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The Audacity of NOPE! (By Elizabeth Burke) February 27, 2009

Posted by Suzanne Robinson in politics.

Did I just watch what I thought I watched? Did Governor Bobby (Bobby! Really? Not Bob or Robert?) Jindal just agree with everything Obama said, yet still cry because there weren’t enough TAX CUTS?????

But let’s start in the beginning while I parse out the entire whine, err …speech.
First, there was a debate about who muttered the words “Oh God” just as Gov Jindal was walking to the podium. Was it Keith Olbermann? Chris Matthews, that God-loving South Philly guy?

I posit that it was Jindal himself, begging for help in responding to what has to have been one of the most commanding and positive Home Run speeches given by a President. I mean, wouldn’t you have tried to get in a quick prayer if you had to rebut that particular speech?

After that utterance, when he first addressed the audience, I thought he had confused things and shown up for story time – his voice, tone, cadence and weird little smile all had me waiting to hear “Once Upon a Time…”

It was in that odd, smiley, Barney Fife chatty tone that played nice guy with this: “Regardless of party, all Americans are moved by the president’s personal story — the son of an American mother and a Kenyan father, who grew up to become leader of the free world.”

Nice touch, creating this commonality between Obama’s upbringing and Jindal’s own immigrant background. Republicans, they’re just like us! He then attempted a joke, telling a story about how, when Jindal’s Indian parents immigrated to the U.S. his mother was four-and-a-half months pregnant with him, “I was what folks in the insurance industry now call a ‘pre-existing condition”

The joke worked. Preexisting condition. Ha. Kinda funny. It fell flat, though, once you realized it was stand-alone – once Jindal declined to take up the somewhat obvious segue into serious discussion of a plan to stop insurance carriers from denying care to those with actual pre-existing conditions. Like cancer, asthma, or, yes, pregnancy.
After a few more awkward jokes and strange “when I was a kid” stories, we started to hear the meat of this speech.

“… Many of you listening tonight have lost jobs. Others have seen your college and retirement savings dwindle. Many of you are worried about losing your health care and your homes…Republicans are ready to work with the new president to provide those solutions.”

So, apparently, Gov Jindal was totally unaware that not ONE Congressional Republican voted for the bill. In fact, before they had a chance to vote yes, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) made the claim that the Republican gang would vote NOPE. All of them! Bobby! Where were you when this happened? Crafting Health Care policy?

How could it be that the team Bobby claims is “ready to work with the new president” essentially just told said president to take his bill and shove it? How could it be that Bobby didn’t know this?

The Audacity of NOPE!!! Great start, guys! Well played.

Bobby then went on to list all the plans in the bill that will help individual states weather this crisis: tax relief for 95% of Americans, money for unemployment benefits, food stamps, medical care, job retraining, billions so states don’t have to cut aid to schools and local programs.

Oh and the worst, offering more than $48 billion for transportation projects such as road and bridge construction, mass transit and high-speed rail. I mean this is clearly pork barrel spending at it’s worst! Infrastructure? We don’t need no stinking infrastructure! NOPE NOPE NOPE!

I’m watching this, not sure where it’s going. I mean, Jindal just super- convinced me that Obama’s administration gets it and has a plan in place to fix the mess of the last 8 years of misdeeds, lies and corruption. Yea! Jindal is about to turn around and give his cardboard cut out of Obama a great big kiss! I love this guy! Gimme More!!
“…expansion of computerized information technology in the health care industry and billions to create so-called green jobs the administration says will begin reducing the country’s dependence on foreign oil…”

Oh stop! I’m giggling like a girl waiting for her first date, I’m atwitter with glee! A Republican who is ON OUR SIDE! Wheee! This surely means great days ahead. Working together, making this country shine, overcoming our differences to create real change and become the bright beacon of light and bi-partisanship the world will look at with envy and love!

I am snuggled up and basking in this warm dream when POW!

“Today in Washington, some are promising that government will rescue us from the economic storms raging all around us. Those of us who lived through Hurricane Katrina — we have our doubts.”

