Saturday, February 28, 2009


So my former student Chad commented on a post I made last week trashing the Republican governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal for rejecting federal stimulus money:

I'm actually alarmed by this Jindal fucker. He seems capable of nullifying the "I'm a rich, white, asshole" stereotype that has plagued the GOP for some time... if the economy worsens and/or Obama makes a Jimmy Carter-esque mistake, I think he could definitely win in 2012.

What do you think Ron?
Well, Chad is right to observe that Jindal represents the GOP answer to Barack Obama. That is, Jesus Jindal is young, a person of color, and says things that the party faithful want to hear. Clearly, Republicans think that's what they need. Unfortunately for them, Obama is much much more than a young black guy who talks good, which says a lot about how befuddled conservatives are these days--I mean, I can hear it in my head, "Hey, we'll get our own young black guy, and then they'll never stop us!"

But the problem Republicans are facing these days has very little to do with who's selling their ideas, and a great deal more to do with the ideas themselves. That is, as I've asserted here at Real Art countless times, neoliberalism, the right-wing economic philosophy also known as "Reaganomics," "classical liberalism," or "supply side" economics, the economic paradigm under which we've been operating since the late 70s, is now utterly and obviously severly problematic as far as the real world goes, but Republicans just can't seem to come to grips with the fact that they're going to have to alter their world view.

So for now, they're stuck pushing ideas that most Americans now know are bullshit.

Enter Bobby Jindal.

Poor, poor Bobby. If he wants to succeed in the Republican rat race, he has to talk the talk, which necessarily makes him sound like an idiot to anyone outside the GOP. But that's no problem to Bobby. 'Cause he's already an idiot. Like I've said, the man may be adept at campaigning for state office here in Louisiana, but that's just about all he's got going for him. Jindal is testament to the fact that one can go to Ivy League schools and be stupider than shit--well okay, former President Bush is also testament to that fact, but you know what I mean. The bottom line is that, for all the hype, Jindal doesn't have an original political, economic, or social idea in his head. He's nothing but a megaphone for right-wing ideology, which works well here in Louisiana, but has apparently fallen on its face in his first major venture into national politics.

You know, that GOP response speech he gave Tuesday night. Here, go watch it, just for a few laughs: part one, part two.

Of course, establishment liberals just hated it. New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman simply mocked it on Olbermann:

Uh, I don't think there was much of an argument there. You really have, you know I've said it was Beavis and Butthead. They find things that sound silly if you don't actually know anything, so gosh, volcano monitoring. Why would you want to monitor a volcano? Because it might erupt and kill a lot of people. Uh, but they're basically reduced to just picking out a few things or in some cases just making stuff up. The salt marsh mouse thing on the stimulus and saying this is stupid. See government is stupid. Cut taxes. It's not much of an argument.

Check it out:

But this PBS News Hour interview with New York Times conservative columnist David Brooks blew me away:

LEHRER: Now that, of course, was Gov. Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, making the Republican response. David, how well do you think he did?

DAVID BROOKS: Uh, not so well...I oppose the stimulus package because I thought it was poorly drafted but to come up at this moment in history with a stale 'government is the problem, we can't trust the federal government,' it's just a disaster for the Republican Party. The country is in a panic now. They may not like the way the Democrats have passed the stimulus bill. But the idea that we're just going to... That government will have no role, the federal government has no role in this, that in a moment when only the federal government is big enough to actually do stuff- to just ignore all that and just say 'government is the problem, corruption, earmarks, wasteful spending,' it's just a form of nihilism. It's just not where country is it's not where the future of the country is. There's an intra-Republican debate: some people say the Republican Party lost its way because they got too moderate, some people say they got too weird or too conservative. He thinks they got too moderate. And so he's making that case. I think it's insane. I just think it's a disaster for the [Republican] Party. I just think it's unfortunate right now.

Watch it:

Yeah that's right. Brooks called Jindal's speech "just a disaster for the Republican Party." And he wasn't even going after the Jindal's Mr. Rogers imitation the way John Stewart did. No, Brooks was criticizing Jindal because he's pushing the same old right-wing bullshit that got us in this economic mess in the first place! That's the disaster, that Republicans are trapped by their own ideology.

And clearly, a guy like Jindal, who couldn't think his way out of a cardboard box, is not the man to lead his party into the promised land. To do that, one must have an independent mind, something Bobby just doesn't have.

But wait, this shit just keeps getting better. Apparently, Bobby Jindal's Hurricane Katrina story, which he used to show that we ought not depend on the government, irony of ironies, was a total fabrication!

From TPMMuckraker:

Jindal Admits Katrina Story Was False

Jindal had described being in the office of Sheriff Harry Lee "during Katrina," and hearing him yelling into the phone at a government bureaucrat who was refusing to let him send volunteer boats out to rescue stranded storm victims, because they didn't have the necessary permits. Jindal said he told Lee, "that's ridiculous," prompting Lee to tell the bureaucrat that the rescue effort would go ahead and he or she could arrest both Lee and Jindal.

But now, a Jindal spokeswoman has admitted to Politico that in reality, Jindal overheard Lee talking about the episode to someone else by phone "days later." The spokeswoman said she thought Lee, who died in 2007, was being interviewed about the incident at the time.

This is no minor difference. Jindal's presence in Lee's office during the crisis itself was a key element of the story's intended appeal, putting him at the center of the action during the maelstrom. Just as important, Jindal implied that his support for the sheriff helped ensure the rescue went ahead. But it turns out Jindal wasn't there at the key moment, and played no role in making the rescue happen.

More here.

Yeah, that's right. Jindal, Republican rock star in waiting, got up in front of the country and fucking LIED to us. So he's an idiot and a liar. I'd like to say this has all effectively ended his political career outside Louisiana, but he's so fucking young: maybe it's safe to say he's set his aspirations back by a decade or more.

At any rate, my young pal Chad has nothing to worry about with Jindal. He's no Obama. Indeed, he's pathetic. A total fucktard that everybody hates. Except for Rush Limbaugh, his only standing defender, and that basically tells you all you need to know about Bobby Jindal.

(Thanks to Crooks and Liars for the pundit video and transcripts.)