Green Room

RE: Bobby Jindal And The Conservative Movement’s Line In The Sand

posted at 4:19 pm on November 13, 2012 by

Ed wrote earlier about an extended interview Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal gave to Politico, saying Republicans need to look forward. “We cannot be, we must not be, the party that simply protects the rich so they get to keep their toys.” Look, I am under no illusions that the Republican party, and the conservative movement, is facing an existential crisis right now. I understand that our messaging, branding, and how we communicate that message to voters, needs an extreme makeover. But in spite of the call for Republican reformation, from both the left and apparently many on the right, I simply reject Jindal’s premise, and believe that we as a movement have to decide what principles are cornerstones, and not politically expedient talking points that can be thrown under the bus in a desperate attempt to achieve power.

1. Fiscal policy – Governor Jindal, certainly an accomplished leader with a proven track record who is very much a player on the bench for future national office, has just whacked away at part of the core of fiscal conservatism. The left has demonized business owners as the bad guys for years, and to the left’s credit, they convinced a majority of Americans to vote as if that were true. But it simply isn’t. The private sector is where the jobs, and resulting American economic growth and prosperity, comes from. Jindal not only undercuts that argument, he joins forces with the left in the slander of small business owners all over the country. It’s not just the rich who would have to pay more. It is also small business owners who would suffer if the tax cuts do expire and we go off the fiscal cliff. Either we believe in smaller federal government, reduced spending, and increased incentives to the private sector to restart the economic engine in this country, or we don’t. We will never out-perform the left when it comes to attacking wealth in this country. They have a media apparatus with which we simply cannot compete. And if we do alienate business owners by sacrificing our fiscal principles, of whom then is our future voting bloc going to consist?

2. Social issues – While I’m not ready to publicly admit the culture war is lost, the current state of the campaign is not good. The left has mounted a dramatic insurgency over the last few years, and we have not been able to offer an effective counter to it. The Supreme Court will ultimately decide on the same sex marriage issue, but the life issue is something on which we simply cannot yield. A pundit on MSNBC over the weekend claimed that Republican opposition to abortion was racist or something. That is so profoundly ignorant as to be frightening, especially when you consider that unborn blacks are being aborted at a much higher rate than other racial groups. But we must field candidates that can clearly explain that being against the systematic murder of unborn human life isn’t anti-woman. It’s pro-humanity. There will be calls to destroy this cornerstone, too, over the next few weeks and months. Conservatives should resist that, and resist it forcefully.

3. National security – Former Speaker Newt Gingrich said today that we have to get immigration off the table, hinting that Republicans have to just accept that amnesty has to happen, because we’re getting killed electorally on it. I’m all for normalization of the people who are currently here illegally. But if we do not continue to make the issue contingent upon securing our southern border first to beef up our national security, all we’re doing is acquiescing to the left so that the magnet to a new generation of Democratic voters continues unabated. I remain convinced that national security will be a part of the equation sooner rather than later to American voters, and I take no joy in making that prediction. You simply cannot weaken your position around the world, cut military funding by a trillion dollars over the next decade, ignore your southern border, and then say, ‘ how could this be’ when we get attacked again. The first job of the federal government is to provide for the national defense. It seems silly to me for the conservative movement to abandon that, too, because of the growing Latino vote’s demand for amnesty. We must continue to make the immigration issue one about security, and then economic prosperity.

Again, we have to do a lot of hard thinking about the way forward out of the wilderness. But the left has successfully made this recent presidential campaign not about economics, but about how radical the right wing has allegedly gotten, how our nominee murdered the wife of a laid off factory worker, and how our vice presidential candidate wants to kill old people. The left wing apparatus, politicians and mainstream media, turned us into racists that cannot be trusted with national power because we’ve moved too far to the right, and have warned that only silencing voices on talk radio will help us remain a viable political movement.

My question is in the process of navel-gazing, why in the world would we listen to those same voices when they tell us what we need to do to win? And why in the world are voices on our side agreeing with them? We haven’t moved anywhere on the ideological spectrum. A majority of the country, hopefully temporarily, has moved left. Jettisoning our values and principles, and saying, “Us, too,” doesn’t seem to be a good prescription for the future.

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Jindal: “Our legs are too slow, let’s cut them off”

faraway on November 13, 2012 at 5:12 PM

“Existential crisis”? Are you guys nuts? We lost an election after a patheticly fought campaign. You know, losing elections. Its been known to happen for quite a while in America.