Whaaaaaa??? Did Jindal just evoke the government’s slow, lazy, nightmarish response to Hurricane Katrina? This was supposed to show us how inefficient big Government is? Then came the story of a big gruff Sherriff-with-a-heart-of-gold yelling into a phone “I don’t care who you are, arrest me, grrr…I’m the big cheese around here!” Something like that. All because he didn’t want to take orders from some idiot bureaucrats who didn’t want him using boats to save lives. Tough talk from a Tough Guy!

Except… the bureaucrats were put there by a Republican Government! Bushies, if you will. Jindal’s own party! Who, by the way, was only to take $130 BILLION in that hateful, dirty government money to rebuild New Orleans. I’m not sure how this translates to Democratic Stimulus Bill=Bad Government, but hey, I’m just a blogger, what do I know.
Moving on I will pick out a few treasured moments that simply defy logic. Jindal says “Instead of trusting us to make wise decisions with our own money, they passed the largest government spending bill in history, with a price tag of more than $1 trillion with interest. While some of the projects in the bill make sense, their legislation is larded with wasteful spending. It includes $300 million to buy new cars for the government, $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, such as a “magnetic levitation” line from Las Vegas to Disneyland, and $140 million for something called “volcano monitoring.”
First off, explain to me why purchasing fuel efficient/hybrid/electric cars that will save billions in fuel costs, is a bad idea. That’s OK, I’ll wait.

Oh and high speed rail in highly trafficked areas is a TERRIBLE idea, what with getting more cars off the road, creating jobs to build the tracks, trains and stations, reducing the carbon footprint of planes. Ridiculous! A resounding NOPE! Oh and the magnetic levitation spooky bit is actually becoming a popular transportation topic all around the globe. Mocking it? Nice touch. And clearly we have nothing to learn from Volcanic Monitoring cause science won’t create jobs or save lives! Can I get a Double NOPE?
Next up, he cries about saddling future generations with debt. Because the more than $1.5 Trillion in debt Bush laid on us is actually 1.5 Trillion in HUGS! Oh and let’s not forget the invisible costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan War that were NEVER included in any Bush Administration budgets, thus, creating false budget numbers and therefore lying to the public about what our grandkids will actually owe. But I digress…
Now, Jindal is a Republican, so he is contractually obligated to scream not only about tax cuts but also about drilling for oil. Which if started, say tomorrow, we would have oil pumping by the millions of gallons by, oh let’s say next Tuesday. That’s the fantasy these Nope Monsters want the US population to believe.

Never mind the reality that it would take 7-10 years to get to the oil deposits – deposits that would provide only about 5-7 years of oil anyway. Jindal, this is not the desert of the Middle East where oil flows like the beer at a frat party! So I say NOPE this time!
Then to Healthcare, which coming from a Republican is a kind of an oxymoron. He said “…What we oppose is universal government-run health care. Health care decisions should be made by doctors and patients, not by government bureaucrats. I’m sorry, was I pouring another glass of liberal Merlot when Obama said government will run healthcare and doctors were being replaced by DC bureaucrats? Haven’t we put this old stale McCain inspired rumor to rest? *sigh* I guess not. Seriously, is Jindal just making stuff up now?

“…with the proper education, the children of America can do anything. And it shouldn’t take a devastating storm to bring this kind of innovation to education in our country.” Again with Katrina! Jindal, STOP! I can’t even imagine how a ‘proper education’ will be given with the crumbling schools, outdated books and technological deficiencies that make up too much of our outgrown public school system. And remember? You’re against spending money to build new schools, or outfit them with science labs or computers. So, Bobbie, how will these kids learn and compete in the new global economy? Sheer hope? Sheer NOPE!

