The cable news talking heads panned Bobby Jindal’s response to Obama tonight.
There were some apparent audio and technical problems. He could have been more specific in his attacks on the porkulus bill, the bailouts, and the coming omnibus spending bill/mortgage entitlement expansion. (Full speech here).
But then, of course, the critics would have accused him of being too wonky.
Can’t win in these situations. The follow-up to an elaborately staged joint session of Congress speech is always going to look diminished. I thought his delivery was fine. And it’s always better to have lowered expectations, anyway. Otherwise, you end up with…the inconquerable hype of the Obamessiah.
Jindal’s strongest moments came at the end of his remarks:
In recent years, these distinctions in philosophy became less clear — because our party got away from its principles. You elected Republicans to champion limited government, fiscal discipline, and personal responsibility. Instead, Republicans went along with earmarks and big government spending in Washington. Republicans lost your trust — and rightly so.Tonight, on behalf of our leaders in Congress and my fellow Republican governors, I say: Our party is determined to regain your trust. We will do so by standing up for the principles that we share — the principles you elected us to fight for — the principles that built this into the greatest, most prosperous country on earth.A few weeks ago, the President warned that our nation is facing a crisis that he said ‘we may not be able to reverse.’ Our troubles are real, to be sure. But don’t let anyone tell you that we cannot recover — or that America’s best days are behind her.This is the nation that cast off the scourge of slavery, overcame the Great Depression, prevailed in two World Wars, won the struggle for civil rights, defeated the Soviet menace, and responded with determined courage to the attacks of September 11, 2001.The American spirit has triumphed over almost every form of adversity known to man — and the American spirit will triumph again.We can have confidence in our future — because, amid today’s challenges, we also count many blessings: We have the most innovative citizens –the most abundant resources — the most resilient economy — the most powerful military — and the freest political system in the history of the world.My fellow citizens, never forget: We are Americans. And like my Dad said years ago, Americans can do anything.Thank you for listening. God bless you. And God bless America.”
I’ll take Bobby Jindal’s genuine faith in American entrepreneurship over Barack Obama’s fear-mongering-turned-faux Reaganism any day.
His actions and his actual record — reforming his state’s decrepit health care system, fixing higher ed, serving in Congress, tackling entitlement reform, managing natural emergencies, etc. — remain mightily impressive.
MSNBC couldn’t stand the sight of Jindal before he had a chance to open his mouth. Before he began his remarks, someone on a hot mic muttered “Oh, God.”