Sounds like Ace and I are now Republican personas non grata. As are an awful lot of commenters in last night’s megathread, I might add.

That’s okay. One of these days Andy Levy and I are going to start a secular, hawkish, (mostly) libertarian third party. You’re all welcome to join.

So, where are we? We as conservatives are in the wilderness, and many of you are hopeless. So we have a guy, Bobby Jindal, 37 years old, first time on the national stage, shows up last night to make a response to The Messiah. All he did was articulate what we believe. All he did was articulate opposition to what Obama is doing, with the obligatory when he’s right, we’ll work with him, just like we worked with Clinton on NAFTA, just like we worked with Clinton on welfare reform after we brought him in. These things happen. It doesn’t mean that we lose our distrust. All Bobby Jindal did was tell us what conservatism is; he used his own life story to do it; he talked about the American people making the country work. He had it all. Now, he may not have done it in the same stylistic way as Obama. I can understand the Democrats trashing the man, just as they trashed Sarah Palin. They are mean-spirited, heartless, horrible winners. But the people on our side are really making a mistake if they go after Bobby Jindal on the basis of style.

Because if you think people on our side, I’m talking to you, those of you who think Jindal was horrible, in fact, I don’t want to hear from you ever again if you think that what Bobby Jindal said was bad or what he said was wrong or not said well, because, folks, style is not going to take our country back. Solid conservatism articulated in a way that’s inspiring and understanding is what’s going to take the country back. Bobby Jindal’s 37 years old. I’ve spoken to him numerous times. He’s brilliant. He’s the real deal. I’m not coming here to defend him, he doesn’t need that. We’re going to have to figure out what we want. Do we want to have somebody in our party who can sound as smart as Obama regardless what he says and convince people to vote for us, or do we believe in a set of principles that defined this country’s founding and will return it to greatness again?

Answer: Both, and it’s amazing that a guy who worships the Great Communicator and whose own net worth has reached nine digits on the strength of his communication skills would pose that as an either/or. Jindal will shake this off but the fact remains that he blew an opportunity to turn himself into a breakout star a la Obama at the 2004 convention. He’s touted as a sort of boy genius, but a boy genius should have been able to figure out a way not to be actively bad, even if it meant being merely boring. He couldn’t, so his image took a hit. What’s the problem with admitting that? If he was doomed to fail because of the setting — and he surely wasn’t doomed to fail as badly as he did — he should have adapted by changing it and doing the speech in front of a small audience (or a big one). He’s supposed to be the solutions guy, right?

Not a big deal either way, but I’m not sure why it’s heresy to take a dim view of this. Special exit quotation for all the Dittoheads: “People who don’t believe in God believe in Obama. Agnostics, atheists, because believe me, a planeload of atheists on a jet on the way to Hawaii and three of the four engines go out, the atheists start praying to who? God. Not the ocean, to save ’em. Everybody believes in God at some point, but not until they face their mortality. Everybody does. They have some God. Very few people think they’re it. Obama is one. I think when Obama prays, it’s to himself.”