Thursday, February 26, 2009

Obama vs. Jindal

Or, alternate title, Jindal used Katrina in an analogy to demonstrate what?!?!

First here's Obama:
Next here's the GOP response from Jindal:

I didn't watch these until today by the way.

Obama vs. Jindal, Obama easily wins, at least when it comes to speaking.

Obama gave the usual type of speech, the "things are bad but we're America and we'll figure this out" speech. He mixed in some optimism with the gloom and doom that's been coming from him, his administration and the news in general. But remember, Obama wants to keep expectations low. And expectations should be low because of the mess we're in. He cannot just flip a switch and bring back a mid 90's type of economy. Also, Obama wants to do a lot and that's going to cost a lot. I'm not quite sure where the money is going to come from but, since when have presidents worried about that? I digress. His speech was good, not great, but good.

As for Governor Jindal, where do I start? First, let me get this straight, Jindal is the "rising star" of the GOP? Wow. I'd hate to hear from the GOP's lesser "stars".

Second, and others have pointed this out (like Jon Stewart, I saw his show before watching Jindal's speech, I get it now), but is this how he speaks all the time? It was like he was talking to a classroom of first graders, as if he was talking down to me because I couldn't possibly wrap my head around such weighty issues.

Third and lastly, he used Katrina in an analogy in the exact opposite way as I would have thought a politician would. Apparently, what Jindal learned from Katrina is that the government (local, state and national by the way) did a bad job in helping people out after the hurricane and Katrina victims would have been better served had the government done nothing. Therefore, in this economic crisis, according to Jindal, the government should do nothing and just cut taxes again.

I took a different lesson away from Katrina when it comes to government intervention. The lesson I took away from Katrina regarding government intervention is that the government shouldn't:
1) do nothing and wait until the problem is a crisis then,
2) do something, do it clumsily and hurt more than helps.

The government in the last decade has become so laissez faire that there was no meaningful monitoring or regulation of Wall Street like there was no meaningful monitoring and maintenance of the levees prior to Katrina. Like the people shouting from rooftops about lack of maintenance of the levees before Katrina, those shouting about the lack of regulation of Wall Street before this recession found no one in government willing to listen until it was too late. The last two years the government cut taxes, and that was too little, too late like the government response after Katrina was too little, too late (and by the way is still too little). Brilliant. The GOP advocates lesser government including less regulation and less spending. Of course that's worked great recently, unless of course you're worried about the recession or levees breaking.