In Governor Jindal’s Implosion, Charles Blow wants us to believe Louisiana’s Republican governor political career is doomed. Blow gloats over a poll showing Jindal with negligible support among Republican primary voters. For someone who originally was billed as an expert in statistical analysis, Blow is oblivious to the fact that a presidential preference poll almost a year before the first primaries doesn’t actually prove Jindal is somehow “imploding.”
Blow concludes that since Jindal isn’t polling well nationally to mean that he is “desperate” for “relevancy — and press” and therfore has “been sliding further into Islamic hysteria.” In a claim that The Times later had to correct, Blow ascribes to Jindal comments made by a Fox News guest about “no-go zones” and cities in Europe “where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.”
Blow cites UK Prime Minister David Cameron response to the Fox News commentator. “When I heard this, frankly, I choked on my porridge and I thought it must be April Fools’ Day. This guy is clearly a complete idiot.” Even after admitting his mistaken attribution to Jindal, Blow strives to maintain the false impression that Cameron’s rebuke was aimed at Jindal.
Now Jindal did make similar comments, but without the glaring error that drew Cameron’s ire. And in fact, it is entirely true that there are neighborhoods in major cities in Europe where it’s absolutely unsafe for outsiders to visit, and many of these are occupied by angry, hostile and aggressive Muslim immigrant populations. And in some of these neighborhoods traditional Muslim social codes are harshly enforced in defiance of secular law. But for Blow and his politically correct readers, this is an inconvenient fact to be mocked rather than honestly acknowledged.
Blow quotes Jindal’s philosophy about immigrants (Jindal himself is the son of immigrants). “In America we want people who want to be Americans. We want people who want to come here. We don’t say, ‘You have to adopt our creed, or any particular creed,’ but we do say, ‘If you come here, you need to believe in American exceptionalism.’ ”
Blow blows a gasket here, indignantly outraged that Jindal believes that we should expect immigrants to be good loyal citizens. “What? Where is that written? I can’t find this “need to believe in American exceptionalism” anywhere in the Immigration and Nationality Act. Isn’t American exceptionalism itself a creed?”
Yes Charles, America is an exceptional country, and it’s not so much to expect that anyone seeking the benefits of American citizenship believe this simple obvious fact.
Blow indulges himself in his usual overbearing smugness. “The smart-on-paper Jindal increasingly comes across as nuttier than a piece of praline.” And just why is Jindal, who has a far more impressive record of accomplishment than Charles Blow “nuttier than a piece of praline.”
Well, for one, a liberal columnist for the liberal Times-Picayune called on Jindal to resign because Jindal has failed to solve all of Louisiana’s problems. Well, I guess that meet’s the NYT standard of proof.
Blow gets his facts wrong again when he claims Jindal is cutting higher education spending. Blow originally claimed Jindal was cutting the higher education budget by “$200 to $300 million" when the actual figure is $141 million.
Blow shows a typically liberal degree of naivete."The president of Louisiana State University said earlier this month that the state’s flagship school is preparing for a 40 percent cut in its operating budget next year.” Well, that’s the oldest bureaucratic trick in the book. An elected governor wants to cut a bloated budget, and the head of the institution facing an overdue budget cut cries that it will decimate the institution. LSU is facing a budget cut of far less than 10%, assuming it doesn’t increase tuition to make students who benefit from an LSU education pay more of a fair price for that benefit.
“Jindal has made a mess of Louisiana and wrecked his reputation in the process. His odds of becoming president of the United States have shrunk to nil.” Well, Louisiana has been a mess for a long time, but somehow has managed to get by with Cajun canniness and good cheer. And Jindal was never a front runner in the Presidential stakes. But he has been a good governor and his reputation will not suffer a whit from the kind of cheap slander dished out by hacks like Charles Blow.