New Adventures with Bobby Jindal, Super-Wonk

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks during the 2013 NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits at the George R. Brown Convention Center on May 3, 2013, in Houston.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal is trudging through the middle of his second and final term. He’s won two landslide elections, but this year (boosted by bigger Republican numbers in the legislature) he pushed for a regressive tax reform that blew up like a trick cigar; his approval rating sunk into the high 30s.

Nationally, Jindal is still seen as a straight-talking wonk. He’s back with another Politico column that reads like a stump speech—like a speech by someone who hasn’t debated the other side in a while. “I’ve offered a list of seven ideas for change,” he writes. The listicle he’s referring to, from November, included ideas like stop “damag[ing] the brand with offensive and bizarre comments” and “stop insulting the intelligence of voters.” Other Republicans have ignored the first advice, and Jindal ignores the second with this description of what liberals think.

The left wants: The government to explode; to pay everyone; to hire everyone; they believe that money grows on trees; the earth is flat; the industrial age, factory-style government is a cool new thing; debts don’t have to be repaid; people of faith are ignorant and uneducated; unborn babies don’t matter; pornography is fine; traditional marriage is discriminatory; 32 oz. sodas are evil; red meat should be rationed; rich people are evil unless they are from Hollywood or are liberal Democrats; the Israelis are unreasonable; trans-fat must be stopped; kids trapped in failing schools should be patient; wild weather is a new thing; moral standards are passé; government run health care is high quality; the IRS should violate our constitutional rights; reporters should be spied on; Benghazi was handled well; the Second Amendment is outdated; and the First one has some problems too.

There’s a lot in there, but I bolded the lines that elicit out-loud “whuh-huhs”? Which liberals are talking about rationing—full-on government rationing—of red meat? Who says “wild weather is new” versus “there’s more dangerous weather now because of climate change”?

Jindal’s rep is as a wunderkind who was put in charge of Louisiana’s hospital system at age 28. To be competitive in the Iowa caucuses, he needs to either pretend to be a schmuck or emphasize his heretofore-concealed schmucky tendencies. It started with his chortle about federal money for “something called volcano monitoring” in 2009, it continues here.