Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Political Equivalent of Shooting Yourself In The Face

Stunning. We just watched Bobby Jindal obliterate his Presidential aspirations. Yes, Obama is a hard act to follow. But, Bobbeh blew it big time.

Gov. Jindal reached for ballsy and ended up clutching stupid. That sing-song delivery immediately telegraphed amateur hour. Sure, he didn't know exactly what Obama's speech would contain. But how can you hope to lead your party when you show a remarkable incapacity for anticipating the issues your opponent would raise and how he'd address them?

Before he even opened his mouth Jindal made that one colossal mistake. Slavishly crafting his party's response entirely from weary talking points & thoroughly discredited GOP-fabricated myths rather than by direct, honest challenges to the President's stated positions, revealed Jindal's political immaturity. It was piss-poor strategy.

Someday GOPers will realize strict adherence to the traditional condescending/tone-deaf/out-of-touch/scaremongering Republican modus operandi is a major tactical handicap. Today was not that day. All Bobby could muster was the same tired old story, the same sad old song and dance.

The "substance" of Jindal's speech was painful & embarrassing. Blunders abounded. Jindal's attempt to turn George Bush's (R) Katrina response into a negative for Obama!?!?! Wow, that's plain crazy. Americans can do anything? Hate to tell ya the Prez has claimed that line, sez it better & tonight told us how his administration will facilitate it. Irresponsible Congressional Democratic leaders? With the GOP's recent record I'd ixnay that subject. StimPakTM cash supposedly budgeted for a magnetic Vegas to Disneyland train? Not true, Bobby. It's not in there. It doesn't fucking exist!

Healthcare? Bobby told us the GOP doesn't want anyone to lose it. Duh. Then why refuse to allow everybody to get it? Gas price paranoia? C'mon, you gotta do better. School vouchers over improvingour schools? A mad, terribly expensive posture benefitting a select few. Government ethics? Bobby, you're a politician (R) from LA. I'd get off that topic tout de suite. Transparency? Go to the website, silly.

Obama's gonna dismantle our defenses? You're off your rocker, Bobby. Rejection of the Pentagon's admittedly inflated budget dismantles only waste & greed. The Iraq pull-out, Army & Marine troop increases, an assured end to extravagant, impractical Cold War-style weapons systems (See: F-35 here & here or the hole in the sea we've tossed a billion dollars into AKA "littoral combat ships") and pledges honored to our service men & women -- y'know the ones Bush never kept -- will strengthen both our military and our economy too.

As odd as Gov. Jindal's performance was, I found his party's performance odder still. Republicans dropped this ball completely. Was their self-deception so complete i.e. their belief Bobby was up to the task, they didn't bother to assemble the de rigueur GOP "A" team to prep Jindal? 'Cuz if that was their "experts" at work, they need a new "A" team pronto.

And where was the GOP stagecraft we've become accustomed? It was MIA. Man, I thought these guys were the masters. How could you not bus in some friendly Republican faces for Bobby to speak at? Especially since you billed this as a peek at the new-look GOP full of bold & different ideas. Probably would have helped Jindal's delivery as well.

As a result millions watched Obama address a cheering Congress. In contrast, considerably fewer saw Jindal drone at a deserted state house to a bunch of TV cameras. The out-of-touch, amatuerish, small-time production made Bobby Jindal look small. Very small. Tiny. Rather than Presidential material, he looked more like cannon fodder.

Incredibly, the Governor, the Republican Party & everyone else involved flat-out botched tonight's launch of Bobby Jindal -- "Rising Republican Star." It's a failure made all the more embarrassing coming from the party who not all that long ago sold us George W. Bush.

**Wednesday PM: Edited for clarity. Remember, friends don't let friends post drunk.