Monday, November 19, 2012

Straight talk, or double-talk, from Jindal?

JINDAL: Friend, or foe? We don't know!
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is the kind of politician that fits the ideal of the ideologues as the kind of “minority” they could back for electoral office.

Unlike someone like Barack Obama, whom the nativists want to demonize into everything that is wrong with this country – even though anyone who seriously looks at his record sees that an Obama is the kind of guy who is willing (perhaps too willing) to negotiate and compromise on issues.

SO IT IS with a touch of amusement that I heard Jindal – who was born in Baton Rouge, La., just six months after his parents arrived in this country from India – is referring to his own political party as the “stupid party.”

When Jindal, who is 41, got into electoral politics, he became a Republican because they were the dominant force in his home area (just as many Chicagoans with ideological hang-ups of their own become Democrats because  they don’t want to “fight the good fight” and lose as Republicans on Election Day).

He has used the GOP banner to run his gubernatorial campaigns of 2007 and 2011. There are those who tout him as a potential vice presidential running mate. Or now that Mitt Romney has gone down to defeat, perhaps the occupier of the Oval Office itself come 2016?

So at a time when some ideologues are trying to insist that there’s nothing misguided about their hostility towards non-Anglo oriented interests (particularly all those Latinos), Jindal is among those who are trying to reach out to more people.

HE GAVE AN interview to the Politico newspaper and website where he made is comment about the republicans being the “stupid party,” and backed it up by appearing on the Fox News Sunday interview program where he said GOPers, “don’t need to be saying stupid things.”

He also said the Republican Party has, “to campaign for every single vote. We don’t start winning majorities … by insulting our voters.”

Which sounds all good and fine. A Republican official who isn’t so wedded to the ideologues who in recent years have become the backbone of the Republican Party voter base.

Except, ….

THIS IS THE man who as a kid backed away from the name given to him by his parents (Piyush Jindal) because he wanted something that sounded “more American.” (Supposedly, “Bobby” came from his favorite character in the old Brady Bunch television series that he would have watched when he was a kid).

Combined with that southern drawl he speaks with, it probably is comforting to the southern voter base that the Republican Party relies on (and where in local races the GOP dominated in the same Election Day cycle that saw them suffer losses at the federal level).

Perhaps if Barack Obama had stood by his childhood nickname of “Barry” and didn’t act as though it were a positive that he had a paternal grandfather who spent part of World War II in what is now Myanmar (or had lived himself for part of his childhood in Indonesia), the ideologues would be willing to view the president in the same favorable fashion.

Then again, I doubt Obama would ever have approved of a measure requiring the teaching of religious dogma such as creationism as the equivalent of evolution (keep creationism in Sunday school, is what I’d argue), as Jindal did in Louisiana.

WHICH WAS A move meant to appease the ideologues who have their own agenda that they think the rest of us must be subjected to in our lives as well.

So do I like the idea of a Jindal that condemns the stupid talk that emanates from too many of his alleged political allies during election cycles? Yes!

But do I also wonder if this talk is merely meant to provide cover for some of his governmental actions that I’m sure the ideologues would take comfort in?

Most definitely! We’ll have to wait and see which Jindal is the real one.


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