His columns are published in the “friendly” Politico, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and other publications in DC on a regular basis, while he blasts our nation’s capitol for its politics.
Not bad for a guy who for years has denounced the “Washington Way” and its media. Pretty good for a guy who endorsed the Louisiana Way over the ways and mean spirits coming out of our nation’s capitol.
According to a SMOR poll released this week, Jindal is more popular now than six and twelve months ago. This result is bizarre. For months, the voters gave him low marks, in part because he took to the road to campaign for himself and others instead of doing the people’s work. Now, he is away from the Louisiana Capitol, and the Louisiana voters don’t like his brand of politics or his governing any more than before. While the SMOR polls show he is no longer one of the most unpopular governors in the country anymore, the new-found popularity has some doubters. For instance, John Maginnis writes: “The recent federal rejection of the state's hospital financing plan came days after the recent poll was taken.” With the plans for financing hospitals and providing healthcare to tens of thousands still very much up in the air, and with many questions still unanswered about the next year’s state budget and major concerns about future deficits, there is a legitimate question as to whether those reforms for which he takes credit will bear fruit or not and whether the uptick in popularity is short-lived or more permanent.
So, what’s an deeply unpopular governor with the highest national ambitions to do?
That’s exactly what Governor Jindal has decided to do this year and most likely the next--do nothing, yet go on the national circuit and write weekly columns and claim he did a lot.
In essence, he has opted to “wave the white flag” on Louisiana politics and policies and take his reforms elsewhere to an audience who he thinks will appreciate him more than the folks back home seem to do.
In football parlance, he’s taking his ball and leaving home.
As noted by Maginnis in the same LaPolitics.com article:
“In the lead-up to the poll being conducted, Jindal has been largely out of public view and absent from the legislative session, which is hosting the lightest administration agenda released in two terms. The difference between then and now, according to [Bernie] Pinsonat, is what Jindal hasn't been doing. ‘He kind of climbed back out of the hole he dug with two things, the hospital cuts and - something self-inflicted - he was getting shellacked on his sales tax increase,’ the pollster said. ‘He got back some white Democrats and women. Even some Republican women were giving him a 'not-so-good.’ Last year's poll was taken during Jindal's most ambitious but also most unpopular initiative, his plan to repeal income taxes by raising the sales tax and extending it to services, which had many small businesses up in arms. After dumping that lead weight on his popularity, the governor was barely involved in the rest of that session and has been even less engaged in this one. ‘He can't pass anything (controversial), so why go start a fight and get that criticism,’ said Pinsonat.”
Right. After six years, Jindal has realized he cannot govern a small state like Louisiana, so why not preside over one that is a million-times more difficult and with a zillion-times more responsibility?
So, why beat one’s head against a post-Katrina fortified Louisiana-levee?
After all, life is so much easier when he can do it the “Jindal way.”
The Jindal Way allows him to give speeches about religion in front of those who have religion about those who don’t--or at least, not the same religious indoctrination, anyway.
The Jindal Way is being paid a handsome salary for trying to fix the state’s long list of problems, for trying to relieve Louisiana from being on the top rungs of the bad list, yet spending much of his time campaigning for a quixotic future job, writing columns and raising money for his think tank America Next.
The Jindal Way is failing at Louisiana First and promising America that it is next by coming up with healthcare plans for the nation which he would not even test out on his own state.
The Jindal Way is appearing on his favorite reality TV show and give Duck Dynasty an award for entrepreneurship —an award he has already bestowed upon the gaggle of moral quackers. The reality is this--after the high-profile suspension of the TV show last year, and after Jindal got national exposure for sending out an unsolicited press release praising the Dynasties and defending their right to speech, he suddenly flew to the Duck compound and awarded the clan with the first-ever Entrepreneurship of Excellence award, the same award he will be bestowing in person, on national TV, in real color. Never did Jindal directly or indirectly criticize the speech for being insensitive or even wrong.
So, why not? By going reality, he will get the national exposure he so treasures in front of friendly audiences and future voters.
It makes sense since many of the same folks who believe his own rant about religious liberty, the likes of which he bestowed upon the Jerry Falwell U at Liberty University last weekend, who just might be dutiful watchers of Louisiana’s entertainment finest, the Duckers--.the high-profiled North East Louisiana family who obviously like the “Jindal Way.”
Daddy Duck, Phil Robertson, the top recipient of entrepreneuring excellent bigotry, is also a guy who speaks his mind about people he doesn’t like such as those gays and others who he said are full of “murder, envy, strife, hatred.” Furthermore, he said, “they are insolent, arrogant, god haters, they are heartless, they are faithless, they are senseless, they are ruthless, they invent ways of doing evil.” (Watch this video from the 17:00 min mark http://youtu.be/Fk5VmM4pRhM)
Yet when you’re popular, you can say these things. You can even praise those who say these kind of things, too, especially if you have the religion.
It is the way to find a new audience that speaks the same words and contributes to the same political causes.
It’s all part of the “Jindal Way.”