For goodness sake, if you really must get your panties all twisted, please dont make a public spectacle out of it.

Valkyriepundit on November 13, 2012 at 5:15 PM

Buck Farack and Juck Findal too.

Nutstuyu on November 13, 2012 at 5:25 PM

I think it might be time to boycott the MSM for a couple months, especially conservative pundits. Sorry if you work on MSM shows, Peggy and George, they are setting the agenda and putting words in your mouth.

The media topics are the tail that wag the dog. First it was Rush going on and on about illegal immigration, when that was never discussed during the election, and we are TOLD those illegals were not allowed to vote. And now, a perfectly respectable republican governor repeating MSM maxims about rich and their…TOYS???

Snap off the TV, and proceed with Extreme Caution, nothing is as it seems, and we are all being baited to follow the MSM narrative. I will be turning off Fox News when they follow stories that are not my priorities.

How much time spent on The Housewives of…? that should be covering the essential issues affecting our country? Someone said, (coulter?) and I have to agree…follow the shiny object idiots.

Fleuries on November 13, 2012 at 5:28 PM

This is a fight that needs to happen, and is evolving. Maybe the fight should even happen behind closed doors so they can really duke it out without having their words thrown up at them and analyzed to death every time they open their mouths. The TEA Party started the ball rolling in the 2008 midterms, and after losing this election by the moderate candidate they put up, conservatives need to confront them and gain some ground in leadership roles. Otherwise, the Republicans will never win another Presidential election.

lea on November 13, 2012 at 5:42 PM

1. Fiscal policy – Governor Jindal, certainly an accomplished leader with a proven track record who is very much a player on the bench for future national office, has just whacked away at part of the core of fiscal conservatism.

I think you’re completely wrong on this count. When it comes to being for small business, one of the things that Obama surrogates would attack on is that when Romney talked about how he wanted to help small business, Fortune 500 companies were qualifying under Romney’s definition — something which Romney never countered, either because he was incompetent, or because it was true. Either way, this was remarkably hurtful.

Second, Romney himself invited that caricature with the 47% remarks. And the GOP brings it upon themselves every time they try to present a makers-vs-takers argument. The GOP needs to shift to a populist stance. Pulling stunts like HotAir’s own Erika Johnsen did by defending price gouging in the wake of Hurricane Sandy will be the death of the party.

Stoic Patriot on November 13, 2012 at 5:59 PM

why in the world would we listen to those same voices when they tell us what we need to do to win?

THIS right here…

excellent duane

cmsinaz on November 13, 2012 at 6:00 PM

And if we do alienate business owners by sacrificing our fiscal principles, of whom then is our future voting bloc going to consist?

Their workers.

Stoic Patriot on November 13, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Governor Jindal.. You know a great way to actually repair my image and become the 2016 nominee. Agree with the MSM that the Republicans should become Democrat lite.

Senator Rubio.. Hey, thanks for knocking yourself out of contention. That voodoo curse that I got from the Haitian healer lady in Miami is really doing such a good job. First, Christie embraces Obama and tanks Romney’s election and then Jindal decides that the Rs should abandon principles. Perhaps, I can actually just fist bump and smile my way to the Presidency.

Illinidiva on November 13, 2012 at 6:08 PM

I think you’re completely wrong on this count. When it comes to being for small business, one of the things that Obama surrogates would attack on is that when Romney talked about how he wanted to help small business, Fortune 500 companies were qualifying under Romney’s definition — something which Romney never countered, either because he was incompetent, or because it was true. Either way, this was remarkably hurtful.

Second, Romney himself invited that caricature with the 47% remarks. And the GOP brings it upon themselves every time they try to present a makers-vs-takers argument. The GOP needs to shift to a populist stance. Pulling stunts like HotAir’s own Erika Johnsen did by defending price gouging in the wake of Hurricane Sandy will be the death of the party.

Stoic Patriot on November 13, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Yup.

The Democrats have become the party of the very poor on government assistance and the very rich also on government assistance. We need to be the middle class party that advocates upward social mobility, an end to crony capitalism, an end to lemon socialism, and and end to the revolving doors between Washington, New York, and Hollywood.

Codevilla had it right when he designated them a “ruling class” and us conservatives working everyday in the Red States to pay for it all and fighting to keep it free the “country party”.

