I'll admit it - I didn't watch the speech last night (it wasn't a State of the Union address, no matter what you may read on the interwebs). Nor did I watch Bobby Jindal's response.
I've heard amazing things about Obama's speech, and awful things about Jindal's, but I'm not prepared to stand in judgement as I didn't watch either (and honestly, I feel terrible for Bobby Jindal - he had the miserable task of standing up and giving a speech right after the nation's most popular and charismatic politician, AND had to deliver Republican talking points on top of it, AND was being held up by his own party as the next great hope, which is a ton of pressure to live up to - I don't envy him the task at all).
No, I can't comment on the style of the evening. But, having read through transcripts and reviews, I can comment, at least in part, on the substance.
What really struck me about Jindal's policy prescription, in contrast to Obama's, was how predictable it was. It is literally the same policy plan they've offered for decades, with some words changed to present the illusion of modernity. The details are touched up, but the spirit remains the same - government is the problem and must be defeated so that the private sector can reach it's full glory.
Now, I understand that's the root of conservative thinking. What I don't think they realize is that in the face of Wall Street scandal, huge populist resentment, rampant bank failures as a direct result of flawed bank policies, massive CEO entitlement scams and golden parachutes galore, that criticizing the government and offering as a solution the exact fucking things that are utterly collapsing under the weight of their own greed is probably going to be a rather tough sell.
What they're doing is setting the next election cycle up as a choice between the private sector and the government, rather than trying to offer a new alternative viewpoint - and I have trouble believing that anyone is going to vote for Bernie Madoff's coworkers, even in proxy.
The only way they could make it worse would be to use that false paradigm as an excuse to shamelessly obstruct President Obama's initiatives for the next four years in an effort to score political points.
Well at least they're not making up stupid, fictional talking points that even their own supporters decry as utterly - oh, shit.
*Sigh* So long, GOP.
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