February 25th, 2009
02:10 PM ET

Brooks: Jindal and "nihilism"

The NewsHour

Take a look at David Brooks' reaction to Gov. Bobby Jindal's response on behalf of the Republican party last night.

JIM LEHRER: Now that, of course, was Gov. Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, making the Republican response. David, how well do you think he did?

DAVID BROOKS: Uh, not so well. You know, I think Bobby Jindal is a very promising politician, and I oppose the stimulus because I thought it was poorly drafted. But to come up at this moment in history with a stale "government is the problem," "we can't trust the federal government" – it's just a disaster for the Republican Party. The country is in a panic right now. They may not like the way the Democrats have passed the stimulus bill, but that idea that we're just gonna – that government is going to have no role, the federal government has no role in this, that – In a moment when only the federal government is actually big enough to do stuff, to just ignore all that and just say "government is the problem, corruption, earmarks, wasteful spending," it's just a form of nihilism. It's just not where the country is, it's not where the future of the country is. There's an intra-Republican debate. Some people say the Republican Party lost its way because they got too moderate. Some people say they got too weird or too conservative. He thinks they got too moderate, and so he's making that case. I think it's insane, and I just think it's a disaster for the party. I just think it's unfortunate right now.

Watch the interview

Filed under: Republicans
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. JamesT

    I couldnt believe that Bobby is the best they have to respond to Obama
    I was focused on what a poor delivery he gave and didn't hear the details of his response

    February 25, 2009 at 10:49 pm |
  2. Catherine

    From Wikipedia…..”Louisiana state government watchdog C.B. Forgotston, former counsel to the House Appropriations Committee who supported Jindal’s election in 2007, has expressed disappointment with the governor in regard to the legislative pay raise and other fiscal issues too. Forgotston, a Hammond lawyer, said he would grade Jindal an A in self-promotion and a D in performance in office.”

    Jindl – A in self-promotion, D in performance. Sound familiar? His performance last night was not a mistake, this is who he is, an egomanic, and a total loser.

    Palin-Jindl 2012 – would that be great?!?!?! The two biggest morons in the world!

    February 25, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  3. Anna Grotenhuis

    The President's speech last night was excellent and spoke to the issues that concern us all. He gave us all hope. He laid out a plan that we can understand.

    Congress should take a stand now and not take a 10% increase in salary. At this time when we are all cutting back and the President is asking everyone to be responsible and accountible it seems outrageous that Congress will get an increase in salary. People are losing their jobs. This is not the time for a pay increase in congress.

    February 25, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  4. Tony Dinh

    I had watched the Republican response to Obama's speech, and frankly, I had to turn the channel a third of the way into Jindal's speech. First, his speech "genre" if you will, gave me a feeling that he was speaking to a class of first grader and not the American people whose livelyhoods are flapping in the wind. Second, you can see that he is pushing the Republican party agenda by disagreeing with Obama's policy without regard to the people of his state. I am sure if he takes the money to help the people in his state and later on cannot continue the program, the federal government is not going to hold him accountable for receiving the money in this time of crisis. Look at the bank and auto industry bail out! Third, if the Republican party bet on Jindal to lead them in the next election against Obama, they're highly mistaken. Jindal is no Obama, and all the Republican's doing is just pissing the American people off by showing that they rather push their own agenda instead of the American people's agenda. The Republican party in this time of crisis should be asking "How can we help?" instead of "Why?" . I wouldn't be surprise if after the next election, more Democrat will take over seats occupied by Republican right now.

    February 25, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  5. Ron

    To comment on Are the Republicans in any position to criticize President Obama on the recovery bill aka stimulus
    The Gop and taking responsibility for anything good in it my answer is do elephants fly? One example is their track record in the past and the lack of coming up with a solution to the current state of affairs with the country during the Bush years, they saw it coming and as they have been acting now did nothing, On the I like to say the (recovery bill ) and the pork they say is in it, the one thing that I can see is that the earmarks in it do create jobs and put money out there to be spent here in the United States ,
    What is the problem with that? One last comment even if Republicans are upset with some of spending with the bill they had a least one month or more to go through it, most people need to know that because the funding has been included in this bill that has passed and at this time most of the programs would be on the the congress and senate floors sometime in future and would have to go through the long process to be approved and are needed now , so all the pork they are upset about is and will help and save time so congress can spend their time now on moving forward on more pressing matters ! overall I believe that the recovery bill does put money out there that will help jump start the nation after all I see it as every time you spend a buck in the United States you are putting back into the economy and helping it thrive and when are the republicans going to take responsibility other than bicker.

