FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Djindal Unchained

by DAVID MACARAY

There’s no longer any doubt.  Piyush “Bobby” Jindal, governor of Louisiana, clearly wants to be our president.  Having vaulted onto the national stage in February, 2009, when he gave the Republican’s response to Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress (and received mixed reviews), he’s once again making news.  Jindal was chosen to give the keynote address at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting, on January 24, in Charlotte, NC.

When you keep getting picked as the main speaker for these things, it means: (1) that you crave the national spotlight, and (2) that your party is more than willing to give it you, provided you don’t crash and burn.  Obviously, it’s too early to make any predictions about who the 2016 nominees will be.  We need only recall that, in early 2004, Tennessee Senator Bill Frist was touted as the Republican frontrunner

The highlight of Jindal’s 25-minute address was his tough talk.  “We’ve got to stop being the stupid party,” he said. “We had a number of Republicans damage the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. I’m here to say we’ve had enough of that.”  Presumably, he was referring to Mitt Romney’s startling indictment of 47-percent of the U.S. population, and Ted Akins’ lunatic assertion that women couldn’t get pregnant from a “legitimate rape.”

Although tough talk from politicians is usually welcome, American voters get very nervous when they hear one Republican warning other Republicans “not to make any stupid statements.”  They take this as code for “Don’t tell the truth.”  Because if women, gays, ethnic minorities and working people knew how exclusionary and mean-spirited the Republicans really were, the Party would implode like a supernova.

No one can argue that Bobby Jindal isn’t intelligent.  Born in Baton Rouge to Indian immigrants, he was a brilliant student and teenage dynamo.  In high school he not only excelled academically, he played varsity tennis and launched two businesses of his own: a retail candy operation and a mail-order software service.   He later graduated with honors from Brown University at the age of twenty, and attended New College, Oxford,, as a Rhodes Scholar.

Jindal declined an offer to study for a Ph.D. in political science at Oxford, and, impressively, was accepted by both Harvard Medical School and Yale Law School, neither of which he attended.  However, before we gush too much over his academic pedigree, it should be noted that the only U.S. president in history to hold degrees from both Yale and Harvard is George W. Bush.

He is married to an Indian woman named Supriya, who was born in New Delhi.  They have three kids.  Not to be snarky, but one of their sons is named Slade.  While that is a very cool name, it seems somehow incongruous for the Jindal family.  It seems too hip, too stylish, for transplanted Indians.  In truth, “Slade” seem more appropriate for Romney’s kids, one of whom is named Taggart….or for Sarah Palin’s boys, two of whom are named Track and Trig.

On the subject of names, it’s fascinating to learn how Piyush acquired the name “Bobby.”  It turns out that his family began calling him that because he was such a huge fan of the TV show The Brady Bunch, and Bobby Brady was his favorite character.  That’s a true story.

Given this account, we can only speculate that, had young Piyush’s favorite show been Happy Days, he might very well have taken the name “Fonzie.”  Which raises the existential question:  Would the good people of Louisiana have been willing to elect a governor named Fonzie Jindal?  We’ll never know.

Governor Jindal is also a paleo-conservative.  He not only opposes abortion and same-sex marriage (meat and potatoes for a conservative Republican), he hates the government, wants to build a fence on the Mexican border, supports a constitutional amendment to make flag-burning illegal, wants “intelligent design” taught in schools, has voted to extend the Patriot Act, and has been praised by the NRA for his steadfast opposition to gun restrictions.

Again, while we can’t predict the future, by the time 2016 rolls around—given that the American public is becoming increasingly “socially liberal”—it’s possible that many of his conservative views will be seen as toxic.  In fact, as intelligent as he is, Jindal could find himself being portrayed as the male equivalent of Michelle Bachmann.

David Macaray, a Los Angeles playwright and author (“It’s Never Been Easy:  Essays on Modern Labor,” 2nd Edition), was a former labor union rep. He can be reached at dmacaray@earthlink.net

 

 

 

 

David Macaray is a playwright and author. His newest book is “Nightshift: 270 Factory Stories.” He can be reached at dmacaray@gmail.com

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
May 27, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Silencing America as It Prepares for War
Rob Urie
By the Numbers: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are Fringe Candidates
Paul Street
Feel the Hate
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
Basic Income Gathers Steam Across Europe
Andrew Levine
Hillary’s Gun Gambit
Jeffrey St. Clair
Hand Jobs: Heidegger, Hitler and Trump
S. Brian Willson
Remembering All the Deaths From All of Our Wars
Dave Lindorff
With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sanders Must Demand Answers
Pete Dolack
Millions for the Boss, Cuts for You!
Gunnar Westberg
Close Calls: We Were Much Closer to Nuclear Annihilation Than We Ever Knew
Peter Lee
To Hell and Back: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Karl Grossman
Long Island as a Nuclear Park
Binoy Kampmark
Sweden’s Assange Problem: The District Court Ruling
Robert Fisk
Why the US Dropped Its Demand That Assad Must Go
Martha Rosenberg – Ronnie Cummins
Bayer and Monsanto: a Marriage Made in Hell
Brian Cloughley
Pivoting to War
Stavros Mavroudeas
Blatant Hypocrisy: the Latest Late-Night Bailout of Greece
Arun Gupta
A War of All Against All
Dan Kovalik
NPR, Yemen & the Downplaying of U.S. War Crimes
Randy Blazak
Thugs, Bullies, and Donald J. Trump: The Perils of Wounded Masculinity
Murray Dobbin
Are We Witnessing the Beginning of the End of Globalization?
Daniel Falcone
Urban Injustice: How Ghettos Happen, an Interview with David Hilfiker
Gloria Jimenez
In Honduras, USAID Was in Bed with Berta Cáceres’ Accused Killers
Kent Paterson
The Old Braceros Fight On
Lawrence Reichard
The Seemingly Endless Indignities of Air Travel: Report from the Losing Side of Class Warfare
Peter Berllios
Bernie and Utopia
Stan Cox – Paul Cox
Indonesia’s Unnatural Mud Disaster Turns Ten
Linda Pentz Gunter
Obama in Hiroshima: Time to Say “Sorry” and “Ban the Bomb”
George Souvlis
How the West Came to Rule: an Interview with Alexander Anievas
Julian Vigo
The Government and Your i-Phone: the Latest Threat to Privacy
Stratos Ramoglou
Why the Greek Economic Crisis Won’t be Ending Anytime Soon
David Price
The 2016 Tour of California: Notes on a Big Pharma Bike Race
Dmitry Mickiewicz
Barbarous Deforestation in Western Ukraine
Rev. William Alberts
The United Methodist Church Up to Its Old Trick: Kicking the Can of Real Inclusion Down the Road
Patrick Bond
Imperialism’s Junior Partners
Mark Hand
The Trouble with Fracking Fiction
Priti Gulati Cox
Broken Green: Two Years of Modi
Marc Levy
Sitrep: Hometown Unwelcomes Vietnam Vets
Lorenzo Raymond
Why Nonviolent Civil Resistance Doesn’t Work (Unless You Have Lots of Bombs)
Ed Kemmick
New Book Full of Amazing Montana Women
Michael Dickinson
Bye Bye Legal High in Backwards Britain
Missy Comley Beattie
Wanted: Daddy or Mommy in Chief
Ed Meek
The Republic of Fear
Charles R. Larson
Russian Women, Then and Now
David Yearsley
Elgar’s Hegemony: the Pomp of Empire
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail