February 26, 2009

Why racial attitudes that helped Barack Obama will hurt Bobby Jindal.

Christopher Orr struggles to explain:
Both Obama and Jindal are at the geeky end of the spectrum among American politicians. But Obama's race cuts against this persona, and makes him "cool" in a way (however studiously achieved) it's hard to envision a comparably wonky white politician being perceived. As Michelle noted in her essay on the subject:
Biracial heritage aside, Obama is a black man. And, in this country, black men have long had the edge on cool.... [A]s a thought exercise, imagine Obama as a white politician. Wonky, overeducated, idealistic, unflappable, reform-minded, big into basketball, articulate but without the lyrical echoes of the African American pulpit -- far from being brother cool, Obama would be ex-senator turned failed presidential candidate Bill Bradley.
So while Jindal may not face the same radical-black-guy stereotypes as Obama, neither will he benefit from the same cool-black-guy stereotypes. If anything, the common stereotypes of Asian-Americans -- as earnest strivers who may be a little nerdy -- could exacerbate Jindal's already wonky self-presentation. When Ace of Spades (exactly the kind of conservative id figure Jindal will want to impress if he runs for the GOP nomination at some point) says that last night the Louisiana governor reminded him of "Achmad, Jaglesh, Clayton, etc., in Animal House," the ethnic geek stereotype is hard to miss. And that could be an issue in a nation where seven of the last eight presidential elections have been won by the candidate widely perceived as cooler, more likable, more popular: Reagan, Reagan, Clinton, Clinton, Bush (arguably primarily for these reasons), Bush, and Obama. (I consider the 1988 election a draw in terms of uncoolness.)

To be clear, I'm not trying to indulge these stereotypes. But it would be silly to pretend they don't exist in the minds of a non-trifling number of voters. Now, if Jindal gives many more national speeches as bad as last night's, his ethnicity won't make any difference. (The fact that he's been most widely compared to Kenneth of "30 Rock" is a nice indicator of Americans' ability to see beyond skin color.) Moreover, for a number of reasons I think it would be a great thing for the GOP, and the country, if Jindal were his party's nominee for president in 2012 or (more likely) 2016. But he may have a trickier path than some of his fans imagine.
Okay, there's a lot going on here, and I will leave some of this open for discussion and respond to what you have to say, but let me sketch out a few points.

1. "Cool" is a cop-out word. It's a word to make racism cute and safe. It's a word white people manipulate black people with: Come, bring your coolness, just the part of what we think of as blackness that makes us feel cool, but don't be whatever it is that we find excessive and fail to perceive as cool. Soothe us appropriately and you can be successful. You can even be President. Look! President Barack Obama! Yay! Aren't we cool? How terribly embarrassing.

2. Nerdiness, done right, is endearing. We might even call it cool. Orr suggests that white people warm up to the black nerd — Obama as Urkel — but not to the "South Asian" one, because there are just so darn many South Asian nerds. Do white people have ideas about the appropriate nerd proportion in the various racial/ethic groups? Are white people ashamed of themselves?

3. Comparing Jindal to Kenneth of "30 Rock" is not a nice indicator of Americans' ability to see beyond skin color. Quite the opposite! Instinctively repainting him white is — I would say — presumptively racial. To strip away his racial identity — to stereotype him as an especially white white man — is a powerful racial move. This is not nice at all. I would really like to know what makes white people so sure they are being nice about racial things. This confidence in niceness is misplaced, yet very very common....

4. .... in liberals. Liberals believe they are the good people with the good beliefs, the good hearts. Especially about race. How could it be otherwise? They are so nice and so good-hearted. And Bobby Jindal is not a liberal. He's a conservative. That's not good. That's bad. Bad, bad Bobby Jindal. Quick! Help me think of all the ways Bobby Jindal is just terrible. Ack! Don't look at him! He's horrible! I can barely stand to look at him. When he first emerges from behind a curtain, I moan "Oh, God." This is terrible. This is automatically horrible. A man of color, who is not supporting our side. One look and I am disgusted. How loathsome!

IN THE COMMENTS: Palladian writes:
Reading Orr's piece in The New Republic was a painful experience, although an informative one. It's a terrifyingly illustrative model of the racial psychopathology still endemic in the American psyche. In bringing about the absolutely necessary and noble goals of the early Civil Rights Movement, it was necessary to change the way people thought about the issue of race. Unfortunately this mental change quickly developed into a complicated neurotic knot that still strangles so many contemporary minds.

If you reread the article, it's not really about anything at all. It's just a tortured attempt to justify the author's political biases by attaching politics to race. The political discourse (for lack of a better word) in America today is yet another manifestation of the primitive force behind racism, sexism, xenophobia &c: us vs. them. Terrible to see racial and political bigotry merge, but it looks like that's where we're headed.

Liberals believe they are the good people with the good beliefs, the good hearts. Especially about race. How could it be otherwise? They are so nice and so good-hearted.

A good point about some liberals. They believe that it's entirely self-evident that they are the good guys. They sometimes seem to believe that this gives them license to say the most dreadful and stupid things because, after all, their hearts are in the right place. I've had friends express the most unspeakably offensive ideas to me under the assumption that they had immunity from responsibility because they were liberals.

It's like that scene in "Annie Hall":
Allison: No, that was wonderful. I love being reduced to a cultural stereotype.

Alvy: Right, I'm a bigot, I know, but for the left.

148 comments:

Freeman Hunt said...

Both Obama and Jindal are at the geeky end of the spectrum among American politicians. But Obama's race cuts against this persona, and makes him "cool" in a way (however studiously achieved) it's hard to envision a comparably wonky white politician being perceived

Yes! In fact, it's comical how automatically most white people ascribe "coolness" to any black person. Obama makes an excellent example. There are plenty of reasons that someone might like the guy, but he is not "cool."

