Jindal’s disaster

Bobby Jindal had a tough job following Barack Obama’s speech last night, but his performance is getting panned by liberals and conservatives. His reference to Katrina was particularly problematic, as he cited Bush’s incompetence as a reason why we shouldn’t rely on the government now.

Paul Krugman was particularly offended by Jindal’s criticism of volcano monitoring as wasteful spending.

So what did Bobby Jindal choose to ridicule in this response to Obama last night? Volcano monitoring, of course.

And leaving aside the chutzpah of casting the failure of his own party’s governance as proof that government can’t work, does he really think that the response to natural disasters like Katrina is best undertaken by uncoordinated private action? Hey, why bother having an army? Let’s just rely on self-defense by armed citizens.

Meanwhile, conservative columnist David Brooks was very disappointed in the speech.

The Republicans are killing themselves with this mindless opposition. Just repeating tired slogans from the Reagan era will not cut it this time, particularly after the George W. Bush disaster.

The intellectual incoherence is stunning. Basically, the political philosophy of the GOP right now seems to consist of snickering at stuff that they think sounds funny. The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead.

  

Conservative columnist David Brooks calls Sarah Palin a “fatal cancer”

More conservatives are speaking out about Sarah Palin. David Brooks thinks she’s not qualified, and he doesn’t pull any punches.

[Sarah Palin] represents a fatal cancer to the Republican party. When I first started in journalism, I worked at the National Review for Bill Buckley. And Buckley famously said he’d rather be ruled by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than by the Harvard faculty. But he didn’t think those were the only two options. He thought it was important to have people on the conservative side who celebrated ideas, who celebrated learning. And his whole life was based on that, and that was also true for a lot of the other conservatives in the Reagan era. Reagan had an immense faith in the power of ideas. But there has been a counter, more populist tradition, which is not only to scorn liberal ideas but to scorn ideas entirely. And I’m afraid that Sarah Palin has those prejudices. I think President Bush has those prejudices.

The conservative movement used to pride itself on ideas. With Sarah Palin, those days are over.

  

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