The obligatory “nutroots tries to smear Jindal over Katrina” post

posted at 5:20 pm on February 27, 2009 by Allahpundit

This is so moronic that I wouldn’t even acknowledge it if not for the fact that I’m strapped for content. In a nutshell: Eager to prove that every last conservative in America is guilty of something vis-a-vis Katrina, TPM zeroed in on a passage from Jindal’s rebuttal speech about a visit he made to the local sheriff in the aftermath. Quote:

During Katrina, I visited Sheriff Harry Lee, a Democrat and a good friend of mine. When I walked into his makeshift office I’d never seen him so angry. He was yelling into the phone: ‘Well, I’m the Sheriff and if you don’t like it you can come and arrest me!’ I asked him: ‘Sheriff, what’s got you so mad?’ He told me that he had put out a call for volunteers to come with their boats to rescue people who were trapped on their rooftops by the floodwaters. The boats were all lined up ready to go – when some bureaucrat showed up and told them they couldn’t go out on the water unless they had proof of insurance and registration. I told him, ‘Sheriff, that’s ridiculous.’ And before I knew it, he was yelling into the phone: ‘Congressman Jindal is here, and he says you can come and arrest him too!’ Harry just told the boaters to ignore the bureaucrats and start rescuing people.

Aha!, says TPM, digging through the news archives. The visit to Sheriff Lee didn’t occur “during Katrina” at all; it occurred, er, a few days later, which certainly isn’t “during.” And what’s more, there’s no evidence that Jindal used his congressional authority to help get those boats in the water, as the speech suggests (but doesn’t assert). Lee did it all by himself.

Which brings us to this. Direct from Jindal’s office, it’s archive video of none other than Sheriff Harry Lee (who passed away two years ago) endorsing Jindal for governor. Why? Because he was so helpful and hands-on in using his congressional authority to assist the recovery effort after Katrina, which included … a personal visit to Lee’s office “the day after” the storm. Nuance. I’ll let Jim Treacher take it from there.

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