Bobby Jindal

Bobby Jindal's Accumulating Bad Karma


Seven years ago, conservatives were all atwitter over Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. He was supposed to be the

Bobby Jindal
U.S. Embassy New Delhi / Foter / CC BY-ND

conservative answer to Barack Obama: A first-generation Indian-American who rejected offers from Harvard med and Yale law to study political science on a Rhodes scholarship.

But now in his second gubernatorial term, this boy wonder is trailing second to last among the dozen Republican presidential candidates. And his approval rating in Louisiana is now 27 percent in contrast to 67 percent of the vote he got for his second term.

Some loss of popularity was inevitable. But it takes hard work to squander so much goodwill. How did Jindal accomplish this?

I note in my column at The Week today:

Jindal has subordinated his duties as a governor to his presidential ambitions (during his second term), and the more he's done that, the less effective he's become as both governor and presidential candidate, paradoxically undermining the very goal he seeks…

Perhaps Jindal senses his comparative advantage slipping, which is why he's been casting around wildly for a workable message. In recent months, he's tried to position himself as the ideas candidate (admonishing the GOP not to be the "stupid party," releasing copious proposals for health care and energy reform), a religious warrior (who's had it with the liberal war on religious liberty), a cultural purist (who wants to restrict Muslims because they don't assimilate in America), and a security hawk (who demands a boost in defense spending).

Go here to read the whole thing.

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  1. paradoxically undermining the very goal he seeks?

    The more you tighten your grip…

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  2. Isn’t it racist and criminal to caricature non-whites for their political views?

    1. Indians are a generally well behaved and economically successful group, so no. q

        1. Slurpee or casino?

    2. It’s fine when they have the wrong political views.

  3. I keep trying to care, but I just don’t. Women, minorities, children hurt worst…

  4. The link you gave doesn’t show Jindal wanting to “restrict Muslims.” It shows him saying immigrants ought to assimilate to American values, and if not, to go home.

    1. He was also talking to a crowd in Europe. If he believes that Muslims in America don’t already largely “assimilate” (god I hate that word) then he’s fucking blind.

    2. Forget it, it’s Shikha town.

      1. I made it as far as her name on this article. Guessing she doesn’t like an Indian who acts like an American from the South – rather than an whiny entitled immigrant.

        1. He’s not a true Southerner… his parents are from northern India!

  5. he’s tried to position himself as the ideas candidate (admonishing the GOP not to be the “stupid party, releasing copious proposals for health care and energy reform), a religious warrior (who’s had it with the liberal war on religious liberty), a cultural purist (who wants to restrict Muslims because they don’t assimilate in America), and a security hawk (who demands a boost in defense spending).

    That all may be true. I cannot, however, imagine any of that being unpopular with Louisiana voters. Whatever reasons there are for Jindal’s low approval rating, those are most certainly not any of them.

    If Dalmia hates Jindal because of these views, that is her right and she should say so and say why. The problem here is that she doesn’t do that. She instead lies and pretends that these views are what is causing his reduced popularity in Louisiana. And that is ridiculous and Dalmia has to know that.

    Dalmia expects readers to believe that Louisiana has turned on Jindal because he is anti-Muslim, supports the energy industry and is an unapologetic conservative Christian. Really?

    1. I think the issue is that Jindal doesn’t talk like those guys on “Swamp People”. I think that alone would be +10 points, right there….

      1. That didn’t stop them from re-electing him. I don’t follow Louisiana politics. And it is not like Jindal was not a social conservative when he ran for governor or re-election. I suspect the reason why his popularity has dropped is because people feel like he cares more about running for President than he does about doing his job. If that is the case, I can’t blame them. Whatever the reason, it isn’t because Jindal isn’t sufficiently gay and Muslim affirming as Dalmia claims.

        1. I lived in Louisiana for a while. People there don’t gives a shit about the muslims or gays. You can’t fuck with oil or natural gas and fishing. Drive on I-20 in Shreveport and when you get by the casinos you’ll see a huge fucking mosque right by the interstate. It’s still there, nobody is trying to blow it up or anything.