As far as racism against South Asians, I dunno. I've never understood that, and I've encountered it in person with South Asian friends. It's definitely out there. Looks like Jindal will get people talking about it; that's good.

As far as comparing Jindal to a white television character, I don't think it's racist or anti-racist (or whatever you want to call it.) I think people probably compare him to a white guy because there are a whole lot of white guys to choose from on television. Not so many South Asians.

Number four made me laugh. Out loud even.

downtownlad said...

Bobby Jindal participated in an exorcism and favors teaching Creationism in public schools.

Enough said.

SteveR said...

Look how far we've come.

mcg said...

That's mighty white of you, Ann.

MadisonMan said...

Obama also benefits over Jindal by being first. There were probably people who voted for Obama for the novelty aspect of it. I helped elect the first non-white President! Poor Bobby Jindal's campaign will only get a Been there, done that.

America loves a novelty!

Re: Likability: Jindal seems very likeable underneath what everyone says is Wonkiness. (I've not seen enough to form an opinion) He seems so happy! What's not to like about that? As long as he doesn't give too many failed speeches, I think he can hold on to the likeability factor. For people who vote that way, that's important.

downtownlad said...

And Jindal's first act as Governor was to rescind an anti-discrimination order that protected gays.

http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2008/08/20/27200.

He's a turd. Here's hoping that horrible things happen to him and his family.

Big Mike said...

Boy, you sure nailed it with #4.

Harry Belafonte went on a rant a few years ago where he called Colin Powell and Condi Rice "house negroes" (he used a nastier term), but in reality he is the house negro, along with Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and columnists such as Charles Blow, Colman McCarthy, and Gene Robinson. It's their job to keep black people on the plantation and reliably voting Democrat. God help the Democrats if black people ever get tired of their kids being undereducated or the places where they live being torn apart by random violence, and chose to vote Republican for a change.

ricpic said...

Palin and Jindal, or
Jindal and Palin --
Whichever way you spindal
That ticket can't failin.

Darcy said...

Bang on, Althouse. You nailed it, and there is not much to add. Shame on people who don't recognize this.

Great White Father George said...

Next in line is Hillary.

We're going to burn through the "aren't we cool to have elected a black man president" trend soon enough.

Then it's a woman's turn, then we'll have to have a Hispanic. Indians are after Asians. Then we'll go back to whites.

In the future we'll have some incomprehensible social engineering method of subtly picking presidents just as we now absolutely must have one African-American Supreme Court justice, at least one woman, one Jew, one Catholic, one New England recluse, and so forth.

traditionalguy said...

My understanding is that Jindal's Race is classified as Caucasian. He is not of African tribal nor muslim cultural descent. The only class he claims is to be an American with high intelligence and a strong work ethic. Since there is no Guilt antidote bonus from casting a Jindal vote, he will stand or fall only on his ideas and confidence as a leader. The exploitation of a Guilt antidote bonus from Obama's half-african persona will continue, and as we watch, his propaganda braintrust are trying out ways to deal with the closeness in skin color appearance between these men. There must be someway to marginalise Jindal. What will it be?

Simon said...

Orr writes: "I think it would be a great thing for the GOP, and the country, if Jindal were his party's nominee for president in 2012 or (more likely) 2016." Of course you do, Chris: you want a Democrat to win in 2012 and 2016, and you think Jindal can easily be caricatured and beaten.

Pete said...

So, Ann, you're saying that comparing Jindal to Kenneth from 30 Rock is inherently racial, b/c one is South Asian and the other is white? That means we can never compare any two people of different races for anything? Because we'll always be repainting one of them as a different race?

That's completely ridiculous.

downtownlad said...

That New England recluse is gay.

Graham Nash said...

I know it's impossible for you to process this, but Jindal gave a lame speech. Period.

Government shouldn't spend money monitoring volcanoes?!

HAHAHA

downtownlad said...

Jindal will lose, because he thinks that volcanoes are not worth monitoring. At least he's consistent, because he doesn't think hurricanes should be monitored either.

Simon said...

MadisonMan said...
"There were probably people who voted for Obama for the novelty aspect of it. I helped elect the first non-white President!"

I think that's exactly right. And I also think that some votes for Obama were decided on the flipside of that thought process: I couldn't bring myself to vote against the first non-white President.

EDH said...

The 2% Illusion
Take everything they earn, and it still won't be enough.

President Obama has laid out the most ambitious and expensive domestic agenda since LBJ, and now all he has to do is figure out how to pay for it. On Tuesday, he left the impression that we need merely end "tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% of Americans," and he promised that households earning less than $250,000 won't see their taxes increased by "one single dime."


Heh, heh, it's so cool when he lies. Heh, heh.

downtownlad said...

The 30 Rock comparison seems accurate to me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfCK-1BgPTo&eurl=http://dailykos.com/

I really don't care about the geek factor, nor did most liberal sites. Most of them mocked Jindal for the volcano monitoring stuff, and for talking about a high speed rail link between LA and Vegas that wasn't even in the Stimulus bill, and for advocating tax cuts which will put this country in debt (after complaining about the deficit). Simply put - he brought no new ideas to the table.

Daniel said...

Very very common in liberals.

Very very prevalent last night in CONSERVATIVES? Ace, the corner, hot air? You're gonna dump this on liberals? What the hell?

Simon said...

Might I take a moment, in view of some of the comments above, to remind everyone that life will be so much nicer for everyone if you do not feed the trolls.

downtownlad said...

How many rich people do you know that are complaining about the tax hikes?

I got hit by it and I don't care - mainly because I barely noticed the tax cut when it first happened.

Also, I get hit by the AMT, as does almost every rich person in this country, so the income tax hike is actually minor, because we won't feel it until the tax we pay under the higher rate is higher than the tax we pay under AMT.

SteveR said...

hey Graham, Steve, Dave and Neil called. They're looking for a fourth.

Big Mike said...

