Because of a conflicting personal project, I’ve stayed away from my derelict gunslinger blog for a few weeks. However, I can’t resist commenting on the failure of the national media to fact check Bobby Jindal’s recent proclamations as they relate to his performance as Louisiana’s Governor.
In criticizing fellow republicans, Governor Smarty Pants seems to have adopted Forrest Gump’s mantra, ”Stupid is as stupid does.” He exempts himself, although the word, “stupid” is appropriate in describing many of Jindal’s policies in governing his homestate—at least when he bothers to visit the capitol city of Baton Rouge. The fulltime frequent flyer and part-time exorcist seems intent on leading Louisiana back to the bad old days, which in my opinion, qualifies his governing as stupid.
During Jindal’s five years as governor, he has cut funds to education and health care, played games with the state ethics code, avoided transparency in his administration, alienated teachers and state employees, made a concerted effort to reduce the overall quality of life of the poor and elderly, and thrown up roadblocks to scrutiny by the timid local media that has been remiss in holding him accountable for his actions.
Ironically, Jindal relentlously stalks the national media. In the aftermath of hurricanes, oil spills and other Louisiana catastrophes, television photographers and network reporters have to hide from the governor. However, in recent days Jindal has been on a roll by getting extensive coverage for his provocative warning that the GOP must “stop being the stupid party.” And after getting considerable attention for similar remarks following the presidential election, Jindal has begun to sound like a wind-up doll by repeating himself over and over again.
His self-promotion reached a high point todayby writing a Washington Post op-ed commentary claiming that Louisiana and other states were being overwhelmed by the anticipated expense of Medicaid following the implementation of Obamacare.
Jindal cares so much about this issue that last July he inexplicably turned down federal funds to help Louisiana’s Medicaid program.
After all, the governor is a man of principle. That is if the definition of principle is hypocrisy. The truth of his rejection is he expected Mitt Romney to win the election and end Obamacare—”on day one of presidency,” Romney regularly proclaimed.
Jindal’s alleged principles have been a huge setback for Louisiana. In a state facing a major budget crises Jindal went so far as to reject federal stimulus funds in 2009.
So far, the so-called mainstream media has given Governor Smarty Pants a free ride—notable exceptions being his embarrassing 2008 response to President Obama’s state-of-the-union speech, and the frequent comic commentary about Jindal’s attempted exorcism of a sinful woman while he was a student at Brown University. The free ride may be ending though. Most recently, Paul Krugman made note of Jindal’s regressive proposal to abolish income tax in Louisiana and increase sales taxes, which have the greatest impact on low income folks.
Despite the low state of the state of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal continues to live under the delusion that he will one day be a viable candidate for the presidency—presumably President of the United States. But before he throws his hat into the ring, he should speak with a fellow Ivy Leaguer and Rhodes Scholar named William Jefferson Clinton.
Unlike Jindal, Clinton was a actually a good Governor—one of the best in the history of Arkansas. However, when he sought an unlikely promotion to lead all 50 states, Clinton learned that the national media can be awful nasty. After his public policies more or less passed muster, reporters zeroed in on Clinton’s personal morals and business activies. Hello Gennifer Flowers, Monica Lewinsky and other alleged Bill Babes. And welcome to Whitewater Estates, the two-bit real estate development which launched a $70-million bogus investigation that amounted to nothing more than a waste of taxpayer money. Indeed, a team of closet pornagraphers led by Christian crusader Kenneth Starr were never even able to answer the lingering question of whether blow job is two words or hyphenated.
I doubt that Governor Jindal will be vulnerable on moral issues unless they involve his failure to abide by the teachings of Jesus to help the poor. And since Jindal’s career has always been at or near the public trough, he will probably be exempt from questions about business dealings. That means he will have to answer for his failures as Governor.
Given his record in Louisiana, a serious presidential run will afford the national media an opportunity to overcome its incompetence by digging in Jindal’s record as Louisiana’s chief executive.
My memoir, Odyssey of a Derelict Gunslinger: A Saga of Exposing TV Preachers, Corrupt Politicians, Right-Wing Lunatics…and Me is available at amazon.com, soft-cover or Kindle and at independent bookstores. It offers $19.99 worth of laughs and much more. The book is an account of my illustrious (I choose the adjectives) investigative reporting career and the characters I encountered during 30 years of muckraking.