Michael Gerson: Reality Fail

Scout e-mailed this over either last thing last night or first thing this morning (What day is it? All day yesterday I thought it was Wednesday, and now I’m confused.) and I have to say, it’s almost charmingly divorced from reality:

At a recent meeting of conservative activists, Jindal had little to say
about his traditional social views or compelling personal story.
Instead, he uncorked a fluent, substantive rush of policy proposals and
achievements, covering workforce development, biodiesel refineries,
quality assurance centers, digital media, Medicare parts C and D, and
state waivers to the CMS (whatever that is).

It’s theCenters for Medicare and Medicaid Services, you asshole. I get what he’s doing here, that it’s somehow cute and funny not to get it, and it would be if Gerson was Elle Woods and not, you know, a columnist for the Washington Post.

Hee hee! I’m just a girl! I don’t understand big words! Teach me, Mr. Jindal!

In person, Jindal’s manner more closely resembles another recent
president: Bill Clinton. Like Clinton (a fellow Rhodes scholar), Jindal
has the ability to overwhelm any topic with facts and thoughtful
arguments — displaying a mastery of detail that encourages confidence.
Both speak of complex policy issues with the world-changing intensity
of a late-night dorm room discussion.

That’s what we need. More overcaffeinated dorm room discussions! Because college students can all save the world, especially if they go out and become Republicans!

In recent days, Jindal has displayed another leadership quality:
ideological balance. He is highly critical of the economic theory of
the stimulus package andturned down
$98 million in temporary unemployment assistance to his state —
benefits that would have mandated increased business taxes in
Louisiana. But unlike some Republican governors who engaged in broad
anti-government grandstanding, Jindal accepted transportation funding
and other resources from the stimulus — displaying a
program-by-program discrimination that will serve him well in public
office. Jindal manages to hold to principle while seeing the angles.

Ah, bipartisanship. The unbearable rightness of half-assing everything so as not to make a commitment.

And Jindal’s résumé, intellectual confidence and command of policy make
him the anti-Palin. Fairly or unfairly, media and intellectual elites
(including some conservative elites) regard Gov. Sarah Palin as an
inhabitant of another cultural planet. Jindal, while also religious and
conservative, speaks the language of the knowledge class and will not
be easily caricatured or dismissed. Tojournalists, policy experts and
Rhodes scholars, Jindal is also “one of us.”

Emphasis mine. Who are they? Who? Seriously, this whole “one of us, one of us” mantra makes zero sense. Being able to get along with vapid preppy assholes whose only concern is that Chris Matthews piss on them as he walks by is not a skill that automatically translates to running government well.

All during the campaign “journalists” — by which Gerson really means starfucking columnists — whined and complained that Obama wasn’t nice enough to them, that he ordered drinks in a diner wrong, that he didn’t bowl well enough, and we elected his orange-juice-drinking, low-average-having ass anyway and in the first 35 days he’s been on the job he seems to not be fucking it up too badly. So I’d like to know eactly how much weight Bobby Jindal’s supposed ingratiation with Gerson is going to carry with voters who, last I checked, were still the ones who made the real decisions about who they trusted and didn’t.

Much to Michael Gerson’s disappointment, I’m sure.


34 thoughts on “Michael Gerson: Reality Fail

  1. I think one shouldn’t be allowed to put “whatever that is” in an article appearing in a major newspaper, on pain of dismissal with extreme prejudice. You’re ostensibly laying claim (as Gerson does) to the mantle of “journalist.” If you’re a fucking journalist, it’s your goddamjob to know these things, twatwaffle, or at least tofind them out. And if you ain’t on speaking terms with the Great Gazoogle by now, you need to hang up your lariat and put your saddle back in the tack room, podner, because you don’t belong on this here trail ride. And if there’s too much noise in your Google search (because all you’re seeing is this or that Content Management System), pick up the bloody phone. You think one of Jindal’s staffers would talk toMichael Fucking Republican Shill Type Sympathetic Audience Gerson from theWaHoPo of All Places for two damn minutes?
    Well, I’d like to think so, anyway…
    Republicans. If only they were as incompetent at being evil as they are evil about being incompetent.

  2. It’s the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, you asshole. I get what he’s doing here, that it’s somehow cute and funny not to get it, and it would be if Gerson was Elle Woods and not, you know, a columnist for the Washington Post.
    Maybe his computer isn’t equipped with this cutting-edge technology we call Teh Google.

  3. They can deify Jindal all they want, he’s not going to win the Presidency in the TV era when he sounds like that silly page from 30 rock.

