US Politics

Senator Kennedy’s hokum explained

BY David Waywell   /  2 December 2019

Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana has such a significant name that it feels almost obligatory to add “no relation” when mentioning him in conversation. You really wouldn’t want to confuse him with the other John Kennedy. He’s really nothing like THE John Kennedy.

John Kennedy (no relation) is one of those high-profile yet junior Republican Senators who love the fawning gaze of a TV camera. He has the look of Grandpa from The Munsters with a big soft-focus face that looks as fleshy as a Louisiana swamp and twice as deceptive. He’s the kind of “good ol’ boy” who falls easily into aphorisms, comparing tough jobs to the difficulty of flicking a tick from a gator’s nostril or teaching arithmetic to a squirrel. He’s been described as the “folksiest man in the US Senate” but that probably understates it. He might well be the folksiest man in America.

He also exemplifies the Democrat’s problem as they begin this week to turn their gears on the real business of impeaching President Donald Trump. They can’t simply make their case against the President. Nor is it their job to convince men like Kennedy who will only ever pluck the strings of their red-state banjo. Their task is to provide a narrative that’s impartial, reasonable, and ultimately more compelling than any offered by Kennedy, who continues to pollute the national airwaves with his nonsensical drivel wrapped up in parochial wisdom.


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