Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Jindal All the Way

Things We Think And Do Not Say.

Originally this title was used by Jerry Maguire for his memo…sorry, mission statement…about the state of the sports agent profession.  His radical approach called for “more personalized attention and fewer clients”.  His coworkers thought that poor Jerry had lost his mind when the reverse was true.  He had experienced a “moment of clarity”.  His sanity among the insane made him look crazy. 

Initially Jerry was led to believe that his memo…sorry, mission statement…was widely accepted by his peers.  Unfortunately, speaking aloud his bold criticisms and vision for his profession’s way forward caused him to lose his job, his friends, and his earning potential.  All that remained for Jerry was a loyal goldfish and a blindly partisan Renee Zellweger.   His career was ruined and he was destined to live incompletely.

If Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal isn’t careful, he too may find himself a pariah in his profession.  This week he spoke aloud the things we think but do not say, and I agree with him.

Jindal was quoted in Politico this week saying the things Republicans should be thinking but never say.  As they lick their collective electoral wounds, maybe we’ll hear more of this:

“We’ve got to make sure that we are not the party of big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts, big corporate loopholes, big anything. We cannot be, we must not be, the party that simply protects the rich so they get to keep their toys.”

And this:

“It is no secret we had a number of Republicans damage our brand this year with offensive, bizarre comments — enough of that. It’s not going to be the last time anyone says something stupid within our party, but it can’t be tolerated within our party. We’ve also had enough of this dumbed-down conservatism. We need to stop being simplistic, we need to trust the intelligence of the American people and we need to stop insulting the intelligence of the voters.”

It is past time someone who cannot be labeled a Democratic shill spoke the truth about the modern Republican Party, its beliefs and its messaging.

“When we talk about energy policy, it cannot simply just be ‘drill more,’ it has to be more than that — it has to be comprehensive.”

“Simply being the anti-Obama party didn’t work. You can’t beat something with nothing (emphasis added).  The reality is we have to be a party of solutions and not just bumper-sticker slogans but real detailed policy solutions.”

Thank you, Bobby.

He wasn’t done.  He urged the party to “stop reducing everything to mindless slogans, tag lines, 30-second ads that all begin to sound the same."

He even went after the racial undercurrents in GOP messaging, albeit not as strongly as I would have liked, by calling on his fellow party members to “reject identity politics” and “treat folks as individuals, as Americans, not as members of special interest groups.”

Now Jindal is clearly not ready to claim the mantle of Jerry Maguire since he didn’t go all the way.  He told Politico that the GOP messages on abortion and gay rights needed only a shift in tone instead of an overhaul of ideas.  He called for more detailed policy answers to complex national questions, and in the next breath equivocated on immigration reform by instead preferring to wait for Obama’s approach before committing himself.  He’ll have to go all the way if he hopes to “complete” any Iowa caucus goers or New Hampshire primary voters.

Bobby Jindal, once a party darling until he botched the response to Obama’s first State of the Union address, may be coming back.  It’s easy to be the adult in the room when you’re not on stage with Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Michelle Bachmann facing an audience of blood thirsty Obama haters.  We’ll see how his attempt to chastise his own party plays over time.  There’s a long way to go until 2016 but the clock is ticking.  

The Buffalo News today announced its endorsement of Hillary Clinton for President in 2016.  The clock is ticking.

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