The party of personal responsibility is at it again.
Like a growing number of other Republicans, former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal says President Obama is responsible for creating Donald Trump.
Jindal wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal wherein he says the president doesn't receive enough credit for creating Frankenstein's monster.
"After seven years of the cool, weak and endlessly nuanced 'no drama Obama,' voters are looking for a strong leader who speaks in short, declarative sentences," Jindal wrote. "Middle-class incomes are stagnant, and radical Islam is on the march across the Middle East. No wonder voters are responding to someone who promises to make America great again. You can draw a straight line between a president who dismisses domestic terrorist attacks as incidents of workplace violence and a candidate who wants to ban Muslims from entering the country."
Was it not Bobby Jindal who loudly proclaimed that America has been overrun by so-called "no-go zones" where Sharia law is supreme?
Not to mention the myriad of ways decades of Republican intransigence, rhetoric and dogwhistling gave rise to Trump, it's especially grotesque to say President Obama is responsible for creating Donald Trump because Trump rocketed into the Republican folklore hall of fame by questioning the authenticity of the president's birth certificate.
Some people may have forgotten, but Donald Trump actually led in the polls for a brief period in 2011 just after he dispatched his birth certificate "investigators" to Hawaii. Trump ultimately decided against running for the 2012 nomination, but that was essentially the beginning of his 2016 campaign.
To say President Obama is responsible for Trump is to say he's responsible for decades of racist dogma and, more recently, the questions about his place of birth.
Meanwhile, as Jindal refuses to accept any responsibility for fostering a radioactive environment where men like Trump fester, I don't expect Jindal to accept any responsibility for the mess he created in the state he governed for 8 years.
The state of Louisiana is mere days away (March 9th) from a total fucking catastrophe that will hit the state like a ton of bricks even if the state legislature averts armageddon by passing a series of tax hikes.
Without sharp and painful tax increases in the coming weeks, the government will cease to offer many of its vital services, including education opportunities and certain programs for the needy. A few universities will shut down and declare bankruptcy. Graduations will be canceled. Students will lose scholarships. Select hospitals will close. Patients will lose funding for treatment of disabilities. Some reports of child abuse will go uninvestigated. [...]
But even if Louisiana’s Republican-dominated legislature approves certain tax increases, as most expect, the state still would grapple with problems. The taxes — which could include hikes on everything from groceries to salaries — would dig into the pockets of citizens in a state where 18 percent live in poverty and where the median income is 20 percent below the national average. And the taxes alone won’t close the gap. Nasty cuts will still be necessary, meaning Louisiana will be taking more from its 4.6 million people while offering them less.
How did we get here?
Initially, Jindal had been able to cut taxes because Louisiana was buoyed by billions in federal money, an influx to help with the recovery from Hurricane Katrina, in 2005. But as that money ran dry, Jindal said he would veto any bills that would push taxes back up to where they had been. Instead, to plug budget gaps, Jindal relied not just on cuts, but also on controversial, one-off fundraising methods. The state sold off assets, including parking lots and farmland. It cleaned out money from hundreds of trust funds — among them, one intended to build reefs for marine wildlife. It pieced together money from legal settlements.
For Jindal’s supporters, this was creative problem-solving that helped the state endure without crisis through his term, which ended in January. But in the eyes of Jindal’s opponents, the governor was resisting a more sustainable option — tax increases — that would have proven unpopular nationally among Republicans, whom Jindal was courting in his presidential bid.
The competition is very steep, but Jindal must rank among the worst governors and politicians in United States history.
It's the incompetence of men like Jindal who've fueled the populist anger of voters who now support Donald Trump. There's more to Trump's campaign and allure than just racism, there's also a deep anger at politicians who say one thing and do another. That includes politicians who promise prosperity and deliver poverty.
Governor John Bel Edwards has an almost impossible task in front of him and he will undoubtedly face criticism from the Right and Left for doing what is necessary to recover from Hurricane Jindal.