Great article about the success of Republican Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal.
Like Condi Rice, Colin Powell, JC Watts, Clarence Thomas and others, Republicans of color advance because of their talent and their hard work. Unlike Democrats like Obama, whose only real asset, as Geraldine Ferraro frankly stated, is that he is of color, much to the chagrin and condemnation of the leftwingnuts.
Because of the Republican meritocracy, this leaves Republican candidates less vulnerable to the kind of criticisms leveled at minority Democrats: that they are only on the ticket because of their ethnicity. It also avoids the racial divides that pure “identity” candidates face: a full 90% of blacks vote for Obama, without which he would not have won half of the primaries or caucuses he racked up. Someone like Jindal wouldn’t need a monolithic minority bloc to advance: his competence and lack of victimhood tropes and racial resentments, ala Michelle Obama and Jeremiah Wright, wouldn’t put off white voters who don’t want to vote for a candidate of color who is a stealth “payback” candidate.
All this racial posturing is damaging Obama more than even the pundits are aware, I’m convinced. White voters take in the messages of Wright and Obama’s wife and process them slowly, but it builds to a conclusion that Obama secretly harbors deep and bitter racial resentments that he plans on setting right once he’s in power. And that is why he may be setting himself up for the greatest electoral thrashing since Mondale or McGovern.
Meanwhile, Bobby Jindal is accomplishing great things, especially for a new governor. He seems to have a real knack for bi-partisanship and bypassing politics to get things done for a state that sorely needs progress, and for once the government may be a help instead of a hindrance:
Jindal ‘bats a thousand’ at session
Friday March 14, 2008, 10:03 PM
BATON ROUGE — The state Legislature on Friday wrapped up its second special session during the 2-month-old administration of Gov. Bobby Jindal by completing a full sweep of the governor’s proposed package of business tax cuts and $1.1 billion in surplus spending priorities.
Jindal and his legislative allies won all the initiatives they set out to accomplish during the six-day session, including a controversial bill to grant a partial tax deduction for private school tuition.
The session followed a February lawmaking period in which the governor passed a slate of new ethics laws. A regular spring session of the Legislature will begin March 31.
Lawmakers passed bills to eliminate a 1 percent sales tax that businesses pay on utilities, an estimated annual savings to Louisiana companies — as well as a loss of state revenue — of $69 million. They also passed an expedited phaseout of taxes on corporate debt and on manufacturing machinery and equipment. Those taxes were widely seen as burdens on companies that expand their operations, therefore placing Louisiana at a competitive disadvantage with other states.
New Orleans lawmakers celebrated a reinvigoration of a program, called New Market Tax Credits, that was sponsored by Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans. The credits will be used to encourage developers to take on building projects and are considered a boost for New Orleans’ hurricane recovery effort.
House and Senate members struck a historic compromise Friday on a bill to create a state income tax deduction for 50 percent of the tuition paid for private school education, up to $5,000 per student. Home schooling parents also will get a deduction.
The deduction is a rare form of support for private school parents, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Eight states have some form of taxpayer-financed scholarships, and seven states offer a tax credit program for money placed in special education funds, but few offer the type of deduction that Louisiana’s Legislature just passed, according to the organization.
The challenges of the session included a large stock of freshman lawmakers unschooled in the legislative process, thanks to term limits that forced out about 60 former members of the House and Senate.
The spending for the session included projects that Jindal targeted as keystones to long-term economic development programs. Those included $50 million for the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, money to help prepare for a so-called cyber-command center that the Air Force is considering in the Shreveport area and a major infusion of cash into several of the state’s ports, including in New Orleans.
The Legislature acceded to the wishes of Jindal by breaking the state spending cap by $1 billion and allocating $1 billion in one-time new money to highway, port and hurricane protection needs.
Senators voted 39-0 for the $1 billion in new spending and voted 30-8 to authorize the spending by increasing the spending limit from $11 billion to $12 billion. The House unanimously went along with minor Senate changes in House Bill 46, the supplemental spending bill, by Rep. Jim Fannin, D-Jonesboro, and sent it to Jindal for his signature.
The $1 billion surplus is left over from a revenue surplus in 2006-07.
The spending plan calls for about $530 million for highway construction and repair; $300 million for levee work and coastal restoration that can be used to match federal dollars; $60 million to pay toward a potential $10 billion-plus shortfall in the state’s retirement systems; and more than $24 million for the Port of New Orleans’ expansion of the Napoleon Avenue container terminal.
The focus now moves to the regular session, a 3-month lawmaking period that will begin March 31. Jindal said he would emphasize work-force training in that session. His approach will be to change the state education system in a way that enhances the role of community and technical colleges in preparing students for their professions.
Jindal pledged to deal with what he called a “crisis” in mental health care. He also wants to change the way the state manages its program for major construction projects.
The special sessions have dealt with bills that the governor has requested. But the regular session will include hundreds of bills designed by legislators. Jindal said he welcomed the opportunity to see the initiatives of the House and Senate members.
If he continues with successes like these, I’d be proud to support “Jindal ’16” after McCain’s successful 2 terms.
LA is reliably Republican, so Jindal would add nothing in the way of a geographical advantage, but it would be interesting if McCain did consider him for VP. That would be the people of Louisiana’s loss, however, because Jindal seems to be doing great work there.
He’s an up and coming Republican star who happens to be a person of color, yet he could be any ethnicity and do as well I’m sure, since the GOP is not trapped in the “identity politics” boondoggle that has hamstrung the Dems this campaign season.