Unable to register as more than an insignificant blip on Republican primary polling, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal has stopped at nothing in order to win the hearts of primary voters in Iowa and New Hampshire. When Indiana and Arkansas amended their religious freedom laws to avoid the appearance of promoting legislation that encouraged discrimination against the LGBT community, Bobby Jindal defended a bill introduced by Rep. Mike Johnson that included language that could be used to discriminate. When that law was shelved by Louisiana’s legislature after warnings that it could cripple the tourist industry and discourage companies from investing in the state, Bobby Jindal issued an executive order that didn’t go as far as the bill, but he wanted to make sure he had that on his campaign resume for religious conservatives.
Then came the Planned Parenthood video hit job, and Republicans fell all over themselves to remind voters that they were still loyal to the anti-abortion base and their cause to end Planned Parenthood once and for all. Planned Parenthood has long been the favorite target of anti-abortion activists. In the late 1980s and early 1990s when I first started going to “pro-life” rallies, Planned Parenthood was always considered to be the primary enemy, even though abortion services account for a very small fraction of what they actually do. In fact, the Hyde Amendment forbids federal funding to pay for abortion, although anti-abortion activists happily ignore that fact and others as they strive to end not only abortion services, but access to contraceptives as well.
Even though the conservative state of Indiana found no wrongdoing during their investigation of Planned Parenthood, a fact that Fox News had to admit to, Bobby Jindal didn’t miss the chance to terminate funding to the agency in Louisiana – even though the two current clinics in the state do not provide abortion services.
“In recent weeks, it has been shocking to see reports of the alleged activities taking place at Planned Parenthood facilities across the country. Planned Parenthood does not represent the values of the people of Louisiana and shows a fundamental disrespect for human life,” Jindal said in a statement. “It has become clear that this is not an organization that is worthy of receiving public assistance from the state.”
The move comes despite the fact that the two Planned Parenthood clinics in Louisiana do not provide abortion, which Planned Parenthood confirmed to the state’s Department of Health and Hospitals as part of the state’s ongoing investigation into claims that the organization is profiting off of aborted fetal tissue donations. A third clinic being built in New Orleans plans to offer abortion, but will not participate in the tissue donation programs, a Planned Parenthood executive told the state. (Source)
His frustration with not getting the poll numbers he wants is very telling. You see, Bobby Jindal just isn’t used to losing. Other than his initial run for governor, Bobby Jindal has a track record of success, at least when it comes to winning an office – although what he does in that office once he gets there is a whole different story. He’s the son of Indian immigrants, an Ivy League graduate and accomplished scholar who, for a number of years, had a meteoric rise in the Republican ranks. Seemingly, Bobby Jindal should have been the next star of the Republican Party as it sought to extricate itself from the swamp of the 2012 elections and comments by candidates that he warned were bad for the party’s image.
This stripping of Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood is the latest in a long line of actions that Bobby Jindal has taken to endear himself to the religious right. Desperate to get super PAC funding and a spot in the Fox News debate, Bobby Jindal will stop at nothing for political points now, even if it means denying access to healthcare to even more Louisiana residents than he already has with his refusal to accept Medicaid expansion. Bobby Jindal is generally despised in Louisiana these days, even by many conservatives. His own lieutenant governor, Jay Dardenne, has demanded that Jindal stop using state funds for his constant trips on his struggling campaign.
Bobby Jindal made the wrong choice by deciding throw in his lot with the Duck Dynasty Republicans and the rest of the far-right of his party. This is likely the end of his political career as he is not eligible to run for governor again in Louisiana due to term limits, and voters would likely refuse to elect him to be a dogcatcher, let alone a seat in Congress. If Senator David Vitter were to win the governor’s race this fall, there is little chance that Vitter would appoint Jindal to fill his seat for the remainder of the term since it is little secret here that the two men despise each other. The once-rising star of the GOP has reached the burnout stage of his career, and he’s taking the entire state down with him.
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