Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Rising Star?

Last night, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, one of a pair of "rising stars" in the Republican party (the other is, of course, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin), gave a shockingly tone-deaf and almost universally-panned speech in reaction to President Barack Obama's address to Congress.

The lowest--and most painfully ironic--moment in his speech came when he used the government's shameful and negligent response to Hurricane Katrina as an example of why government cannot be relied upon to help solve our nation's problems (as the Obama administration and the Democratically-controlled Congress are trying to accomplish with the stimulus package). If the outcome of the government's inadequate response to Katrina had not been so tragic and sad, Governor Jindal's remarks would have been comic for their complete lack of logic and self-awareness; instead, they were simply stupid.

Given the above, now compare the Fox News and CNN transcripts of Jindal's speech. Are the right-wing cheerleaders over at Fox trying to help Bobby Jindal clean up his mess and salvage his Republican wunderkind reputation by truncating the worst parts of his speech?

Here's a sampling of reviews of Bobby Jindal's speech:

Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize-winning Princeton economist and liberal columnist for the New York Times:

And leaving aside the chutzpah of casting the failure of his own party’s governance as proof that government can’t work, does he really think that the response to natural disasters like Katrina is best undertaken by uncoordinated private action? Hey, why bother having an army? Let’s just rely on self-defense by armed citizens.

"Republicans, Democrats criticize Jindal's Speech" Associated Press Article

VIDEO: David Brooks, conservative columnist for the New York Times
"I think it's insane...a disaster for the party."

VIDEO: And, lastly, Governor Jindal himself.



Robert said...

The essence of Bobby Jindal, as Republican front-man, is in the following quote from his speech:

"Democratic leaders in Washington, they place their hope in the federal government. We place our hope in you, the American people."

Mr. Jindal, you are fundamentally incorrect. We all place our hopes on good government, that is attentive and responsive to the needs of its people.

After watching the last administration bungle Katrina, Iraq, and Wall St, even many of your constituents lost hope in the Republican form of 'ungoverning' the country. Your hands off philosophy, and the mishandling of everything that desperately needed governmental intervention has led us squarely into this fiasco.

These times require more than trust in the people to get us back on the right track. If you refuse to see that, then get out of the way before you do more damage that none of us can afford.


Anonymous said...

excellent article.
The belief that government can accomplish great things must be instilled by teaching civics to kids in school, starting at a young age. As far as I can tell, there is no ongoing civics curriculum in most schools. It is covered in stunted manner at best. Herein lies our biggest problem for the future.