@EDH, you nailed it. Apparently at least some California politicians are proposing a maximum tax rate of 90%. Add that to California's own 10% tax rate, plus property taxes and sales taxes, and you can get 110% - 120% of Barbra Streisand's or Jim Carey's income. Hey! I like that!

Daniel said...

Limbaugh defended Jindal on substance, as being the real deal. You, meanwhile, are defending his absolutely miserably HORRIBLE delivery on race grounds. Nice work.

downtownlad said...

Simon's definition of a troll is anyone who doesn't worship at the alter of George Bush.

Simon said...

Steve... Don't. feed. the. trolls.

ricpic said...

Jindal's an aryan. Right off the bat that gives the Left a heart attack.

Palladian said...

Reading Orr's piece in The New Republic was a painful experience, although an informative one. It's a terrifyingly illustrative model of the racial psychopathology still endemic in the American psyche. In bringing about the absolutely necessary and noble goals of the early Civil Rights Movement, it was necessary to change the way people thought about the issue of race. Unfortunately this mental change quickly developed into a complicated neurotic knot that still strangles so many contemporary minds.

If you reread the article, it's not really about anything at all. It's just a tortured attempt to justify the author's political biases by attaching politics to race. The political discourse (for lack of a better word) in America today is yet another manifestation of the primitive force behind racism, sexism, xenophobia &c: us vs. them. Terrible to see racial and political bigotry merge, but it looks like that's where we're headed.

Liberals believe they are the good people with the good beliefs, the good hearts. Especially about race. How could it be otherwise? They are so nice and so good-hearted.

A good point about some liberals. They believe that it's entirely self-evident that they are the good guys. They sometimes seem to believe that this gives them license to say the most dreadful and stupid things because, after all, their hearts are in the right place. I've had friends express the most unspeakably offensive ideas to me under the assumption that they had immunity from responsibility because they were liberals.

It's like that scene in "Annie Hall":

Allison: No, that was wonderful. I love being reduced to a cultural stereotype.

Alvy: Right, I'm a bigot, I know, but for the left.

Ann Althouse said...

I'll light the fire
You place the flowers in the vase
That you bought today
Staring at the fire
For hours and hours
While I listen to you play your love songs
All night long for me
Only for me...


Oh, sorry. I'm thinking about the weekend. Hope yours goes well, Graham.

Instugator said...

Ann, Michelle has had too much kool-aide - she needs to be cut off.

This meme of Obama as 'overeducated' and 'wonky' is almost too much to take. He makes no statements of substance. e.g. "Because I will not allow terrorists to plot against the American people from safe havens half a world away" - Huh? Is he possessed of some superhuman ability to prevent the exercise of free will among tribesmen 12,000 miles away? In all fairness, I can see this power on display whenever MSNBC hosts gather in one place - so, maybe he does - but wonk?

'Yes We Can' - borrowed from Bob The Builder and repeated continuously - this is 'over educated'?

He endlessly recycles boilerplate and fictitious straw men and this is interpreted as excessively educated 'wonk'? Is this what significantly educated wonkiness has been reduced to?

Zachary Paul Sire said...

I see you're stringing this out for another day...yawn.

Palladian said...

"This meme of Obama as 'overeducated' and 'wonky' is almost too much to take."

It's kind of like a joke I heard once on "Car Talk" about Italian Americans: two years of community college earns you the title "professore" from your aunts.

Palladian said...

"I see you're stringing this out for another day...yawn."

Didn't mom make you get out of bed yet? Even Obama won't tolerate that kind of laziness, especially from a white boy.

TimmyTeepell said...

If it's all about race, how do you explain the fact that the hilarious send ups are all comparisons to Kenneth the Page?

Richard Fagin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard Fagin said...

"Come, bring your coolness, just the part of what we think of as blackness that makes us feel cool, but don't be whatever it is that we find excessive and fail to perceive as cool. Soothe us appropriately and you can be successful. You can even be President. Look! President Barack Obama! Yay! Aren't we cool? How terribly embarrassing."

Prof. Althouse, please, please tell me your decision to vote for Obama had none of the foregoing. I suspect a considerable fraction of white Obama voters shared the sentiments you just expressed.

Yeah, it's terribly embarassing when the President's current foibles were entirely predictable and were in fact predicted by the right wing nuthouse.

garage mahal said...

I see you're stringing this out for another day...yawn.

There's got to be a liberal to blame for why that speech sucked! And we'll set aside the majority of conservatives who thought it sucked, for the moment, and concentrate on assigning racial motives we can't find on liberals. Easy!

ironrailsironweights said...

The Asian-nerd stereotype applies mostly to East Asians. South Asians like Jindal aren't affected as much.

Peter

MadisonMan said...

Didn't mom make you get out of bed yet?

This is boring.

HeatherRadish said...

The Asian-nerd stereotype applies mostly to East Asians. South Asians like Jindal aren't affected as much.


Dilbert's intern Asok, Office Space, and fifty million Microsoft phone support techs in Bangledesh would like to disagree.

reader_iam said...

That means we can never compare any two people of different races for anything? Because we'll always be repainting one of them as a different race?

Comedy gold.

reader_iam said...

South Asians like Jindal aren't affected as much.

Worked in tech much or had your kid in a private school lately?

JAL said...

A bit of a rabbit trail --

unflappable used in reference to Obama.

I am soooo tired of this.

This is the guy who gets pissy when interrupted on the campaign trail (waffle?), cuts off a journalist telling him not to "waste" his question (which I, the One, have no intention of answering), bristling when someone questions him, or asks for clarification, ("I have been clear ..." [No sir, you haven't, that's why I am asking.])

Naming radio personalitries who oppose him by name (good grief, he may have gone to Harvard but obviously didn't pick up more than the patina of "class." The office he holds is always going to be bigger than he is. He is doing the unimaginable by making it smaller.

This guy is THIN SKINNED.

reader_iam said...

