Oh my. Andrew Sullivan is perhaps going David Brooks' route. He was so close to getting it right, in agreeing with Bobby Jindal that Mitt Romney is "absolutely wrong," but Sullivan veers at the last minute and concludes: "Jindal seems to get it. Which is encouraging, don't you think?"
I see a hook, sense a line, and smell a sinker.
Jindal's a smart guy. No doubt about that. In fact, he's smart enough to know that Mitt Romney's campaign and personal postmortem were two of the dumbest acts in the show-business history of politics. Really dumb. Colossally dumb, as in, never-ever-to-be-repeated dumb. But does Jindal's fundamental ideology differ from that which Romney espoused? When Jindal asserts that "our policies" are the better policies for all Americans, by "our" he means, essentially, Romney's of 2012. Bobby was right there with Mitt, all throughout.
Jindal is positioning himself, that's all. He's positioning himself as the Southern populist: anti-Washington, anti-big government, anti-big business. Do not, however, let the "anti-big business" part fool you; a strenuous federalism would conquer the perceived evils of big government, for sure; but, by removing the fiercest federal fox, it would allow corporatism free rein. So we're back to Romneyism.
The one indispensable carrot in any Southern populist's bag, though, is anti-intellectualism, and on this, Jindal's got himself covered. The "Louisiana Science Education Act," which Jindal signed into law in 2008, is, as the Times-Picayune put it, "named for what it is designed to destroy." Adds Slate:
The act allows "supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials" to be brought into classrooms to support the "open and objective discussion" of certain "scientific theories," including, of course, evolution.
So, does Jindal really "get it," as Sullivan muses? You betcha.