February 26th, 2009
05:39 PM ET

Jindal leads GOP on a 'march to folly'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/26/budget.bailout/art.capitol.cnn.jpg]
James Carville
CNN Contributor

Over the course of history, governments, political regimes and leaders have done some stupid things despite all arguments to the contrary, at times even against their own self-interest.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Barbara Tuchman (best known for "The Guns of August") chronicled this in "The March of Folly," examining the Trojan War, the provocation by the Renaissance Popes that led to the Protestant secession, the unnecessary loss of American colonies by Britain and the now well-documented United States loss in Vietnam.

Fast forward to 2009. The Republican Party has just suffered a bad but not unprecedented defeat. The U.S. economy is in shambles. And the patch of ground some leading figures in the GOP have chosen to occupy to rally back is to oppose expanded unemployment benefits in the middle of a recession.

They could have chosen a stronger national defense and terrorism policy, personal responsibility or even market-based health care reform. Arguing that President Obama's publicly-supported economic stimulus bill was full of wasteful spending (Rush Limbaugh termed it "Porkulus") was not enough.

No, their cause in this time of crisis is to deny expanded unemployment benefits to tens of thousands of jobless workers by saying they would not accept added federal funding for them.


Filed under: James Carville • Raw Politics
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. StevG

    The audacity of the republican party in the face of the finanaial perils
    we face today continues to grow. The people need to take note and remember this is 2010 and 2012. They want to block and stall, the
    democrats attempts to stimutate the econmy and help the unemployed with extended rights, and yet they are still trying to get lower taxes for the rich. What would they do, if they had control of both houses of congress.

    February 27, 2009 at 9:08 am |
  2. christine cox

    Of all states, Louisiana is turning down federal money. As it is, the state with low self-esteem doesn't properly tax it's (few) big businesses, especially, oil. And now this?

    I don't care if they directed to allocate the funds to help the state buy more crawfish, they should TAKE every dime and USE it. It's appalling, and the people of Louisana should be marching on the governor's mansion. Now.

    February 26, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  3. Annie Kate


    The cap pistols of July? That is a good one. I feel for the unemployed in La., Ga, and SC – their governors are going to turn down the one part of the stimulus package that could give them some much needed relief quickly. I wonder how that will translate at the polls later on? I think this is one more example of how out of touch the GOP has become; I wonder seriously if the party will survive in the long run.

    February 26, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  4. Melinda George

    I am from the state of Louisiana. Governor Jindall needs not concentrate on his political asperations as he should concentrate on the current state of affairs right here. Rising Star, look around, the sky is falling in Louisiana

    February 26, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  5. Luis

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac = The Trojan Horse

    It's the governments fault for drugging the people and the banks to take risky loans to buy houses they couldn't afford.

    While you blame the banks, i blame the government. That's the difference between CNN and I. JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America are getting hit left and right by the media as if it was their fault.

    NO. NO. NO. They, the banks mentioned above, came out strong, the reason why they need capital is to deal with the collapsed companies the government told them to eat for dinner.

    February 26, 2009 at 5:44 pm |

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