The subject: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
I'm getting those "damn" political letters again. And, I thought the election was over for another four years or so.
However, as a result of shellacking the GOP and Mitt Romney received Election day, the ever-accomplished Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has been a fixture lately in national politics and on the national television stage.
Jindal has been everywhere since Mitt hit the turf. Last week, he picked up the Chair of the Republican Governors’ Association. While wearing that mantle, he has appeared on the national news shows including CNN, Fox News in which he has appeared as the republican of the future--looking forward not backwards--lofting the big GOP tent around 100% of the masses, while making sure the core basic conservative principles (which national voters seemed to reject early this month) are not trampled upon.
since the election, Jindal excoriated Romney for his “gifts” comment, called the current Republican Party stupid, and as a result, he has been lofted in the national media as the go-to republican of the future, the one current elected official with credentials willing and ready to carve a future for himself and the remade Republican Party while everyoe else take on the GOP cloak of not giving aa damn for the 47%ers or 53%ers, or whatever.
So, today, those letters about the current Louisiana governor, Chair of the RGA, the man who must navigate through a budget deficit of nearly one billion dollars projected for the upcoming year despite existing past draconian cuts in education and healthcare during the governor's term) have hit my email inbox.
It's just what you'd expect in the wake of the presidential election, but that doesn't make it any less ridiculous.
Calls for the Republican Party to moderate or even abandon our core principles are not a prerequisite for victory and conservative ideals still hold true.
We've got to stop looking backward, reject the politics of division, and compete for every single vote.
We've got to stop insulting the intelligence of voters with sound bites and slogans, and start focusing on articulating conservative solutions.
There are many challenges facing our country today, and they're challenges that Republican Governors from across the country are already tackling in their states.
There is a path forward for the Republican Party, one that honors our principals and is already reflected by the policy prescriptions Republican Governors are putting in to place.
You can read more about my thoughts for growing our party in an article I wrote for CNN.
The route to victory is neither capitulation of our core beliefs, nor pandering.
We've got to compete for 100% of the vote and to continue to show how our policies help every voter out there achieve the American Dream.
Today, I received a nice letter from the Louisiana GOP not only promoting the accomplishments of the Louisiana Chairman, Roger Villere and the appointment of Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise to a chairman position but in the same e-blast, the Republican Party also gave a glowing statement of Governor Jindal’s recent elevated status.
“Earlier last week, Governor Bobby Jindal was elected Chairman of the Republican Governors Association. His vocal criticism of the direction of the Party has dominated national news headlines for days. Governor Jindal has said that Republicans must be smarter when engaging with liberal Democrats and appeal to 100% of Americans for their votes.”
Also, today, not to be outdone, Jindal’s campaign sent its own email blast entitled, “A Path Forward“. This email requested a political contribution and said, “Dear Friends -
Then, it was the Louisiana Democratic Party's turn.
In its own fundraising email, the Demos promoted the text and video from Tulane Professor and MSNBC’s talk show host, Melissa Perry of New Orleans. The email included text of her “Dear Bobby” public letter to Governor Jindal which she read on air this weekend. The Perry email letter text and video, called "You don't seem to give a Damn" are below:
Dear Gov. Bobby Jindal ... it's me, Melissa.
Mind if I call you by your given name, Piyush? No? You prefer "Bobby"? OK.
Bobby, you are the governor of a poor state.
21.6% of your constituents live below the official poverty line. 20% of them lack health insurance. We rank 49th in child well being. And we boast one of the worst income inequality gaps in the nation.
Being governor of a state with this much poverty and inequality ought to give you a special sense of urgency, but you don't seem to give a damn. What you do care about, is reaching higher office. And why not? You're term limited in Louisiana and the White House will have an opening in four years.
So for you, it's on to the next one right? Looks like your 2016 machine is raring to go. Head of the Republican Governor's Association -- check!
Chastising the defeated Romney for his "gifts" comments -- check! Calling on Republicans to "stop being the stupid party" of dumbed-down conservatism and encouraging them to reach out to a broader base -- check!
Not bad for the national stage Bobby. But what about your backyard?
Those Louisianans without health insurance could benefit from the Medicaid expansion that President Obama's Affordable Care Act would provide. Because in Louisiana more than 68% of those Medicaid recipients are poor children. But you'd much rather lead 15 other states in massive resistance against so called Big Government -- and tell your constituents -- good luck with the private sector.
Speaking of the private sector, it seems like you'd also like to sell off our kids' education to the highest bidder. That educational voucher system you established? The largest one in the country? The one that gives vouchers to religious schools that teach creationism and allows them to keep their state funding even if their students fail basic reading and math tests? Yeah that one.
Well, we are not fooled. This is not about reform. It as about, as the Interfaith Alliance wrote, your inability to "distinguish between religious indoctrination and basic public education."
And you think you might be just a bit suspicious of the whole private-sector-equals-public-good equation in the week when BP plead guilty to 14 criminal charges in connection with the Deepwater Horizon's rig explosion just off our shores two years ago. You chastised President Obama's energy policy by saying it was a quote: "Subservient by-product of his radical environmental policy."
But even as our fragile coast loses a football field of protective wetlands every 38 minutes, you -- Bobby -- remain in favor of new drilling parcels, hyrdrofracking and the Keystone XL pipeline. Just who is the environmental radical?
Tell you what, governor. If you're bored with dealing with the real problems that face us in Louisiana, if you're ready to move onto the national stage, don't wait until the end of your term. Pull a Palin. Quit now. We'll find somebody else. Because you know what we say in #nerdland? #FBJ: Forget Bobby Jindal.
Clear from the letters, at some point, Governor Jindal will need to be true to the state, the nation, his party, his Republican governors and to himself. As much as he might desire and as talented as he might be, the national media will ask themselves some of the same questions about the governor as has the local Louisiana media.
While part of his latest rhetoric is salve for the conservative and liberal media--worn down by years of crossfires, Jindal's maintaining the basic conservative principles while walking softly carrying an open hand and mind, just is not going to stick. Louisiana and the roads to the Republican primaries are dominated by the Tea Party right. The very population to which Jindal is now courting (the national media, the blacks, Latinos, gays, unmarried women and moderate democrats) on the national stage are worried about their own vision of America and and respect, whether granted or taken. Those voters and that of the independent and leaning-democratic population who have been in great demand, have as much in common with the Louisiana republican base as Melissa Perry does with David Vitter.
What might play well in the television networks of CNN, Politico, MSNBC, the Huffington Post, simply fails to resonate in the blue-collar and conservatively-pure minds and hearts of the hills of North Louisiana or the deep swamps of the southern bayous.
Jindal might want to be everything to every man. He just might end up being everything to no one.
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