Maybe I'm jaded but that was a pretty trite thing to say.
If Americans can do "anything", maybe they can fix broken government instead of just giving up on it and saying it should just get out of the way of ordinary citizens and let them bail themselves out.
But it wasn't his cynicism about government that got me shaking my head.
Here's what he had to say:
Today in Washington, some are promising that government will rescue us from the economic storms raging all around us. Those of us who lived through Hurricane Katrina -- we have our doubts. ... [Quaint story about an insurance and registration bureaucrat holding back rescue boats ommitted] ... There is a lesson in this experience: The strength of America is not found in our government. It is found in the compassionate hearts and the enterprising spirit of our citizens. We are grateful for the support we have received from across the nation for the ongoing recovery efforts. This spirit got Louisiana through the hurricanes and this spirit will get our nation through the storms we face today.There's so much wrong with this that I've got to use a list to describe them.
To solve our current problems, Washington must lead. But the way to lead is not to raise taxes and not to just put more money and power in hands of Washington politicians. The way to lead is by empowering you, the American people. Because we believe that Americans can do anything.
- First, the failures of the Republican Bush administration played front and center in the fact that the tragedy of New Orleans happened in the first place, and that it was as bad for as long as it was.
- Second, what's happening in Washington isn't the raising of taxes, they were reduced with the stimulus plan, even though tax cuts are not as stimulative as other types of spending.
- Third, how exactly do tax cuts help the unemployed? If we're trying to fix unemployment, how does cutting someones income tax rate from 30% to 25% save them any money when their income is $0.00? Because last I checked 30% of 0 is 0 just as much as 25% of 0 is 0.
- A person without a job wants a job, not a tax cut.
The suffering that happened with Katrina was not preventable or remediatable by any individual's ability or desire to "be empowered". The people stranded on rooftops waving "Rescue us" signs weren't waiting for a tax cut. They weren't waiting for Washington to empower them to extricate themselves. They weren't waiting for Washington to give them engineering degrees so they could fix the levees. They were waiting for real leadership from a federal emergency agency that had competent leadership instead of a horse breeding specialist. They were waiting for the Army Corps of Engineers to get funding to fix the levees for years before Katrina struck. They were waiting for recommendations from FEMA to evacuate. For FEMA to dispatch helicopters and the national guard and to rescue them from their rooftops.
But just when you think the ridiculousness stops, it actually gets worse. In the very next breath, Jindal states:
While some of the projects in the bill make sense, their legislation is larded with wasteful spending. It includes $300 million to buy new cars for the government, $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, such as a "magnetic levitation" line from Las Vegas to Disneyland, and $140 million for something called "volcano monitoring." Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, D.C.Seriously? I mean What The F____? Are you kidding me? Where's Ashton Kutcher? Because I think I'm getting punked right now. Are you serious?!
I feel another bulleted list coming on...
- Yeah, make sure we don't buy new cars for government that have "higher fuel economy, including: hybrid vehicles; electric vehicles; and commercially-available, plug-in hybrid vehicles"... If the Federal government isn't using a Humvee for all official business, then some rich Saudi Arabian friend of George W. Bush doesn't get to buy another dozen Mercedes Benzes, while he keeps down democratic reforms from taking place, and we can't have that. I mean Iran is the axis of evil, there their women must wear headdresses in public. Whereas in Saudi Arabia, with all the wealth from their oil, women live lives much like women in New York city do... Hijab? What's that?
- As factcheck.org puts it "A widely repeated claim that $8 billion is set aside for a "levitating train" to Disneyland is untrue. That total is for unspecified high-speed rail projects, and some of it may or may not end up going to a proposed 300-mph "maglev" train connecting Anaheim, Calif., with Las Vegas."
- Note that the only reason to call it "Disneyland" is to make it more incendiary as if transportation between the greater Los Angeles area and Las Vegas is a bad idea simply because Anaheim contains Disneyland.
- Even the wording of "magnetic levitation" seems to mock the idea which is actually stated in the bill as "high speed passenger rail systems".
- Oh yeah, I forgot, Republicans think everyone should drive solo in a Hummer to get from city to city, or use jet airplanes that, mile for mile are far more polluting and use more foreign oil than maglev trains would ever have to.
- Right, because Germany and Japan aren't far enough ahead of us on these technologies, that we should continue to cede our science and technological leadership to them some more.
But the one that really takes the cake is his plainly idiotic and ignorant statement about "volcano monitoring".
Boy, that sounds about as foolish as "hurricane monitoring". We should disband the USGS, right after, of course, disbanding NOAA and the National Weather Service.
After all, look at what lack of warnings that they provided us about Katrina. Look, if FEMA can't save us, and the Army Corps of Engineers can't protect us, then why bother funding NOAA and NWS? We can't trust government.
Jindal is right! Americans can do anything! They can either take a cynical look at government spending, and mock volcano monitoring, which could save millions of lives in the Rainier valley and the city of Tacoma, and presume that government is the problem (a problem that, ironically they don't even realize they have created)...
Or, we can call these incompetent fools for what they are, openly ridicule and mock them, call their ideas bankrupt (just like the lack of oversight and regulation that would have prevented the same fate for our economy and Wall Street), and point out that even the examples they give-- of Hurricane Katrina no less-- serve as examples of what can happen when we are cynical about government, and when we give leadership of our key agencies as perks to flacks who don't know jack squat about emergency management.
When in one sentence they mock the programs that would protect millions of Americans, and then call upon examples where millions of Americans were affected by the lack of funding and the incompetence and indifference of the Federal government when it was most needed, these people need to be recalled from office and ridiculed into submission.
Bobby Jindal, you are simply the latest example of idiot that the Republican party has foisted upon us. We are stupider for even having to listen to your brand of "folksy, gosh-darnit, we just need to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps" brand of populist excrement when what we really need, and what the American people have resoundedly voted for, is a distinct change in Washington and where our Federal government is working with us, to build a stronger nation, rather than one that you would have ripped apart only because you lack the intellect to recognize that volcanos, like hurricanes, threaten real Americans in real cities from real threats.