Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bobby Jindal has a plan

Remember way way back when then candidate Bobby Jindal bravely stood up to and defeated Donald Trump by making that one speech that everyone laughed at?  Well he's here now to teach the rest of us how to do that too.

Tl;dr, Jindal says the key is to do conservative stuff.  Also, he says that while the Trumps of the world run campaigns that (for better or for worse) respond to things voters are concerned about, the way to defeat Trump is to condescend to those voters instead.
But Trump realized that many voters, including Republicans, are still wary of foreign entanglements, after years spent in Iraq, and are sympathetic to populist calls for nation-building to begin at home. He realized that many voters are angry about expanding means-tested entitlements, like Obamacare and food stamps, especially for able-bodied adults, but at the same time are fiercely protective of universal programs, like Medicare and Social Security, supported in part by their payroll contributions. 
He realized that even if trade agreements generate dispersed benefits, workers hurt by the localized dislocations are much more aware of the pain than consumers are of the benefits. 
These may seem like strikingly obvious realizations, but they in part explain why Republican leaders who tout the benefits of cutting government, free trade, and entitlement reform to struggling middle class voters are falling flat. To be clear, I believe in these things, but I do fear that we have failed to sufficiently make our case for these policies.
Meanwhile, middle-class voters can be forgiven for thinking that perhaps a government fighting for them, defending their jobs from foreign workers abroad or coming here illegally and defending their lives and values from radical Islamic terrorists, makes more sense than a government taking from them, as offered by Obama -- or a government they see simply defending those who have already succeeded, as offered by Republicans.
Bobby Jindal forgives you, middle-class voters. Please consider him in your future endeavors.  I like this strategy. It's why Jeb Bush is cruising to the nomination right now.  But maybe Bobby is on to something. We all know he's going to keep running for President for either the rest of his natural life or perhaps longer. Bobby may, in fact, already be more political hack algorithm than man at this point. If he successfully uploads into the mainframe he may be producing campaign prop op-eds for online outlets forever.  

He may, in fact, already be running next year's software upgrade. There's reason to believe the ultimate result of this cycle will be a return to elite consensus politics. If this is Jindal's attempt to plant his flag back in that camp then he very well may be doing the prudent thing. 

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