Garage Mahal:

That sub-par speech was ineptly delivered. The blame for that falls squarely on Jindal. Is that clear enough for you?

*AND* Jindal is being viewed, reviewed and judged in some ways that are suspiciously loaded. Is that clear enough for you?

Hint: Note the word "AND." I think it has some bearing on the actual subject of this post.

Balfegor said...

The Asian-nerd stereotype applies mostly to East Asians. South Asians like Jindal aren't affected as much.

I beg to differ. South Asians have been dealing with this for over a century now. When England first introduced standardised civil service examinations for the Imperial Civil Service in the 19th century, they found, to their dismay, that all the top spots were got by Indians, so they had to institute affirmative action for Whites, to prevent the civil service from becoming too Indian (especially Bengali). The stereotype (on full display in Kipling's story, The Head of the District) was that they might be brilliant at caselaw and analysis and all that, but that they were hopelessly lacking in masculinity and command.

Palladian said...

"MadisonMan said... This is boring."

Funny, that's what I usually think when I start reading any of your comments.

JAL said...

Uuhnnnmmm.

I know we probably have to have these discussions, but I really think most of America is past this. If not, we will be in a few more months, I am sure.

For one thing, if Jindal runs he sure as heck won't be running because he's the first, he'll be running to DO the job. Which is (any Obama Administration people reading this?) primarily to Keep America and Americans SAFE.

Not fix our mortgages and our refrigerators.

Jindal's credentials make Obama go white. (Is that racist?)

Bobby went to Brown. (Tick)

Bobby couldn't decide what to do when he grew up ... so he covered all his bases by getting into Harvard Medical School. (Tick)

And Yale Law School (Tick)

but decided to go political ...

So he went to Oxford as a Rhodes scholar (tick tick)

Doctor? Lawyer? Indian chief ....

He was the president of the University of Louisiana system when in his 20s. Then there is his Medicare, and federal Health and Human Services experience, his run for Governor (and loss) to Blanco (we all saw how *that* turned out). His service as a Congressman. His experience there ...(more than a certain former Senator).

His run for Governor ...

His handling of Gustav ...

And he's 10 years younger than Barry Obama.

Oh. He'd probably lose in a game of HORSE against the President.

garage mahal said...

That sub-par speech was ineptly delivered. The blame for that falls squarely on Jindal. Is that clear enough for you?

It was painfully clear to me after 10 seconds. You're asking the wrong person. Scroll up to strawman point #4:

And Bobby Jindal is not a liberal. He's a conservative. That's not good. That's bad. Bad, bad Bobby Jindal. Quick! Help me think of all the ways Bobby Jindal is just terrible. Ack! Don't look at him! He's horrible! I can barely stand to look at him. When he first emerges from behind a curtain, I moan "Oh, God." This is terrible. This is automatically horrible. A man of color, who is not supporting our side. One look and I am disgusted. How loathsome!

SteveR said...

Simon says: "Don't feed the trolls"

Yeah I know that's the standard protocol but I'm only in this to please myself. If your name really is Graham Nash but not the "Graham Nash" then you neec to spend about 30 seconds and come up with a different screen name.

If you aren't a Graham Nash and are using that AND making stupid comments, then you deserve to be mocked. "Wade Garrett" plowed that manure pile here years ago.

The Drill SGT said...

traditionalguy said...
My understanding is that Jindal's Race is classified as Caucasian. He is not of African tribal nor muslim cultural descent. The only class he claims is to be an American with high intelligence and a strong work ethic.


1. Actually the Indian sub-continent has multiple ethno-types. what you are referring to are North India / Pakistan / Afghanistan where the Indo-Iranian or Indo-Aryan ethno-type prevails. I don't know where Jindal's family comes from.

2. Our perverted racial spoils system tends to reward dark skin color, so you are incorrect. South Asians are a protected class according to the SBA. Any Indian-American PhD in EE can claim to be subject to patterns of racism ad get his business preferenital treatment in Federal contracting.

The irony of folks with a combination of 5000 years of mathematics history and an English based education system having the same access to the Federal contracting spoils preferences as the American born son of a Hmuong stone-aged tribesman demonstrates why all that crap ought to be trashed

reader_iam said...

Garage Mahal: #4 is referring to a potential unconscious reaction even prior to the speech and its delivery.

Would it KILL you to think more deeply about this? Your dismissing of these issues out of hand is telling ... stereotypical, even.

Palladian said...

"Yeah I know that's the standard protocol but I'm only in this to please myself. If your name really is Graham Nash but not the "Graham Nash" then you neec to spend about 30 seconds and come up with a different screen name.

If you aren't a Graham Nash and are using that AND making stupid comments, then you deserve to be mocked. "Wade Garrett" plowed that manure pile here years ago."

"Graham Nash" is a long-term troll who used the name "AJD" for a while. He frequently changes his name, but it always links back to the same "unavailable" profile number 02407299546060974148. His comments are usually short insults directed towards Ms Althouse.

garage mahal said...

Garage Mahal: #4 is referring to a potential unconscious reaction even prior to the speech and its delivery.

She couldn't find a single instance of that happening so she dreamt up a strawman to tar one of two sides who equally thought the speech was terrible. That's deep, reader.

paul a'barge said...

Hey look! We're not cowards!! We're talking about race!

Someone tell A.G. Holder. Quick.

paul a'barge said...

Downtownlad: He's a turd

Hey, if DTL doesn't like him, I'm for him!

Shanna said...

So, Ann, you're saying that comparing Jindal to Kenneth from 30 Rock is inherently racial, b/c one is South Asian and the other is white? That means we can never compare any two people of different races for anything? Because we'll always be repainting one of them as a different race?

That's completely ridiculous.


I have to agree with this. I don’t watch 30 rock so maybe there is something I’m missing, but are you saying that you can't compare someone to another person of a different race? Maybe there is something especially mean about comparing him to this 30 rock character, but mean isn't necessarily racist.

paul a'barge said...