  4. This sounds surprisingly like a David Brooks column.
    “inhabitant of another cultural planet”. I don’t think anyone cares what cultural planet someone inhabits as long as they are not as dumb as a rock.

  5. My personal favorite line was the good governor being a “beleaguered minority”…because he was a Republican at Brown.

  6. Nobody could have predicted
    The Post Co.’s newspaper division — including The Post newspaper, Newsweek magazine, Slate, Washingtonpost.com, Express and other properties — continued to suffer declining circulation and advertising spending, as the ongoing recession added to the declines in print advertising and readers fleeing to the Internet.

  7. i laughed and laughed this AM when I saw both Gerson and Kristol as the columnists in the WAPO; talk about devaluing your brand, eh Fred Hiatt. Good work!
    what does this mean?
    ow-average-having ass

  8. Jindal looked like a bad version of Palin. I have to say that Palin looks like a genius compared to Jindal.

  9. teh college republicans at brown, a small minority for a reason. in the 60s during the grape boycott (remember that?), they ventured forth from their fraternities and bought grapes by the case and tried to give them away on campus.
    jindal is in a fine tradition. the thing that strikes about his talk was that all the solutions and rhetoric were exactly the things that put us in this ditch; tax cuts, its your money, and his effort to shed the blame for the past 8 years of follow-the-leader smells of opportunism and hypocrisy.
    too little, too late.

  10. I’m trying to reconcile the claim of a thoughtful, erudite Jindall with the so-called republican response last night.
    I thought a response implied responding to

  11. What has Jindal got against mag-lev trains? He gave them a disparaging mention. Could it be that when levivtatin is going on, the Devil must be close at hand? Of course, TPM tells us that Jindal is an accomplished exorcist.

  12. Love the Clinton comparison. I’m not a huge fan of the Big Dog (too Republican for me), but how do you compare one of the most charismatic masterful politicians of the last half century with that stick in the mud? If you get the time, go read the reader comments to Gerson’s column. People aren’t buying his bs, and it’s funny.

  13. …state waivers to the CMS (whatever that is).
    Wait a minute, this isn’t some yokel we’re talking about here; this man was themaster wordmonger for the preznit of the you-ess-ay, for dog’s sake!
    I read the “whatever” remark as a rather transparent ploy at faux-dumbass pseudo-populism: “Lookee y’all, I’m just a good ol’ boy here, not one o’them pointy-heads (even though I do play one inThe Wharshington Post, hyuk, hyuk)… which shows y’all kin trust me, ’cause I don’t really know whut I’m talkin’ about!”
    It could be a leftover tic he picked up from channelling W., or else maybe he’s keeping his options open to speechwrite for the 2012 Jindal/Palin crowd. Anyway, it is very jarring, and has all the earmarks ofcalculated condescension to his actual audience, whoever that may be.
    All you can really say is, they ain’t too bright, and he knows that … and talks down accordingly.

  14. As a rule, College Republicans reflexively oppose whatever the campus “left” is for, which explains why the Rs are the way they are in DC. In my time, because the “left” wanted UMaine to divest of any stocks in South Africa, the CRs at Orono thought it was a great idea to bepro Apartheid. So now, if the “left” is pro-science, well the Rs have to be … anti-volcano monitoring.
    It’s all big game the CRs learned in college.
    funny if not so fukking sad.
    Creationist Rhodes Scholar.

  15. I sent the following to Gerson, sorry if it is too long,
    Dear Mr. Gerson,
    Louisiana’s Senate Bill 733, supported by Bobby Jindal, led the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology to refuse to hold future meetings in New Orleans. Yet you present Bobby Jindal as an intellectual? A wonk? “Jindal has the ability to overwhelm any topic with facts and thoughtful arguments — displaying a mastery of detail that encourages confidence.”
    Bobby Jindal has a degree in biology, yet does not accept the theory of evolution. Since you are not a scientist, you may not fully grasp just how twisted that is. Imagine obtaining a degree in chemistry while rejecting the theory of chemical periodicity (commonly presented in the form of the Periodic Table). It is simply not possible for a normal individual to go through four years of undergraduate training in chemistry and dispute the fundamental organizing principles of chemistry. It would require either mental illness, ideological blinders or deliberate deception. Without chemical periodicity, nothing in chemistry makes any sense. Maybe you have heard it said, that without evolution, nothing in biology makes sense.
    In fact, Jindal’s Genetics Professor, Arthur Landy at Brown University said that “Without evolution, modern biology, including medicine and biotechnology, wouldn’t make sense. In order for today’s students in Louisiana to succeed in college and beyond, in order for them to take the fullest advantages of all that the 21st century will offer, they need a solid grounding in genetics and evolution. Governor Jindal was a good student in my class when he was thinking about becoming a doctor, and I hope he doesn’t do anything that would hold back the next generation of Louisiana’s doctors.”
    Your February 25, 2009 article misled readers of the Washington Post, Mr. Gerson. But after watching Bobby Jindal’s horrible presentation last night, which included an advertisement for public funding for parochial schools, it is not going to matter too much outside of Louisiana.

