little green footballs

Rebuttal: Bobby Jindal's Risible Op-Ed for CNN

Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 11:42:45 am

It's almost comical to see Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's efforts to position himself as the voice of reasonable conservatism. Remember, this is the Republican governor who's had more success than any other in sneaking creationism into public school science classes; make no mistake, Bobby Jindal is 100% in line with the most extreme right wing religious fanatics on this.

So here he is again with an op-ed at CNN, sharing his view on How Republicans Can Win Future Elections.

Let's go through this point by point, shall we?

1. Stop looking backward. We have to boldly show what the future can look like with the free market policies that we believe in. Conservative ideals are aspirational, and our country is aspirational.

Nothing to refute or even argue here -- these are just empty feel-good words lacking anything concrete.

2. Compete for every single vote. The 47% and the 53%. And any other combination of numbers that adds up to 100 percent. President Barack Obama and the Democrats can continue trying to divide America into groups of warring communities with competing interests, but we will have none of it. We are going after every vote as we try to unite all Americans.

Completely opposite to reality. We just went through an election in which the Republican Party's entire strategy consisted of dividing the country into the good productive wealthy people, and the ignorant unwashed masses who just want "free stuff."

But apart from Jindal's denial of his own party's blazingly obvious strategy of fear mongering and race-baiting, again there's nothing here besides empty words. "Compete for every vote?" Well, duh.

3. Reject identity politics. The old notion that ours should be a colorblind society is the right one, and we should pursue that with vigor. Identity politics is corrosive to the great American melting pot and we reject it. We will treat all people as individuals rather than as members of special interest groups.

This is another risible statement, coming from a representative of a party whose entire appeal is based on identity politics. Jindal can say "we reject it" all he likes, but is there anyone naive enough to believe this will ever happen?

4. Stop being the stupid party. It's time for a new Republican party that talks like adults. It's time for us to articulate our plans and visions for America in real terms. We had a number of Republicans damage the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. Enough of that.

Again we see Bobby Jindal calling others stupid, while he himself promotes creationism and religious charter schools that teach anti-science mind rot to children. If he wants to stop being the "stupid party" he needs to start right there where he lives.

5. Stop insulting the intelligence of voters. We need to trust the smarts of the American people. We have to stop dumbing down our ideas and stop reducing everything to mindless slogans and tag lines for 30-second ads. We must be willing to provide details in describing our views.

Sorry, but I just can't help laughing. A creationist lecturing others on "insulting the intelligence of voters?" Jindal's lack of self-awareness is breathtaking. And "mindless slogans," coming from the guy who became a laughing stock for his ignorant criticism of volcano monitoring programs?

6. Quit "big." We are not the party of big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts, big corporate loopholes, or big anything. We must not be the party that simply protects the well off so they can keep their toys. We have to be the party that shows all Americans how they can thrive. We are the party whose ideas will help the middle class, and help more folks join the middle class. We are a populist party and need to make that clear.

Again, where's the beef? Lots of nice sounding words, but how exactly does Bobby Jindal think the GOP is going to be the "populist" party when they're totally in the pocket of big business, with elections bankrolled by billionaires?

7. Focus on people, not government. We must stop competing with Democrats for the job of "Government Manager," and come up with ideas that can unleash the dynamic abilities of the American people. We need to lead the way with policies that can create prosperity. We believe in organic solutions, not big government solutions. We need a bottom-up government that fits the digital age. Right now we have an outdated centralized government trying to manage a decentralized economy.

OK, that's his final point. We got all the way to the end without a single concrete suggestion about changing the Republican Party in any real or meaningful way, just empty platitudes.

One last quote from Jindal's ridiculous piece:

There are many challenges facing our country. For example, our education system seems to be in the Stone Age and miserably outdated.

Said the creationist, who signed into law a bill sponsored by the creationist think tank called the Discovery Institute. Jindal's idea of "updating" education is to inject more religion into it.

Bottom line: just another deceptive, non-specific bunch of happy talk, from a Republican who is guilty of everything he's criticizing.

Jindal's function right now: he's a right wing band-aid. He's trying to stop the bleeding. Any reasonable conservatives who remain in the GOP are probably looking at their fellow travelers like Todd Akin and thinking, "Good grief. Who ARE these people?"

Bobby Jindal is trying to reassure them, to give them a reason not to bail out on the Republican Party. The scent of desperation is unmistakable.