    February 25, 2009 at 10:05 pm |
  6. Richard

    I read all the posts and can find no comment like mine. As I said ,I refuse to believe that Gov. Jindal is a Rhodes Scholar.His response to President Obama's delivery was awfully poor.

    February 25, 2009 at 9:46 pm |
  7. Richard

    Did I hear someone say that Gov. Bobby Jindal was a Rhodes Scholar? His response was awfully poor. When asked Sen.John McCain could not even classify it. He did not supply an answer to Larry King's question.

    February 25, 2009 at 9:38 pm |
  8. paulernestshow

    No wonder this guy is not doing much to rebuild New Orleans. He does not believe government should rebuild the city. Unfortunate, to say the least. This Republican "off your hands" attitude toward America's problems is dangerous. That is how we got here. But wait until Syria points a finger and they would be ready to spend trillions. Bobby Jindal should be ashamed of the state of New Orleans, after all these years with Katrina. He has failed his state and I wonder why they have not moved to impeach me, all this time.

    February 25, 2009 at 9:32 pm |
  9. David Schreiber

    I lived with Mt. St. Hellens Ash in my yard and barely survived being inside the wave of the Asian Tsuanami in 2004. In 1980 very few people died due to a great warning system and I only wish that was the case in 2004. How quick we forget our leasons of our past. Next he is going to suggest we take down the screening systems at Airports....

    February 25, 2009 at 9:31 pm |

    Governor Jindal is correct. Our socialist president is giving money to the states with strings attached. Its a tax and spend scheme to provide funds and then get it back with more taxes on the states. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. The Republicans have every reason to lecture the democrats. The main reason we are in this recession (for now) dates back to Jimmy Carter Democrat. In his administration he allowed Iran a terrorist nation to hold Americans hostage for 444 days. He did not support the Shah Of Iran and allow Iran to be controlled by terrorists. This is the reason we are in the middle east spending billions of dollars which would not have happened if Carter supported the Shah who was pro west. Eugene Mcarthy Liberal presidential Democrat candidate in 1968 said this about Carter “Carter had quite simply abdicated the whole responsibility of the presidency while in office. He left the nation at the mercy of its enemies at home and abroad. He was quite simply the worst president we ever had.” This article in 2007 documents sums up why we have the enormous budget deficits today. “The establishment of an Islamic terrorist regime in Iran that demonstrated to the world its ability to attack the US with impunity — Carter’s main legacy — set in motion disastrous chains of events that include 9/11 and are still playing out..” It seems like the liberal news media forgot about Carter for good reason get Obama elected.

    February 25, 2009 at 9:31 pm |
  11. Gordon

    Should we stop monitoring hurricanes when they enter the Gulf of Mexico?
    What do you think Governor?

    This country is bigger than the State of Louisiana.

    February 25, 2009 at 9:30 pm |
  12. disgusted

    Please go back to Louisiana and if you do not want the money, send it to Atlanta. You sent us your crime, gangs, unemployed, useless Police chief, welfare Moms, etc

    So please take back your stuff an dour mayor with you, as she is as useless as Nagin
    You, Shirley and Nagin deserve each other and give us th estimm money
    We are tired of having our taxes pay for your problems and while you are at it, relocate the city, it is under sea level
    Does it take more than once to figure this stuff out/

    i thought you got a free ride at some Ivy league college, did you not learn if you get burned once shame on them, twice, shame on you, so you had one hurricane, that is enough
    We don't need to bail you out again and please rid Atlanta of your fifth

    Take Shirley and our entire council, learn to pass out condoms and or maybe you can relcoate them all to live with Octo Mom in La, another broke stae that wastes its taxes on illegals, we need to use our tax dollars for legal, citizens that understand how to balance a checkbook, work, and a family within their means, somethin neither our mayor or you or your mayor can ffigure out

    February 25, 2009 at 8:33 pm |
  13. Barbara in Boston

    I essentially agree with David Brooks comments. The other point is this: no one was oging to look good after the rock star performance/reception Obama had before Congress. It took him almost ten minutes to leave the hall because so many members wanted his autograph.

    I also think Jindal was ridiculously hypocritical with his volcano monitoring derision. After all, if his state had received federal disaster prevention dollars a decade ago, they might have goteen the levees reinforced before Katrina hit.

    February 25, 2009 at 8:32 pm |
  14. Eugenia - San Francisco

    If would be "ok" if a state was declining the stimulus package but Louisana. Come one if there is any state that needs this, it is them. For comments made about the portion for the volcanoes, this man does have a clue what our America needs.