The rule: Bro's before Ho's has been extended to Bro's before Rags

Jim Hu said...

Isn't the problem with the "he gave a lousy speech" explanation that the "Oh God" reaction happened before he said anything?

That's evidence that for at least one prominent liberal (I'm assuming that it was Matthews, as reported), there's something about Jindal other than a lousy speech that elicits an unusually strong reaction. Maybe it's not related to race. Maybe other liberals only developed a negative reaction after the response to O. Maybe everyone who is reacting knows about all the stuff that dtl lists.

Or maybe not.

What I find interesting is how many people are defending/justifying the reaction to Jindal instead of denying that they shared it.

reader_iam said...

Jim Hu: Yep.

garage mahal said...

Chris Matthews is not a liberal.

reader_iam said...

Chris Matthews is not a conservative.

Ryan B said...

First of all I think that Jindal did a fine job. He's cutting his teeth on the national level so he still needs some polish, but I think that he'll do great things in the Republican Party.

I look at the person, not the color. We are all people with different viewpoints, some of which may be influenced by race or culture, but when it comes down to it, we will always comes together in situations that warrant. History has proven this. Many times it's not until life-altering situations where we forget about race and just get back to the basic fact that we are all people first and foremost.

Ryan

reader_iam said...

Garage Mahal is not a subtle thinker and lacks nuance. Garage Mahal must be a conservative.

Freeman Hunt said...

She couldn't find a single instance of that happening

I think she was referencing the "Oh God" thing before Jindal's speech. That would be one instance.

Kirk Parker said...

"unflappable"? Wow, talking about seeing what you want to see.

"reform-minded"? Ditto.

reader_iam said...

In a way arguably unlike any previous presidential contender (yes, okay, fine: JFK, maybe), Barack Obama personifies cool. He's young. He's hip. (Check out that iPod playlist.) He's black. He's got that whole smooth-talking, fist-bumping, "What, me worry?" vibe going. His oratory uplifts without inflaming. He talks of hope and change and endless possibility, but always with an edge of restraint and composure that soothes even as it inspires.

Beth said...

Althouse's continued belief that seeing the blatant similarities b/w Jindal's cadence and that of the character Kenneth the Page is some sort of awkward "painting" and "deracializing" of Jindal is absurd.

I agree about the "cool" phenomenon, on both counts: that it is a cop-out for white liberals, and that it's a factor in our presidential elections. Not so much on the state level.

But Jindal has time to grow on people - in terms of his geekiness and in terms of his ethnicity. That's happened for him in Louisiana.

And we're still left with the question of whether he'd be good for America.

That's an easy one: No. He's stuck in magical thinking, despite his supposed great, big brain. He's little more than a numbers-crunching bureaucrat, not a leader. He's enamored of and dedicated to economic and social principles that are debunked, outmoded and harmful.

And if people like Althouse can continue to make his race the issue, rather than his positions, he has a great chance of success.

SteveR said...

"Graham Nash" is a long-term troll who used the name "AJD" for a while.

Thanks for clearing that up. I thought it might have been noted pop music critic Steve Simels.

MadisonMan said...

Yes Palladian, I'm boring (or course I am, I'm a midwesterner) and ZPS lives with his Mom (tee hee!)

If you sing the same song over and over, eventually people stop buying tickets.

reader_iam said...

And if people like Althouse can continue to make his race the issue, rather than his positions, he has a great chance of success.

After all, it's not like there any precedent for that.

; )

Beth said...

After all, it's not like there any precedent for that.

; )


Indeed! And then we're back to the premise of this thread, and it's wrong.

Smilin' Jack said...

Good grief. It's hard to express how wack this post is. Let me concentrate on point 3:

Comparing Jindal to Kenneth of "30 Rock" is not a nice indicator of Americans' ability to see beyond skin color. Quite the opposite! Instinctively repainting him white is — I would say — presumptively racial. To strip away his racial identity — to stereotype him as an especially white white man — is a powerful racial move. This is not nice at all. I would really like to know what makes white people so sure they are being nice about racial things.

Your obsession with race is rendering you functionally illiterate. The sense of "nice" used in Orr's piece, "a nice indicator," is not

2. amiably pleasant; kind: They are always nice to strangers.

but rather

6. having or showing delicate, accurate perception: a nice sense of color.

One might say that your Emily Litella-ish rant based on your misunderstanding of the simple word "nice" is a nice example of how goofy most racial discourse is these days.

jdeeripper said...

Little Ol' Bobby Jindal

Hoosier Daddy said...

garage mahal said...
Chris Matthews is not a liberal.


garage, that is about the funniest thing you have ever said.

I'm still laughing.

MadisonMan said...

13-minute charisma-free trainwreck. (laugh)

Hoosier Daddy said...

And if people like Althouse can continue to make his race the issue, rather than his positions, he has a great chance of success.

Actually I think Althouse is doing it to get a 200+ comment thread.

onparkstreet said...

How I loathe blogger. And, yes, I should Microsoft Word and copy and paste, but that would take the fun and danger out of it.

Here I go again.

In the dark, dark days the early part of this century, I discovered ethnic blogs, Indian American blogs, South Asian American blogs, desi blogs. As one of the tribe, I was charmed. How much funy to talk identity, comment after comment after comment. Well, I did grow up in flyover with Indian parents, a quite rare experience at the time. It was different.

I am so bored with identity, now. Gimme something new, gimme something different.

As for the exorcism thing, pfffft. I have a relative, a Hindu, that once had an intense spiritual experience. She visited a church in New Orleans, and while walking outside the church, and an intense feeling of good-will and happiness that stayed with her for a long time. Another relative, a Catholic, told her it could be that an angel followed her.

