After watching Bobby Jindal’s response to Obama’s State of the Union yesterday, I’m afraid it seems like more of the same old rhetoric - ‘Tax cuts good, spending bad!’ - only delivered by a fresh face. I think the general consensus was that Jindal’s speech fell short - here in L.A., his effectively calling our entire city ‘Disneyland’ in an attempt to mock a rail proposal really struck the wrong chord - but what really hit me was late in the speech when he proudly (and rather convincingly) proclaimed we had ‘won the struggle for Civil Rights’. Seriously? I have a few gay friends who would disagree with you.
What an incredible world of make believe the Republicans live in. I’ve often felt that the Republican party is the defacto choice for bigotry and xenophobia, but I always assumed it was a conscious choice. I figured the truly intelligent and capabale people in the party used fear and ignorance to manipulate the throngs of uneducated, racist masses that I feel make up the Republican base. It never really occured to me that someone of Jindal’s position in the party could just be delusional and therefore blind to the reality of what his constituants actually believe.
For most of the speech, Jindal tore into inefficient government, while using examples of government failures that occurred while his own party was in power. For instance, he pointed out that the government was no help during Katrina, and people had to save themselves. Really? You actually want to remind people that FEMA was being run by an idiot? That it was a Republican-run Federal government that couldn’t get water to people for 5 days? Just moments before that, Jindal had criticized the stimulus package for having funds allocated to ‘Volcano Monitoring’. Because obviously there are no volcanoes anywhere in the U.S. - we should cut off Hurricane monitoring as well then, cus who need to know when a Hurricane is coming, right?
It reminded me of something Bill Maher said - ‘Republicans spend alot of time telling us how government doesn’t work, and then when they get into office, they prove it.’
Other parts of the speech were less nonsensical, though no less old rhetoric. We want everyone to have access to affordable health care (but fail to mention that affordable is a relative term, and ‘having access to’ is not the same as ‘having’), we want our children to get a ‘proper’ education (read proper as ‘Christian’), we don’t want to cut military spending (even though Obama isn’t suggesting that), and that raising taxes is bad (even though most people aren’t going to see their taxes raised at all).
Chris Rock has a pretty funny routine in which he comically presents Robitusson as a cure-all for any medical problem. I’ve noticed that talking to Republicans about Government or Finance is pretty much the same routine, only their cure-all is Tax Cuts. Economy got you down? Tax Cuts! Lost your job? Tax Cuts! Largest deficit of all time? Tax Cuts! You get the idea.