"Kenneth from 30 Rock" comparisons are in vogue, as are comparisons to Mr. Rodgers. Jindal was wretched all right. He had been a popular contender for the 2012 GOP nomination, and probably still is even after his bizarre and thoroughly insulting speech. After all who else do they got?
Give Republicans credit for noticing how President Obama has inspired people with his personal story, how he has given national confidence a boost by displaying the incredible amount of social mobility there is in this country; in spite of efforts to retard that mobility made mostly by Republicans, but never mind.
So send out a brown skinned immigrant son of your own. One who has had a similarly impressive political rise. (A rise aided by the drowning of even browner people who had made Louisiana a reliably Democratic state, but never mind.) Put the young buck in front of a camera and have him spout sunshine and endless possibilities. That's all there is to the Obama formula, isn't there?
If you saw the response and wondered why Jindal was talking to you like a child it is because this is what conservatives consider anyone without power over others to be.
'Americans can do anything, so long as that blasted government isn't involved. Who can forget when General Motors landed on the moon, or Goodyear built the interstate highway system, or Dow Chemical invented the atomic bomb?'
Of all the things that went terribly, terribly wrong with Jindal's response, the stilted delivery, the childish tone, the robotic sloganeering, the biggest laugh lines undoubtedly came with what Jindal considers to be wasteful spending in the stimulus bill. His attempt to paint volcano monitoring as pie-in-the-sky pork just might be the most absurd statement ever made to the American public. Republicans have historically stressed the importance of order and security. Does Jindal really not see how volcano monitoring could be useful as far as that goes?
"Volcano monitors? What the hell could you possibly do with those? Those silly libs and their pipe dreams. LOL!!"
When Sarah Palin mocked government spending on fruit fly chromosome research (Responsible for the bulk of what we know about genetics.) I thought it had to be the absolute peak of Luddite madness. But apparently there's some sort of contest among GOP hopefuls to see who can dismiss the most undeniably useful government project as needless waste. Expect Mitt Romney to dismiss sewage treatment plants as socialist boondoggles any day now, and just how much hard-earned taxpayer money is being spent on those damned traffic lights anyway?
Also dismissed by Jindal was a proposed maglev line from Las Vegas to "Disneyland." Aka Los Angeles, aka the thirteenth largest metropolitan area in the world and certainly the biggest one without high-speed rail to other large cities in its own region.
The delusional dogma that private business is the only source of progress has caused the U.S. to fall technologically behind the filthy Eurotrash (not to mention the Chinese commies) in several important areas. I've commented before on how the Republican aversion to public transportation is particularly weird; considering that, if there is a choice between road and railroad, some sort of government spending is going to be involved either way.
The maglev train, (Short for magnetic levitation, perhaps Jindal mistook it for some sort of new-age cult.) is exactly what it sounds like, a train that can break 300 mph. running on magnetic rails. It's perfectly reasonable to put the Maglev on the short list for most badass invention of all time. The sort of thing Americans used to invent with regularity before we turned the free market into a jealous Old Testament God.
And at any rate we have our other cults to worry about; the cult of the automobile, which feeds into the cult of vast land ownership as universal ideal, which feeds into the cult of property ownership as source of personal dignity and sign of social worth. Americans can do anything. But if it involves challenging our all-encompassing dogmas of unshakable truth than never mind.
Or perhaps the difference between capitalistic highway spending and socialistic public transport spending lies in the amount of social interaction. The risk that families traveling by private car will actually talk to other different from themselves is quite low. The responsible driver can be counted on to listen to the music that he personally likes, eat the fast food that suits his own palliate, and generally develop his own personal taste for shit he would like to buy. Well fret not conservatives. Ever since the rise of the laptop and the mp3, citizens can be counted on to stay wrapped up in their own materialistic bubbles even in the largest of crowds.
Americans can do anything. All it takes is the willingness to accept that any internal improvements to the country in general would necessarily make life better for the stinking underclasses. That's fine by me. I am the stinking underclass. Yet I must admit that there is something admirable in the way leading Republicans are more or less honest in their belief that they prefer a descent into Bartertown over progress.
And now that I think about it, who the hell wouldn't?