Four years ago, I wrote this article about remembering 9/11. While Oregon today has a different governor - and as of the time of posting this, I have no idea if he has even issued any sort of statement this year - I believe my message still rings loud and clear. Please go read what I wrote back then.
There is a lot of talk today about Condi Rice for VP. I like Condi and all. But it won't be her. She is perceived as a moderate - probably unjustly so, but the fact is, on some social issues, she is distrusted by the conservative base. This conservative base is already skeptical of Romney, so Romney needs a reassuring pick, not a controversial one in this regard. She is also closely associated with the Bush administration. Now remember, for the most part, I liked Bush. This is not a bad thing for me. But Obama wants to run against the last two years of the Bush administration - two years that went south, largely because Pelosi and Reid were running Congress... but I digress. Romney needs to be able to say that he would not be just another Bush Republican. Condi on the ticket negates that. Finally, unlike most other politicians who say it, when she says she never wants to run for office, she convinces me. So who should Romney choose? I say, Bobby Jindal:
1) Let's get the obvious out of the way - Jindal is an Indian-American, and Romney is a boring white guy. Jindal on the ticket would be abother historic first, and would forever change the race debates in this nation. The GOP would no longer be the white people party. And it would highlight the racial double-standard of the left: to liberals, if you are black or Mexican, you are a special minority. But if you are Asian, you are nothing to them. However, Asians have just surpassed hispanics as the fastest growing immigrant group. They are an important voting bloc, and have been largely ignored by politicians across the country. This would be big. Real big.
2) Jindal is both the second coming of, and at the same time, the polar opposite of, Sarah Palin. Palin and Jindal agree on most issues, excite the tea party and conservative base, and break ground as historic minority figures. Jindal would add needed fire to the Romney campaign as Palin did for McCain. But elites hated Palin, unfairly, because she is a "low brow" figure who took more than four years to graduate from a podunk state college and went on to do things like work on fishing boats instead of working at law firms, universities, or major corporations like "respectable" people. Jindal is at home with blue collar working class folks, but has elite cred up the wazoo (see below).
3) Jindal would be one of the most intelligent, best educated candidates on a ticket - just like Romney. Obama fans brag about his Harvard Law degree and tenure as a professor. Well... Romney graduated with honors from Harvard Law AND Harvard Business. He needs a running mate with similar achievement, to avoid diminishing his own. Jindal graduated from Brown with honors (double majoring, in just three years), then went to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, graduating with a Master's degree in Political Science, and was a consultant for McKinsey and Company and president of University of Louisiana - that's real brains, with the paper to back it up. It would be impossible for anyone to say with any credibility that the Republican Party is the "stupid" party with Jindal on the ticket alongside Romney.
4) Jindal has government experience and executive experience that defies belief for someone so young. Jindal was the head of Louisiana Health and Human Services, president of University of Louisiana, assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Congressman, and Governor of Louisiana - all before age 40. He is younger than I am by a year. I feel so pathetic in comparison! Romney's big advantage - his private sector experience - is also a weakness in that people expect a President (especially after the Obama nightmare) to have extensive experience running GOVERNMENT. Romney has only his one term as a governor; adding Jindal to the ticket would add incredible balance in that regard.
5) Jindal excites the tea party. Romney doesn't. A Romney-Jindal ticket unites the big tent of establishment GOP, moderates, conservatives, and the tea party. Romney needs that.
6) Jindal is right on the issues. He favors limited federal government, states' rights, low taxes, less regulation, secure borders, life, liberty, guns, babies, God and country. Jindal is top rated by Right to Life, the NRA, and Club for Growth. He has the right vision for America, and will help reassure those on our side who fear Romney lacks a conservative vision or core conservative principles.
7) Jindal has experience that Romney lacks. Jindal served on the Homeland Security Committee in Congress and has national security expertise. This helps make up for a significant Romney weakness while the U.S. is still engaged in the Global War on Terror and faces new threats from the likes of Iran.
8) Jindal is a turn-around specialist, like Romney, but with government instead of private business. As head of Louisiana HHS, Jindal wiped out a $400 million deficit and created a $200 million surplus. As governor, he rescued his state's credit rating. He has the same vision for rescuing failing organizations with sweeping changes for improved efficiency as Romney - but has experience doing it with failing governments.
9) Jindal's greatest area of expertise is healthcare policy. The GOP is running on repealing Obamacare. The left keeps saying the GOP has no vision for replacing it. Romney's greatest weakness is that he implemented Romneycare as governor. Having Jindal on the ticket demonstrates a commitment to making actual healthcare REFORM, and not just Obamacare repeal, a top priority.