          They are probably pissed off at him like they were at Mary Landreau (spelling?). She didn’t even live in the state anymore yet was claiming to represent them. That didn’t go over well when they figured that little tid bit out.

          1. I think you are probably dead on in your assessment. They elected him to be governor of the state not national SOCON spokesman. If they don’t feel that he is doing his job, they have every right to be angry. Their anger, however, has nothing to do with these positions, as Dalmia claims.

    2. John,
      The facts are that he holds those views and his approval rating in LA has nose-dived. You simply say those cannot be related.
      Well, in that case, what do you propose instead and what sort of facts do you have?

      1. The fact that he has always held those views and Louisiana is a deep red state indicates that those views have nothing to do with his declining popularity. The most likely reason is that the voters feel he is not committed to doing his job and is more interested in running for President.

        Show me where Jindal ever held or claimed to hold views that are any different than these? He has always been an unapologetic social conservative and never claimed to be otherwise. So, you can’t blame the change in popularity on views that have long been known and haven’t changed.

    3. Dalmia can’t stand it that an immigrant has given up his immigrant roots and assimilated to American culture.

      She even tried to get a rib shot in there, “Maybe it’s because he forgets his Hindu teachings”, ignoring that the “icky, ewwy” religion he converted to basically says the same fucking thing, “Do good shit without expecting a reward for it because it’s the right thing to do and nobody likes a greedy, favor-whoring piece of shit.” (that’s my loose paraphrase).

      I’m sorry but Dalmia’s writing reeks of this, “I am an immigrant and you’re gonna fucking respect me no matter what you piece of shit whitey. What you want me to respect your traditions and values, well fuck you, I’m the minority and I’m fucking special.” At least that’s what I get out of her, maybe I’m wrong, and hopefully I am.

      1. The “Hindu teachings” remark is flat out racist and beneath publication in a place like Reason. The fact that Jindal has Indian parents does not create any obligation for him to “remember his Hindu teachings”. He is a free man and is free to follow whatever religion or lack of religion he likes. Screw Dalmia for even joking that because he is an Indian he is somehow obligated to be a Hindu or even pay attention to Hindu teachings.

        1. I wouldn’t say racist as nothing was mentioned about race. Dalmia has a self interest in immigration and she, like most people, goes full retard on a closely held issue

          1. She totally mentioned race. She wouldn’t say Rick Santorum has forgotten his Hindu teachings.

            1. The article mentions “faith”. Faith is not race.

              Man, there is enough to criticize in some of her writing but sometimes you guys go out of your way to bump it up – and often without reading the actual article.

              1. But Hinduism is something that is associated only with the Indian sub-continent. There are almost no Hindus who are not Indian. So mentioning Hinduism is mentioning race. The whole subtext of the article is that Jindal is not a good or real Indian because he is a devout Christian, as if Indians are expected not to be so by virtue of being Indian.

              2. She’s saying that someone who’s descendants hailed from India should ‘remember the religion of India’. Sorry that’s racist.

                What if she said that Obama should remember the animist teachings of pre-colonial Kenya?

                Or that Ayn Rand should have remembered the Orthodox teachings of Russia?

                It’s moronic and racist.

                1. Presumably he was Hindu at some point. I think you’re reading too much into it. OTOH, if he was not ever Hindu then I would agree.

                2. Or that Ayn Rand should have remembered the Orthodox teachings of Russia?

                  Ayn Rand was of Jewish origin…

        2. Besides which, India is arguably the most religiously heterogenous country on the planet — and one with a Christian tradition that dates back to less than 100 years after Christ’s death, at that.

      2. No, you nailed it. Dipshit is always like this. A while back, she went ballistic at Jindal because he said that immigrants should lose the hyphen and just embrace being American.

        Dipshit is a total fucking loser, with the shitty entitled attitude that’s completely typical of those like her.

        1. This. For people like Shikha, the only things that truly matter are the things an individual has no control over.

          I am the choices I make, not the demographic I happened to be born into.

    4. ….that is ridiculous and Dalmia has to know that.M

      Doubtful, she’s a fucking moron that can’t see past the bubble she lives in.

