Thoughts on Kingdom, Church, and Grace from an American living in Hong Kong

Friday, February 27, 2009

My Response to Gov. Bobby Jindal's Response to Pres. Obama's speech

During the 1990's and early 2000's I actually felt sorry for the Democrats. They just didn't get it. As they lost the congress and then the presidency, the Dems, horribly out of touch with the American electorate, became a virtual party in exile.

I'm starting to get that feeling again...but this time it's the Republicans who seem to be like a deer caught in the headlights as the American people increasingly see them as out of touch.

I started this week in a good mood. I read that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was going to deliver the Republican response to President Obama's first State of the Union address. Gov. Jindal is a rising "star" in the Republican party and is seen by many to be the GOP's answer to Barack Obama. His Indian heritage helps the party break the perception that it is a "whites only" club and his intelligent take on issues has helped foster a respected reputation.

However, I saw Gov. Jindal on Meet the Press this past Sunday. I was amazed at how out of touch the Governor was. In addition to muttering nothing more than the same GOP mantras "tax cuts" that have gotten them nowhere, he seemed to be disconnected to the situation that is surrounding him. I thought if he goes on Tuesday night after Obama's speech to give the Republican response with the same demeanor, he's going to get crucified!!

Sure enough, when I woke up Weds. morning here in China I saw all the news agencies talking about Gov. Jindal's amature performance. When I viewed the clip I kept wondering if he was talking to a 4th grade Social Studies class. I was literally cringing as I watched thinking it was some kind of Saturday Night Live parody!

This was possibly the worst opposition response to a State of the Union I have ever heard.

Hope is not lost though. I have seen some voices of reason in the fog. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist came across brilliantly on Meet the Press following Jindal. He was everything Jindal wasn't namely he connected with the struggles the American people are going through and is prepared to rationally address those struggles in the political arena.

Kudos also to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger who had a one on one with George Stephanopolous on Sunday morning. Listening to him on the weekend convinced me we should have some kind of special dispensation to allow the foreign born Governor to run for President. He was smart, rational, and knows how govern effectively in a two party country.

Sadly, until some of these GOP leaders, with both sense and sensibility, are allowed more onto the party's center stage, the Republicans will continue to wander in the wilderness.


Andrew said...

Glad to hear you say that. I watched the response, and could not believe how bad it was. I just assumed I was more biased than I thought, and that it really can't be that bad.

To be honest, I fear the Republicans going so far off into ideological Never Never land. I do appreciate fiscal conservatism. Though I think the Utah legislature can be downright bizarre, I am glad we are forced by our constitution to have a balanced budget each year. It makes for tough choices, but it makes us declare the choice now. Too often, politicians who do not have such a rule, will keep putting those tough choices off into the future. Our Federal government represents us well; they too spend above their income level.

Redlefty said...

I like the governator too, but he doesn't exactly have a strong economic track record!

Bob said...

I will give him grace but you are right, it was pretty awful.

What was worse was Chris Matthews. It is time for MSNBC to do the right thing and not even pretend he is an objective presenter of the news. Give him a liberal talk show (that is labeled as such).

What was even worse was Nancy Pelosi grinning from ear to ear and popping up like a jack-in-the-box.

No, the Republicans are not in "ideological Never Never land." It's just unpopular to disagree the rock-star president (even as he mortgages our future) so they are perceived as out of touch. But history has shown us it is all cyclical.

Remember checks and balances?!

Anonymous said...

The Republicans have hope if they follow Crist......

Jindal is nothing more than a talking head for the party and policies that got us where we are now.


Andrew said...

Bob -
This is an example of what I mean when I say ideological Never Never land (and I don't want them there... I want reasonable conservative voices in government)

In this video, Alan Keyes has valid points regarding his concerns about some things Obama is doing economically. However, prior to that, he goes on a rant questioning Obama's legitimacy as President and refers to him as an "abomination". THIS is the kind of thing that is driving people away from the Republican camp. It is not mere disagreement. I think there are plenty of voices of reasonable disagreement within the Republican party. However, the party is having an identity crisis. Somewhere along the way it switched track from Reagan/Buckley to shock jock.... and it can't decide where it wants to be.

Jon L. said...

Steve, just read your post. The first time I ever saw Jindal was during a hurricane news conference. I have never seen a politician in an emergency situation be so on top of information, plans and stats...ever. It was such a huge contrast to the previous governor under Katrina. At the time, I had no idea who he was, but the first impression was good. Unfortunately, most people's first impression was of him popping up out of nowhere from behind the staircase... not good. On the other hand, the whole quasi SOTU thing was ackward all the way around. I loved Dennis Miller's comment about wanting to play whack-a-mole with Pelosi hopping up and clapping like a seal (except when the pres mentioned charter schools). Concerning the guvernator... I am listening to Austrian Death Machine as I write this (playing at the Cornerstone Festival this summer).