February 25, 2009

Begala: Memo to Jindal – Dump Rush Limbaugh

Posted: 08:18 AM ET

It wasn’t a fair fight. Watching Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s painful, sing-song response to President Barack Obama’s powerful and plain-spoken speech felt like watching an over-eager child trying to box Muhammad Ali.

The kid was flailing wildly, while Ali just held the kid’s head at arm’s length, all the while smiling benignly. The kid’s arms whirled like windmills, but he never got close to connecting with the champ. President Obama was confident and compelling; Gov. Jindal had all the saccharine sincerity of a Disney tour guide.

Jindal reached his reductio ad absurdum when he suggested progressive and proactive Obama-led government could not be trusted to fix our economic problems because corrupt and incompetent Bush-led government had screwed up Katrina. But if it is Pres. Bush who haunts Gov. Jindal’s past, it is Rush Limbaugh who haunts his future. One of the lesser-known laws of politics is that you can survive your enemies; it’s your friends who do you in. So it is with Bobby Jindal. The governor of Louisiana has come a long way in a little time.

A formidable politician, he wrested the governor’s mansion away from Bayou State Democrats. But can he survive the love of the right-wing Republicans—especially their leader, Rush Limbaugh?


Filed under: Bobby Jindal • Paul Begala

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Michael C. McHugh   February 25th, 2009 10:40 am ET

Obama is the best president since FDR and has many of the same gifts. I think we're very lucky to have him: he's the right man in the right job at the right time.

Gov. Jindal's speech was standard Republican fare that you could have heard at a Chamber of Commerce dinner in Dayton, Ohio in 1957. Not even he really believes in all that free enterprise stuff, given that he took almost all of the $4 billion the feds offered Louisiana under the stimulus plan. I know, he said it was just awful, but he took his share just like everyone else.

Most Republicans would rather chew glass than admit the ideas of Ronald Reagan and Calvin Coolidge were fundamentally wrong, even though they do the oposite in practice.

gg   February 25th, 2009 12:58 pm ET

another republician wind bag what he meant to say was wheres my money

vj   February 25th, 2009 3:25 pm ET

I can assure you that Mr.Jindal is not going anywhere in politics. He is beating his own drum along with other republicans.

TSlater-Illinois   February 25th, 2009 3:40 pm ET

GOP= Governors of Oppression and Poverty.

I am livid about the response from Governor Bobbi Jindal and others in his republican party. One of the poorest states in the union and he is refusing aid. Louisiana has suffered numerous murders literal and emotional from the neglect of this nations politicians ie George W. Bush – Katrina Now this governor wants do the same Ike and Jindil. Neglect his people in there time of need. Inhumane Criminal. Shameful.

This from a man that was likely apart of a “cast system”. From ‘Slum Dog Millionaire’ to ‘Slum Lord Millionaires’. Spending trillion on the war to murder but now wants to be conservative to save lives with a fraction of the funds. Quoting hardships to become assimilated to this country. The scales are tilted for immigrants that come to this country with all benefits in their favor.


gg   February 25th, 2009 7:02 pm ET


Mike   February 25th, 2009 7:31 pm ET

Could someone please explain to me how accepting federally subsidized funds specifically directed to extend Unemployment Benefits would result in higher taxes for businesses, as Jindal claims? Because it sounds suspiciously like GOP bullhonkey to me.

NRI   February 25th, 2009 11:59 pm ET

Politics aside, anybody else see anything that could be construed as racist in Begala's comments?

Hint: first sentence

Jeff   February 26th, 2009 3:01 pm ET

Seems there are 2 sides. Those that want the government to do whatever it takes no matter the cost of money or true freedom to fix all problems, the social democrat Swedish model. The other side wants the exact opposite. … Citizens say they like and want true freedom. But in reality, they want the government intervention in anything that affects them. Understand you really can’t have it both ways. You may think you can. But that is not true. I will not even bother to debate the case. I will let the next few years prove my point.

stephania from nyc   February 26th, 2009 7:21 pm ET

I was born when Herbert Hoover was the President in 1930..FDR was a breath of fresh air just like Ores. Obama will be..sadly the people from NYState voted for H Hoover instead of Al Smith the Gov of NY State....they did not like the idea that Gov Smith was a Catholic & an Italian..what a mistake ...& all of us suffered for it....better days are coming..we pray, Mr. King ...

Rob Hagen   March 2nd, 2009 9:14 pm ET

I am proud to call Gov. Jindal, my Governor
As a Republican I am so pleased with the rebuttal he gave to the Presidential address. He clearly explained the differences between Republican ideals and those of Democrats
Can't wait till Jindal is President.

Cathy B.   March 2nd, 2009 9:20 pm ET

Please tell Mr. Jingle and all the other Republicans, including Mr. Limbaugh, that right now it's more important for me to be able keep my job so I can feed, clothe and house my children to KEEP them safe and ALIVE than worry about how to pay off the Nation's debt, which by the way, was accrued under a Republican President. Thank You. Cathy B.

lynn   March 2nd, 2009 9:21 pm ET

Simply unbelievable to me but then again it doesn't really come as too much of a shocker I am however embarrased for the gop and I'm not even a rep he strived me as a perrson who's been advised to start auditioning now for the seat of the next usa president the first thing he did tonight is compare his orating skills to that of obama my advise to him is be himself because right noiw I can tell he has an agenda of his very own it doesn't en include thoe chiildren and grands you mentiined honight

Deedy   March 2nd, 2009 10:33 pm ET

I don't believe this guy is trying to focus his attention on running for the next presidency, first of all i'm from New Orleans and we're in the same condition as before with the corrupt politicians. Jindal has done nothing for New Orleans and nothing for the State, Why in da name of Jesus would Jindal refuse any federal assistance after Katrina the city of New Orleans is still in desperate need of health care assistance and his only concern is PR for the next presidency you will be eaten alive>Jindal why don't you use some of the stimulus to fix la, healthcare and New Orleans Public Schools in which is dire straights

Frank Butler   March 3rd, 2009 12:40 am ET

When you are drowning and at the bottom of the canyon, it's not the time to talk "philosophical differenes" A-LA- JINDAL; but time to "pull up your boot sraps" and give use credit at lower APR's not "29%" , adjustable ever increasing rates.etc. Yes, bail outs and less "philsophical" rhetoric" a la Jindal and republican talk, talk. ....Will it end? Yes Just as it did after Roosevelt's era; but only to be screwed up by Republican de-regulation.

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