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City of Brass

City of Brass

VIDEO: President Obama’s non-SOTU and Gov Jindal’s response


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The Presidential Address was covered on Twitter of course, via hashtag #nsotu, whereas Jindal’s response was tagged #jindalwarmupact. What struck me was how much emphasis Jindal put on his own biography at the outset – yes, he’s clearly running for President in 2012.

I was overall quite pleased with Obama’s address (as you might expect). As far as Jindal’s response, I respect his convictions but his remarks seemed anachronistic and almost helplessly out of touch with the reality of how serious the economic crisis is. The mantra of “government is incompetent, government is too big” was utterly incongrous with his repeated invocation of the Katrina aftermath, which if anything is a textbook example of the fundamental flaw in the GOP ideology.

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David Brooks was on PBS’ News Hour immediately afterwards and made much the same critique:


DAVID BROOKS: Uh, not so well. You know, I think Bobby Jindal is a verypromising politician, and I oppose the stimulus because I thought itwas poorly drafted. But to come up at this moment in history with astale “government is the problem,” “we can’t trust the federalgovernment” – it’s just a disaster for the Republican Party. Thecountry is in a panic right now. They may not like the way theDemocrats have passed the stimulus bill, but that idea that we’re justgonna – that government is going to have no role, the federalgovernment has no role in this, that – In a moment when only thefederal government is actually big enough to do stuff, to just ignoreall that and just say “government is the problem, corruption, earmarks,wasteful spending,” it’s just a form of nihilism. It’s just not wherethe country is, it’s not where the future of the country is. There’s anintra-Republican debate. Some people say the Republican Party lost itsway because they got too moderate. Some people say they got too weirdor too conservative. He thinks they got too moderate, and so he’smaking that case. I think it’s insane, and I just think it’s a disasterfor the party. I just think it’s unfortunate right now.

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The reaction from conservatives to Jindal’s response was also one of general disappointment. This is the new Reagan Reborn who will lead the GOP out of the wilderness? Well, I for one have to admit that given a choice between him and Sarah Palin, it’s no contest.

Related – full transcript of Obama’s speech from the LA Times, and the transcript of Jindal’s response. Also, Gov Bobby Jindal deliberately misquoted the President to score a cheap shot in his response.

  • Aamer

    What struck me about the speeches… Obama has a knack for simplifying things, while still respecting the intelligence of the voter. Jindal (and I wanted to like him, being a closet republican and of Indian descent myself) seemed like he was reading a bedtime story to my three year old in his tone and delivery. Did he really think that after the most intensely analyzed presidential contest in history, in which Obama was painted as a socialist, the American people needed a primer on the basic differences between Republicans and Democrats? I found Jindal’s speech and his tone, as well as his sing-song cadence, frankly offensive and off-putting. He talks about respecting the ability of the people over the government, while speaking to the people like a kindergarten teacher to his students.
    And who, pray tell, advised him that highlighting the failings of Bush’s response to Katrina would lead people to believe that less government is good government? I am hard pressed to find someone to say that government got in the way of Katrina recovery. Does he think that we are so stupid to not realize that the reason they slashed taxes in Louisiana was to try to convince someone, anyone, to move back there?

  • Michael

    Agreed wholeheartedly with Aamer’s comment. Jindal really had the bedtime-story-telling tone.
    He just seems hopelessly out of touch.
    How is $300 million for new cars “growing the government”? How does it not create jobs? People are needed in the private sector to build those cars, and then the cars themselves use less fuel, which saves money over the long run and decreases our dependence on foreign oil. What’s not to like about that?
    Ditto for the maglev train, which doesn’t go “to Disneyland.” It goes to Anaheim, CA. Whereas Obama talks about the issues, the only reason they use the “Vegas to Disneyland” bit is because the Republican party is STILL overrun with holier-than-thou Christians, trying to impose their god and morals on everyone else. The not-so-subtle implication is that this 8 billion will go straight to either gambling or wasteful entertainment. It’s disingenuous.
    He talks about (04:10) “the way to lead is not to raise taxes,… Republicans put forward [lower income tax rates], …. but Democrats rejected this approach.”
    Rejected this approach?! 40% of the bill is tax cuts! Wtf?!
    This kind of obfuscation and oversimplification of the issues drives me nuts. Are people in this country really that dumb?

  • Isaac

    Now Dan Gilgoff, a Romney supporter at USNews “finds” proof of Palin supporters smearing Jindal – instant controversy! Is Romney’s team already trying to drive a wedge between Palin and Jindal?

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