The following essay, entitled The Ultimate Lean Hungry Man Appears to Have the Villagers Fooled, was posted on a blog called Sky Dancing http://skydancingblog.com/2013/01/24/the-ultimate-lean-hungry-man-appears-to-have-the-villagers-fooled/. We’d never heard of it but the author, someone named dakinikat, obviously from Louisiana, did such a good job that we’ve decided to reprint her post in its entirety:
I worry. For some reason, the villagers in the beltway appear to have my governor confused with some one who is not a sociopath. There is absolutely no way they’ve done any background work on Bobby Jindal and the horrible things that he has done and suggested for my state. I have no idea why they want to embrace the false face that Jindal uses as he plots his way up the political ladder. It makes no sense to me at all. But, today’s beltway rube award goes to Chris Cizzilla who is usually more circumspect. He’s written an article at WAPO called “Bobby Jindal speaking truth to the GOP power”.
Chris, Jindal never speaks the truth. He only says what he thinks people like you want to hear so he can further his own political ambitions. Bobby Jindal’s only motive is personal power. That is the only thing constant about him. He will do and say anything to get ahead. It will not be a “forceful denunciation”. It will be a carefully orchestrated attempt to get attention and to confuse people like you.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will deliver a forceful denunciation of his party’s Washington-centric focus in a speech to the Republican National Committee on Thursday evening, arguing that the GOP is fighting the wrong fight as it seeks to rebuild from losses at the ballot box last November.
“A debate about which party can better manage the federal government is a very small and short-sighted debate,” Jindal will tell the RNC members gathered in Charlotte, N.C. for the organization’s winter meeting, according to a copy of the speech provided to The Fix. “If our vision is not bigger than that, we do not deserve to win.”
This is perhaps the most hypocritical statement that I’ve ever seen. Jindal’s only vision is his wet dream of sitting in the oval office. He has kept our state in perpetual recession. He has cut the budget of our universities by 1/3. He has assaulted even the basic notion of what health care should be by devastating the availability of basic services by cutting our public health budget. He has thrown out myriads of talented people in various government agencies and placed incompetent, unqualified, and reckless cronies in their place. He has undercut LSU so badly that the accrediting agency has sent a letter asking if there is any one in charge. You will not even believe who he placed in charge of our state primary and secondary schools. Jindal has spent the last year stacking BESE–our oversight agency–with other cronies. He has turned our state into an ALEC crockpot of “reform” where creationism can be openly taught in science classes, state funds can pour into religious indoctrination centers with desks, computers, and little else available to students through unregulated vouchers, and even put out false information on the supposed success of charter schools.
Jindal’s latest attempt at turning the state into Somalia as its dictator is to suggest we should eliminate all income and property taxes and double sales taxes. The only ALEC-based nonsense he just backtracked on was his plan to yank hospice care from any state medicare recipient who needs it because he wants to ensure the state doesn’t go near any of the new federal funding or provisions available under ACA. He must have gotten enough feedback to feel it threatened his ambitions because that’s the only thing that would stop him from painfully killing any one who gets in his way of sending us to right wing hell.
Cizillia notes these things about Jindal’s speech to be given tonight.
Jindal is far from the only 2016 Republican hopeful to use his party’s Washington contingent as a foil to bolster his own political prospects. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) rant against House GOPers for failing to bring up a funding bill on Hurricane Sandy – an instant classic — was another prime example of congressional GOPers being triangulated by their party’s future leaders.
(Also worth noting: Jindal isn’t completely free of Washington’s stench, having served three years in Congress before his 2007 election as governor.)
While Jindal’s attack on his party’s failed focus is the main thrust of the speech, he also took time to excoriate his party for some of the shortcomings made clear during the 2012 election.
* On Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comments: “We must compete for every single vote — the 47 percent and the 53 percent, and any other combination that adds up to 100 percent.”
* On the party’s struggles to court non-white voters: “We must reject the notion that demography is destiny, the pathetic and simplistic notion that skin pigmentation dictates voter behavior. …The first step in getting voters to like you is to demonstrate that you like them.”
* On the likes of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock: “It’s time for a new Republican party that talks like adults. We had a number of Republicans damage the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. We’ve had enough of that.”
And Jindal will also try to demonstrate the sort of big-picture vision — you know, “that vision thing” — that is in demand in a party searching for itself in the electoral wilderness. “We must shift the eye line and the ambition of our conservative movement away from managing government and toward the mission of growth,” Jindal will say.
With this speech, Jindal makes a strong case to be the leading voice — or at least one voice in a relatively small chorus — committed to leading the Republican party out of its electoral wilderness.
How can Jindal lead the party out of electoral wilderness given his appalling record of cronyism, destruction of public instituions, and wholesale sell outs of public assets on the cheap to corporate donors? Ed Kilgore characterizes Jindal’s speech as “Jindal’s “I’ve Got It: Let’s Move to the Right!” Prescription. Jindal’s snake oil may have worked on our rural rubes, but I cannot believe it will sell other places if the press gets to the true intent of his agenda and his rule here.
I will be watching for a transcript of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s speech to the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting in Charlotte tonight with considerable anticipation. It looks like he’s going to personally brand the tendency within the GOP to identify “party reform” with an even more ideologically savage brand of conservatism than the one they’ve already embraced.
In an account based on an advance copy of the speech, WaPo’s Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake (under the sycophantic headline, “Bobby Jindal Speaking Truth to GOP Power”—gag!) tell us this about Bobby’s Big Message …
Gag is right!!! All you have to do is read any of my fellow Louisiana Bloggers to figure out that any one who closely watches Jindal can’t stand him. I have yet to speak to a Doctor or an educator in the state that has one kind word to say about him. Here’s something recent from fellow Pelican CenLaMar.