  6. Well except for the “Obama is coming for our guns” part, yeah, I get the lolpic.

    1. Do I get to keep my non-Al’Qaida Ebola Zombie Children?

  7. Oil prices are going down. Louisiana’s economy is heavilky dependent on oil. That was easy.

    1. Nailed it!

    2. That is mostly what is going on. The fall in oil prices combined with Jindal seeming to be more concerned about national crusading than he is about being governor.

    3. I think you’re right. Bad thing is, is the man has absolutely no control over the price of oil. They should be pissed at the Saudis for flooding the market if they’re gonna be pissed at anyone.

      1. No, they should be pissed at themselves and the generations of crooked politicians they have elected that have made it virtually impossible to be in any business in the state other than oil and gas. Texas and Oklahoma have a lot of oil and gas too. Yet, their economies are not hitting the skids like Louisiana’s. That is because they have reasonably competent state governments who haven’t ran every other industry out of the state.

        1. Bingo. For decades, the state government has favored oil production over pretty much everything else.

        2. It’s more regional in Texas. I live in east Texas and people here are heavily dependent on the oil industry. People are hurting really bad right now around these parts. The upside to that, as you said, is there are also several plants/factories down along the coast that mess with various chemicals and they are expanding and hiring a lot of people.

          My bro in law is a salesman for a company that hauls waste water from fracking off. He has told me that oil has to be in the $50 something range for a lot of these companies to break even. It might even be higher than that and I just don’t remember.

          A lot of fracking companies have laid off their entire workforce and the one’s that had cash reserves are gonna make it for a little while longer but they to are gonna go down. There’s also this weird thing of how some companies are still getting higher prices because that’s what the original contract was when they started drilling but once the new quarter hits, they’re gonna be screwed as well. It’s really confusing unless you deal with it a lot I guess.

          1. Oil is and will always be a boom bust commodity. It is just the way it is.

            1. Very true and you’re right. LA needs to figure out how to attract a more diverse industry so when it’s a bust cycle people won’t be so bad off.

              1. And not base it on government handouts and crony capitalism, which is unlikely because it’s LA.

          2. With the fracking boom, there was always the risk that the Saudis would flood the market with cheap oil.

            A few efficient fracking companies will survive, as will the knowledge.

  8. Bah. The same thing happened to Fareed Zakaria.

    He started off a perfectly good neo-con and then he went all squishy centrist trying to please everyone when he got popular.

    He was so much more interesting when he was writing for Foreign Affairs. Ever since he went squishy centrist his ideas have been shit.

  9. Jindal came to Iowa to give a political speech. And everyone recognized that it was the first step in a future presidential campaign. He was widely respected as a bright, young, conservative, technocratic governor with an interesting immigrant background.

    In his first speech, he tried to out “huckabee” Mike Huckabee. It was a disaster.

    Listen Bobby, you are an Indian immigrant. No one expects you to act like a Southern Baptist with a rack of rifles in your pickup truck.

    1. In fairness, I don’t think it was an act. I think he really thinks that way. His problem is that he seems to have forgotten that the best case he can make for being President is by being a good governor of Louisiana. His other problem is that politics in Louisiana are so screwed up, there is only so much even a good governor can do. Eventually people will get used to whatever improvements you make and start to notice what a corrupt shit hole the place is and will blame you for it being that way, even though it was worse when you got there.

      1. In fairness, I don’t think it was an act. I think he really thinks that way.

        I haven’t followed his career in any way. I have no idea whether or not he believes the stuff he has been saying lately. But he is never going to take the SoCon voting block at the caucuses away from Huckabee or Santorum.

        His only path forward is being a very successful Governor. And he appears to have trashed that part of his career.

        1. Jindal is a bit like Chris Christie. Christie is a government loving shit bag. But, no one who isn’t a government loving shit bag is ever going to get elected governor of New Jersey. So, while I would never vote for the fat bastard at the national level, Christie is about as good as you could ever expect to get elected governor of a state like New Jersey. Jindal is similar in that he is way too SOCON to be fit to be President. But, Louisiana is a huge SOCON state. So, he is about as good as you are going to get as the governor of that state.

