My neighbor says Bobby Jindal is inevitably our next governor, so I am reposting every anti-Jindal e-mail I get in the hope that it may help stem this red tide. Here is today’s mail from one talented associate:
Recently, fast-talking Bobby Jindal spoke to the Beauregard Chamber of Commerce. Jindal showcased H.R. 6111, a congressional bill that he voted for last year. H.R. 6111 will bring millions of dollars in offshore energy revenues to Louisiana, and that can be a good thing.
When you stop to think about it, there a disturbing feature to Jindal’s showcase of H.R.6111 and his appearance before Beauregard Chamber of Commerce.
Jindal voted “yes” for H.R. 6111, after twice voting against two Louisiana recovery bills. He justified his “no” vote because the bills were multifaceted, including measures that were not directly related to the original bill, for example funding limits and timetables for Bush’s War.
Although H.R. 6111 was multifaceted, Jindal voted for it. Interestingly, H.R. 6111 included the cancellation of a planned “cut in Medicare payments,” which Jindal previously favored. Why the change of heart?
There was no change of heart. The Jindal that showed up to vote the against Lousiana recovery bills, also showed up to vote for H.R. 6111. In both instances it was the same Bobby Jindal – the real Bobby Jindal – the Bobby Jindal of the “haves and have-more.”
It’s fair to condemn Jindal for his votes against the two Lousiana recovery bills. After all, Jindal’s vote favored the people of Iraq over the people of Louisiana. His vote meant more money for Iraq and fless or us. But, it didn’t affect Jindal’s base, the “haves and have-more.”
It’s also fair to condemn Jindal for his “yes” vote in favor of H.R. 6111. While the bill sounds good, it includes an array of business tax breaks in addition to more offshore revenues for Louisiana. If Republicans get Jindal elected governor, then the offshore revenues from H.R. 6111 will be doled out as corporate welfare, and that’s a bad thing. Corporate welfare in Louisiana appears in the form of tax breaks for foreign corporations. It also appears in the form of paying companies to sell insurance in Louisiana. Corporate welfare always guarantees profit without market risk.
Those who think that Jindal’s vote to cancel the Medicare cutbacks was compassionate conservatism, think again. It was simply quid pro quo for the corporate welfare that looms on the horizon.
Democrats know that there are two Americas even if Republicans deny it. The Chambers of Commerce and corporate profiteers are one America. Workingmen and workingwomen are the “other America,” and they aren’t members of the Chambers of Commerce. Can Jindal point to a single instance in which he addressed the “other America” – working men and women? On the contrary, he avoids them.
The Chambers of Commerce, whom Jindal regularly addresses, represent the “haves and have more” in every community. Nationally the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been the major money machine in the Republican war against the “other America,” the Republican war against middle class working families.
In 1971, a soon to be U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Lewis F. Powell, wrote the infamous Powell Manifesto. In it, Powell outlined the key methodology for selling the right-wing Republican agenda of greed to America’s youth. Powell devised a plan of attack at various levels: the courts, the media, and the universities, just to name a few.
Powell addressed his manifesto to his long-time friend, Eugene Sydnor, Jr., Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Powell, himself a corporate lawyer and member of the boards of 11 corporations, realized the financial value of the Chambers of Commerce.
Since the Powell Manifesto appeared, the Chambers of Commerce have become and remain critical to the advancement of the right-wing agenda of greed and intolerance. They have openly challenged campaign-spending reform, arguing that “checkbook book government” trumps “ballot box government.”
Jindal’s address to the Beauregard Chamber of Commerce proves one thing. The glib, fast-talking Jindal is a preeminent political opportunist who favors the “have and have-more.” Which side are you on?