    February 25, 2009 at 8:31 pm |
  15. Annie Kate

    The GOP Jindal says believes in the citizens pulling the economy out of the ditch – there are a lot of items that need to be done that an individual cannot do and that the government is the only one big enough and with enough clout to do – like Obama's statement in last night speech to take away the tax incentives from company's that have sent American jobs overseas (YES!!!). What individual could do that? We need to get to a point where the individual does what is possible for them to do and the government does the big ticket items. If we can't turn to the government in times like this, then why have it?? The GOP shows a complete lack of understanding and imagination in their stated positions right now and are coming across as being only for their big business buddies and out of touch with average Americans. It will be interesting to see if the GOP survives .... if they don't get back in touch with the people and throw Newt Gingrich's playbook out the window then they are digging their own grave.

    February 25, 2009 at 8:27 pm |
  16. sharon, sydney, cape breton

    I agree with David Brooks. A few minutes into his opening comments I kept waiting for the "I am Bobby Jindal and I approve this message. Vote Bobby Jindal President". I couldn't believe what I was hearing. He was trying to represent himself, not the party. I guess this type of thing was expected, but to hit a home run you have to hit the ball hard. Instead of coming out like a force to be reckoned with he came out sounding like Opie Taylor from Mayberry. On top of this, how could he possibly tell the thousands if not millions of people loosing their jobs, their homes, their lives the way they've known it, not to look to the government for help? Despite what he said, Louisiana did look for and accept help fromt the federal gov't. as they should have and were entitled to. This financial crisis is a national disaster, in a way. Aren't the people of the United States not supposed to look to their gov't to help them get past this? Are they not entitled to this help? They said Obama rehearsed his address once before taking it out the house. Did Bobby Jindal even read his before he gave it?

    February 25, 2009 at 7:59 pm |
  17. Terri C.

    Mr. Jindal has got to be kidding. I was just in Louisiana over the weekend and most of the state is still in the pits. Its people are depressed, there are no jobs, no money and where is the 9th Ward? Mr. Jindal spoke about the spirit of the people, but several thousand of Louisiana’s people have not returned to New Orleans after the Hurricanes. He was dead wrong when he said his state did not receive government money......FEMA is the government. Does he not know that?

    Did Mr. Jindal poll his constituents and ask them if they need bail out money for educational programs, job training, infrastructure of roads and highways? I know a lot of people and have many relatives in the State that would beg to differ with him. This guy is a complete JOKE. Exactly where is he living....under a rock? The audacity of him to bring up slavery when there are cities within "his" state that African-Americans can not safely enter without the threat of being hurt or killed. Louisiana still runs rampant with KKK organizations that are stronger than ever. How about a little stimulus money to help re-educate these people about living together in harmony and equal rights to ALL. I am appalled at Mr. Jindal and his rhetoric. He simply looked and sounded ridiculous.

    My parents are from Louisiana and we lived there for 3 years of my life. Thank goodness they moved us from Louisiana for a much better life and lifestyle in California.

    February 25, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  18. Philippe Dumoulin

    Following the address of President Obama, I had the unexpected and ultimate pleasure to watch Governor Jindal's comments. Frankly, he reminded me of a small 1990 car named "Yugo" which gearbox could not shift easily, attempting to pass a Cadillac on the political highway... Did he own one?

    February 25, 2009 at 7:40 pm |
  19. Mike

    Could someone please explain to me how accepting the federal aid directed specifically for the extension of Unemployment Insurance would result in higher taxes for businesses? Because it smells suspiciously like GOP dittoheads pretending that extending UI temporarily is really welfare.

    February 25, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  20. JQQ -Brea California

    Oh, one more thing, We need this train from California to Vegas. The traffic on the 15 Hwy is bummer to bummer in the desert. And people will ride it for work and pleasure.

    February 25, 2009 at 7:01 pm |
  21. Corben Black

    I'm sure in his element Bobby Jindal is the greatest thing since sliced bread but if you ask me, the Republicans bombed hard last night. The man is wooden. Honestly you're better off sending John McCain to do your rebuttal. The republicans are trying so hard to show the American people that they're the party to ally yourself with but there were so many problems with what happened last night.

    First and foremost, Jindal had no charisma last night. His voice sounded like Stephen Hawking. So much so it wasn't trustworthy.

