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Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:04 PM

Jindal's Op-Ed calling for GOP Change reveals why the GOP will never Change

Jindal's Op-Ed calling for GOP Change reveals why the GOP will never Change

by Luhks

If the definition of a political gaffe is when a politician accidentally says the truth, then Willard Romney is the gaffe that keeps on gaffing. The defeated candidate gave Democrats an 'extraordinary gift' this week. As Congress prepares to renegotiate the terms on our social contract, the release of Mitt's latest recording reminded America of the GOP's disdain for the majority of American electorate.

It was no surprise that many prominent Republicans have seized upon this moment as a political opportunity to advance their own careers. Yesterday, Louisiana Governor Piyush 'Bobby' Jindal made his opening move in the contest to become the GOP's new standard bearer. Jindal made headlines when he called on Republicans to 'end dumbed-down conservatism' and to 'stop being the stupid party.' Making news this way was not accidental. On the same day Jindal was pushing these sound-bytes in interviews at the Republican Governors Association (to steal the spotlight from competitors like New Jersey's Chris Christie and Wisconsin's Scott Walker), he published those same words in an opinion piece for CNN.com.

I recommend that fellow Kossacks take the time to read this piece, entitled How Republicans can win future elections. No, it's not going to become as iconic as Mitt's Let Detroit Go Bankrupt. It does, however, provide an interesting glimpse into the general current GOP mindset and into the specific style of politics employed by Jindal.

In microcosm, this column of a couple hundred words calling for change in the GOP demonstrates precisely why the GOP will never change. The heart of his advice, which made the headlines and first lines of news coverage, is the following:

4. Stop being the stupid party. It's time for a new Republican party that talks like adults. It's time for us to articulate our plans and visions for America in real terms. We had a number of Republicans damage the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. Enough of that.

5. Stop insulting the intelligence of voters. We need to trust the smarts of the American people. We have to stop dumbing down our ideas and stop reducing everything to mindless slogans and tag lines for 30-second ads. We must be willing to provide details in describing our views.

Jindal attempted here to list seven 'lessons' for the Republicans to learn from their 2012 defeat. Number 4 and 5 are almost identical. Word space is limited in a standard op-ed, but Jindal managed to waste one bullet-point paragraph by reciting the previous point in different language.

But, let's set aside the fact that two of Jindal's seven lessons are really the same thing. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he emphasized this point because he thought it was especially important. Repetition is as valid a rhetorical strategy as any. Focus on the heart of his advice: that Republicans should "articulate their plans and visions in real terms" instead of "reducing everything to mindless slogans and tag-lines."

It sounds like pretty good advice, right? Well, let's take a look at the rest of Jindal's editorial, to find out if he practices what he preached.

The remainder of his editorial consists of, depending on how you want to count it, about twenty of those "mindless slogans and tag-lines for 30-second ads" that Jindal derides. Jindal puts on an almost self-parodic clinic of rote, mindless, dumbed-down, intelligence-insulting conservative rhetoric.


The core of his argument was over, but he threw in a few more dumbed down slogans, just for kicks.

Much like Paul Ryan, Jindal is transparently attempting to brand himself as the 'smart Republican,' to talk about his intelligence rather than to show it. His ostensible message that Republicans need to stop being the stupid party. As he defines it, empty political rhetoric insults the intelligence of voters, but explaining detailed ideas and policy proposals will be the way to move forward. Given a podium on which to make the conservative case to America, what does Jindal do? He uses three out of every four sentences to recite the same brainless conservative rhetoric that didn't work at the polls a week ago.

Hell, at least "Let Detroit Go bankrupt" was an actual substantive proposal. If you can be proven wrong, then you've actually said something.

To his credit, Mr. Jindal does conclude his piece with two vague allusions to actual policies. One of these is a Bush-style, Palinesque word salad about energy:

Our energy policy is outdated as well, stuck in old ideological arguments which harm our ability to create a more sustainable future where energy independence can actually be achieved. We have to change that.

So, something-something "energy independence," with the word "sustainable" thrown in there as an appeal for moderates. It's not a policy plan but a policy outcome. Not coincidentally, this point is stolen almost verbatim from the five-point platform that Mitt Romney lost on just a week earlier.

The closest Mr. Jindal comes to actually saying something "in real terms" as he described is the following:

For example, our education system seems to be in the Stone Age and miserably outdated. It's time to update traditional public schools, charter schools, home schools, online schools and parochial schools. Let the dollars follow the child instead of forcing the child to follow the dollars, so that every child has the opportunity to attain an education.

Louisiana schools rank somewhere around 47th out 50. Either Jindal was not paying attention, or he really underestimates the memory of the American electorate. He just copied two of the five points of the rejected Romney plan (which, by the way, was a rehash of the rejected McCain plan).

Regardless, this is as good a place as any to start. Mr. Jindal, you are the governor of one of the United States, clothed in immense power. Come up with a conservative solution to your state's education problems. Do it by the parameters you set out for yourself. Do it without 'dividing' the people into interest groups, like 'teachers unions.' Do it without raising taxes or cutting anything that will harm the economy. Do it without the help of that big bad federal government. Do it with a 'small' and 'organic' solution, as you say. It's time for your party to show us the amazing educational success that conservative principles can produce.

I care about education. I'm willing to make the proverbial $10,000 bet. Governor, find a way to transform Louisiana schools into the model for the rest of the world, without any costs, and I'll support you for President in 2016.

Until then, the American people aren't going to be won over by your stupid, dumbed-down, mindless slogans. On the bright side though, if your education system fails to improve, then some of them just might.


Absolutely superb smack down.

Steve Benen on Jindal's original comments:


My concern, though, is the depth with which Jindal is making this appeal. His advice has superficial appeal, but the governor runs into trouble just the below the surface.

Jindal says Republicans can't simply protect the rich "so they get to keep their toys." Does that mean he's open to slightly higher tax rates on income above $250,000. Well, no, actually, he's not.

Jindal says Republicans need to appeal to a broad national audience. Does that mean he's open to more moderation on hot-button culture war issues? Well, no, actually he wants the right to soften its "tone" while keeping the exact same policy positions.

Jindal says Republicans need to make meaningful inroads with minority communities. Does that mean he's open to comprehensive immigration reform? Well, when asked, he dodged every question about his position and refused to share details about his preferred approach.

- more -


Republicans are insincere. They're trying to con people with talking points that amount to finding a nicer way to present an extremist agenda.


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Reply Jindal's Op-Ed calling for GOP Change reveals why the GOP will never Change (Original post)
ProSense Nov 2012 OP
ProSense Nov 2012 #1
ibegurpard Nov 2012 #2
Spazito Nov 2012 #3

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:01 PM

1. Kick for

Bobby "Berm" Jindal

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:05 PM

2. yup

They're all trying to play etch-a-sketch now.
In the meantime we have reality like the doubling-down on defunding Planned Parenthood in Ohio.
Make these johnny-come-lately "moderates" own their policy.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:08 PM

3. Yep, Romney only said what Jindal and all the others still believe...

it was pathetically clear those who are now supposedly taking him to task are doing so for appearances sake and NOT any other reason.

Thanks for posting this, it is an interesting read.

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