The Apocalyptic Bobby Jindal
Bobby Jindal is the governor of Louisiana. He talks like Kenneth from 30 Rock. He may or may not have participated in an exorcism. And, just a few months after urging his fellow Republicans to stop being so stupid (his word, his word), he’s had the following call to arms published, in Politico, under his name:
At some point, the American public is going to revolt against the nanny state and the leftward march of this president. I don’t know when the tipping point will come, but I believe it will come soon.
Because the left wants: The government to explode; to pay everyone; to hire everyone; they believe that money grows on trees; the earth is flat; the industrial age, factory-style government is a cool new thing; debts don’t have to be repaid; people of faith are ignorant and uneducated; unborn babies don’t matter; pornography is fine; traditional marriage is discriminatory; 32 oz. sodas are evil; red meat should be rationed; rich people are evil unless they are from Hollywood or are liberal Democrats; the Israelis are unreasonable; trans-fat must be stopped; kids trapped in failing schools should be patient; wild weather is a new thing; moral standards are passé; government run health care is high quality; the IRS should violate our constitutional rights; reporters should be spied on; Benghazi was handled well; the Second Amendment is outdated; and the First one has some problems too.
Unless she’s one exceptionally prone to take offense, I think it’s pretty hard for a liberal to see herself in the above bit of textual vomit. But, then again, it’s exceedingly unlikely that Jindal’s intended audience is anyone but the most hardcore Republican partisans and activists. After a rough patch as governor, Jindal probably was hoping to fall back, once again and if only for a moment, in the sweet embrace of the wing-nut ecosystem.
He’s coming off like a bit of try-hard, though, isn’t he?
Anyway, Ezra Klein makes a separate point: even by Jindal’s own standards, he’s failing. After previously arguing that Romney lost simply because Republicans waged a lackluster campaign, thinking the economy would take care of the rest (doesn’t jibe with my memory of 2012, but, then again, that was all of less than a year ago) Jindal, Klein notes, says the solution is for Republicans to…wait s’more!
But Jindal is proposing a variant of that exact same mistake. Instead of sitting back and waiting for the economy to win the election for Republicans, Jindal’s come up with a ridiculous caricature of liberalism and is assuming its failures will win the country back for conservatism. “Eventually Americans will rise up against this new era of big government and this new reign of politically correct terror,” he assures Republicans. When, exactly? ‘Soon,” Jindal promises.
It’s a fair dig, but one thing to keep in mind is that, even in this, Jindal is playing to the crowd. Apocalyptic thinking is hardly the exclusive property of conservatives, of course (see: Soviet communism); but this is the party of hardcore religious right. The wait-for-the-rapture logic can work just as well for politics as for religion. Better, even, because in politics the Devil isn’t an abstraction or a hidden presence. He’s right there, right in front of you, exploding the government, destroying 32 oz sodas, celebrating pornography and Lord only knows what else.