    Secondly he followed Barack Obama. That's like the warm up band following U2. Obama is so inspirational in the way he talks because his beats come off like that of a minister. It'e electrifying. How many times did he have to stop because people were giving him a standing ovation? I bet it was a workout for all who attended. And to follow that with what was basically an infomercial in a house bigger than most peoples office building? No. Doesn't work.

    Lastly, for now because I'm sure there's more, Jindal's got his own problems. He's under attack for turning down the money Washington is sending him. This is not good because it just looks politically motivated. Here's a governor of a state that, not five years ago, was hit with Hurricane Katrina and left in ruins. I'm sure there's a whole slew of people in Louisianna that could use that money, but they can't receive it because he wants to prove a point? No. If he wants to turn down his share, go right ahead, but let those that need it receive it. A man with this kind of contraversy should NOT be the man to make the Republican case to the United States public. You might as well be Sean Hannity.

    Corben Black
    El Cielo, California

    February 25, 2009 at 7:01 pm |
  22. JQQ -Brea California

    Gov. Bobby Jindal’s just needs some advice like Obama had. Better clothes and better speech writers. He has 4yrs to be White House material.

    February 25, 2009 at 7:00 pm |
  23. Scott, Orl, FL

    I think Jindal should marry Sarah Palin. They would make quite the power couple in D.C. I wonder what Jindal can see from his back yard? He apparently can't see the struggle his own citizenry is enduring. What a joke! He has embarassed his own party. BRILLIANT!

    February 25, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  24. G. Martinez

    As a conservative I don’t know who to turn to. The GOP is becoming nothing more than an irrelevant nag. Where are the new ideas? Where are the young and vibrant idealists of the 80s? All this party can offer me is “No” to every new idea. They are opponents of everything and offer nothing in return.

    February 25, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  25. RAUL

    Bobby Jindal sounds like the kind of sales man who would say anything to make that one sale.

    i am not buying!!!!!

    February 25, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  26. Katie Williams

    Jindal and many of his republican colleagues need to realize that this is not a time when people want to hear an entire party just plain say "no" to much needed legislation. I agree, this stimulus bill isn't the best that it could be, but I'll take it over nothing. C'mon, GOP, engage your brains and come up with some better ideas to serve our country!

    February 25, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  27. GF, Los Angeles

    I listened to a part of Jindal's speech after Obama's yesterday and all his hype about how the Republican's would do it better means nothing since they had 8 years to get us to where we're at – not better.

    February 25, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  28. Marvin

    This guy is a joke... if I ever seen one. He's dangerous...and should be removed from office if he refuses any Stimulus funds...Either he is the dumbest Republican I have ever seen or he's being coached by the same stupid reppublicans that got us in this mess in the first place...the Bush tax cuts gave wealthy buisness owers funds and credits...Ceo's and top execs. bonuses and wha-la...we have a reccession...the GOP needs to stay out of the way and let the Prez get us out of this mess.

    February 25, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  29. Bob Brooks Macomb Michigan

    I was thinking about the same thing.

    That turkey needs to be on unemployment and have it run out!

    February 25, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  30. mary

    as an african american bussiness owner in the state of louisiana i feel bobby jindal did this to be in the spot light. We are hurtting here no jobs, big companies moving out of the state when a family can not live on food stamps here in louisiana that is sad! this was on national news louisiana has bigger fish to fry
    1. we have a large high school drop out rate
    2 new orleans is still where it was when jindal came in office
    3 we have the highest incareration rate in the country
    the list goes on and on when i have to pay back the state of louisiana 1800 in taxes half of federal taxe return and higher property taxes there is a problem in louisana. Louisiana needs all the help we can get !! i feal we need this stimulus package. Check jindal record to se what programs he cut and why.

    February 25, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  31. Vanessa

    It sad that even though Obama is trying to work across party line the republicans are being so set in there ways. The should learn from what Bush and Chenney did. i live in a state where our governor is saying he wont accepth the money!!! South carolina where schools and roads are horriable. wake up repbulican ! Wake up

    February 25, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  32. TSlater-Zion, Illinois

    From ‘Slum Dog Millionaire’ to ‘Slum Lord Millionaires’. I am livid about the response from Governor Bobbi Jindal and others in his republican party. One of the poorest states in the union and he is refusing aid. Louisiana has suffered numerous murders literal and emotional from the neglect of this nations politicians ie Gorge W. Bush – Katrina Now this governor wants do the same Hurricane Ike and Jindil.
    Neglect his people in there time of need. Inhumane Criminal. Shameful. This from a man that was likely apart of a “cast system”. Spending trillion on the war to murder but now wants to be conservative to save lives with a fraction of the funds. Quoting hardships to become assimilated to this country. The scales are tilted for immigrants that come to this country with all benefits in their favor. GOP becoming known as Governors of Oppression and Poverty.

