Remember when Americans respected the office of the Presidency even when one disagreed with the current occupant? It’s increasingly difficult to remember those bygone days with a Republican Party that has Ted Nugent on the campaign trail in Texas. I don’t expect civility from extremist yahoos like a washed-up loin-cloth wearing rocker such as the Nuge but I do expect it from my own Governor:
The nation’s governors emerged from a meeting with President Barack Obama on Monday claiming harmony, only to immediately break into an on-camera partisan feud in front of the West Wing.
Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal lashed out first, saying if Obama were serious about growing the economy he would approve the Keystone XL pipeline project and take other executive actions.
Instead, Jindal said, Obama “seems to be waving the white flag of surrender” on the economy by focusing on raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10, up from $7.25. “The Obama economy is now the minimum wage economy. I think we can do better than that,” Jindal said.
Jindal’s statements were the kind that Republicans often make on television appearances or at partisan events, but don’t usually come from potential presidential candidates standing yards from the Oval Office.
Other governors had been instead expressing wide agreement and appreciation for the president’s time. As Jindal spoke, some of his colleagues began shaking their heads, and Hawaii Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie began audibly mumbling to others around him.
Connecticut Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy took over the microphone from Jindal and responded sharply, “Wait a second; until a few moments ago we were going down a pretty cooperative road. So let me just say that we don’t all agree that moving Canadian oil through the United States is necessarily the best thing for the United States economy.”
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, a Republican who chairs the National Governors Association and supports Keystone, earlier said she asked Obama when the administration would decide whether to allow it and he told her there would be an answer in the next couple months.
Malloy said Jindal’s “white flag statement” was the most partisan of their weekend conference and that many governors support a minimum wage increase.
“What the heck was a reference to white flag when it comes to people making $404 a week?” Malloy snapped. “I mean, that’s the most insane statement I’ve ever heard.”
Jindal did not back down.
“If that’s the most partisan thing he’s heard all weekend, I want to make sure he hears a more partisan statement,” the Louisiana governor responded. “I think we can grow the economy more if we would delay more of these Obamacare mandates.”
Governor PBJ is not only rude, he’s flailing about looking for a way to become relevant in the national debate. His act has not traveled well beyond the Gret Stet’s borders and it has not worn well inside them. PBJ’s habit of talking down to people as if he’s the only smart guy in the room has resulted in a disastrous relationship with the Lege and low approval ratings.
PBJ continues to deny interest in running for the GOP nomination in 2016 but nobody believes him. The other thing that nobody believes is that he has a chance. PBJ’s deep dark political secret is that he’s had everything handed to him. The only time he faced a strong opponent, Kathleen Blanco in the 2003 Governor’s race, he lost. And he lost because of his patronizing style. PBJ is the spoiled brat as politician. If not for former Governor Mike Foster, PBJ would be just another fast talking former guvmint appointee. The minute he faces opposition, he craters; if there was ever a fake tough guy it’s PBJ.
The good news for Louisiana is that PBJ will be exorcised from the Governor’s mansion in 2015. The bad news is that Bitter Vitter is the current front-runner, which is going from the frying pan into the fire. Diaper Dave’s rudeness is, of course, off the charts. He almost makes PBJ look like Miss Manners. Almost, gentle readers, almost…
I’ll close with a picture of the Krewe of Craps’ PBJ themed float from this year’s Krewe du Vieux parade. Craps is Spank’s neighbor in the Den of Muses, so I watched this come together. This snap was taken by one of the original NOLA bloggers, Craps member Maitri Erwin: