While there has been some speculation that Jindal may be trolling for a vice presidential spot or even a cabinet position while positioning himself for a run four or eight years down the road, no one has even broached the possibility that his true calling may be that as a member of the Catholic order Opus Dei.
The Opus Dei order, featured in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, is known for its use of “corporal mortification,” or “mortification of the flesh,” the act of voluntarily punishing one’s own body as a form of spiritual discipline.
God knows Jindal has honed the art of self-inflicted pain to an art form.
Whether or not it is a form of penance for him is another story but there is no question that the man has the discipline to keep putting himself on display as an object of public ridicule and it’s got to be painful.
It’s certainly painful to those of us on the sidelines as we watch this train wreck of a politician who came on the scene eight years ago with so much promise only to plunge the State of Louisiana into its own version of the Great Depression.
It’s only appropriate, since he has already performed an exorcism, and given what he has done to our state, that he move on to the next logical step—self-flogging with metaphoric cattail whips on the national stage so the rest of the country can learn, at long last, who the real Bobby Jindal is.
The most blatant example of what we are talking about here is his weekly email blast by the Friends of Jesus Bobby Jindal that he sends out highlighting (if you want to call it that) Jindal’s activities for the previous week. http://click.bsftransmit7.com/ViewInBrowser.aspx?pubids=393%7c445%7c721821%7c9278&digest=qSZxfCGR0e%2bH%2fH85ZQu3zg&sysid=1
If one were to set out to combine self-abuse with self-aggrandizement in a single document, this would be the pattern to use.
Never in our career of watching and writing about politics (which spans more than four decades) have we seen such a sophomoric attempt at promoting oneself. The web page reminds us of the social misfit who has an uncanny knack of saying and doing the most inappropriate things at the most awkward moments even as the rest of the party tries its best to ignore him.
This week’s dispatch featured a list of what appeared to be favorable reviews of Jindal’s most recent appearance in Iowa. Here are some of the headlines from that email:
National Review: “Bobby Jindal Wows Iowa Evangelicals”
Bobby Jindal is barely breaking 2 percent in Iowa polls — but you’d never know it from the way he wowed the crowd at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition summit on Saturday. The Republican governor from Louisiana is one of nine presidential hopefuls speaking at the Des Moines-area confab, which gathers evangelical Christians together to judge the GOP candidates’ social conservative bona fides.
Jindal brought to the stage a fast-talking, folksy, preacher-like quality that immediately resonated with the crowd.
“Our God is an awesome God, can I get an amen?!” he began, spreading his arms wide and striding away from the podium. “Amen!” the audience responded loudly.
Veering away from policy specifics, Jindal instead spoke at length about his personal journey to Christ – thanking his high school friend for giving him his first Bible and describing the moment he came to Jesus during a choir performance at LSU. Moving seamlessly from soul-searching spirituality to tongue-in-cheek quips about himself and his family, the governor’s speech was interrupted more frequently by raucous laughter than applause.
Even after shifting from his own spiritual experience to the politics of religious liberty, Jindal kept the audience in rapt attention. “Here’s my message for Hollywood and the media elite,” he shouted, in the first standing ovation of the evening. “The United States of America did not create religious liberty. Religious liberty created the United States of America!”
In another winning line echoing a promise he made in a Thursday New York Times op-ed, Jindal promised evangelicals that – unlike in Indiana — he would not be swayed from his support of a new religious freedom law working its way through the Louisiana legislature.
“We saw corporate America team up with the radical left to come after our religious liberty rights,” he said, referring to Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s fight against gay rights groups after he signed a religious freedom law last month. “They might as well save their breath, because corporate America is not gonna bully the governor of Louisiana!”
The discrepancy between Jindal’s knockout performance and his dismal Iowa poll numbers is noteworthy, a sign that perhaps the Louisiana governor should invest more time in the state.
Iowa City resident Patrick Nefzger, who called Jindal’s speech “wonderful,” had a straightforward answer when asked when asked why Jindal’s poll numbers didn’t reflect the strong response he received Saturday night. “That’s because they don’t know who he is,” he said simply.
As to why Jindal’s poll numbers are so abysmal in Louisiana? We know who he is.
Bloomberg: “Jindal, The Louisiana Governor, May Have Helped His Standing With A Speech That Received One Of The Strongest Reactions Of The Night” (in focusing on recent events in Indiana, where Republican lawmakers modified new religious-freedom laws after critics said they could be used to discriminate against gays).
“We saw corporate America team up with the radical left,” Jindal said, drawing applause.
“They might as well save their breath because corporate America is not going to bully the governor of Louisiana,” he said. “The real discrimination that is being faced today are Christians—individuals, families, and business owners—that shouldn’t have to choose between operating their business and following their conscience, their traditional views, and their religious beliefs.”
This from a guy who owes his political soul to corporate America.
“Jindal also reiterated on Thursday that he would not create his own exchange if the Supreme Court ruled against healthcare subsidies, which could put millions in his state at risk of losing their coverage.
“‘We would not set up an exchange,’” he said.
Bloomberg again (quoting from voter Jeff Ortiz, a wind energy company supervisor, commenting on Jindal):
“He’s heard every one of the ’16 GOP hopefuls speak already, he says, and is leaning toward Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, ‘but I don’t know how he’d sell to the farmers.’ Last time, he backed Texas Governor Rick Perry, ‘but he didn’t give intelligent answers in the debates—doesn’t have a quick enough mind.’”
All this from Jindal’s very own self–promoting self-flagellation weekly email blast.