Sunday, March 01, 2009

Walk right back . . .

TheNextRight.com fancies itself as the new intellectual side of the Republican movement. Staffed by earnest young conservatives, it tries to present non-wingnut ideas that still reflect a conservative world view. Don't start laughing yet, the punch line comes later.

After the Epic Fail of Bobby Jindal's rebut of Pres. Obama's not-State-of-the-Union speech the other night, the Next Rightians try to rehabilitate the guy some think will be the candidate in '12.

Let's see how that works out:
With his actions during that natural disaster and his words as a result, we can see his most basic ideals laid bare. And they are ideals we should all applaud. So, as a reminder here are some highlights of his op ed in the Wall Street Journal from September 8, 2005. Jindal began his piece with these words:
Over the past few days, America has been both moved and disturbed by television footage of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath. But for those of us in Louisiana still struggling to cope, the troubling images are of opportunistic politicians playing the blame game while there is so much real work to do.

Rather than point fingers, we should be fixing the situation on the ground. And that will include taking steps to ensure that red tape doesn't stifle the continued security and rebuilding efforts.

There have already been a number of instances in which an overly inhibitive bureaucracy prevented an appropriate response to the disaster. For example, on Wednesday of last week a company called my office. With only three hours before rising waters would make the mission impossible, they were anxious to send a rescue helicopter for their stranded employees. They wanted to know who would give them a go-ahead.

We could not identify the agency with authority. We heard that FEMA was in charge, that the FAA was in charge, and that the military was in charge. I went in person to talk with a FEMA representative and still could not get a straight answer. Finally we told the company to avoid interfering with Coast Guard missions, but to proceed on its own. Sometimes, asking for forgiveness is better than asking for permission.

True as can be. Big Government does not work. Local efforts are far more effective. And if anything speaks to Jindal's basic American ideal it is this line...

Jeebus. So local government was too shy to act on its own, and waited until the Big Bad Feds fucked it all up? Because "Brownie your doing a heckuvajob" had no idea what to do, and thus, had no idea what to tell you to do?

Dude, if you hate the federal government, then grow a pair and act like you can take care of your own.

Seriously, the commentors at the post take no prisoners:
The Katrina story / Sherrif Lee has been found to be an exaggeration which his aides have had to walk back.

The point of the Katrina story is your "rugged individualism" and "government doesn't work". But who is the hero of the story? Sherrif Lee - a government official. Who is the villian? A FEMA bureaucrat. So the story is really about competance vs. incompetence. So it ends up reinforcing a Democratic meme.

and:
Jindal demonstrated that he does not have the leadership skills to lead a conservative movement back from being irrelevant. Knowing that everything he said was going to be facted checked by literally thousands of people, his staff choose to lie. So either Jindal picked a bad staff and thus has bad management skills or he is not capable of getting good work out of his staff.

and:
This is so off base that it is so laughable. FEMA was gutted by Bush and put in Homeland security. Many experienced people lost their jobs in the process. You had Brown who was in charge, someone who did not know emergency management. You had a video conference with Bush, Brown, and others talking about the hurricane before it struck. And then after it hit, you had a governor and a mayor who were incompetent. But you also had an incompetent FEMA. And after some three days of people screaming, Bush said "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job." That is one of many blunders by Bush and company.
and:
A recent thread turned to memories of Reagan. People need reminding that he was a pathological liar. He made up the welfare queen story. It got to the point that his people didn't bother with "clarifications" and reporters didn't bother repeating them. It just was who he was. Bush also had an "interesting" relationship with the truth.

Now, talkingpointsmemo.com has the goods on Jindal. The Sheriff Lee story is a Reaganisque fib. That makes Jindal the future of the Republican party.

Seriously. Republicans, Jindal, the future of the party. It is to laugh.

That said, never assume anything. This guy, with the vast machine available to him, might make some actual noise in a few years. Or he might land a high-profile gig with Fox News or on a radio network next to Limbaugh, Liddy or North.

His clown skills may actually pay off.