Bobby Jindal

Where are the stories of tax fights?

The left-leaning Center for Budget and Policy Priorities released a report discussing tax increases. (H/T Derek Thompson at the Atlantic)  They found that 36 states either have or are considering tax increases. Here's the picture:

Several observations on the list.

California and Florida budget fights have gotten national attention. For California, it was a bunch of ballot initiatives failing. In Florida, Governor Charlie Crist broke tax pledge by signing a number of tax increases, and this has become a rallying cry in the Senate primary. 

Six states with Republican governors who are looking at their future are on the list of states that have done nothing. In Minnesota, Governor Tim Pawlenty is clearly looking at running for President. As are South Carolina's Mark Sanford and Alaska's Sarah Palin. Indiana's Mitch Daniels has been put out there and is being considered by some. And Louisiana's Bobby Jindal and Texas's Rick Perry (looking at a primary)

But what I want to know about is the state legislators that are fighting this stuff. Who are the articulate state legislators who are going on the radio and local TV, rallying against these tax increases. Those leaders are redefining the Republican party. They are rebranding the Republican Party by their actions. And they may be winning some of these fights.

Let's hear about them.


Defending Rush, Steele, and Jindal

These haven't been the best couple of weeks for Rush Limbaugh, Michael Steele, or Bobby Jindal. (OK, let's carve out a possible exception for Limbaugh.)

What these three people have in common is that they're all significant figures who have taken fire from different elements of the conservative movement at the behest of the Obama White House and the Kos/TPM/Olbermann triangle.

It's time this stopped.

Conservatives need to decide who we want to see succeed and who we want to see fail. We then need to calibrate our reactions to the inevitable missteps from either camp accordingly. If someone we want to succeed comes under attack, we hold our fire and close ranks -- unless it's clear they've become a long-term liability. If it's someone we want to see fail -- like Jim Bunning -- we unload until they get off the stage.

Limbaugh, Steele, and Jindal are all important personalities that we should all want to see succeed. The larger and more influential Rush's audience, the more mobilized the base will be against Obama. This has nothing to do with Rush exerting policy leadership over the GOP -- and everything to do with Rush as a popularizer of conservative principles and a rallying point for opposition. The best reaction to the Limbaugh "controversy" is for GOP politicians to avoid it entirely -- while Rush's audience grows and grows.

Michael Steele made a tactical mistake in getting drawn into this argument, but I still want him to be a successful RNC Chairman. Steele was elected Chairman as a fresh face and a reformer, a basic orientation the Republican Party will need to embrace in 2010. He remains one of the most compelling public faces of the party. If I were a Democrat, I would rejoice if Michael Steele were somehow made less relevant. Moreover, his challenge of the party's blind support for incumbents -- conservatives' #1 frustration with the RNC -- is probably more relevant to his leadership as Chairman than his Rush comments.

And some conservatives have gleefully joined in on the pile-on against Bobby Jindal for his delivery of the non-SOTU response and stayed mostly silent when it came time to counter the left's coordinated attack against Jindal's leadership during Katrina.

Taking a step back, and it's easy to see why the Obama team must be rejoicing. Some of the Republican Party's most charismatic and influential voices are being attacked -- from within. Conservatives appear flailing and divided, embroiled in controversies against the leading talk show host, the party chairman, and one of the party's rising stars.

I could deal with the "flailing and divisive" narrative if it were aimed at public embarrassments, like Bunning, or against more expendable, transactional pols -- people whose removal would not hurt the cause and in fact could help it.

We should be highly vigilant -- however -- when the attacks are aimed at people who would be significant public scalps for the Democrats, and who are not easily replaced.

At some level, we have to project a basic level of confidence in the people we choose to elevate -- whether it's on the radio, at the RNC, or in the statehouses -- especially if these are the kind of people we say we want -- younger, aggressive, reformers, etc. If we are too eager to throw people like Steele and Jindal under the bus when we were celebrating them not so long ago, conservatives overall appear indecisive and uncertain in their leadership. 