10) Jindal is Catholic. Romney is Mormon. Many voters will not support a Mormon. The Catholic Church has been, historically, one of the most critical anti-Mormon organizations. A Mormon-Catholic ticket would be an incredible thing, more so (in my opinion) than a Mormon-Protestant ticket. While there are many Protestant evangelicals who will not support Romney, I believe their biggest problem with him isn't religion so much as perceived weakness on social issues like abortion, gay marriage, and gun control. Jindal would do more to help with this than probably any Protestant other than Mike Huckabee - and Huckabee would do more harm with tea party conservatives than he would help with social conservative evangelicals.
11) JIndal has been vetted. He has been elected and re-elected congressman and governor. Louisiana is a tough state for politics. If there was dirt on Jindal, it would have already derailed him.
12) Jindal has handled crisis. He succeeded in leading during the Gulf oil spill and Hurricane Gustav when other states failed, and in stark contrast to Katrina before he became governor. When the 3 a.m. call comes, Jindal will have a cool head and get right to work solving the crisis.
13) Unlike some other potential candidates, Jindal was not in Congress during the end of the Bush years, and therefore does not have a TARP vote to rationalize! He has congressional experience (important, as VP is also President of the Senate), but without a long history of bad votes to drag him down.
14) Jindal has a strong family story. He is the child of immigrants. His parents came to America to make use of their education in a free country. His siblings are all successes. His wife is a chemical engineer with an MBA working on her PhD. Everyone in the family has strong personal values. There won't be any embarassing uncles showing up drunk or children being born out of wedlock.
And that brings up something that needs discussed: there is a lunatic fringe of the birther crowd who will claim Jindal is not eligible under the Constitution. Let's just clear this up. HE IS. Jindal was born in the United States. His parents came to America legally, under a visa, and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Anyone saying otherwise is a fool, allowing a non-issue to distract us from the REAL issue at hand: Obama, whether born in Hawaii or not, is a FAILURE as President who must be replaced because of his bad policies.
So that's my take. Jindal would be best. You can agree or disagree. But regardless of who Romney chooses as his running mate, my vote is with Romney to defeat Obama. I hope you and I can agree on that!
Wow - less than a year in office, and "the One" has sunk lower, faster, than any other President in his first year.
Where are all those liberals now? You know, the ones who kept saying Bush's low approval numbers meant he should just go ahead and resign, or be impeached, or tried for war crimes, or just taken out back and shot?
Meanwhile, Sarah Palin, you know, the one so stupid only vile mouth-breathing troglodytic white-trash could support, is gaining ground...
President visits wounded troops. Just not THE President. No word on that one.
Remember not long ago a post about the 25% unemployment rate for teens?
Hold on to your hats, people. It has more than doubled.
When the next election comes, you can bet that the youth movement won't give a crap about Iraq, Gitmo, race, or fancy speeches. Or Bush bashing. No, the next time around, the youth vote will be overwhelmingly in favor of the candidate who can articulate a sound fiscal policy that will promote job growth.
Not long ago, Governor Kulongoski ordered American flags on state property to half mast in honor of the late Senator Kennedy. OK. Prominent politician dies, offer up a gesture of honor at his passing. No big deal. Here is what the Governor had to say:
“Senator Ted Kennedy was one of our nation’s greatest and most honorable leaders, paving the way for equal rights, access to health care and bringing more opportunity to Americans of all walks of life,” said Governor Ted Kulongoski. “His passionate commitment to creating a safer and more just nation and world for all of us today and into the future will be missed but never forgotten. Senator Kennedy’s legacy will live on for generations and serves as a model for all of us in public and private service to emulate. In his own words ‘the hope still lives and the dream shall never die.’”
Sounds nice enough. You can think what you want about Ted's life and legacy - not the issue here today. But as tributes to passing Senators go, this is par for the course - especially that "never forgotten" business.
Never forgotten. Never forget. Now... where have I heard that before?
Oh yeah, that is most commonly used expression for this date in history, September 11. Never forget. I never will. Did Ted? Let's see what Ted has to say, today:
“It’s important to pause and reflect on the events that touched us all so deeply eight years ago,” Governor Ted Kulongoski said. “While another year has passed, we will always remember our fellow Americans who lost their lives in the tragic events that took place on that day.”
Wow. Far fewer words than he had to say about Ted Kennedy. On a far more serious topic. When I read this, I was saddened by how far we've fallen in just eight years. Let's deconstruct this brief statement, shall we?
It is important
Important. Like the children. Like eating your vegetables. You know, important. Are there no stronger words?
Don't stop. Just pause. You know, a minute or so. It shouldn't take any more of your time.
Reflect? REFLECT? Reflection is what you do when you are thinking about YOURSELF. You see YOUR REFLECTION in the mirror. You don't REFLECT on something that happened to an entire nation.
on the events
Here is where the real problems begin. Events? EVENTS? Ted, my niece's dance recital was an "event." Why are you afraid to actually name the EVENT that took place on 9/11? It has a name. Do you know what to call it? You call it an UNPROVOKED TERRORIST ATTACK ON INNOCENT CIVILIANS, BY RADICAL ISLAMIC JIHADISTS, STARTING A NEW WAR AGAINST FREEDOM. Events? Calling the attacks "events" is like calling the Civil War a "prolonged disagreement." It's like calling the Black Death "cold and flu season." Why do some people find it so hard to say what actually happened? Why is it so hard for some to recognize and articulate what the "events" were?
that touched us all so deeply
Ted, do you write bodice-ripper romance novels under a pen name? TOUCHED US ALL SO DEEPLY? Teenagers in love share touching moments. Deep ones. I think I saw a special about this on Hallmark TV. However, what happened on 9/11 was no touching moment. It was GUT WRENCHING, SOUL SUCKING PAIN. IT WAS STABBING AMERICA IN THE EYE. "Touched," my ass.
we will always remember
OK, to be fair, not too bad here. But "we will never forget" has a ring to it that no other expression, no matter how similar in connotation, can denote.
our fellow Americans
Not to be too nit picky, but 329 non-Americans were murdered, too.
who lost their lives
This makes me wretch. It makes it sound like the victims were responsible, like they lost their car keys. I know that normally writers should avoid using passive voice, but this is one time where it works better: try writing WHO WERE MURDERED BY THE TERRORIST BASTARDS. Or, WHO WERE BURNED TO DEATH WHEN THE TERRORIST BASTARDS CRASHED PLANES INTO THEM. Or, WHO WERE KILLED RUNNING INTO BURNING BUILDINGS TRYING TO SAVE VICTIMS OF THE TERRORIST ATTACK. Tell your high school grammar teacher: not all passive voice should be avoided.
I already talked about "events." It still applies here. So... "tragic"? Ted, the word has lost meaning from overuse. People use "tragic" to describe health care, bank failures, athletes dying young from steroid use, the cancellation of their favorite TV show, and Heath Ledger. All of these things have nothing whatsoever in common with 9/11. 9/11 wasn't simply "tragic." It was LIFE ALTERING AT THE FUNDAMENTAL LEVEL. Many Americans have no other moment in their life history to compare. Let's try to come up with something just a little less trite than merely "tragic."
that took place
Yeah. That's what the "tragic events" did. They "took place." I guess it is easier to type than THAT KILLED 2,996 PEOPLE AND FOREVER ALTERED OUR WAY OF LIFE. They "took place." Like what "took place" at Pearl Harbor, I guess.
on that day
OK, this is the part that really set me off. This is the part that, when I read it, had my blood boiling and inspired me to blog about it. THAT DAY. The words remind me of Bill Clinton, talking about sex with "that woman." More to the point, do you get pissed off when people refer to you as "that woman" or "that guy" when they know your name perfectly well? It's like saying "look missy" or "listen here mister." Well... THAT DAY is 9/11. DON'T YOU EVER, EVER CALL IT "THAT DAY." Just who the HELL do you think you are referring to 9/11 as "THAT DAY"? Calling 9/11 "that day" in your 9/11 MESSAGE is about as tasteless as it would have been to begin your tribute to Senator Kennedy with "that guy."
So now, Governor Kulongoski, here is an idea. Next year, which will be your last in office, try making a statement with pictures instead of words. Here are some you can use:
It took me just a few minutes with Google image search to find these. There are many, many more. A picture is worth 1,000 words. You used only 45. Just one of these pictures carries far more meaning than all of the 45 words you chose - poorly - to try to convey the meaning of 9/11. I will never forget. But you sure did.
Ladies and Gentleman, meet the new face of the revolution:
Representative Joe Wilson from South Carolina, who made the unprecedented move of calling the President a LIAR - not just on television, but during the President's nationally televised address to Congress and the nation, is a hero.
While weasels like McCain are calling on Wilson to apologize, I salute the man for having the balls to tell the truth - and the truth is, illegal aliens WILL and DO receive benefits from Medicare, Medicaid, and other government programs under current law and under proposed reforms. There is NOTHING in any bill supported by the President or Congressional democratics that prevents illegal aliens from obtaining benefits.
In normal times, I would agree it is wrong to disrespect the office of the President - but these are no longer normal times. The President has already socialized banks, the auto industry and insurance. Now he wants to take over the health care industry without even reading a bill. In earlier times, colonies declared independence and states went to war with each other over issues like this. And so, the time has come for people to be willing to stand up and shout the truth. Protocol be damned!
Besides, it not like he threw a shoe at the man...
Wilson just went from a political nobody to up near the front of the line for the nomination to run against Obama as far as I am concerned. His resume is actually pretty good.
Hmmm... Palin and Wilson in 2012...