Bobby Jindal Not Ready for Primetime


It didn’t break my heart to see Bobby Jindal go from a charging GOP elephant to an ass that even wimpy Democrats would have sent to the knackers; I despise the entire culture of greed and tax-breaks for the rich he represents. But his criticism of President Obama’s stimulus package was such an embarrassment that one wonders why Republicans see him as hope for 2012. He’s clearly not ready for primetime. Who would want the country in the hands of such an immature bumbler?

The GOP confuses the package with its contents. Jindal’s “response” to the stimulus plan—"we don’t want it"—was little more than a schoolboy’s playground tantrum—a political version of “I don’t like kickball so I’m going to sit here and pout.” His alternative? Other than the tried (and failed) GOP cliché of calling for more tax breaks for business and the wealthy, he doesn’t have one.

Jindal may yet prove himself worthy of the national stage, but that time is not now. At present he’s just a male version of Sarah Palin, an empty suit with what the GOP sees as the correct demographics—a person of color who isn’t African American (gotta surreptitiously shore up the suburban bigot base), a “business” background (based on just a few years as a consultant), a Southerner, a Christian convert, and photogenic. But his rising star credentials are bogus. He's only governor of Louisiana by default. He replaced Democrat Kathleen Blanco, who bumbled the post-Katrina cleanup and was so unpopular that she chose not to run for reelection rather than face electoral humiliation. Jindal won a four-way race against three unknowns, hardly an accomplishment that makes him presidential timber.

When even David Brooks judges Jindal’s performance “insane,” it’s time for reasonable Republicans—assuming they can muster a quorum—to find a better mouthpiece and let little Bobby grow up a bit.

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