Punchenko on November 13, 2012 at 6:35 PM

We don’t need to stop being pro-life in order to win the women’s vote. We need to stop nominating for high office candidates who are too stupid to speak intelligently about the issue. And we need to respond to ads that attempt to define our candidate. The Bain attacks worked. Romney needed to counter them and didn’t.

writeblock on November 13, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Pulling stunts like HotAir’s own Erika Johnsen did by defending price gouging in the wake of Hurricane Sandy will be the death of the party.

Stoic Patriot on November 13, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Have you read the Erika Johnsen posts? They are an embarrassment to logic most of the times. A Romney Cheerleader at best.

portlandon on November 13, 2012 at 6:47 PM

I think trying to win the elction in 2016 DAYS after the election in 2012 is stupid.

The public modd is going to change dramatically in the next 2 to 4 years unless everything we undertsand about taxes, spending and the economy are wrong and I don’t think history shows it is.

People need to relax on these long term plans that are out of focus right now.

I made a post elsewhere. In 1972 the Republicans did win by Obama levels they won 49 states. They lost in 1976 because ALL the scandals and short-cuts caught up to Nixon before the midterms evn took place and he was gone. I don’t see Obama, Benghazi and F&F as being to far off this. That is not to mention the REALITIES of Obamacare instead of the campaign lies about in 2012.

All these Republicans could be changing their tune about how to win as a President is embattled in scandal and bad policy by 2014 is facing them. We haven’t chnaged THAT much since 2010 and 2013-14 looks like a repeat of discontent by the Tea Party and others.

Conan on November 13, 2012 at 6:56 PM

The Bain attacks worked. Romney needed to counter them and didn’t.

writeblock on November 13, 2012 at 6:42 PM

If you are right it was about the campaign then we need to relax until there is another camapign and quit trying to win 2016 RIGHT NOW IMHO.

Conan on November 13, 2012 at 6:57 PM

If only we could find, and nominate a less than squishy conservative, something we haven’t seen since the retirement of RR in 1989.
Bush-41 campaigned under false colors in ’88 and won; revealed the true Bush in ’92, and got shellacked.
Dole: The Tax Collector for the Welfare State!
Bush-43 – The Compassionate Conservative! Some wonder if both words were a lie, at least the second was; but the opposition was a clown in ’00, and in ’04 couldn’t be trusted, so he got 8-years to spread his compassion and occasionally find an acorn.
And that brings us to the media’s favorite Republican: John McCain, who when nominated, promptly got defenestrated by those who “loved” him.
So, what did we do, we nominated a New England Moderate who was going to bring his vaunted business experience to administering the affairs of state; except all that business experience failed to find a competent campaign staff, or any resolve in the manner in which he campaigned.
I’m sorry, it’s time to return to our roots of fiscal conservatism through small, less intrusive, government.
The way to chase the “money changers” out of the Capitol is to stop spending so much damn money!

Another Drew on November 13, 2012 at 6:59 PM

We don’t need to stop being pro-life in order to win the women’s vote. We need to stop nominating for high office candidates who are too stupid to speak intelligently about the issue.

writeblock on November 13, 2012 at 6:42 PM

You know who tend to speak well about pro-life women’s issues?

Pro-life women.

I know, right?

alwaysfiredup on November 13, 2012 at 8:06 PM

I agree re: gay marriage and life. I’m one of those who doesn’t care if two guys or girls want to get married to each other, but I do think that government should act to protect the life of unborn babies. The former is a matter between two consenting adults; the latter is a conflict between an adult and an innocent, defenseless fetus.

Progressive Heretic on November 13, 2012 at 8:34 PM

We do not need to change our principles. Period. What we need to do is refuse to go along with the ridiculous lies of the Left.

Case in point: the “war on women.” Why weren’t our candidates hammering the heck out of that phrase every chance they had? There was no war on women! But there is a real war on religious liberty. The birth control and abortion talk came up in the context of whether religious organizations should be forced to pay for those two things. So why didn’t we hear this again and again–a logical, strong refutation of the most moronic meme the Left had going? And if you cannot mock people dressed up as lady parts–especially as the welfare roll numbers are climbing drastically and people are wondering if they’ll need to take out loans to pay for gas–what can you mock?! But politeness (I guess?) won the day.

Another example: Obamacare. Why weren’t our candidates explaining over and over and over again the many ways that legislation will harm the economy and the effective deliverance of medical treatment (with doctor shortages, a tax on certain medical devices, etc.)? But it’s almost as if we gave up on the very issue that delivered us huge victories in 2010. Yes, jobs, jobs, jobs were important to talk about. But we needed to drive home the point of what Obamacare means for the country.

