Over the last few months, Bobby Jindal has been drifting further and further toward the far right. Recent actions are part of what can only be seen as preparation for a long shot run for the GOP nomination in 2016, and last night, he made that quite obvious with the following remarks at the annual Faith and Freedom Conference:
“I can sense right now a rebellion brewing amongst these United States,” Jindal said, “where people are ready for a hostile takeover of Washington, D.C., to preserve the American Dream for our children and grandchildren.” (Source)
Yeah, Gov. Bobby “Stop Being The Stupid Party” Jindal used the “overthrow the government” line at a rightwing evangelical gathering – and that’s not all. He also managed to take shots at President Obama and Hillary Clinton, because these are all things the people who still take Ralph Reed seriously want to hear.
“Are we witnessing right now the most radically, extremely liberal, ideological president of our entire lifetime right here in the United States of America, or are we witnessing the most incompetent president of the United States of America in the history of our lifetimes? You know, it is a difficult question,” he said. “I’ve thought long and hard about it. Here’s the only answer I’ve come up with, and I’m going to quote Secretary Clinton: ‘What difference does it make?'” (Source)
Governor Jindal can’t openly call for a violent overthrow of the government – he knows that. He also knows that in that scenario, he would be arrested for sedition and sent to federal prison. Yet, all Jindal and others who are seeking the primary votes of the far right have to do is hint at the possibility of angry mobs on the White House lawn and the votes and donations flow in.
This is par for the course these days. Mainstream Republicans (like Bobby Jindal used to be) don’t stand much of a chance against the right-wing that is no longer content to take an occasional, token anti-abortion law in exchange for their vote. The inmates are now running the asylum and the only way to stay politically relevant in the Republican Party, especially in the Deep South, is to pander to them more than ever before. Remember how John McCain got booed when he said this about President Obama in 2008?
“No, ma’am. He’s a decent family man [and] citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that’s what this campaign’s all about. He’s not [an Arab].”
That kind of talk doesn’t fly in the GOP anymore, and in this hyper-partisan environment, only the most outrageous statements are welcome. Anything less is seen as treason.
Let’s also not forget the fact that while Bobby Jindal is off campaigning for other Republicans or pandering to religious zealots like those who follow Ralph Reed, Louisiana remains one of the poorest, most uneducated and unhealthy states in the entire country. Yet, it doesn’t matter to those who are convinced that one more conflict in the Middle East will finally bring back Jesus. Rampant obesity and other health problems? That’s fine, because the government shouldn’t be involved in healthcare, unless it’s to keep a woman from getting birth control or an abortion. These are the same people who looked the other way as Bobby Jindal signed a law that lets oil companies off the hook for damages caused to the very people who voted to put him in office.
We can only expect to see more and more of this as we get closer to the 2016 GOP primaries, as the rhetoric gets ramped up as far as it legally can be. Bobby Jindal and others know that only by claiming the President is a communist, fascist, socialist, Muslim dictator will they have a chance to be the nominee. While pandering to the far right may work for being elected to office in some states, the rest of the country will not stand for it. If they want to keep it up, the GOP can look forward to losing the White House in yet another landslide in 2016.
“If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” -Lyndon B. Johnson
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