Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What Bobby Jindal is talking about

On Monday night CNN published a very satisfying editorial by Jay Parini.  The title alone, "Bobby Jindal doesn't know what he's talking about," is rousing in its own right. Parini is reacting to some absurd assertions laid out by Jindal during a speech this week in London.
He (Jindal) announced confidently to a group that included a number of British parliamentarians that the police in the United Kingdom don't dare to tread in these zones, where Sharia law is widely used. "Nonassimilationist Muslims establish enclaves and carry out as much of Sharia law as they can without regard for the laws of the democratic countries which provided them a new home," he said

This is the sort of ill-informed fantasy that plays well in certain right-wing circles. This probably works for Jindal back home in Louisiana.

Oddly enough, Fox News got into trouble recently on the "no-go zone" nonsense, too, as when Steve Emerson, a so-called terrorism expert, explained to the American masses that Birmingham, a major British urban center, was populated entirely by Muslims and that "non-Muslims just simply don't go in."

British Prime Minister David Cameron correctly labeled him "a complete idiot," and Emerson's remark caused a spokesperson for the network to admit that Muslim "no-go zones" don't actually exist, not in Britain, not in Europe.
You know it's bad when David Cameron thinks you are a "complete idiot." On the other hand, that's probably exactly what Bobby Jindal wants. Here's Jindal not backing down one bit when confronted after his speech by a reporter.
But later, he was confronted by CNN’s Max Foster to back up these claims. “Look, I’ve heard from folks here that there are neighborhoods where women don’t feel comfortable going in without veils,” Jindal said. “That’s wrong. We all know that there are neighborhoods where police are less likely to go into.”

“But you need to have proper, sort of, facts to back that up,” Foster replied, saying he, as British man, has never heard of “no-go zones” for non-Muslims.

Jindal said that’s why he added the word “so-called” before “no-go zones” in his speech before turning the accusations around on liberals. “I think that the radical Left absolutely wants to pretend like this problem is not here. Pretending it’s not here won’t make it go away,” he said.

As Foster continued to press him for evidence and accused him of “exaggerating” the situation, Jindal replied, “I think your viewers know absolutely there are places where the police are less likely to go. They absolutely know there are neighborhoods where they wouldn’t feel comfortable.”

Jindal doesn't care what this guy thinks any more than he cares whether or not it makes Cameron or any other strawman elitist choke on his porridge.  Facts are stupid things anyway.  Why anyone still insists on living in the "reality-based community" anymore is beyond comprehension.

Jindal is purposefully talking past these twits directly to the "viewers" who "know absolutely" that Muslims/immigrants/poors whoever they're most worried about are very scary.  The more flack he catches from  fact-addled "leftists" over it, the better. Jindal has "heard from folks" what the real deal is and that's good enough for him.

I continue to recommend  Rick Perlstein's The Invisible Bridge about the rise of Ronald Reagan for further insight into the backlash base Jindal is trying to tap into.  The book picks up with Nixon's politicizing the POW issue and proceeds through Watergate up into the 1976 election where Reagan challenged Ford as a fringe candidate.

The consensus view of Reagan during the late 60s and early 70s was that he was a nut, and not a particularly smart nut, either. He was often the lone national figure who would blindly adhere to the furthest right wing talking points even as they were discredited by facts. The mainstream treated him as a laughing stock... sort of the way they do Jindal now. 

But Reagan kept plugging away. Impressing the eggheads wasn't his goal.  He wanted to make the impression that he was talking past intellectuals in the media and appealing directly to the people who really knew what was going on. Whatever the facts may appear to be according to the elites, Reagan and Jindal are sure to have "heard from folks" that something different is actually happening.

I'm far from the first person to observe that Jindal is deliberately trying to mimic Reagan's strategy in moving onto the national stage as best as he can. This doesn't mean it's going to work out as well for him, but, as stupid as he makes himself look, don't think there isn't a method to it.  

Of course, sometimes a typo is just a typo.

Other times, though, I kind of wonder.

1 comment:

cablecargal said...

Jindal's an idiot. "You're" welcome.