional manner,” he said in the interview with WWL-TV last week.

Kennedy was referring to expanded mail-in voting access, ballot curing and extended deadlines for receiving mailed ballots, which he said were granted by Arizona, Pennsylvania and Georgia election officials without proper legislative approval.

Kennedy wants to limit voting to a single day, stronger voter ID requirements and restrictions on mail-in ballots, including stopping the collection of mail-in ballots by third parties to deliver in batches, something Republicans call ballot “harvesting.” He said there’s nothing inherently fraudulent about mail-in ballots, but they are more susceptible to it.

Democrats, meanwhile, are pushing legislation to expand ballot access, limit the redrawing of congressional districts by state legislatures and toughen campaign finance laws to expose contributions from wealthy donors. The effort passed the House in March and is being hotly debated this week in the Senate.

“What do they all have in common? Violence,” Kennedy said.

That violence came to his place of work on Jan. 6. Kennedy condemned the insurrection in the strongest of terms, calling it “a fantastic impression of hell.”

But he also called for equal condemnation of violence at Black Lives Matter and other protests that followed the murder of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, by Minneapolis Police on May 26, 2020.

He suggested the summer riots were no less important for small business owners in Chicago whose stores were burned down or for the families of those killed.

Five people died in the Jan. 6 insurrection. The number of people died in last summer’s riots varies. The Washington Post reported 27 deaths were linked to protests or subsequent violence between Floyd’s death and the end of August. An analysis by the conservative online magazine The Federalist put the death toll at 47.

 

. . . , but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time:

John Kennedy Is America’s Folksiest Senator. Some People Who Know Him Say It’s An Act.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/paulmcleod/john-kennedy-folksy-senator-act

Kennedy’s public image can sometimes verge on country bumpkin — but in fact he is one of the best-educated members of the Senate. 

 “Louisiana went from populist Democrat to staunchly deep-red Republican at the federal level and John Kennedy has been all those.”

For a long time, Kennedy was a Democrat. He first ran for Senate as the most progressive challenger in the Democratic field in 2004. He endorsed John Kerry over George Bush and railed against politicians raiding Social Security to fund tax cuts for millionaires.

He switched parties in 2007 and tried for a Senate seat as a Republican in 2008, losing to Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu. In 2016 he ran again, branding himself as a populist outsider. With help from Donald Trump, he won the race by 20 points.

After finding his niche, Kennedy had been cruising along largely controversy-free until last December. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine had consumed Congress and the House was on its way to impeaching him. Kennedy shocked many of his colleagues by promoting a Russia-backed conspiracy that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 presidential election to try to get Hillary

This flew in the face of the findings of the US intelligence community, which determined Russia had interfered to help Trump win. But Kennedy embraced a counter-narrative that grew out of right-wing conspiracy theory forums on the internet, saying Ukraine interfered to throw the race to Clinton. 

Faced with media and public backlash, Kennedy played dumb.

 

John Kennedy Went From a Democrat to the GOP’s Discount Joe McCarthy

Opinion by Magaret Carlson
[Excerpts:]

Kennedy was a Democrat back then, working for a Democratic governor, until he lost his first two races for the Senate.

Tired of losing, the Vanderbilt graduate, Oxford scholar, and editor of the law review at the University of Virginia, dusted himself with some hayseed, switched parties, and ran in 2016 for the seat left open by incumbent David Vitter, whose admission that he “failed” his family but had found “forgiveness and love” wasn’t enough to overcome his inclusion in the D.C. Madam’s phone book.

Kennedy’s been corn-poning with impunity ever since . . . .

 

Sen. John Kennedy Urges Georgia to Pick Herschel Walker Instead of ‘High IQ’ People

https://www.yahoo.com/news/sen-john-kennedy-urges-georgia-201000780.html?

 

Mexican ambassador lashes out at Kennedy for ‘racist and xenophobic insults’

https://thehill.com/latino/4004965-mexican-ambassador-lashes-out-at-kennedy-for-racist-and-xenophobic-insults/

” . . . power does make a man master of himself if he is imprisoned by the indissoluble chains of wicked lusts; and when high office is bestowed on unworthy men, so far from making them worthy, it only betrays them and reveals their unworthiness.”

— Anticus Boethius, Roman philosopher