This relative, the Hindu with the intense spiritual experience outside the church, is a computer scientist, a mother, a wonderful homemaker, and was extremely sought after during the run up to the 2000 conversion because of her mad computer skillz. She is meticulous, and keeps track of money like you wouldn't believe. In short, she would make THE BEST CONDO PRESIDENT EVER should she decide to live in condoville and run for president. Because she is solid, dependable, lovely, well-educated and has a lifetime of accomplishments.

Where is the SCIENCE that shows that an intense religious expereince makes you less qualified for a particular task, reality based realists? I bet it's all emotion and feeling for some of you, and if you come up with the Dawkins like study, I bet it sucks.

What experiment can you come up with that will disprove the existence of God, scientists? Curious to know.....and I'm an agnostic. I just think that, rationally, there is no data to support the assertion some of you are making. That religious experience makes you less qualified to fly a plane, engineer a bridge, run a company or a country.

onparkstreet said...

Part of the fun and danger are mispellings and poor grammar, you know.....

TitusVirtualHug2U said...

I love Annie Hall and I love that quote and many of the quotes from the movie.

I love the quote, "I would never belong to a club that would have me as a member"-so good.

As a gay I am glad that I don't live in a state with Bobby Jindal as the governor which is why I would never live in the south.

Sarah Palin will crush him. He may be wonkey but she is the star.

Sonam said...

This is where Bobby Jindal got his talking point from:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0cpjhTRO28

TitusVirtualHug2U said...

Did any of you notice that back then Woody Allen mentions Commentary magazine often in his old movies?

Sonam said...

This is where Bobby Jindal got his talking point from:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0cpjhTRO28

Balfegor said...

Actually I think Althouse is doing it to get a 200+ comment thread.

About race. My impression, in the past, has been that our hostess cares about race issues a lot more than most of her commenters.

If she just wanted a 200+ comment thread, she'd invite us to discuss abortion again.

Beth said...

Sonam, I'd forgotten how much I love that movie.

My brother is a big fan of it, but he takes it seriously and doesn't realize it's camp.

I love how Jindal says government is the problem and has spent his entire life working for the government.

madawaskan said...

Actually I think Chris Matthews Oh God! had more in common with Glenn Reynolds contribution to the critique of Jindal which was something to the effect-

~Go lift weights.

So far I'm reserving judgment on Jindal-sue me.

Here's another comparison that is going wrong-

Jindal is a wonk like the unelected presidential candidates Gore and Kerry.

Wrong again-the public didn't like their phoniness -wonkiness didn't have as much to do with it.

If the Republican media handlers stop trying to foist the story telling style of Reagan on every next candidate...

Reagan is dead, and on paper they'd never choose even Reagan again, use to be a Democrat! gasp! passed pro-immigration legislation,double gasp! waffled on...the list continues....

onparkstreet said...

I like those early Woody Allen movies and I have noticed he mentions Commentary, William Buckley, the whole lot....that old perv has got Frieda Pinto to be in his next movie, apparently!

You can tell exactly which pop culture moment a Woody Allen movie is set in because of the starlet-ju-jour appearing in said movie.

I adore Annie Hall and Hannah and Her Sisters. Michael Caine! Oddly enough, Alice, or whatever that weird Mia Farrow being invisible movie was called.

What was the topic of this post again? Oh, yeah, racism and Bobby Jindal. Eh, I'm sure the usual subjects will make a fool of themselves over this one. Who cares.

Hoosier Daddy said...

If she just wanted a 200+ comment thread, she'd invite us to discuss abortion again.

That's about as much a dead horse as discussing race IMO.

Alex said...

Notice when a non flaming lefty like Althouse is hypersensitive on race that is a HORRIBLE thing, but when left wingers are hypersensitive on race that is a GOOD Thing.

Remember, 4 legs good, 2 legs bad. Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Big Brother loves you. Slavery is Freedom.

Roost on the Moon said...

A simpler explanation: people don't like the sing-song. If someone, anyone talked to me like that in real life, I would probably be rude in return.

The Exalted said...

althouse, you're the only person on the planet who injected jindal's race into the across-the-board-and-political-spectrum panning of his awfully delivered, poorly staged, cliched, hackneyed, factually challenged speech.

thus, if anyone's the racist, its you.

madawaskan said...

Hey you want to talk about racism?

How about those Liberal Giants Albright and Clinton ignoring genocide in Rwanda?

But because they understood the power of words and what the meaning of is-is-

Genocide was the word NOT allowed.

Oh ya and Catholics, and religious people were the only ones in there trying to do something-those evil people.

AlphaLiberal said...

Really, Ann Althouse, neither you nor you foaming wingnut base knows jack about "what liberals believe."

Everything you said about "what liberals believe" applies to any other group of people; moderates, conservatives, communists, or fascists.

This is an insulting post. Up yours, too.

hdhouse said...

The saddast thing about that delivery (next time just phone it in please) is that someone coached him to speak like that.

Like Palin's drama coach, they should be quietly locked away.

What should be particularly galling to the GO Pee r's on this blog is that your party thinks this is a legit potential candidate.

Ohhh the bench is so thin!

Barry Dauphin said...

I like Jindal, and I thought his follow up was not that great. It wasn't bad, but it was nothing to write home about. Those follow ups never are.

But to those conservatives who trashed his performance, be mindful that he is not going away. This is a very determined and very smart man. He wants to be president, and he is good at getting what he wants. His television performances will improve. He will listen to others about media presentation. He'll probably be able to laugh about his early efforts at presenting himself. But he is not going away and he will play a major role. Do not discount this man.

HelenParr said...

Bobby Jindal doesn't answer the color question but to say that he is Red, White and Blue like any American.

If he is choosing to not make it all about race, shouldn't we respect the man and do the same?

reader_iam said...

hdhouse: There are still four other threads left today at which you've not yet used "GO Pee r's". Get on it, man!

MayBee said...

How did John Edwards escape the Kenneth the Page comparisons?

