The Jindal Rebuttal

February 25, 2009 | By | 6 Replies More

jindalI’ve mentioned the Louisiana Gov before, as he signed a Discovery Institute plan to allow creationism in biology classrooms into law. It shouldn’t have surprised me that Bobby Jindal was the chosen figurehead to rebut the first public Obama address to Congress. After all, he is young and dark with at least one foreigner for a parent. It seems a natural, from a certain game-playing point of view.

But the talking points have all been heard before. His speech may well have been finalized weeks ago. The allegations of “pork” about the massive stimulus bill are what irk me. The examples cited are so silly, I wonder how anyone believes them. The sum of all the line items to which so-called conservatives object add up to a fraction of the bill.

One line item he cited was a small fraction of a billion to upgrade aging government vehicles to newer, more fuel efficient models: Pure pork to the failing American Auto makers? It’s significantly less than what they are asking for as an encore direct handout.

There were mentions of some classic pork projects, like energy research and environmental studies. No one really needs to know how to prevent the collapse of our lifestyle, civilization, or species. Do they?

One allegation that puzzles me every time a conservative says it is that this stimulus bill builds a bigger government. How? One of the issues with it is that no bureaucracy was set up to monitor spending. No new agencies are being created, nor are existing ones being expanded. Exactly how is this spending measure making government bigger?

The biggest buildup of Big Brother government agencies was enacted by the previous administration. Why didn’t they object for the last 7 years? Homeland security is a bureaucracy established to coordinate the bureaucracies sitting on top of the agencies that actually do things having to do with internal and external security.

His parable of volunteer Katrina rescue boats was well aimed. They had to violate insurance regulations as if the flooding of a city was a non-typical circumstance. But it is a poor illustration of Big Brother governance. That the Dubya appointed management of FEMA failed, and his backup, Dubya himself, failed and that the manpower established to deal with such events was engaged on a foreign mission for which the Army was inadequate is hardly proof that government itself is a bad organization to organize rescue efforts.

But it does prove that we should be more careful in electing and appointing those in charge.

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Category: Current Events, Media, Politics

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A convoluted mind behind a curly face. A regular traveler, a science buff, and first generation American. Graying of hair, yet still verdant of mind. Lives in South St. Louis City. See his personal website for (too much) more.

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  1. The assumption is made that when the government starts handling larger amounts of money, Bigness is automatic. Administration is required to dole it out and heaven forbid we hand it out with no oversight, because, you know, people who don't deserve it might get some. It is taken as given that if you give the government control over bigger budgets they will intrude.

    And the Republicans are complaining about what went on under Bush (some have been all along) and are now declaring that they intend to return to First Principles (whatever that means) and will take it out on the new administration.

    But mostly they are terrified of Democratic success. If somehow all this spending works, what will they run on? Social issues? They've been losing ground on that, too.

    But the Big Government charge has been going on since the end of the Civil War, with renewed vitriol since the Sixties and the Civil Rights Act. What it means is they do not want the Federal government overriding local prejudice. That's about what it amounts to. They want locally to be fine little tyrants or what have you (state's rights) and the specter of the federal government telling them "No, you have to obey the law of the land" is repugnant. And if the federal government is paying, then the federal government gets to call the tune.

  2. Dan Klarmann says:

    Now Pharyngula and BadAstronomy both chip in on Jindal's speech with Jindal continues a tradition and Republican party *still* shilling antiscience?.

    Their mutual beef is his mocking of Volcano monitoring. I somehow doubt that he would also mock the comparable act of hurricane monitoring.

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    The pundits have weighed in:

    Insane. Childish. Disaster. And those were some of the kinder comments from political pundits about Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and his response to President Barack Obama's speech to Congress on Tuesday night.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29402296/

  4. Erich Vieth says:

    Howard Fine on Jindal's delivery:

    True emotions travel. This is reflected in body language and in the voice. Manufactured emotions remain static. If you look at Jindal's eyes and listen to his voice in the prepared speech, you can sense the hollowness. His pitch did not vary. His expression barely changed. He tried to have variety in his manner but it was predetermined for emphasis and to give the impression of a real expression. He chose was and/or coached on where to pause and what words to stress. None of this happened organically and he therefore came across as insincere.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/howard-fine/what-ca

  5. Erich Vieth says:

    Turns out Jindal likes to tells lies when he's got the national stage. http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/02

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