Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Stupid Party

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Monday called on Republicans to “stop being the stupid party” and make a concerted effort to reach a broader swath of voters with an inclusive economic message that pre-empts efforts to caricature the GOP as the party of the rich.
Jindal's now famous "Stupid" interview is so full of hypocrisies that we can spend weeks going through them.   One good indication of Jindal's  incoherence is the confused reaction of the national press.

Last week I watched a roundtable of Chris Mathews and Howard Fineman and John Heilman all agree that Jindal was maintaining his social conservative bona fides while "moderating" the GOP's economic policies.  Later that same evening, on that same channel, I watched Ed Schultz tell us Jindal was "moderating" GOP social policies.*

In fact, the Governor was doing nothing other than talking nonsense out of both sides of his mouth (as usual).  Aswell does much of that heavy lifting for us here. As we in Louisiana have come to understand all too well, Bobby Jindal is running the most radically right wing administration of any Governor in these United States. The breadth and depth of his "reforms" to public health and public education (both primary and higher ed) constitute staggering leaps off the furthest edge of the modern social contract. There is nothing in his Politico interview which signify a repudiation of these radical signature policies.

 Yglesias gets it the most correct telling us that Jindal is simply reaffirming the exact same policies while pretending to call for a change in direction.
This is, I think, probably a winning primary platform. Republicans would like to win more elections but don't want to change their policies, so they're eager for a candidate who has "new ideas" but no new ideas.

But, for the most part, the national political press remains oblivious.  Or at least they are lazy enough to allow 45 minutes of bullshit to stand in for substantive policy positioning.  Here, for example,  The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates even while acknowledging "there was a lot of talk about "tone" in Jindal's address, and very little in the way of actual policy" can't help but use Jindal's "Stupid Party" remarks as a contrast to Florida Senator Marco Rubio's recalcitrant  persistence in stupidity. 

The base of Marco Rubio's party has a problem with evolution, and a conflicted relationship with science. Expecting Rubio to be anything more that he is in that question is to misunderstand the base.

Contra Jindal, in American politics there is a substantial market for "stupid" -- one which the GOP has sought to corner.

And so it happens that  Bobby Jindal who cornered the "market for stupid"  with regard to evolution long ago, suddenly becomes the poster boy for science and reason.. even among our supposedly liberal pundits.

*Incidentally I do not recommend leaving the TV tuned to MSNBC for several hours at a time unless you are prepared to inflict much damage upon your own furniture. With the possible exception of  Maddow (and maybe Sharpton who I think plays clown on purpose) I have no idea why anyone working there remains employed.

1 comment:

Alfred W. Bostick said...

Get the fuck ...! Maddow & her preppy/pseudo-lib friends clog the 2nd st./dryades curb & bankette to klick off instagrams and pee their pants waiting for Bo and Al to make it real.