Rod Dreher has been cataloguing the many problems in Louisiana that have grown worse during Bobby Jindal’s tenure as governor thanks in no small part to Jindal’s choices since taking office. Meanwhile, Jindal has been coming under criticism on a number of other fronts in recent weeks. It seems his preferred response to this criticism is to play the victim:
During a 40-minute interview in Washington late last week, an energized Jindal hit back at his critics on the right and left, dismissing them as elitist hacks who can’t stand the idea of an Ivy League-educated, unapologetic conservative [bold mine-DL]. He accused GOP bosses in Washington of trying to sanitize the nomination battle and “get us to stop being so rude.” He blasted right-leaning writers who’ve criticized him, saying they’re just out to curry favor with the editorial page of The New York Times and get booked on the Sunday shows [bold mine-DL]. And the 43-year-old governor argued that some Republicans are fine with crony capitalism, as long as their pockets are being lined.
Jindal is not only playing the victim here, but he also must think rather highly of himself that he supposes that he is important enough of a target to warrant such sustained attack. This is just one more part of Jindal’s sad and disappointing performance that Rod has been pointing out for a while. It is entirely predictable that an embattled and floundering Republican politician would fall back on accusing his critics of seeking to curry favor with elite liberals and the media, but it’s a very old routine that persuades fewer and fewer people every year. Many of us might be interested to see what an “Ivy-League educated, unapologetic conservative” could do, but unfortunately Jindal has become a very predictable, party-line politician in most respects. He demonstrates none of the policy expertise or intelligence that once made him seem so promising in his earlier career.
Perhaps what many people now find so unpleasant about Jindal is that he has been catering to some of the worst instincts on the right in his desperate and (let’s be honest) totally hopeless pursuit of a presidential nomination. Whether he is pandering to alarmist fears about Muslims or helping to wreck his state’s education system, he has been discrediting himself, and most embarrassing of all he has gained absolutely nothing for his trouble. Faced with the consequences of his poor judgments and disordered priorities, Jindal is now lashing out at outside observers for pointing out the merely obvious.