Ultimately, the journey out of the wilderness won't happen without a leader. We will ultimately have to learn how to get on the bus with somebody, warts and all. This is what a mature movement did with Reagan. And it's what the left did with Obama. I'm not pronouncing anyone the leader right now, but if we fall into the left's trap of delegitimizing important conservatives and potential rising stars from the get-go, we will never know what it is like to have that kind of leadership because only the utterly mediocre will be let through the netroots/MSM filter of Republican leadership.

While You Were at CPAC

In case you've been living in a cave or something, the left has lately gotten good at campaigns to delegitimize and destroy up-and-coming Republicans long before they have a chance at running for President.

For Sarah Palin, the nutroots-ginned-up stories ranged from the fabulist notion that she wasn't the mother of her own child or blowing up stories like questioning her role in the Bridge to Nowhere -- stories that to date generated little controversy even among her local enemies -- into national firestorms.

More often than not, the process goes something like this: a Daily Kos diarist posts something, which is then on Olbermann the next night. Pseudo-journalistic outfits like TPM start making phone calls, which gives the guys at Politico just enough cover to start get in on the action, making it an MSM story, embroling the targeted Republican and forcing them to respond. In Palin's case, sick Daily Kos rumors were given enough credence to precipitate the disclosure of her daughter's pregnancy, which itself became a pretty big national story.

The left's latest search-and-destroy mission is against Bobby Jindal, centering on the segment in Jindal's speech where he talked about commisserating with the late Sheriff Harry Lee about bureaucratic bungling in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. 

It started with a Daily Kos diary shortly after Jindal wrapped up his speech on Tuesday night, the 24th.

This prompted Keith Olbermann to declare Jindal's story of talking to Sheriff Harry Lee "apparently not true" on the Wednesday night's broadcast.

By Thursday, a Zachary Roth piece in TPM Muckraker poured gasoline on the fire, keying off the original Daily Kos diary and adding in some Nexis searches. Roth calls the Governor's office to ask for comment.

On Thursday night, Erick Erickson is the first to push back in Jindal's defense, noting accounts from Sheriff Lee's deputies. There is also a YouTube video of Lee, at the time in question, recounting visits from Jindal.

By Friday morning, the story is all consumming. Politico's Ben Smith, going on Roth's TPM piece, is on the phone for multiple rounds with Jindal's office. That day, Roth files two more dispatches, again based on first-hand reporting.

One Small Step for the Right

To echo and build on Patrick's post.

When a few of us channeled our efforts to, we intended to jumpstart the conversation about what the Party must do from a tactical standpoint to rebuild.  We did not intend to provide an all-encompassing manifesto that will guarantee a renewed Republican majority.

Our philosophy: rather than sit around and meet behind closed doors or wait for the perfect plan, let’s get started right away making changes within the party infrastructure. 

Let’s impact the conversations about what the Party must do to rebuild.  Let’s ensure, as a start, that the next Republican National Committee Chairman sets the right tone from a tactical perspective.  Most importantly, let’s open up the process so that we, the Republican people, have a say in electing our next Party Chairman.

If we, or anyone, had a precise, complete roadmap for what the Party must do from an ideological or policy perspective, what would we have left to talk about on sites like this one? 

The direction the Party heads is up to you, it’s up to me, it’s up to anyone who cares to participate in the process.  It’s certainly also up to Obama and the Left as their actions will often drive our reactions. 

The political roadmap for the Right is a perpetual work in progress, but one that must be based on the core principles of limited government and individual liberty.  As Bobby Jindal and Tim Pawlenty have suggested recently, we must harmonize conservative principles and fresh solutions when confronting today's challenges.

That’s easier said than done.  In fact, it’s a gargantuan challenge, and one that should not be left in the hands of the entrenched consultant class of the last decade, the conservative movement dead wood (as Erick Erickson calls them) and purely self-promotional politicians. 

If the RNC -- and up and down-ballot campaigns and the grassroots activists they depend on -- adopts the principles as outlined on, we can build a more active coalition of right-leaning Americans who want to make a difference.  We will have the opportunity to reclaim the “party of ideas” and “party of the people” mantles, and create a culture of competition.

This is what the Republican Party is based on. is not the answer.  It’s a step, one could argue a baby one at that.

