By Amitabh Pal on November 19, 2012

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is pretending to update the Republican Party. But his words are belied by his past actions.

Jindal, the incoming chair of the Republican Governors Association, has fired possibly the opening salvo of the 2016 Presidential campaign by publicly excoriating Mitt Romney's comments about much of the American population.

"You don't start to like people by insulting them and saying their votes were bought," Jindal said on Sunday in response to Romney's assertion in a post-defeat conference call that he lost due to President Obama's offer of "gifts" to minorities and young people. "We are an aspirational party."

The GOP has to "go after 100 percent of the votes, not 53 percent," Jindal had stated a few days earlier, in an obvious swipe at Romney's leaked "47 percent" remark. "We need to go after every single vote."

"We also don't need to be saying stupid things," Jindal added on Sunday, referring to the rape remarks of Republican senatorial candidates Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin.

But Jindal has a similar hard-line stance on abortion. In fact, he is made in the same mold of far-right ideology as Mourdock and Akin are.

"Social conservatives like what they have heard about the public and private Jindal: his steadfast opposition to abortion without exceptions; his disapproval of embryonic stem cell research; his and his wife Supriya's decision in 1997 to enter into a Louisiana covenant marriage that prohibits no-fault divorce in the state; and his decision in June to sign into law the Louisiana Science Education Act, a bill heartily supported by creationists that permits public school teachers to educate students about both the theory of 'scientific design' and criticisms of Darwinian evolutionary concepts," the Washington Post reported a few years ago. This year itself, Jindal has signed into law three measures hindering women's access to abortion.

Jindal, who converted to Christianity from his native Hindu faith in college, launched his first, failed gubernatorial campaign in 2003 while standing beside Louisiana Christian Coalition leader Billy McCormack. One of Jindal's radio ads in that campaign asked, "What's so wrong with the Ten Commandments?" He has written and spoken extensively about his conversion. Jindal's public display of his Catholicism has earned him lots of political benefits.

Even on race, Jindal hasn't been above pandering to the most degraded sentiments of his party's base. In the middle of his second gubernatorial campaign, he referred to demonstrators protesting harassment of black students in the city of Jena as "outside agitators" in an ugly echo of the language used in the 1960s by segregationists.

So, Bobby Jindal hasn't been going after 100 percent of the votes, either. He needs to change his track record if he is to be taken seriously. Otherwise, his words will be nothing more than deceits.

If you liked this article by Amitabh Pal, the managing editor of the Progressive magazine, please check out his article entitled "Obama's Burma Visit a Huge Gamble."

Follow Amitabh Pal @amitpal on Twitter.

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Editor's note: This contribution by the late journalist I.F. Stone first appeared in our January 1975 magazine.

On November 20 every year for the last fifteen years, transgender people gather for vigil ceremonies to acknowledge...

Yesterday the U.S. Senate narrowly defeated a bill that would approve construction on the Keystone XL pipeline.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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