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 How To Win Friends and Avoid Sacred Cows.  He can be reached at dmacaray@gmail.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

May 23, 2017
John Wight
Manchester Attacks: What Price Hypocrisy?
Patrick Cockburn
A Gathering of Autocrats: Trump Puts US on Sunni Muslim Side of Bitter Sectarian War with Shias
Shamus Cooke
Can Trump Salvage His Presidency in Syria’s War?
Thomas S. Harrington
“Risk”: a Sad Comedown for Laura Poitras
Josh White
Towards the Corbyn Doctrine
Mike Whitney
Rosenstein and Mueller: the Regime Change Tag-Team
Jan Oberg
Trump in Riyadh: an Arab NATO Against Syria and Iran
Susan Babbitt
The Most Dangerous Spy You’ve Never Heard Of: Ana Belén Montes
Rannie Amiri
Al-Awamiya: City of Resistance
Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
The European Left and the Greek Tragedy
Laura Leigh
This Land is Your Land, Except If You’re a Wild Horse Advocate
Hervé Kempf
Macron, Old World President
Michael J. Sainato
Devos Takes Out Her Hatchet
L. Ali Khan
I’m a Human and I’m a Cartoon
May 22, 2017
Diana Johnstone
All Power to the Banks! The Winners-Take-All Regime of Emmanuel Macron
Robert Fisk
Hypocrisy and Condescension: Trump’s Speech to the Middle East
John Grant
Jeff Sessions, Jesus Christ and the Return of Reefer Madness
Nozomi Hayase
Trump and the Resurgence of Colonial Racism
Rev. William Alberts
The Normalizing of Authoritarianism in America
Frank Stricker
Getting Full Employment: the Fake Way and the Right Way 
Jamie Davidson
Red Terror: Anti-Corbynism and Double Standards
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, Sweden, and Continuing Battles
Robert Jensen
Beyond Liberal Pieties: the Radical Challenge for Journalism
Patrick Cockburn
Trump’s Extravagant Saudi Trip Distracts from His Crisis at Home
Angie Beeman
Gig Economy or Odd Jobs: What May Seem Trendy to Privileged City Dwellers and Suburbanites is as Old as Poverty
Colin Todhunter
The Public Or The Agrochemical Industry: Who Does The European Chemicals Agency Serve?
Jerrod A. Laber
Somalia’s Worsening Drought: Blowback From US Policy
Michael J. Sainato
Police Claimed Black Man Who Died in Custody Was Faking It
Clancy Sigal
I’m a Trump Guy, So What?
Gerry Condon
In Defense of Tulsi Gabbard
Weekend Edition
May 19, 2017
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Getting Assange: the Untold Story
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Secret Sharer
Charles Pierson
Trump’s First Hundred Days of War Crimes
Paul Street
How Russia Became “Our Adversary” Again
Andrew Levine
Legitimation Crises
Mike Whitney
Seth Rich, Craig Murray and the Sinister Stewards of the National Security State 
Robert Hunziker
Early-Stage Antarctica Death Rattle Sparks NY Times Journalists Trip
Ken Levy
Why – How – Do They Still Love Trump?
Bruce E. Levine
“Hegemony How-To”: Rethinking Activism and Embracing Power
Robert Fisk
The Real Aim of Trump’s Trip to Saudi Arabia
Christiane Saliba
Slavery Now: Migrant Labor in the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia
Chris Gilbert
The Chávez Hypothesis: Vicissitudes of a Strategic Project
Howard Lisnoff
Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain
Brian Cloughley
Propaganda Feeds Fear and Loathing
Stephen Cooper
Is Alabama Hiding Evidence It Tortured Two of Its Citizens?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail