It’s certainly refreshing and reassuring to know that the woes of running a state government laden with the ever-increasing burden of budgetary shortfalls has not distracted Gov. Piyush Jindal from his primary objective of tending to the more pressing needs of advising the national Republican Party on how not to be stupid.
Jindal, in his latest appearance on the national stage, has authored an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal in which he calls for over-the-counter sales of oral contraceptives.
This, by the way, is yet another in a series of instances in which Jindal makes himself available to the national media while ignoring requests for interviews from new media in Louisiana—a somewhat curious pattern of behavior for a man who insists he has the job he wants.
But back to that WSJ piece. Whether or not you agree with him—and on this issue, a case could certainly be made for such a policy—it is puzzling, to say the least, how a devout Catholic such as Jindal can endorse birth control in any form.
The Catholic Church, last time we checked, was unconditionally opposed to birth control and Piyush is such a good Catholic that he once claimed to have performed an exorcism during his student days at Brown University.
“As a conservative Republican,” he says in the piece, “I believe that we have been stupid to let the Democrats demagogue the contraceptive issue and pretend, during debates about health-care insurance, that Republicans are somehow against birth control.”
Well, that’s certainly seizing the high ground. Jindal arbitrarily hijacks the Rodney Dangerfield claim of “no respect” for the national Republican Party. Good move, there Swifty. My grandfather always told me that when I find myself in a hole, quit digging.
Piyush is looking more and more like a politician who was created by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) but who now wants to put distance between himself and the right wing Tea Partiers who owe their very existence to ALEC. And he’s still digging.
Yep. Piyush is claiming the middle ground, apparently so as not to appear stupid.
The Boy Blunder has, in the wake of the Mitt Romney loss to President Obama, morphed into the Forrest Gump of political science. Maybe we should henceforth simply refer to him as Piyush Gump: stupid is as stupid does.
He implied that Romney ran a “stupid” campaign—but only after the election. Prior to Nov. 6, Piyush campaigned tirelessly for the Republican nominee with nary a hint of discomfort or embarrassment over any supposed GOP stupidity.
Neither Piyush nor any of his appointees, of course, could ever be accused of doing anything stupid.
After all, it would be stupid to repeatedly hide behind something called the “deliberative process” in an effort to avoid revealing information to the public.
It would be stupid to suggest to subordinates that they use private email accounts for communicating about Medicaid budget cuts.
It would be stupid for Jindal’s education superintendent to approve 315 vouchers for the New Living Word School in Ruston without first learning that the school had no instructors, no desks and no classrooms.
It would be stupid for the education superintendent to send an email to the governor’s office outlining his plans to lie to a legislative committee about New Living Word to “take some air out of the room.”
It would be stupid to attempt implementation of a funding method for school vouchers that is clearly unconstitutional.
It would be stupid to describe the judge who ruled that funding method as unconstitutional as “wrong-headed.”
It would be stupid to ignore a growing hole in Assumption that has swallowed up some eight acres of land while belching toxic gases because campaigning against a judge in Iowa is considered more important.
It would be stupid to close a state prison without at least extending the courtesy of a heads-up to legislators in the area.
It would be stupid to close a state hospital without at least extending the courtesy of a heads-up to legislators in that area.
It would be stupid not to fire—or at least punish—a Recovery School District Superintendent who wrecked a state vehicle on one of his three dozen trips to Chicago on private business, including appearing on a Chicago television station to announce his intention to run for mayor.
It would be stupid to attempt a total takeover of the state’s flagship university by loading up its governing board with campaign contributors—and to coerce that board into firing the president, the university’s legal counsel, and the head of the university’s health care system.
It would be stupid to fire or demote scores of other state employees and elected members of the state legislature whose only sin was to disagree with Pontiff Piyush.
It would be stupid for his commissioner of administration to refuse to release a copy of a consultant’s report on the privatization of the Office of Group Benefits.
It would be stupid for his secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) to refuse to divulge to the senate committee considering his confirmation the identity of the winner of a 10-year, $300 million contract—when it was later learned that the winner was a company for whom the secretary had once worked.
It would be stupid for that same DHH secretary to swear under oath to that same committee that he had established a fire wall between him and his former company and that he had had no communication with the company during the selection process—when in fact, as was subsequently learned, he had been in constant communication with the company during the entire selection process.
It would be stupid for a governor to refuse to return $55,000 in campaign contributions after learning it had been laundered through a bank into his campaign.
And it would be oh, so very stupid to insist on no new taxes or tax increases in the wake of a budget deficit hole rivaling the one in Assumption Parish.
Piyush is not stupid. That’s why he is offering advice to his fellow Republicans.
That’s why he is writing op-ed pieces for the WSJ about the need to sell contraceptives over the counter.
And if that doesn’t work, he can always reprise his Brown experience and perform an exorcism on Republican stupidity in much the same manner he performed his exorcism on the collective courage of certain legislators.