Days later, people are still reacting to this piece of odious demagoguery:
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA): “I don’t know whether to call you professor or comrade.”— The Recount (@therecount) November 18, 2021
Someone off-camera: “Oh my goodness.”
Dr. Saule Omarova, Biden’s comptroller currency pick: “I’m not a communist. I do not subscribe to that ideology. I could not choose where I was born.” pic.twitter.com/CEiCWNwx2N
Despite his cornpone act, Kennedy is highly educated. Is he really so ignorant as to imagine that a student at a Soviet university could have written a thesis on Milton Friedman or studied free-market economics?
The lowest blow of all came when the senator said: “I don’t mean any disrespect. I don’t know whether to call you professor or comrade.”
Omarova would have been justified in replying with Army counsel Joseph Welch’s famous rebuke of McCarthy: “Have you no sense of decency?” Instead, she said, “Senator, I’m not a Communist. I do not subscribe to that ideology. I could not choose where I was born.” She went on to recount the suffering her family endured under Joseph Stalin and concluded, “I’m proud to be an American.”
Omarova’s statement was pitch-perfect, but that a presidential nominee has to defend her loyalty to America because she wasn’t born here is a telling, and appalling, comment on the state of the Republican Party in 2021.
An acerbic Biden critic, Kennedy is a fount of sharp-but-folksy one-liners. He punctuated his 2016 Senate campaign spots with, “I will not let you down. I’d rather drink weedkiller.” With his exaggerated Southern accent, he affects a mixture of Mr. Haney, the con artist of the 1960s CBS sitcom “Green Acres,” and the bombastic Looney Tunes rooster, Foghorn J. Leghorn.
The 70-year-old Kennedy is so committed to this persona that a columnist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune challenged readers in 2019 to guess the author of a series of eccentric statements: Foghorn Leghorn or Kennedy? It was a difficult quiz.
Whenever Kennedy appears on Fox News or launches an attention-getting stunt, those of us in Louisiana who know him well roll our eyes and reflect on the Kennedy we knew before his Senate election.
We recall the brainy graduate of Vanderbilt University, the University of Virginia Law School and Oxford University’s Magdalen College; the relatively progressive Democrat who ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004; the man who, despite his 2007 party switch, served capably as state treasurer from 2000 to 2017; the official who, although in the same Republican Party as then-Gov. Bobby Jindal, was a fierce critic of Jindal’s reckless fiscal policies.
Phony as a 3 dollar bill, Kennedy exemplifies the party he joined late in life primarily as a path to power. Now the smarmy charlatan has his Senate seat thanks to the bad judgement of the people of Lousiana, and we all get to watch his hee-haw performances, full of racial dog whistles, faux populism, and platinum grade hypocrisy.
What did Kennedy call Putin when he and a bunch of other republicans flew to Moscow to grovel at Putin’s feet on July 4, 2018?
rdale -- "Boss"? ;-)
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