As promised last night. Here’s the transcript, since I know few people will have the time to watch the clip. This’ll be compared endlessly to Rick Perry’s speech attacking Trump two months ago but they’re not all that similar apart from the target. Perry’s speech was an ideological critique of “Trumpism” vis-a-vis conservatism; the parts about Trump were set amid much longer passages about why America needs real conservative leadership now more than ever. Perry was playing the role of a Republican statesman with a long record of success in Texas. He was purporting to excommunicate Trump from the movement.
Jindal’s speech is nothing like that. There’s little about conservatism here apart from the fact that eight years of Hopenchange and the dismal prospect of four more with President Hillary have given righties a golden opportunity next year. He’s not playing the statesman either. His point is simple: It’s time for someone to drop the same sort of emperor’s-new-clothes truth bomb on Trump that Trump’s known for dropping on others, and the truth in this case is that Trump’s an egomaniac who doesn’t know what he’s talking about on policy. He wants the presidency not because there’s anything particular he wants to do with it but because that’s what his ego requires. “[I]t is now time for us to do what Donald would do,” says Jindal, “and say the thing that everyone is thinking, but is afraid to say out loud. So I’m going to do it.” And he does.
Donald Trump is a narcissist and an egomaniac. That may sound like a serious charge to make, but it is also something that everyone knows to be true, and he knows it too, and he celebrates it. He told us the other day that he’s likes Kanye West, why? “Because Kanye loves Trump.” He may be an entertaining narcissist, but he is one nonetheless.
Like all narcissists, Donald Trump is insecure and weak, and afraid of being exposed. And that’s why he is constantly telling us how big and how rich and how great he is, and how insignificant everyone else is. We’ve all met people like Trump, and we know that only a very weak and small person needs to constantly tell us how strong and powerful he is. Donald Trump believes that he is the answer to every question…
The conservative cause deserves more than a power-hungry shark who eats whatever is in front of him…because sooner or later, we will be his next meal.
The sharpest line: “[H]e hasn’t ever read the Bible. But you know why he hasn’t read the Bible? Because he’s not in it.” What Jindal hopes to achieve with the speech, I don’t know. He’s learned by now, I assume, that picking a fight with Trump to draw his attention doesn’t lead to any movement in the polls, as Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, and of course Perry could tell you. Maybe it’s as simple as Jindal feeling sincerely disgusted by Trump and concluding he has nothing to lose by doing it. He’s a long longshot as it is, barely registering in any poll apart from Iowa, where he’s at three or four percent. The worst that can happen is that Trump will tweet some wisecrack about Jindal’s poor polling — the alpha’s favorite insult is to deride the lower status of others — and it’ll blow over in a day. Who knows? Maybe Jindal’s candidacy will transform into what Graham’s candidacy was supposed to be with respect to Rand Paul, a platform for a guy with little chance of winning the nomination himself to hound a more credible candidate whom he regards as dangerous to the country’s future.
Update: As expected.
— Mark Halperin (@MarkHalperin) September 10, 2015