“We need to bring transparency to Washington, D.C., so we can rid our Capitol of corruption and ensure we never see the passage of another trillion dollar spending bill that Congress has not even read and the American people haven’t even seen.” Jindal, do you have a computer and a printer? I do and I can download every page and read it…on my couch! Did you imagine Congress cannot read? Or print? Or bother to try???
It is outrageous, disingenuous and truly shameful to imagine that this bill was pushed through without any time for the Republicans to at least begin to study it. But then, why would they when Boehner said NOPE before he bothered to read line one?
After that, it was all b.s. about how the Republicans want transparency (really, now? Not 8 years ago??) and how much they are willing to work with the Dems (as long as they get to call the shots). Then a half hearted apology for losing our trust was followed by the most insane part of it all when he said “But don’t let anyone tell you that we cannot recover. Don’t let anyone tell you that America’s best days are behind her.“
WTF? Was he listening during this part of President Obama’s speech:”

We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before. The weight of this crisis will not determine the destiny of this nation. The answers to our problems don’t lie beyond our reach.”

Or this part?:

“Well that day of reckoning has arrived, and the time to take charge of our future is here. Now is the time to act boldly and wisely – to not only revive this economy, but to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity.”

Or this little gem:

“For history tells a different story. History reminds us that at every moment of economic upheaval and transformation, this nation has responded with bold action and big ideas. In the midst of civil war, we laid railroad tracks from one coast to another that spurred commerce and industry. From the turmoil of the Industrial Revolution came a system of public high schools that prepared our citizens for a new age. In the wake of war and depression, the GI Bill sent a generation to college and created the largest middle-class in history. And a twilight struggle for freedom led to a nation of highways, an American on the moon, and an explosion of technology that still shapes our world.”

That, Governor Jindal, is the message of the Party of HOPE, not the party of NOPE.



1. Circle T - February 27, 2009

Liz – you have found your calling – and you listened far longer than I was able to when the Guv started…

2. M - February 27, 2009

Liz, did you find a transcript? Because when Gov. Bobby was talking, I zoned out and missed most of what he said. The soothing tone made me pass out I think.
Also, I like how the Republicans are trying to spotlight minorities in their party. Putting one up on the national stage like Gov. Bobby and the head of the RNC is a black man. When has that ever happened in the past? It’s like they are trying to say “We have diversity too! We’re hip!”

3. chdulmage - February 27, 2009

Liz, you go, Girl! Great stuff — but you forgot one gem — Jindal hinted about the dire consequences of cutting back on support for our troops, right after the President had announced that he was increasing the size of the military!! Guess he was too busy learning how to use the teleprompter to actually listen to President Obama’s speech…..Anyway, we’re very proud of you! C&D

4. Liz Burke - February 27, 2009

Hi Circle T,

As soon as he walked into the Foyer in his Antebellum, slave built Southern Plantation I was captivated! Agape! Agog! Utterly transfixed while feeling mildly embarrassed. I do love the fact that he is spending this week at Disney World. Seems fitting.

Hi M.
You can download the entire transcript at: http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/24/sotn.jindal.transcript/

I also find that suddenly the 3 most powerful and talked about stars of the RNC are a woman, a Black man, and a 2nd Generation Indian immrgrant. The hypocrisy in having these 3 represent a political party that is 95% Caucasian is shameful. This is a transparent ploy to play the integrated, “we like girls & brown people too!”

The fact is that the Republican Party, as it stands today, is a sinking ship. They have no plan, no policy, no alternative ideas to put forth. All the bluster and talk about gong back their core principles is nonsense. They never left these principles behind. It’s just that this country has moved on and forward. By 2042, it is estimated that the Caucasian populace will be the minority. We are becoming a tolerant and mixed group of liberal “care-bears.” Now BIG HUGS!!!

Anyhoo, bring on Steele, Jindal and PLEASE GOD Palin. If the stimulus plan works even half as well as we expect, 2012 is ours to lose. I cannot wait to hear how they will argue against success. I’m TIVO’ing already!!!!!!!

5. CatrinkaS - February 27, 2009

My favorite is the years of people saying “I am a social liberal, but a fiscal conservative.”

(Pause for effect.)

Which means what, exactly, in light of the path of utter and complete financial destruction left in so-called-conservatives 8-year wake?

Well done, Liz. Keep it up.

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