  10. Bobby who?

    Never heard of him.

    There’s a Bush. There’s Rand Paul. There’s that fat guy from New Jersey. And there’s a whole bunch of religious nuts.

    If Bobby what’s-his-name isn’t poling well nationally, it’s probably because nobody knows who the hell he is.

    1. He’s the CEO of Microsoft.

      1. I thought maybe he was a golfer.

    2. And there’s a whole bunch of religious nuts.

      I think he’s one of those.

      I usually don’t give a crap about effusive display of religion but Jindal lays it on too thick for me. It’s a turn off, man.

  11. rejected offers from Harvard med and Yale law to study political science on a Rhodes scholarship.

    If you’re so smart, why don’t you have a real job?

  12. The LSU bankruptcy thing will hurt Jindal. Because free shit. Well, hugely over priced free shit.…

    1. I love this. It is the wave of the future. Declare economic emergency and law off all of your tenured professors only to go back and rehire cheaper ones a few years later. As someone who would love to be an adjunct or take a low paying teaching job after I retire, this is a wonderful development. I will happily teach for less than these guys.

      1. We’re going to see a lot more bankruptcies or the equivalent during the next recession. Too many states and cities are skating too close to insolvency during this “recovery”. They simply can’t tolerate, in terms of lost revenue, even a mild recession.

      2. No deductions for misspellings in your classes and extra credit for something unintentionally profound and/or funny?

        1. Absolutely. Only deductions for stupidity and conformity.

      3. John-

        I will happily teach for less than these guys.

        Yeah- but the assisstant to the vice associate provost for Diversity will still make six figures.

  13. I’m not a particular fan of Jindal, but Dalmia’s hit job did a good deal to improve my sympathy for him. Let me ask a simple question. Why is the fact that he’s “A first-generation Indian-American who rejected offers from Harvard med and Yale law to study political science on a Rhodes scholarship.” in the least bit relevant? He went to Oxford in 1994. That was twenty years ago. Since then, the man has had a career to evaluate, for good or ill. Honestly, outside academia nobody should really give a shit. The fact that he’s a first-generation Indian-American is even less relevant.

    More to the point, Jindal hasn’t really much changed his persona. Or are we to believe that somehow, as a first generation Indian-American he’s supposed to have urban cosmopolitanism ingrained in his DNA?

    1. Dalmia writs about Jindal the same way an English Aristocrat would have written about an colonial who went native among one of the “lower races”. Dalmia is just appalled by the idea that one of her people could become one of THOSE PEOPLE.

      1. I hate to say it, but that is a little bit of what this article stinks of.

        Honestly, I really hope we can arrive at a time when there’s nothing particularly noteworthy or novel about an Indian with a PhD being a good-‘ole-boy, a white guy from Appalachia being a foodie, or a black guy from the ‘hood being a nerd.

  14. Also, the Tigers haven’t beaten the Tide since 2011, including a particularly embarrassing national championship game in 2012. That probably has something to do with it…

  15. A subtle but intriguing cartoon. The elephant is the symbol of his party but also reminiscent of the Hindu elephant god Ganesh, which is a quiet nod to Jindal’s ancestry. We see him in a swamp, a symbol of his waterlogged state, but the sign posts indicate feelings of fear and confusion, as though he has a fever. Perhaps this meant to mean he lives in a kind of fever swamp? The green swamp gas and the clothespin on his nose suggest a foul odor. I dare say the artist is implying that Jindal metaphorically “stinks”. And to drive the point home, the elephant has crazy eyes, circus garb, and a sign that says “the stupid party”.

    What a delightful and witty piece of visual political satire! This artist would be an invaluable addition to Reason’s Friday Funnies team.

    I give this cartoon 9 out 10. I deducted one point because Jindal is not portrayed with multiple arms and Gandhi is not shown looking down from heaven while frowning.

    1. It’s a cartoon? I thought it was a photo of him at the zoo.

  16. Jindal’s biggest problem is that he isn’t a natural born Citizen because his parents were not citizens at the time of his birth.

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