The most telling thing is that we aren't hearing, over and over, about how inspiring Bobby Jindal is. We aren't hearing about how his success at being elected Governor of Louisiana and making a nationally televised speech will now inspire millions of South Asian teenagers to go to school. His family is not being held up as a new motivator for Indian men to stay with their families.
We aren't hearing that - finally- Indian children will be motivated to dream big! because one of their own has broken a barrier.

reader_iam said...

Everything you said about "what liberals believe" applies to any other group of people; moderates, conservatives, communists, or fascists.

Just as so much of what you say about conservatives applies to any other group of people. You only THINK that's different, or at least wish it were.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

So, I wonder what Palladian will say once I stop paying rent at my mother's and move into a new house (as I'm doing in 4 days)? Oh, that's right, he'll still be a shrill, boring pig, and Althouse's daily Serious Discussion On Racism against a crazy person in Louisiana will still be inane.

Yawn...

vbspurs said...

I've already exhausted my Jindal racism arguments last night, so I'll make an observation about coolness.

I have a theory as to why the French admire Jerry Lewis so much.

For foreigners in the 1950s, the overwhelming American archetype was the wild cowboy / rebel one, embodied in films by either John Wayne or James Dean.

Americans will never know just how much of their image is crystallised in people's minds around the world, via their movies. It used to trump everything else, including rock-and-roll, until Vietnam came along.

Enter Jerry Lewis.

For the first time since the kiddie movies, when Alfalfa was the national pointdexter (as his type was called back then), there hadn't been such an obvious geek around.

The nerd/geek/pointdexter is the OPPOSITE of American cool, something which exposed fault lines in the otherwise rock solid impression foreigners had of Americans -- that they were tough and rich demi-gods.

It becomes a way of both admiring Americans for being brainy and good with inventions (explaining their modern success) but also being able to laugh at them for being socially awkward.

Something you can't do to the Duke, because he would kick your ass.

Jindal is a throwback to this phenomenon of geek-American, but ironically, the world has moved on.

They mock the geek for his inept social skills, something which explains the "Ugly American" tourist syndrome, whilst imagining that Americans are blood-thirsty racist cowboys trampling over terrain that doesn't belong to them.

But never fear, because there are still cool Americans for foreigners.

Black people.

Enter Barack Obama.

Cheers,
Victoria

Roux said...

Jindal is somewhat of a nerd and a policy wonk. He is usually a much better speaker and looked over coached. Funny how he was much more himself the next day on the morning shows.

You know what's so crazy. The so called sexists and racists in Louisiana have elected a woman and an Indian-American in back to back elections.

FWIW There's nothing cool about Obama.

Hoosier Daddy said...

So, I wonder what Palladian will say once I stop paying rent at my mother's and move into a new house (as I'm doing in 4 days)?

Palladian will probably be say to be sure you don't get a sub-prime loan and buy a house you can actually afford.

But I could be wrong.

Beth said...

Something you can't do to the Duke, because he would kick your ass.

Well, he would pretend to kick your ass. Acting!

As my dad used to say "John Wayne won every goddamned war but never fought in any."

Beth said...

Just realized:

Alaska is currently watching out for volcano activity. Hmmm.

Was Jindal's panning of "something called volcano monitoring" a clever strike at his GOP rival? With Palin out of the way, the Boy Wonder would be a shoe-in.

Hoosier Daddy said...

As my dad used to say "John Wayne won every goddamned war but never fought in any."

Yeah but he died in all of them ;-)

halojones-fan said...

This blog post is the kind of thing that blogs were invented in order to do. EXCELLENT work.

S Sommer said...

Can good public speaking become a prerequisite for running for office?

W, Palin, Jindal.. Hillary, Kerry..

All SO annoying to listen to!

Voice coaching, too. please.

Hard enough to deal with the content of their speeches without dealing with bad presentations & lousy speaking styles.

So unprofessional to be a politician and never learn how to give a good speech in a voice & manner that is effective.

Any sales person knows how basic a good voice and good presentation is to communicate and persuade anybody!

How can politicians not care about that?

Beth said...

Hoosier, thanks for the reminder!

Maybe that made my dad a little happier. Wayne was always a pet peeve of his.

k*thy said...

A simpler explanation: people don't like the sing-song. If someone, anyone talked to me like that in real life, I would probably be rude in return.

Yes, Roost, my husband got tired of him and left the room. He doesn't have patience for that sort of thing.

DADvocate said...

Virtually every criticism of Jindal by liberals I read in blogs and comments the past couple of days made references to his race or being "olive skinned". That is racism.

Alex said...

DADvocate said...

Virtually every criticism of Jindal by liberals I read in blogs and comments the past couple of days made references to his race or being "olive skinned". That is racism.

3:08 PM

Links?

Zachary Paul Sire said...

This blog post is the kind of thing that blogs were invented in order to do. EXCELLENT work.

LOL

Beth said...

I have no doubt you've seen racist references to Jindal ("outsourcing", or calling him Piyush) but "virtually every criticism by liberals" refer to "olive skin"? That's BS. Or you read one liberal critique and that's your database for this comment.

Alex said...

Beth - as usual the wingnuts can't provide links to prove their assertion that "liberals overwhelmingly are making racist tirades against Jindal". All that has to happen is one wingnut states a meme, and all the other wingnuts run with it. Typical flat-earth types.

Frodo Potter said...

Madawaskan, you are entirely correct about Rwanda. More culpable than Albright or the Clintons were people like Susan Sontag, who wrote op-eds about the plight of Bosnians being killed by Serb mortars, but who was oblivious to Tutsis being hacked to death inside of churches. Tell me that wasn’t racist. It’s a shame that Andrew Sullivan has discontinued the Sontag Awards. That woman really was a piece of work.

Alpha Liberal, if you think that Althouse is a foaming-at-the-mouth right winger, how do you feel about FreeRepublic? Your comment says more about *you* than it does about Professor Althouse or any of her base.

Victoria, very interesting theory about Jerry Lewis. In a way, that means Europeans are much more racist than we are.

Ofc. Krupke said...

Big Mike:

Just a note, Colman McCarthy is white.

I've actually met the man. He is exactly as arrogant and unpleasant as he comes off in his writing.

Simon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon said...

AlphaLiberal said...
"Really, Ann Althouse, neither you nor you foaming wingnut base knows jack about 'what liberals believe.'"

That doesn't scan right, to me. "Foaming wingnut base" is a singular subject, is it not? (Its plural form would be "foaming wingnut bases.") So you have a singular subject and a plural subject connected by "nor," in which case the singular subject should be listed before the plural subject and the verb should agree with the plural subject. It would have to be "Ann Althouse, neither you nor your foaming wingnut base know jack about 'what liberals believe.'"

TRundgren said...

Funny how no one feels taxes yet California is hemmoraging American citizens.

They're coming to Colorado, Idaho, Montana and Tennessee by the wagonful to, yet again, leave a big pile of crap for these states to deal with by 2020.

Peg C. said...

I've been a liberal, and most of my colleagues are liberals. I'm continually flabbergasted at how racist libs are because they believe they are automatically innoculated against it. Also, the whole cool thing does not work for a lot of us. Obviously it does work for the majority. And now we see the result. Painful, ain't it?

Blue Fielder said...

So let me get this right: comparing Jindal to a white guy that he acts, sounds, and even LOOKS like is "a racial move", while right-wing comparisons of him to the main character from Slumdg Millionaire is A-OK in your book.

Yep, just another lying, projecting rightard. For your own sake, Annie, I'd suggest you just shut the fuck up before you make yourself look even worse... if that's possible.

And I can wager you'll delete this comment - just like every other one of my comments you've deleted because - gasp! - someone doesn't pat you on the back and say "U TELL DEM LIBZ ANN HUR HUR". Rightard scum.

Blue Fielder said...

I can only imagine what your classes are like, "Professor". I'd wager anyone left after ten minutes of your brand of blather is someone who could benefit less from education than from a good straitjacket.

Blue Fielder said...

Oh, and all these comments and this mindless article are a whole lot of words that could have been expressed much more easily by repeating "IOKIYAR".

Balfegor said...

I have no doubt you've seen racist references to Jindal ("outsourcing", or calling him Piyush) but "virtually every criticism by liberals" refer to "olive skin"? That's BS.

Yes, that at least rings false to me. He doesn't have "olive" skin. Olive skin is usually used to describe the colour of the swarthier Italians, Spaniards, Greeks, Turks, and Arabs, no? Jindal doesn't have olive skin, and I don't think anyone who uses the term "olive skin" would have described his colouration thus.

reader_iam said...

Blue Fielder demonstrates all the grace, humor and wisdom he's acquired in his 24 years.

Big Mike said...

@Ofc. Krupke, my bad. I meant to put down Colbert King. Having seen him on TV I'm certain that he's black. ;-)

In their writing the main difference between the two is that McCarthy seems to recognize that the only way for the poor black kids in DC to escape poverty is through education, while King is positively frothing at the mouth in his rage towards Michele Rhee's efforts to improve the DC schools.

Big Mike said...

@Simon, unfortunately, the rest of us know all too well "what liberals believe." The Times, the Washington Post, Time magazine, Newsweek, MSNBC, CNN, and others too numerous to name make d*mned sure we know what liberals believe and, like the Borg, the rest us should cease our resistance and be assimilated.

@Alpha, next to some liberals whom I've read, you're not actually too bad. If you'd learn to grow a thicker skin and be ready to engage in debate when others have facts that clash with your opinions, that would help you lay off the f-bombs and such childish sayings as "up yours." Being a little more open-minded would also help.

(Before you start launching more f-bombs, yes, we can stipulate that there are lots of close-minded people on the right, and there are probably open-minded people on the left -- though they don't post on Kos, that's for sure. Or they didn't -- I haven't gone there in months. But your mind is emphatically not open, or you wouldn't be throwing f-bombs.)

madawaskan said...

Frodo Potter-

Sontag...yes I remember.

Andrew Sullivan has allowed himself to become obsessed.

Pat said...

Why would anybody seriously think for a moment that Obama was "cooler" than McCain, other than in the lazy "black guys are cool" way? Who's more likely to be cool, the guy who graduates 6th from the bottom of his class at Annapolis, or the guy who was president of Harvard Law Review? Who's more likely to be cool, the guy who became a fighter pilot, or the guy who became a "community organizer"? The guy who married the daughter of the beer distributor, or the guy who married a lawyer?

Holy Roman Umpire said...

This entire thread is proof that arguing with a fool results in two fools arguing.

SukieTawdry said...

I don't mind having a policy wonk in charge as long as he's wonking the right policy.

JAL said...

Beth on Jindal He's little more than a numbers-crunching bureaucrat
Honest to God truth is I'd like some serious number crunching in Washington right now.

There are a lot of people there in some kind of psychotic break.

Just how much money do you think you can take from other people's piggy banks before they quit playing the game?

Not enough to float this unbelievably bloated boat President Obama is trying to foist on the citizens of one of this fabulous, innovative, energetic country.

Not to mention Obama lied about the taxes. You think if you're under the $250 K mark you're safe? Ha. Let me say that again ... hahahahah.

You may not get caught in income tax time, but you are going to get caught in the *other* webs of taxes the President and his Congress are spinning.

It's going to be a long four years. At the end of which someone who can effectively and honestly crunch numbers for the people is going to win. And hopefully undo some of this disaster.

john pearson said...

I can't speak to whether Jindahl is cool or not. I haven't seen enough of him. I have seen enough of Obama to cringe every time he opens his mouth, channeling his inner Ted Baxter.
A quick example: I don't think the word "to" is supposed to be pronounced "tuh" