In the 2010 U.S. Senate election down in Louisiana, it looks like voters are going to have a choice: Between one right wing politician and another. Today, Democratic U.S. Representative Charlie Melancon announced that he would challenge Republican U.S. Senator David Vitter.
Vitter is a right wing politician, to be sure. He has earned a legislative scorecard of 89 out of a possible 100 on the right wing regressive scale so far this year.
It would be dishonest to say that there’s no difference between Vitter and Representative Melancon. There is a difference, but it’s a minor difference, not the kind of distinction that Melancon claimed in his opening campaign speech. “I’m announcing my candidacy for the U.S. Senate to replace David Vitter because Louisiana deserves better. Louisiana needs a different approach,” Melancon said.
In what sense is Melancon different from Vitter? Not in the sense of having a progressive compete against a right wing politician. Melancon is no progressive. He has scored only an 18 out of a possible 100 on the progressive scale so far this year.
This contest is profoundly lopsided, between an extreme right winger and a somewhat less extreme right winger. Unless someone from a progressive third party joins the race, Louisiana progressives won’t have anyone representing them in this race at all.
Melancon is right that Louisiana deserves better – Louisiana deserves better than to have a Blue Dog Democrat as the only alternative to a nasty Republican.