Jindal: What Nickname Should He Get? Same Old, Same Old?

Bobby Jindal carried the GOP response to Barack Obama last night, about the only Republican in the country who is not tainted by the last eight years of Republican incompetence and outright corruption. But he spouted the same old tired Republican line, like a puppet, which means he deserves a nickname. Give us one, willya?

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Barack Obama made a well-received speech to Congress last night. He appealed directly to the American people, whether they are hurt directly by the recession or know people who are. And Obama was positive about the character of the American people and how that character, with leadership by government, will bring us to new heights. I liked especially how Obama framed the problems we are facing in terms of personal responsibility, and how the urgent needs of our country have been ignored in the last several years. Sure, Obama did not name names, but I’™ll name them. It was the Republicans. More on that later. First a taste of the Obama speech. From the transcript of the speech at the Washington Post:

Now, if we’™re honest with ourselves, we’™ll admit that for too long, we have not always met these responsibilities – as a government or as a people. I say this not to lay blame or look backwards, but because it is only by understanding how we arrived at this moment that we’™ll be able to lift ourselves out of this predicament.

The fact is, our economy did not fall into decline overnight. Nor did all of our problems begin when the housing market collapsed or the stock market sank. We have known for decades that our survival depends on finding new sources of energy. Yet we import more oil today than ever before. The cost of health care eats up more and more of our savings each year, yet we keep delaying reform. Our children will compete for jobs in a global economy that too many of our schools do not prepare them for. And though all these challenges went unsolved, we still managed to spend more money and pile up more debt, both as individuals and through our government, than ever before.

In other words, we have lived through an era where too often, short-term gains were prized over long-term prosperity; where we failed to look beyond the next payment, the next quarter, or the next election. A surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy instead of an opportunity to invest in our future. Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market. People bought homes they knew they couldn’™t afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway. And all the while, critical debates and difficult decisions were put off for some other time on some other day.

Well that day of reckoning has arrived, and the time to take charge of our future is here.

Yeah, it is a day of reckoning, alright, and what we’™re reckoning with is the swath of destruction the Republicans have left in their wake. Policies of inaction and deregulation and senseless war and wasteful spending and rampant incompetence have left us in this mess. We’™ve got a lot of Republicans to blame, too. Bush, Phil Gramm, Cheney, Mitch McConnell, Bill Frist, Limbaugh, Perle, Boehner, Alberto Gonzales, and on and on and on. These are the architects of the wreckage that is our economy, our world reputation, our civil liberties and our sense of ourselves. Yeah, Barack Obama has an enormous task ahead of him, and the expectations are sky high. But we progressives can take heart that one thing is for sure. The Republicans are going to offer nothing more than do nothing and know nothing as their solution to the crisis. They are going to sit on their hands, neither owning the responsibility they have for the crisis nor offering solutions to fixing the problems.

It is telling that the Republicans put forth Bobby Jindal to deliver their response to President Obama’™s speech. Jindal, at least, is not complicit in the failed war in Iraq, he is not responsible for the Bush deficits, for the Republican march towards deregulation, for the Republican incompetencies, at least at the national level. After the last eight years, getting a McCain or a McConnell or a Bush to deliver the Republican response would be a bad move for the Republicans. so they bring in Jindal, not closely connected to the failures of the Bush years, but what he does is deliver the same tired old message, complete with straw men. How about this straw man, from CNN:

And Jindal rebuked the president for a remark made earlier in this month when Obama warned that without immediate action on the economy, ‘œour nation will sink into a crisis that, at some point, we may be unable to reverse.’

‘œA few weeks ago, the president warned that our country is facing a crisis that he said we may not be able to reverse,’ Jindal said. ‘œOur troubles are real, to be sure. But don’™t let anyone tell you that we cannot recover. Don’™t let anyone tell you that America ‘™s best days are behind her.’

This is the same tired Republican strategy. Take Obama’™s words, twist, then reapply. (Jindal does that throughout his speech, and .) No, Barack Obama never disparaged the American spirit. Jindal is dishonest to imply that. But that’™s the Republican plan, to get a leg up and win politically no matter ethics, honsesty or even what is good for the country. Given that they now whine about deficit spending while supporting it throughout the Bush Presidency, it’™s obvious that what they want is power to spend, and nothing more. (OK, power to spy on Americans, power to limit civil rights, power to . . . you get the idea.)

I’™m wondering at what they must think of Jindal. Hey, he’™s one who was only barely tainted by the Republican scandals and incompetencies of the past, but he’™s taking his marching orders, and they are exactly the stupid stances that Republicans have used all along. They’™ve shown that they are not for small government and not for fiscal responsibility, but Jindal persists in claiming those are Republican values.

Which brings me to the question. Jindal is relatively new to the GOP scene. what nickname can we give him? If Sarah Palin, who also echoes stupid Republican values while pitching the same old same old, is Caribou Spice, could we call Jindal Slumdog Barbie? No, no, Slumdog is much too optimistic for a Republican to steal the label. Let’™s call him Mumbai Gumbo, or something like that. There’™s the Republican support of outsourcing in that nickname, plus Jindal’™s own heritage, but there’™s that hint of Louisiana corruption, too. Now while Jindal seems not at all connected to Louisiana corruption, he’™s trying like HELL to be connected to the Republican Party, and that’™s about as corrupt as you can get. But these are not exactly the most polite nicknames, and I think the readers here can do better.

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009 by Richard Blair |

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