Jindal’s Disaster

Forget Obama’s speech, that was mostly stuf we already knew delivered in a way we’ve seen Obama give dozens of speeches now setting up a budget that we have a fairly good idea how it’s going to look. No, the real political story from last night is the total bombing of Gov. Bobby Jindal. This is David Brook’s reaction:

That’s some pretty strong stuff, but I think I especially like that he characterized the speech as “nihilistic,” because I think that’s exactly what it was. Jindal trotted out decades old right-wing lines like we hadn’t been doing all of these things for the last 8 years. Tax cuts? Check. Tossing money at the military industrial complex? Check. Slashing government services for the poor and middle class? You betcha. It was, as Ezra Klein noted, a speech any Republican leader could have given since 1992. Moreover, Jindal full throatedly embraced the new Republican strategy of lying through your teeth about everything. And yes, the Kenneth from 30 Rock comparison is a good one. Xotoxi said it well over in the forums; Jindal’s tone sounds like he’s introducing some hokey educational video targeted to a 4th grade class.

But what really stands out about Jindal’s speech is how obviously disconnected from reality it was. Barack Obama was overly clear that his tax plan includes a tax cut for everyone making under $250,000 a year, but there was Jindal demanding…tax cuts. It’s odd enough that Congressional Republicans haven’t moved away from the McCain strategy of campaigning against an imaginary person who was talking about massive tax increases and huge spending cuts in the Defesne Department, but you’d think someone who wanted to come to a leadership role after their 2008 beating, and who was delivering a speech right after the President’s much more visible speech, would realize that you need to stay reasonably close to the parameters of what the President actually said. Add in the specter of a Republican actually daring to bring up the response to Katrina as an example of government failure…

Here’s a bold prediction; Louisiana will be taking all of their money from the stimulus package, and Bobby Jindal will be running for re-election in 2011, avoiding the big stage for a little while longer. Clearly he’s not ready, and he’ going to need to let this recede from memory a little bit.