Bobby Jindal has made a big deal out of the fact that he has recently climbed a whopping two percentage points in the Iowa Republican polls. Jindal, who has been conspicuously absent from his job as governor of Louisiana, is spending a lot of his time on the ground in Iowa, trying desperately to gain traction with religious conservatives.
His recent absurd remarks blaming the father of the Oregon shooter drew a lot of criticism, but it also helped him gain some support from gun fanatics who want to believe anything other than the easy access to guns was to blame for the massacre. What Bobby Jindal said was outrageous, insensitive and ignorant – which is exactly what he was going for.
In the aftermath of the 2012 presidential election, Bobby Jindal delivered a speech to fellow Republicans during which he implored them to “stop being the stupid party.” Here is part of what he said back then in January 2013.
“We had a number of Republicans damage the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments,” Jindal said.
The Louisiana governor also warned that Republicans were too associated with “big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts, big corporate loopholes.”
“We must not be the party that simply protects the well-off so they can keep their toys,” Jindal said. “We have to be the party that shows all Americans how they can thrive.” (Source)
Back then, Bobby Jindal was seen as a potential savior of the Republican Party. Here was a fresh, young, non-white face who was highly educated and didn’t come across as being as extreme as politicians like Todd Akin or Rick Santorum. He wasn’t seen as rich and out of touch, and he could also speak about policies and budgets in a manner that might seem reasonable to moderate voters.
That was then, and this is now. Let’s compare the words of early 2013 to what Jindal is saying today.
A few months back, he traveled to England and gave a speech in which he warned about “no-go zones” where non-Muslims weren’t welcome. The problem is that he was basing this claim off a Fox News story which turned out to be false, and was actually retracted by them. Undeterred, Bobby Jindal went ahead and doubled down on his claim after the retraction, because the fear of Islam plays well with the voters he’s hoping to attract.
In August, Jindal cut off federal Medicaid funding to the two Planned Parenthood clinics in Louisiana, again based on false information in a series of creatively-edited videos targeting the organization. Despite the fact his move was illegal and neither of the two locations perform abortion services, Jindal did this because there are few things the religious right hates more than Planned Parenthood. He also has tried to block New Orleans from removing Confederate statues, claiming he had the authority to do so while citing a law that doesn’t even exist in Louisiana. Yes, seriously.
Last week, he blamed the father of the Oregon shooter for the massacre in a long blog post that cited a myriad of other potential factors that could have caused the shooting, except for the fact that a person with a suicidal history was allowed to have guns. Why? Because in the world of gun fanatics and the religious right, mass shootings are a one symptom of what happens when society turns away from their brand of Christianity.
Now Bobby Jindal is proposing his tax plan for America should he get elected. It resembles Donald Trump’s earlier tax proposal in some ways, but it goes even further by actually making the poorest Americans pay taxes and eliminates corporate income tax as well. Trump’s proposal is a gilded turd, but Bobby Jindal’s plan blatantly gives the middle finger to the people Fox News viewers love to hate.
Donald Trump’s campaign is already showing signs that his tide has crested. At this time in October of 2011, Herman Cain led the GOP polls with eventual nominee Mitt Romney placing second. Two months later, haunted by rumors of marital infidelity, Herman Cain dropped out of the race. Like Herman Cain, Donald Trump had a meteoric rise to the top, and I predict he’ll fade away by the time the Iowa caucuses roll around.
Republican primary voters love the idea of Donald Trump and his self-congratulatory, substance-free speeches that require no teleprompter. After all, you don’t need one when you’re used to talking about yourself as much as Trump is. However, they also want a “serious candidate” who can point to economic and financial charts – and blame America’s problems on the poor, immigrants, liberals, gays, atheists, etc. Donald Trump is a buffoon, but Bobby Jindal has spent his entire career leapfrogging into higher positions of power.
Bobby Jindal could very well win the Iowa caucuses if Donald Trump and/or Ben Carson fizzles out before then, but it’s a long shot. Trump’s braggadocio and speeches about making America “great again” can only carry him so far. The rest of the presidential contenders know that, and Bobby Jindal is weaseling himself into a position to benefit the most when that happens.
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