My friend Lamar White, Jr. over at cenlamar.com recently penned the most intelligent, blistering critique of Bobby Jindal that I’ve yet to see. One of the important points made is that ahead of Jindal’s almost certain run for the White House in 2016, he has done everything possible to align himself with the people who influence the early primaries – the far-right Christian conservatives.
For anyone who has paid attention to Louisiana politics, Bobby Jindal has been setting this up for years. In fact, I am pretty sure that becoming the first Indian-American president has been a goal of his ever since he first got into politics, and maybe even before that.
President Obama ended the long succession of white men as President of the United States and showed the changing, diverse face of America to the world. What’s more, he showed that it was possible for a skinny kid with a foreign-sounding name to become the leader of the free world.
Yet, Bobby Jindal is no Barack Obama. He’s not even close. Don’t get me wrong, President Obama has his faults, as does everyone else. However, President Obama has excelled despite his flaws, but Bobby Jindal has seemed to embrace the far right in order to make up for his massive shortcomings as governor of Louisiana. From Lamar White:
First and foremost, I could never support Bobby Jindal, because Bobby Jindal has been a pitiful, disastrous, and divisive hack of a governor. I don’t think he deserves to have any words spared. The man has an impressive resume, but a laughably pathetic record. He was first elected on a platform of ethics reform, but, instead of increasing transparency and promoting accountability in government, Bobby Jindal has made things worse. He’s shielded his office by claiming an almost entirely made-up “deliberative process” exemption. He’s privatized prisons and hospitals. He’s opposed the expansion of Medicaid, which would provide Louisiana with nearly $17 billion over the next decade and ensure that more than a quarter of a million citizens can access health care. He squandered hundreds of millions of dollars on constructing sand berms to combat the after-effects of the BP oil spill, even though he was warned that it was a bad project and the science simply wasn’t there. Speaking of science, he’s promoted creationism in the classroom, and, in a state that is losing a football field worth of land every hour, he has aligned himself with climate science deniers. (Source)
Bobby Jindal will never be president, and he can only blame himself. Instead of setting about the reforms he campaigned on, he sold out to corporate interests, including signing a bill designed to make it harder for oil companies to be sued. Not only was this a betrayal of his own ravaged, impoverished state that has suffered from Stockholm Syndrome with Big Oil for decades, but it was a huge conflict of interest since his own brother is an attorney with a law firm representing BP in their ongoing legal battles in the wake of the 2010 spill.
In a state with a “laissez bon temps roule!” (let the good times roll) attitude that has a certain degree of tolerance to it (depending on where you are), Bobby Jindal has aligned himself with the more intolerant people in Louisiana. These people include the Duck Dynasty clan which is headed by a patriarch that has endeared himself with religious conservatives with increasingly right-wing rhetoric, to the detriment of the rapidly waning reality show. In the furor that erupted after the brief suspension Phil Robertson was given by A&E, Bobby Jindal decided to hitch his political wagon to the long beards of the Robertson family and embraced the message of God, guns and camouflage everything. Seriously, just look at the Christmas card he sent out this year.
What could be more fake than that? Oh, maybe just the slew of pictures involving him and his family with guns, in a duck blind or at a shooting range. As pointed out by Nola.com, this year’s election cycle’s political must-have in campaign ads was guns, guns and more guns. Jindal knows that guns play well with the right-wing and after all, you’re not a real ‘Murican unless you have at least a couple of pictures of yourself in camouflage, posing with an AR-15. Let’s also not forget that he’s catered to the “let’s overthrow the government” crowd with a speech that insinuated that insurrection was A-OK in his book.
Again, Lamar with his take on Bobby Jindal’s reinvention to pander to the fringes of the GOP:
His reinvention has always struck me as cynical and dishonest. After all, he’s an Ivy League educated biology major who enacts laws that promote the teaching of new earth creationism in the public school science classroom. He’s a first-generation Indian-American who opposes comprehensive immigration reform. He was educated at the finest public high school in the state of Louisiana, and yet he promotes unaccountable church schools over public schools.
He could have been an inspiration, but instead, he is a fraud. He has become a sad parody of himself: A man who rose to power largely because of America’s capacity for and unique appreciation of equality, tolerance, and diversity, but who, once in power, became a willful and pathetic mouthpiece of agents of intolerance and hatred. (Source)
If it wasn’t for the fact that his policies have made Louisiana even more of a corporate whorehouse or that he’s refused Medicaid expansion for political brownie points with the Tea Party, I’d almost feel sorry for Bobby Jindal. Despite his assertion that minorities should try to blend in more and celebrate our shared culture, he belongs to a party made up of many people who angrily resist the idea of a culture that isn’t predominately white, heterosexual and Christian. He has criticized President Obama for how he runs the country, yet he can’t even run a state of less than 5 million people, and like many other red states, relies on federal money to plug some of the gaping holes in the state budget deficit.
Bobby Jindal will never reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue due to playing all of the wrong political cards. He hitched his wagon to bigoted reality stars and hoped to ride their fame all the way to Washington. Instead, Bobby Jindal will follow the Robertson clan into the collection of religious conservative has-beens – and he has nobody else to blame but himself.
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