We have the right principles on our side. We have logic on our side. We even have truth on our side. But it’s almost as if the people taking the up-front roles are too timid to push back on even the most ridiculous and outrageous lies of the Left. We need to get over thinking the way to win elections is by making people like us. By all means, treat people with dignity and respect. Play fair. But for goodness’ sake, shout the truth from the rooftops!

We need backbones. We need soundbites. We need to play offense for once instead of defense.

And as a side note…if we start changing our stands now, the Left will (rightly) accuse us of pandering for votes. That’s worse than not changing at all–because that calls into question our integrity. Right now, we can counter the lies of the Left with truth and reality–if we are only bold enough to do so. Once we start selling out, make no mistake–the Left will attack us with the same vigor and hatred–but we will no longer have any way to counter their message except with lies of our own (which, besides being wrong would be incredibly foolish–they are much better liars than we will ever be, after all these years of practice).

butterflies and puppies on November 13, 2012 at 9:22 PM

Duane – Stoic Patriot is on the mark – you are missing completely the gist and benefits (electorally and morally) of Gov Jindals remarks re: Corporate capitalism. You need to hear and take seriously your fellow Salem Broadcasting colleague Dennis Pragers’ remarks re: business (they are amoral) and realize that Jindal is dead right about the populist aspect of this. Big corporate donors go with their money where they think their ‘bets’ will provide the highest dividends and in some campaigns that means both sides of the aisle. Time to stop letting these cats set the pace for us.

Jindal is also correct in urging the GOP to appeal directly to each voting citizen regardless of ‘bloc’, something other commentators (such as Vic Davis Hanson) are urging. This is sharp stuff.

ronco on November 14, 2012 at 12:55 AM

“We cannot be, we must not be, the party that simply protects the rich so they get to keep their toys.”

So Jindal is as clueless as the rest.
I don’t give a damn about rich people and their toys. I want capital to stay in the hands of people who create wealth, not in the hands of wealth destroyers.

single stack on November 14, 2012 at 1:13 AM

Amnesty, (euphemistically referred to as normalization)is long term loser. Either we have rule of law or we don’t. If we don’t then, we might as well all become Dimocrats because our electoral future is black, not just dim.

Quartermaster on November 14, 2012 at 6:56 AM

2. Social issues – While I’m not ready to publicly admit the culture war is lost, the current state of the campaign is not good. The left has mounted a dramatic insurgency over the last few years, and we have not been able to offer an effective counter to it. The Supreme Court will ultimately decide on the same sex marriage issue, but the life issue is something on which we simply cannot yield. A pundit on MSNBC over the weekend claimed that Republican opposition to abortion was racist or something. That is so profoundly ignorant as to be frightening, especially when you consider that unborn blacks are being aborted at a much higher rate than other racial groups. But we must field candidates that can clearly explain that being against the systematic murder of unborn human life isn’t anti-woman. It’s pro-humanity. There will be calls to destroy this cornerstone, too, over the next few weeks and months. Conservatives should resist that, and resist it forcefully.

Unreal. Again, I ask, to what end ? What legitimate legislative goal is achievable in my lifetime on abortion ?

Seriously. Because from where I sit, the answer is clearly NONE. And if that is the case, then what is the point in arguing something to the electorate that is so effectively used against us AND for which there is no strategy or tactic by which the argument can be won ? Standing on principle is neat. But when it 1) loses you elections, and 2) cannot possibly lead to any kind of legislative initiative, it makes no sense whatsoever.

deadrody on November 14, 2012 at 7:52 AM

It is glaringly apparent that the Republican Party as it now stands is DEAD. Either do a complete housecleaning or start a third party.

And, get rid of Karl Rove, the Bush clan and every other old hack in the Senate and Congress. Talk about politicians who are past their due dates and out of touch.

Sparky5253 on November 14, 2012 at 8:35 AM

To all those who accuse Jindal of selling out to the Dems: Read his line again. “We cannot be, we must not be, the party that simply protects the rich so they get to keep their toys.”

The key word here is “simply”. If he didn’t include that word, then yeah, I’d be suspect of his commitment to fiscal conservatism.

From my observation, he was pretty much articulating what the MSM and Team Obama had successfully characterized the GOP as. And that we need to do a better job of presenting the Republicans as a party of economic integrity and individual liberty coupled with responsibility.

TMOverbeck on November 14, 2012 at 12:23 PM