Thursday, February 26, 2009

Jindal Responds to Obama (and I respond to him)

Soon after Obama's great speech to the congress that was acclaimed universally, Bobby Jindal, the new Republican poster boy and front-runner, delivered the response. I will offer my critique of this response in this post along with videos of his speech to look at yourselves. (Image: YouTube) If there is one point I want to draw your attention to from the start, it's Jindal's continuous and bluntly hypocritical statements throughout the speech. I'll warn you now this post is long, but mostly funny and not too heavy. Part 1 of his speech after the jump...

Off the bat, did he say forty-four and a half months pregnant or am I hearing things? I know people make mistakes when under pressure, but that's a bit much. I found his introduction of Obama as a "success story" to be a bit patronizing. Obama is the President of the United States, not a bed time story hero.

We now get to the first instance of hypocrisy: Jindal explains that he doesn't care what party politicians are from, but he delivers a divisive speech on how democrats are irresponsible and wrong-headed. As the speech continues you will hear his comments along these lines. It is astounding that he claims to be so bi-partisan, but has nothing but negativity towards democratic values.

Jindal next relates a story that happened during the Hurricane Katrina fallout, and proceeds to thank the government and every American for their support. Generally, this support was billions of dollars. He accepts this with open arms from the federal government, but refuses stimulus money? Why does he refuse it? Because it is against the Republican philosophy. That is hypocritical on two counts -- for accepting money for a natural not a financial disaster and for again proving to be a partisan.

He calls the stimulus wasteful, but his two examples are spending to create or keep jobs. Building a railway makes jobs; monitoring volcanoes keeps and makes jobs. Ask your partisan friend in Alaska if she think monitoring volcanoes is wasteful. He also claims it grows government, but doesn't say how. Spending and reducing taxes, which is what the stimulus includes, does not grow government.

He also accuses democrats of effectively asking for a loan from America's children by passing the stimulus. Who believes this? This is a bit excessive. On to the second half...

I was actually in total agreement with Jindal's discussion of energy until he mentioned the need for drilling. Everything else I agree with, but why do we need drilling? It will have a tiny effect and will be nothing but trouble for the environment along the U.S. coast.

Being a Canadian, this next section on healthcare was a bit amusing. Can any anti-universal healthcare American point to a failed universal system? Or any universal system ranked lower than the U.S. private system for healthcare quality? What Obama is proposing in healthcare isn't even universal care, it's subsidized slightly, but not government run. That's what makes this part even more ridiculous. There is no nationalization, only the government regulating pricing under the Obama plan.

I generally agree with the sentiment that they need to improve schooling, but from this point the speech goes even further down hill. He accuses Obama as having misplaced hope in government and claims that he (Jindal) is the one who has hope in the American people. He then goes on to accuse Obama of saying America can't recover. Clearly Jindal wasn't listening to the speech he's supposed to be replying to. This is extremely offensive and continues his partisan, divisive message.

I won't correct his view on American history and I wasn't going to talk about his "American can do anything" line, but by my count he said it 6 times: Americans can do anything 4 times, American children can do anything once, and American fighting men and women can do anything once. This whole speech was over the top and Jindal's delivery was terrible. If anyone managed to get through this whole post, let me know what you think of his speech.

Update: Corrected video order.