Throughout the last few years, I’ve never shied away from criticizing Governor Bobby Jindal. To put it nicely, I think he is an intellectually dishonest charlatan whose entire life has been defined by an almost embarrassing public desire for validation among the white conservative aristocracy. As a child, he rejected his given name and demanded that his parents call him “Bobby” after the little boy on The Brady Bunch, a story that his supporters repeat as if it reveals some sort of precocious sophistication and nuance. Maybe it does. But, to me, it also reveals how, even at a very early age, Bobby Jindal was conflicted about his own identity as the son of two Indian graduate students who immigrated to the United States, a man who was conceived in India but who has spent almost the entirety of his public life distancing himself from his family’s culture, their religion, and his Indian heritage. As a college student, Jindal converted from Hinduism to Catholicism, a journey that he describes as both intellectual and spiritual, but one that also, particularly in hindsight, seems almost hyperbolically cynical and calculated. And here, perhaps I’m the one being cynical, but I’ve never believed his “conversion story.” I’ve never once believed that Bobby Jindal, an allegedly brilliant kid majoring in biology in an Ivy League school, actually participated in a real life exorcism. His story is non-sensical and absurd, unwittingly and pathetically bordering on the comedic; it is almost certainly a work of complete fiction. But in telling it, however awkwardly, in publishing it in a relatively well-known Catholic journal, Jindal asserted himself publicly not only as a Catholic but as a Catholic whose faith was built on a mystical experience, a direct confrontation with the devil himself.
When he was only 24 years old, as his own legend has it, he became Louisiana’s Secretary of Health and Hospitals based on the strength of a single white paper he’d written, which led some to begin calling him “The Boy Wonder,” and which led more level-headed people to question the judgment of his boss, Governor Mike Foster. The truth, of course, is that Jindal’s service at DHH was short-lived and an abysmal failure, which somehow qualified him to head the entire University of Louisiana system. Before Louisiana could blink, Jindal, only 31 years old, ran for Governor. When he lost to an imminently more qualified candidate, a candidate who made history in her own right, becoming the first woman ever elected Governor, Jindal’s team seemed to blame his defeat on his ethnicity, not his youth and inexperience, not on his track record as DHH Secretary.
It’d be easy enough for people to suggest that my skepticism and my cynicism of Bobby Jindal is really about identity politics, as if merely bringing up the ways in which he has attempted to downplay his Indian heritage and his consciously self-promotional conversion to Catholicism somehow demonstrates my own biases. But, to me, such an argument is and has always been a way of avoiding a series of important questions that have rarely, if ever, been asked of the man Louisiana has twice-elected as their Governor, the most important of which is: What does this guy really believe?
Again, Kilgore appears to be more on the mark. Maybe, just maybe, he’s done his journalistic legwork. Plus, he knows about Jindal’s flirt with exorcism which should be a career killer ANYWHERE but the SF or the so-called Discovery channel.
“By obsessing with zeroes on the budget spreadsheet, we send a not-so-subtle signal that the focus of our country is on the phony economy of Washington, instead of the real economy out here in Charlotte, and Shreveport (La.), and Cheyenne (Wyo.),” Jindal is set to say at one point in the speech. At another, he will argue that “Washington has spent a generation trying to bribe our citizens and extort our states,” adding: “As Republicans, it’s time to quit arguing around the edges of that corrupt system.”
So what’s that supposed to mean? Blowing up the “corrupt system” via nullification of secession? Just opposing every federal spending measure, regardless of merit? Do tell, governor.
What it means politically is a lot clearer: Jindal wants to be the champion—and perhaps the 2016 presidential candidate—of the very significant faction of the GOP that thinks the party’s problems are a lack of clarity and consistency in its conservative ideology, along with a habitual stupidity in presenting it. Take Todd Akin, give him Bobby Jindal’s brains and background, and you’ve got the winning formula!
So Jindal will go arch-demagogic in attacking Washington, even as he tries to build a swampy wingnut paradise back home in Louisiana, with a model regressive tax system that supports conservative evangelical madrassas, and of course none o’ that soul-destroying satanic federal assistance via the Affordable Care Act.
It’s as smart a bet as any for where the Republican Party wants to go right now, which is anywhere other than the “center.” Perhaps the Charlotte appearance will begin a drumbeat of demands for a Jindal candidacy under the slogan: “Call for the exorcist!”
I cannot emphasis how much damage this man has done and is doing to my state. His policies have literally killed people. His response is to remove any one that criticizes him.
Former LSU health-care system chief Fred Cerise had lots to say about cuts the governor made. He wrote in The Atlantic Monthly that those outside Louisiana should pay note the governor’s health-care decisions in Louisiana.
Cerise, who lost his leadership role in August, talked about an uninsured patient who died because the referral hospital was overwhelmed and 17 other hospitals refused to admit him. He blamed the patient’s death on the governor’s approach to uninsured care.
“Jindal has declared his opposition to the two major programs that would ensure care to the uninsured. He has made clear his intention to reject the federal Medicaid expansion and at the same time is dismantling the state’s public safety net. It’s a combination of blows for many of the state’s citizens who are among the lowest earners in the country and are destined to go without care,” Cerise said.
Please, please please, do not treat this man seriously. Treat him like the plague he is. He is really really really turning us into a swampy wingnut paradise while every one else in the state suffers from no jobs, poor education opportunities, and limited access to health care.