As predicted, Gov. Piyush Jindal, who has been insisting all along that he has the job he wants, launched his 2016 presidential campaign on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012.
Mark that date. It’s the day after Mitt Romney lost to President Barrack Obama, thus allowing Piyush to accelerate his presidential aspirations by a full four years. Even though he campaigned for Romney, it’s hard to imagine that he was disappointed at the results. He’s not the type to stand on the sidelines for a full eight years.
If there were ever any doubts, they were erased on Tuesday of this week when Jindal offered unsolicited advice to the national Republican Party.
• Never mind that Louisiana has the second highest gender pay gap in the nation;
Piyush Jindal is giving advice to the rest of the country.
• Never mind that Louisiana is the seventh poorest state in the nation;
Piyush Jindal actually believes the national Republican Party should listen to him.
• Never mind that Louisiana has the fifth highest crime rate in the nation;
Piyush Jindal appears oblivious to the state’s problems while insisting he is the go-to man to address party woes on a national scale.
• Never mind that Louisiana has the third highest poverty rate in the nation;
Piyush Jindal apparently believes he can solve the Republican Party’s woes.
• Never mind that Piyush Jindal is closing down hospitals in areas where they are desperately needed by Louisiana’s poor who will have no access to needed health care;
Piyush Jindal is lecturing the Republican Party that it should not be perceived as the party of the elite.
• Never mind that Piyush has insisted on no new taxes on his corporate friends to help plug the budget gaps (he even vetoed the renewal of a cigarette tax in 2011, insisting that he considered it a new tax) while allowing struggling colleges and universities to raise tuition for Louisiana students in order to cover their own budget gaps.
Piyush Jindal considers himself qualified to address the problems of the Republican Party.
• Never mind that Piyush Jindal is consolidating power not only in the legislature that is supposed to be independent, but on the state’s public education board, the LSU Board of Supervisors, the LSU Health Care System, the Louisiana Supreme Court, environmental affairs, and in health care, worker’s compensation and even in state employee group benefits;
Piyush Jindal is lecturing his fellow Republicans that they should be more compassionate while blunting the perception that the GOP is a party of the rich, the privileged, the influential and to concentrate more on being a “party of ideas, details and intelligent solutions.”
This from the man who attempted with every fiber in his benevolent body earlier this year to gut state employee benefits. His proposals, if passed, would have resulted in a 30-year employee earning $52,000 a year having her retirement benefits slashed from $39,000 a year to $6,000—a loss of $33,000 a year.
And remember: career state employees do not receive social security or Medicare benefits. If a state employee worked in the private sector, he or she would qualify for social security but there would be a cut in social security benefits (called an offset) to compensate for the employee’s state retirement.
So much for compassion.
“We’ve got to make sure that we are not the party of big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts (see: Jindal bailout of the chicken plant in Union Parish), big corporate loopholes (see Jindal tax incentives, exemptions and rebates to businesses through the state Enterprise Zone program), big anything.”
Those words must have a horribly hollow ring on the ears of 111 employees of the Office of Group Benefits who will be losing their jobs right after Christmas. These were employees who had an enviable efficiency record in processing health insurance claims and who managed to turn a $60 million deficit into a $500 million surplus in five years. But that was not good enough for Jindal, who by browbeating compliant legislators into concurrence last week, managed to ram through a contract that will pay Blue Cross/Blue Shield up to $1.1 billion to administer the agency’s claims.
What was it again that Jindal said about not being a party that panders to big business?
If Piyush was trying to sound like President Eisenhower, who warned as he left office that America should guard against the influence of the military-industrial complex, he failed miserably.
But Piyush, should he fail in his bid for the presidency (as he most surely will), he still may have a promising career in stand up comedy. One of his stock lines in that future career could be the advice he gave his fellow Republicans when he urged that they “stop reducing everything to mindless slogans, tag lines.”
“Do more with less,” “Let the dollar follow the child,” and, of course, “I have the job I want” come immediately to mind.
Well, if absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder, then he certainly should love the job he has because he spends so little time doing it.
Jindal also addressed what he called “offensive, bizarre comments” by Republican candidates.
Without mentioning them by name, he was most probably referring to the rape comments by Republican senatorial candidates Richard Mourdock of Indiana who said if a woman becomes pregnant as a result of rape, it would be “God’s will,” and Todd Akin of Missouri who claimed it was impossible for a woman to become pregnant from rape because a woman’s reproductive system shuts down during such events.
He also could have been referencing Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comment.
Jindal characterized the gaffs by saying such stupid comments “can’t be tolerated within our party.”
Yeah, but we still have Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann (who during an Aug. 16, 2011, stop in South Carolina, prompted the crowd to give “a shout out to Elvis on his birthday!” Elvis was born on Jan. 8, 1935; Aug. 16, 1977, was the date of his death) and Piyush Jindal—each of whom must’ve gone to the Joe Biden School of Political Idiocy.