The blue-red divide in Louisiana is less fraught and dysfunctional than in Congress. Republicans still allow Democrats to chair some legislative committees. It may take longer to pass a budget then it used to, but it happens. And the government doesn’t shut down. But there has been noticeable ideological creep. “It is certainly more like Washington than it was 10 years ago,” Edwards says. “There’s a group of folks in the legislature, primarily in the House, who I genuinely believe their No. 1 mission is to oppose what I propose and try to ensure that I’m a one-term governor. That’s more important to them than dealing with the problems that the state has.”It's not a totally rosy profile of the governor and his fiscal stewardship, however:
What Edwards portrays as flexibility, Rep. Cameron Henry, Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, describes as an attempt to avoid responsibility for potential tax increases. “He’s trying to almost circumvent his leadership role by getting everyone else to tell him what to do,” Henry says. “Well, that’s not how governors work. It’s his job to at least let the legislature know, ‘Hey if I was king,’ which as governor of Louisiana you pretty much are, ‘these are the five taxes I would want to raise. These are the five exemptions I would want to get rid of.’ It’s got to be driven by the governor.”Read the whole thing, which introduces the concept of Louisiana's "fiscal cliff" to America at large.