Commentary: Jindal leads GOP on a ‘march to folly’

Commentary: Jindal leads GOP on a ‘march to folly’

Over the course of history, governments, political regimes and leaders have done some stupid things despite all arguments to the contrary, at times even against their own self-interest.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Barbara Tuchman (best known for “The Guns of August”) chronicled this in “The March of Folly,” examining the Trojan War, the provocation by the Renaissance Popes that led to the Protestant secession, the unnecessary loss of American colonies by Britain and the now well-documented United States loss in Vietnam.

Fast forward to 2009. The Republican Party has just suffered a bad but not unprecedented defeat. The U.S. economy is in shambles. And the patch of ground some leading figures in the GOP have chosen to occupy to rally back is to oppose expanded unemployment benefits in the middle of a recession.

They could have chosen a stronger national defense and terrorism policy, personal responsibility or even market-based health care reform. Arguing that President Obama’s publicly-supported economic stimulus bill was full of wasteful spending (Rush Limbaugh termed it “Porkulus”) was not enough.

No, their cause in this time of crisis is to deny expanded unemployment benefits to tens of thousands of jobless workers by saying they would not accept added federal funding for them.

So my home state governor, creationism-toting Bobby Jindal, the newly-tapped spokesperson of the Rush Limbaugh-led Republican Party, and a handful of Southern governors, took their stand on expanded unemployment benefits which make up about 2 percent of the economic recovery package.

This, despite the fact that economists from all political ideologies concluded that extending the length of time that workers can collect unemployment insurance benefits would be one of the most effective stimulus measures.

A 2008 Congressional Budget Office memo stated that it would be an effective measure for Congress to pass because “it seems likely that recipients would spend most of those benefits.”

Mark Zandi, former economic adviser to Sen. John McCain’s campaign, estimates that for every $1 invested in unemployment benefits assistance, $1.64 in economic activity is generated.

Gov. Jindal is being joined in this folly by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, whose states have high jobless rates and could use the most economic assistance.

Worse, the right’s new hero is CNBC’s Rick Santelli, a man who on September 2, 2008, said the economy was healthy and blamed the business media for the financial crisis.

He has taken a similarly small, eroding patch of ground to mount a charge against the government’s recovery package by suggesting that the government should let more homes needlessly fall into foreclosure.

In his latest tirade, Santelli comments the government is “promoting bad behavior” and that it’s going to “subsidize the losers’ mortgages.” Well Mr. Santelli, President Obama’s home affordability plan will help stave off even more foreclosures and allow those who are barely staying afloat to refinance their mortgages, both of which are in the best interest of the American economy as each foreclosed home reduces nearby property values by as much as 9 percent.

This is the same guy who recently said that the all-white, all-male stock traders next to him represented “a pretty good statistical cross-section of America. The silent majority.” This from a former derivatives trader — a patriotic profession up there with the likes of soldiers, teachers and farmers. Like what America needs now is advice from a derivatives trader.

Today’s Republican Party, the lowest-held political party in the history of modern polling, should be in agony. They have just committed a serious blunder, a folly have you.

If the great Mrs. Tuchman were still alive, she’d surely call this latest Republican gambit the Cap Pistols of February.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of James Carville.


GOP’s Rising star; fail to shine giving GOP response

So I wasn’t the only one who thought that is response to President Obama’s economic plan (Republicans, Democrats criticize Jindal’s speech)  Where were his advisors or staff when he composed this speech?  Did Michael Steele see Jindal’s response in advance?  Someone high up in the GOP ranks had to have read this before they put him on prime time; or did they?

Obama Bucks?

And John McCain wanted an apology from Obama for what Congressman  John Lewis said?  As if John Lewis’s comments meant nothing.  Obama Bucks?? with pictures of Obama and watermelon and KFC?  What do you guys think about this?

Obama Bucks Video

GOP senator: A ‘stretch’ to say Palin is qualified

There is no need for me to add anything to this post.

GOP senator: A ‘stretch’ to say Palin is qualified

Palin’s Debut

She did exactly what the party wanted her to do; to appeal to blue collar Americans who were not on board with McCain.  Her delivery was good, and she came out swinging.  But now what?  There are still many questions that the GOP have left unanswered.

How did her speech help the American who is struggling to pay bills?  How did her constant attack on Obama help that family who is about to loose their home or jobs that are being outsourced?

It was also interesting that most of the GOP speakers did not mention Bush or his administration.  They know that they belong to a political party that values the corporate elite.

I also found it hypocritical that Palin would assume that she is more qualified than Obama because he started out as a community and civc leader and at the same time say that she started out as hockey mom turned PTA president.  Sounds to me that both Palin and Obama started out with humble beginnings; but for some reason she thinks that her journey is more legitimate. 

It is also ridiculous to suggest that her experience as a Mayor and Governor out-trumps Obama being a State Senator for 8 years and a U.S. Senator for 3 years.  She also believes that her being in control of the Alaska National Guard gives her military or foreign affairs experience.

I give Sarah Palin an A+ for the delivery of her speech, but a D for substance.  The gloves are off and now when the Democrats swing back we will see who is left standing.

I also think that someone also needs to remind Palin and the GOP that civic and community leaders are the ones that made this country what it is today.  Do they remember Martin Luther King Jr?  Remember Harriet Tubman or John Brown?  Do they remember the countless and faceless number of grass-roots civic and community leaders who made history.  The latest person being Barack Obama.

Attacks, praise stretch truth at GOP convention

Palin has never ordered Alaska National Guard to do anything

Palin: Iraq war ‘a task that is from God’

RNC delegate: ‘We already do a lot for the people of New Orleans’

Tell us how you really feel why don’t you….. This doesn’t surprise me.

Jim Ellison, a delegate from Oregon at the Republican National Convention, told C-SPAN that he doesn’t agree with the decision to curtail events at the Republican convention due to Hurricane Gustav.

“The fact is,” said Ellison, “hurricanes happen. We didn’t stop anything for Florida, and New Orleans has certainly been through it. President Bush in his wisdom has put qualified FEMA people in place. They’re ready for it.”

Ellison continued, “I don’t think we should have interfered with our convention because we already do a lot for the people of New Orleans.”

First-day proceedings at the RNC were scaled back in light of ..

Desperate times call for desperate measures

Michelle Obama takes heat from Tennessee GOP

This is what you do when you are backed in a corner and have nothing else to do…. It appears that Tennessee Republicans are afraid of loosing influence and power; they pull things out of their behind.  They are going to attempt to use Michelle Obama’s comments that for one of the first times in her adult life, that she is really proud to be an American. 

Michelle Obama never said that she had never been proud of her country,  she said that for the first time that she is “really proud”  As a black person i understand what she was saying; but main stream America; especially republicans are attempting to twist her words to mean something else because the only way to think and feel is what they deemed acceptable