  16. In actuality, Chris Matthews saw right through this clown last night. He eviscerated the guy. My favorite part? When Matthews said, “If guys like Jindal are so convinced that local government is the answer, that only local government knows what they’re doing, then why don’t they stay in local government?”
    It must be Opposite Day if I find myself agreeing with Matthews, but I do think he nailed it for a change.

  17. When Jindal was talking about “Volcano Monitoring” (ok so I am looking at Mt St Helens right now – full disclosure) I wondered if he has a problem with the millions spent by NOAA on Hurricane tracking? Dumbass.

  18. Oh, by the way, the “volcano monitoring” Jindal mentioned is actually $140 million for all types of measuring equipment used by the U.S. Geological Survey. Most important and numerous of these are … Stream Gages. The USGS has tens of thousands of stream gages all over the country. You can get real time data on these on-line. My bookmarked one for Maine is:
    Check it out.
    These gages cost a lot to keep working and maintained, just because there are so many of them. They are one of the most important data gathering networks the U.S. has. That’s what a lot of the $140 million is for.
    See also:

  19. Exactly Doug. but also, if you live next to a volcano, a couple of monitoring stations may be worthwhile.
    See Mt. St. Helens and I believe that there is a mountain showing signs of buildup near a big city in Alaska.

  20. One of the other uses of volcano monitoring is to measure their carbon dioxide output — which is funny becuz teh wingnutz keep saying that it’s CO2 from volcanoes that is causing the global warming, when they aren’t denying it or denying that C02 has anything do with the real/not real warming.
    Gawd these kooks are confusing to keep track of.

  21. Not to mention that it’s not necessarily possible for Jindal or other Republican governors to pick and choose among the parts of the stimulus they will accept. Didn’t Senator Schumer lay that out recently, that they don’t have a line item veto on the stimulus, that they have to take all of it or none of it?
    I don’t expect Gershon to pay attention to little details like that, of course; that requires some thinking beyond listening to Jindal babble on and on.

  22. Oh come on, now, leave Governor Exorcist alone. That’s the answer to everything, just throw some holy water on it, pray, and if that doesn’t work, just imagine an alternative reality. It worked for the GOPukelikkkans for 8 years, so why should they believe it won’t work now?

  23. That’s what we need. More overcaffeinated dorm room discussions!
    Um, when I was having dorm room discussions, they were accompanied by many hits off of fatty joints, sixers of Heineken (hey, it was way before microbrews) and munchies.
    Of course, I went to college in California, so mileage may vary. 🙂
    Nice to see Jindal’s presidential campaign end before it even really got started.

  24. Well put, Doug Watts.
    Those stream gauges are an important part of monitoring storm surges as well, and the data from those is used to make predictions about what will happen in future storm surges. And what drowned New Orleans? A storm surge. He doesn’t even care about his own state if he can smear reality in the name of his party.
    And that’s not even counting the plain old flooding that stream gauges help predict.
    There really is nothing more to the volcano monitoring thing than a Beavis and Butthead snicker. Remember that the next time the GOP tells you they stand for any kind of quality or tradition or standards.

  25. It’s also hilarious that Gershon tries to praise Jindal for “standing up to” $98m of stimulus funding without mentioning the $3,700m he’s keeping. Very courageous! No, no “anti-government grandstanding” there. HAHHAHAHAHAHA HA HHAHA HA H AH AH AAH HAHAHAHAH AHAHAH A AHHAHA AHAHAHAHAH AHAHAHAHAHA.

  26. Sergei Sturm reminds me of the Great Jindal Moment in Beavis and Butthead Do America, in the control room of the Hoover Dam, with 24 teevee monitors of the dam.
    “Uhh … uh huhh … all these shows are about water.”

  27. as I said on the WaPo comments list … I wonder if Gerson woke up with regrets yesterday morning – is there an equivalent to beer goggles for conservative columnists?

  28. republikkkans always nitpick, plucking the most absurd item so they can point, ‘see, see? democrats tax and SPEND!’. never mind throwing money at the pentagon so we can win WW2 over again.

  29. “Jindal…will not be easily caricatured…” Gerson might want to rethink that after all the comparisons to Kenneth the Page. It took one speech. You never get another chance to make a first impression.

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