    February 25, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  33. salma khan

    The Republican response was so pathetic that it was painful to watch. Mr. Jindal i am sure is a great guy and very intelligent so how come he went ahead and narrated like a parrot a speech which made no sense what so ever?

    No matter which party one belongs to, one has to watch what the party is making you say and whether it holds any ground. It truely was a disastor from every angle, both delivery and content....very bad!

    February 25, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  34. Joshua

    I felt his address was odd. He stated numerous times that the people of America need less government in their lives. However, if the federal government did not intervene after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans would still be much worse off than it is. The city of New Orleans has received hundred of millions of dollars for rebuilding. Would they rather give that back???

    February 25, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  35. Melinda George

    I live in Louisiana. Governor Bobby Jindal has enough to worry about right here. We rank last in every poll that we should be first in, and first in every one we should be last in. It was a joke to hear him talk about education. 8 of Baton Rouges schools have been taken over by the state this year, with more to come. Unemployment, another joke. He can afford to send back millions. If he cared about, we the people, he would simply look under the bridge near his home, or ride by the unemployement office. He is worried about long time spending. People are worried about eating tonight. He just institued state hiring freezes and lay offs. He cut so many services to the poor. The republican party needs to change alright. the change however is not in rhetoric, it is action. I am disapointed to say the least. I voted for the governor last time. He has just lost my vote.
    Up and coming star, look around Louisiana you will see the sky is falling.

    February 25, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  36. Sydney

    If I lived in a state where a Governor chose not to accept the stimulus package I would organise the people to have the Governor removed from office. Jindal is Governor of one of the worse states in the country and he makes it seem as if everything is rosy in Louisana. We the people are not simple or stupid. In the end the republican party will throw Jindal under the bus!

    February 25, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  37. JC-Los Angeles

    The Republicans never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity and last night was no exception.

    When Barack Obama spoke over four years ago at the Democratic National Convention, everyone in the world knew who was going to run for President in for years time.

    Not only did the GOP fail to plan accordingly or embrace the changing face of our nation, they rolled out McCain and Palin.

    Now that the Republicans and our nation are buried under failed GOP policies, they now decide to send out someone of color to bash recovery plans? Huh? say what? come again? excuse me?

    Why Bobby Jindal, a seemingly decent fellow, would pimp himself out to trite and hackneyed leadership is beyond comprehension.

    February 25, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  38. nicole mayeux

    Jindal sounds like he is working out a very rough draft of his 2012 campaign speech.

    February 25, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  39. Vinny

    We're Americans and we can do anything we want, except fix our levies and rebuild our country because only Government can initiate that and we don't like Government.

    February 25, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  40. Shirley Shepherd

    I agree 100% with David Brooks. If Jindal is the Republicans savior they are still "Out of Touch"! I was furious when he said we could not trust our government. May that was true when Bush was in office, but I trust that President Obama will not let us down. That is NOT what we need to hear right now.

    February 25, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  41. jbs ohio

    I'm a independent,but i'm starting to look toward the left.I have heard enough and seen enough from the repulblicans.The gop is just like those ceo's they just don't get it.

    February 25, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  42. George

    David Brooks is great. While I often don't agree with his views, he speaks his mind. When he thinks the Republicans are wrong, he says so. Maybe Ron Christie can use him as a mentor...

    February 25, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  43. StevG

    David Brooks thinks Bobby Jindal's republican response was a "disaster for the party", in last nights speech. It seems to me that
    the republican party, has had a lot of diasters in the last eight years
    or so. Starting with the presidency of George Bush who came in with
    a surplus, from the Clinton presidency, a lack of oversite in the financal industry, two wars, a sophomoric attemp at electing John McCain, and now when the people need all of our elected officals
    working together to help all of us out of this financal hole, they have
    decided to not vote for any legeslation, that the democrats propose.
    This banking on the premise that, if we vote against everything, and
    the stimulas doesn't work, or show up in time, for the 2010 election, we will be in position to win back seats in both houses, saying we told
    you so. It is sad when a party figures out, that the best thing it can do is nothing. ts to bad they didn't do that, eight years ago.