Yet, when a baby takes their first step, we celebrate.  Why?  Not because they are an Olympic-level walker, but because they’re making progress.

Halperin, JMart Say Jindal to Keynote

We floated the idea last May, and followed up last week. But today Mark Halperin and Jonathan Martin are both floating that Bobby Jindal is the keynote pick. (Via Hot Air.)

I wish we could claim credit, but truthfully, I think this was a slam dunk all along. Kudos to the McCain campaign if this pans out.

Facebook group: Bobby Jindal for GOP Convention Keynote Speaker.

Bobby Jindal for GOP Convention Keynote Speaker

A bit ago I created a Facebook group petitioning to make Bobby Jindal the GOP Convention keynote speaker. I hadn't checked in on it in a while. Much to my surprise, it's now grown to 481 members. That's a lot for a sort of insidery issue like this.

You can join here.

Jindal has made clear that he won't be McCain's VP -- to do so after just 7 months in the Louisiana governor's mansion would be suicide. But he can make his mark as the convention's keynote speaker. Who better to counterprogram Obama than someone who's like Obama in many ways, except with accomplishments?

President Bush will speak on Monday night. Joe Lieberman will probably fill the "Zell Miller" slot on Wednesday night, followed by the VP nominee. Jindal should give one of the Tuesday night speeches, in the 10-11pm ET time slot.

I'll be in St. Paul at the convention, and I'd like nothing better than to see the GOP putting forward a fresh face to lay out for the American people the real Obama. The GOP convention schedule is being finalized as we speak. Let's make a big push for Bobby Jindal.


Newt Gingrich, Bobby Jindal, Michael Steele Named Co-Chairs of GOP Youth Convention


                                                     Media Contact (202)544-7525                    

WASHINGTON, July 30, 2008 - Today GOP Youth Convention.Org announced that Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and GOPAC Chair and former Md. Lt Governor Michael Steele will serve as Honorary Co-chairs of its campaign to bring young people to the GOP National Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

"We are very excited that these outstanding leaders of the Republican Party will co-chair our campaign to bring a new generation of young leaders and volunteers to the GOP Convention in Minneapolis," said Namrata Idnani, a student co-chairman of the group.

In a special program over Labor Day weekend, GOP Youth Convention.Org will offer opportunities for young people from around the country to meet other young leaders, hear from and interact with elected officials, and learn how to be better grassroots organizers and political communicators. Other programs will extend throughout the week of the National Convention

"The new generation of leaders who join us in Minneapolis will experience a historic event: the nomination of John McCain for President of the United States," said Soren Dayton, Director of the GOP Youth Convention.

The group's education and training program will take place at Concordia University in Minneapolis, MN starting on Labor Day weekend and continuing throughout the week of the National Convention through Friday September 5th. An opening "welcome" party will take place at the Hard Rock cafe in Minneapolis during the evening on Friday, August 29. Other social events will continue throughout the Convention week.

Affordable accommodations are available for group participants.

For more information, interested individuals may call the group's office at (202) 544-7525, or visit our website at


Bobby Jindal is "Not Going to Be Vice President"

Hopefully Bobby Jindal put to bed thoughts on him as Sen. McCain's Vice Presidential candidate. Fixing Louisiana is where Jindal belongs now. At the same time the GOP needs to build up a bench of high quality leaders for future Presidential cycles. None of us want to go through 2007-2008 again.

Given what we know now who should McCain pick as his VP?

Video from MSNBC is below the fold.

Podcast: Obama's Orwellian Revisionism

Podcast Show Notes

Thoughts on the 2008 All-Star Game.

Barack Obama rewrites his campaign website to avoid an embarrassing reality on Iraq. (Hat Tip: Townhall.)

Voters think Obama and McCain tell them what they want to hear.

McCain waffles on homosexual adoption while one conservative blogger abandons hope of a McCain victory.

Bush puts oil prices in the Democrats court.

Charlie Rangel raises money from businesses that appear before his committee.

Democrats in Congress fight to ensure underage women can get abortions without parental consent even if they live in states with parental consent laws.

Bobby Jindal issues 258 line item vetoes.  (Hat Tip: Don Surber.)

Click here to listen, click here to download.

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