Burn the Witch
We can totally afford this kind of behavior right now.
By Leon H Wolf Posted in Bobby Jindal | Club for Growth | Republicans | Spending — Comments (18) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Reasonable minds may disagree about the propriety of the pay raise that the Louisiana Legislature has decided that it needs. To my mind, $16K is a remarkably low salary for even part-time duties of that nature. By way of perspective, I used to live in a very small town in Alaska, and our city council members were paid $12,000 a year. This was 19 years ago. I understand that some people don't like the idea that Jindal appears to be giving a quid pro quo here - the raises for his ethics reforms - but it's hard for me to get very exercised about what the legislature is getting in return. It's especially small potatoes considering the need for serious ethics reform in Lousiana.
However, some conservative commentators, presumably fans of other Vice Presidential candidates have decided to flat-out beclown themselves over this issue. Apparently, Jindal's acquiescence in the legislative pay raises establish conclusively that he is a witch, and therefore must be burned.
Crouere's article is loaded with a heavy dose of "I'm from Louisiana, and I've seen Bobby Jindal up close, so I know he's not conservative and you'll have to trust me on that." For those not so inclined to throw one of the party's brightest stars under the bus on the word of Jeff Crouere, he essentially raises three data points that establish that Jindal is "not conservative." They are:
1. Jindal's acquiescence in the legislative pay raise. This has already been covered above. I haven't the foggiest why giving the Louisiana Legislature a greater opportunity for legal pay is per se not "conservative." It may or may not be good policy; it may or may not be a good idea at this time, but unless you're under the belief that any conservative doctrine per se opposes legislative pay raises, this argument is more or less demagogic hysteria.
2. Jindal's alleged reticence to approve a tax decrease. We are left to guess what evidence Crouere or anyone else might have of Jindal's reticence, or that he was "dragged kicking and screaming" to the table for these tax decreases. Provided that we believe this allegation, however, we are not given any information with which we might decide whether this tax decrease was a good idea at this time, was affordable, or was necessary. I guess that the "conservative" position is that all tax decreases must be immediately supported with no reservation at all times, no matter their size, scope, or tax basis affected. If any Republican opposes any tax decrease (or, in the case of Jindal, is too slow supporting it), they are a witch and must be burned. Folks, this is not the analysis of thinking, reasonable conservatives.
Many of you know that some of us here at RedState are fans of Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri. When we ran some pro-Carcieri pieces here at RedState, we received some blowback from Club for Growth and others who declared that Carcieri was insufficiently "pro-growth" to serve as Vice President. Carcieri has been involved in a constant and ongoing budget struggle since he took office in one of the deepest-blue states in the union. He one year balanced the budget by laying off over 1,000 government employees. He recently presided over a balanced budget which did not include broad-based tax increases. So what was Carcieri's mortal sin? Apparently, he once supported increasing the cigarette tax in Rhode Island. Burn the witch!
3. It is alleged that Jindal's first budget was larger than the previous one submitted by Blanco. Was it larger, adjusting for inflation? Was it larger adjusting for the necessary importation of foreign goods that have been affected by the weakness of the dollar? Was the increase in size due to pork-barrel spending, or due to spending on legitimate projects to rebuild Louisiana infrastructure? We are left to guess at these particulars. The budget is larger; ipso facto it is worse (by this standard, Reagan was one of the worst Presidents America has ever had). Burn the witch!
As it happens, I agree that Jindal needs more experience before he should be VP or President. However, these shrieking denunciations by fiscons of every minute deviation from standards that are arbitrary and do not account for the realities of the real world. This kind of behavior is especially hysterical coming from the same wing of the party that frequently characterizes social conservatives as rigid and inflexible. The reality, of course, is that we all should fight for broad-based conservative governance, while accepting the fact that our elected officials sometimes have to live and operate in a world that is not perfect, and that sometimes, compromise is necessary to achieve a larger goal. It is by all means appropriate to note that Jindal (and Palin, the subject of this ridiculous attack from the CfG) may lack the necessary experience to be VP. It is another to treat the most talented GOP backbenchers in the country like they are witches who deserve to be burned. With the state that the party is in now, let's not pre-emptively start chucking people who are 98% with us overboard just so Saint Sanford can become Vice President.