    February 25, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  44. Cheryl

    Gov. Jindal was not a disaster. The disaster is the out-of-control spending on things we don't need at a time when we don't have the money. I don't believe there is any hope for this country. The democrats are running the country with no check on their abuse of power. The media refuses to report the facts and instead uses their position and power to act as a buffer for these politicians. Gov. Jindal and other Republicans are right but it won't matter because their statements are distorted and ridiculed by the democrats and the mainstream media.

    February 25, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  45. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    The Republican Party is clearly Bankrupt.

    I'm surprised no one in the Rush Limbaugh sphere of MYOPIA hasn't proposed a Palin/Jindal ticket in 2012 ....... lol. I can just see the campaign neo-con slogan now .............. "A Magnetically Levitated Snow Mobile in every gargage" ......... LOL. ...... I think jindal may have had a close encounter of the third kind at some point in his life .........LOL.
    Of course teh 'Magnetically Levitated snow Mobile' would have to be made in COMMUNIST china in order show solidarity with the 'Free Markets' of the world ...... lol.

    February 25, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  46. earle,florida

    The poor fellows argument solely based on his biased plutocratic philosophy, are self-evident, clearly blurring his innate intellectual political vision! The pendulum he hitch-hiked a ride on, regarding his moderate swings to a manic ultra-conservate are extremely disconcerting! Unfortunately the timing of the metronome inside his head needs some tweeking,before his head implodes,...? Doesn't this man realize, people's lively-hoods are on the line,and that this is a once in a 100 years occurrance.

    February 25, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  47. TSlater-Zion, Illinois

    GOP= Governors of Oppression and Poverty. I am livid about the response from Governor Bobbi Jindal and others in his republican party. One of the poorest states in the union and he is refusing aid. Louisiana has suffered numerous murders literal and emotional from the neglect of this nations politicians ie Gorge W. Bush – Katrina Now this governor wants do the same Ike and Jindil. Neglect his people in there time of need. Inhumane Criminal. Shameful. Spending trillion on the war to murder but now wants to be conservative to save lives with a fraction of the funds. Quoting hardships to become assimilated to this country. This from a man that was likely apart of a “cast system”. The scales are tilted for immigrants that come to this country with all benefits in their favor.

    February 25, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  48. Clayton White

    RE: Gov. Jindal

    First Bush, then Gov. Palin, now Gov. Jindal. It's pretty clear that the Republic party is continuing to employ a tactic of promoting candidates and potential candidates possess some personal characteristic that might give them a boost in a race, or offset an advantage of an opponent, even if they are not necessary ready for the office they're seeking. With Palin, the characteristic was that she is a female...offsetting any advantage to Clinton resulting from her gender. Now, Gov. Palin is being touted as a likley 2012 opponent of Pres. Obama. What he possesses is youth and a non-caucasian comportment, just like Obama. What he doesn't possess are new and better ideas for leading the country.

    As a tactic for winning, such an approach is reasonable. What is unreasonable is the idea that party success is more important than getting the best man or woman in office. Getting their man in office at any cost is something the Republic party has become good at, as evidenced by the election and reelection of George W. Bush. But as has been seen, it does a disservice to the American people.

    February 25, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  49. Ronald H (Naples, FL via NJ)

    Yes, citing a monumental failure on the governments behalf during a republican administration as your basis for "government is the problem" is no way to win GOP support. To successfully rebuild the republican party needs to do a few things:
    a) acknowledge the falterings of the Bush administration. While it may not be necessary to disassociate from Bush himself, disassociating themselves from the mistakes of the administration is necessary. Right now a lot of the Republican rhetoric is falling on deaf ears because they lost a lot of the people's trust.
    b) find and highlight their "voice". Who is the voice of the republican party? Organize and identify their message. If they cannot find a leader or a few respectable leaders, how can they possibly expect people to look to their organization for leadership?
    c) At least put on a guise of cooperation. The country is on the cusp of dire straits. The constant opposing of every proposition and sentiment some 30-plus days into a new administration while things collapse internally and externally does not provide the semblance of dutiful cooperation. Constructive criticism and aid is what is needed. Limbaugh's position of hoping the president fails is way out of line for this crucial junction.
    d)This is more my personal opinion, but they should put Sarah Palin away for right now. Likability alone is an awful premise for leadership. She has potential but she needs much polishing. To lead the "most powerful nation" in the world requires more. We should demand A LOT from our president. It's a very demanding position. I believe Obama won because he was essential the antithesis to George W. Bush. The country was desperate for change. Not a party change – but change in leadership and ideals.

    February 25, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  50. Maria

    I watched it last night and I totally agree with Mr. Brooks.

    February 25, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
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