Kenneth Jindal

Close your eyes and think of Kenneth from 30 Rock. I can barely count the number of emails making that observation. I'm told Olbermann's open mic got it right: Jindal's entrance reminded one of Mr Burns gamboling toward a table of ointments.

Stylistically, he got better as he went along but there was, alas, a slightly high-school debate team feel to the beginning. And there was a patronizing feel to it as well - as if he were talking to kindergartners - that made Obama's adult approach so much more striking. And I'm not sure that the best example for private enterprise is responding to a natural calamity that even Ron Paul believes is a responsibility for the federal government. And really: does a Republican seriously want to bring up Katrina? As for the biography, it felt like Obama-lite. With far less political skill.

It was also odd for Jindal  to keep talking about the need for tax cuts - when Obama just announced a massive tax cut for 95 percent of working Americans. He gave no alternative proposal on the financial collapse; and tried to attack government spending simply because it's government spending. In a deepening depression, grown-ups can take a slightly different view of such spending in the short term. But give him his due: he did in the end concede that the GOP currently has a credibility problem on the fiscal issues they are now defining themselves with. This matters - it matters for the future of the GOP and the possibility of minimal accountability after an age that disdained it.

The rest was boilerplate. And tired, exhausted, boilerplate. If the GOP believes tax cuts - more tax cuts - are the answer to every problem right now, they are officially out of steam and out of ideas. And remember: this guy is supposed to be the smart one.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

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