Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bobby Jindal still wants Obama to fail, and explains why

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Give Jindal some credit. He's smarter than most of his Republican colleagues, and at least he can intellectualize his views. Unlike, say, Dear Leader Rush, he doesn't just sweat ignorance and bigotry.

And so there he was at a fundraiser Tuesday evening, rationalizing the common Republican desire for Obama to fail:

My answer to the question is very simple: "Do you want the president to fail?" It depends on what he is trying to do.

Well, sure, to a point. When Bush proposed privatizing social security, for example, I wanted him to fail. On a case-by-case, or policy-by-policy, basis, it makes sense to hope either for success or failure.

Jindal overstates his case, though, when he suggests that (Democratic) opposition to the Republican desire for Obama to fail is just "political correctness run amok." It isn't political correctness, it's recognition that Obama is trying to pull the country out of an historic economic crisis. It would be one thing if Republicans, including Dear Leader Rush, challenged Obama on a policy-by-policy basis, if they said something like, "We hope his health-care reform proposals fail because we object to them on principle, because we like the system just the way it is now." But they don't. They say, "We want Obama to fail." Period. Sure, they toss around the usual ideological talking points (all would be fine if only taxes were slashed and the government were reduced to insignificance), but the message is pretty clear: Screw the economy. Screw the American people. As long as Obama fails, that's all that matters.

Think of it this way: After 9/11, what if Democrats had said, "We want Bush to fail"? Well, they didn't do that, and, when they did criticize Bush, and as there was more and more criticism over time, mostly over Iraq, they didn't mean that they wanted Bush to fail, say, in securing the homeland against another attack. They disagreed with Bush's policies, with the means to the end, as well as with some of the ends (unchecked executive power, for example), but it was not a blanket desire that he fail. And while there may have been some exceptions, with some on the left succumbing to derangement, their hatred of Bush trumping all other considerations, they were, for the most part, dismissed as cranks and relegated to the periphery. What we have here is much different, the desire on the part of leading figures in the Republican Party -- Rush, Jindal, many others -- that Obama fail. Not that this or that policy fail but that he fail, including that his efforts to revive the economy and help the American people get through this incredibly difficult time fail.

Jindal can intellectualize and rationalize all he wants -- I get where he's coming from, even as I disagree with his "political correctness" claim. But most Republicans aren't like Jindal. They just want Obama to fail. Period. And, for that, they are once more, as so often, putting party and (radical right-wing) ideology before country. They're not in power in Washington, thankfully, but their obstructionism is nonetheless a dangerous obstacle to Obama's efforts at a time when the American people need their leaders to work for the common good.

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1 Comments:

  • .
    Many Dems wanted Bush to lose Iraq, to give up on Iraq, to quit. They said it was un-winnable. A Leader's Cult of Personality is dangerous. This Obama & Unicorns business is way too funny and insane! Obamamania runamok.

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