Senator Cassidy's hometown GOP party censures him over impeachment vote

Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana is the latest Republican to feel the wrath of the Republican Party in his own state. The Republican Party of East Baton Rouge Parish voted to censure the senator Wednesday. The censure was unanimously adopted.

Just in case word of the censure didn’t circulate among Louisiana politicians and the media, copies of the resolution were sent to Senators Kennedy and Cassidy, the other members of the Louisiana delegation, and to the news media, according to the party’s Facebook page. Senator Cassidy is being made an example of, you see, and the message to other politicians is that they better stay in their lane.

WHEREAS, Donald J. Trump served our nation honorably for four years and offered himself to serve for a second four-year term; and
WHEREAS, the people of the State of Louisiana showed their overwhelming support for President Trump and endorsed his reelection by a landslide; and
WHEREAS, President Trump’s vote total was the largest for any candidate for any office in the history of Louisiana; and
WHEREAS, this extraordinary vote is a tribute to the wisdom and many great accomplishments of the President, and
WHEREAS, this great President has been the subject of outrageous, scurrilous, and false attacks throughout his presidency and has been impeached twice by the Democratic House, and
WHEREAS, the current charges against him of inciting an insurrection are completely false, malicious, and without merit, and
WHEREAS, these charges are a sham and a cruel hoax on the American people and attempt to perpetuate and legitimate a lie, purposely ignoring and editing from their “evidence”
President Trump’s call for citizens to go to the Capitol to “peacefully and patriotically” to make their voices heard, and
WHEREAS, one of the goals of the Democrats is to deprive former President Donald Trump of the right to run for President in the future, which would be undemocratic and a complete violation of the intent of the Constitution and place the United States in the category with Russia and various dictatorships and oligarchies around the world where the leading opposition figure is forbidden to run for President, and
WHEREAS, on the matter of impeachment and conviction of former President Trump, Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana has been a voice of reason upholding the rule of law and the Constitution, but
WHEREAS, on the matter of impeachment, Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana has vacillated from voting that the current articles before the Senate are unconstitutional to yesterday voting that they are constitutional, and
WHEREAS, his vote yesterday to allow the impeachment fiasco to continue was a betrayal of the people of Louisiana and a rebuke to those who supported President Trump and him.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Republican Party of East Baton Rouge Parish that we condemn Senator Cassidy’s actions in the strongest manner. He does not represent the people of this state or the Republican Party. He represents himself and has joined with some of the most dishonest and disreputable forces in our country to be part of this despicable sham.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Republican Party of East Baton Rouge Parish hereby takes an action which it has never before taken. The Republican Party of East Baton Rouge Parish hereby censures Senator Bill Cassidy and holds him out as an object of shame.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this resolution shall be sent to Senators Kennedy and Cassidy, the other members of the Louisiana delegation, and to the news media.

The Republican Party of East Baton Rouge is Cassidy’s hometown party. The members are angry that the senator voted along with five other Republican senators in favor of the constitutionality of the impeachment of former President Trump in the Senate. He joined the others, all known to be reliably anti-Trumpers, after hearing the opening presentations from the House Democrat managers and from Trump’s legal defense team. The East Baton Rouge GOP calls the trial a “despicable sham”.

Cassidy joined Senators Romney, Murkowski, Collins, Sasse, and Toomey in voting yes to the constitutionality of the impeachment trial. The trial now proceeds in the Senate. The reason Senator Cassidy joined the other yes votes, though, wasn’t to signal he will vote as the other five likely will, to impeach Trump, but it was his reaction to the very poor performance offered by one of Trump’s defense lawyers, Bruce Castor. Cassidy pointed out that Castor poorly spoke on behalf of the president and didn’t offer a strong defense of the president’s actions leading up to the Capitol Hill riot. Castor even began his opening statement by praising senators as special people, implying they are a special class of people. As I wrote yesterday, I completely agree with Senator Cassidy. Trump’s defense team must do better. One of my own senators from Texas, Senator Cornyn, also commented on Castor’s poor performance.

There is no reason to think this censure will hurt Cassidy, at least not in a statewide race. He was re-elected in 2020 by 40 points. That’s impressive any time but especially so in Louisiana which has an all-party jungle primary. If he decides to run again when this term is completed, his procedural vote will be just a blip. We’ll see how long his hometown party holds a grudge.

Cassidy hasn’t committed to voting one way or the other in the final impeachment vote. He specifically said his vote on the constitutionality of the impeachment didn’t signal he’ll vote yes on impeachment. He wants to hear the arguments from both sides, as is his job as a juror. Cassidy has been a loyal Trump supporter. Likewise, there is no reason to think that the state Republican Party will vote to censure Cassidy. That might happen if he votes to convict but only then. This censure was simply a move by the executive committee of his hometown Republican Party to speak out against Cassidy’s vote. They delivered their message.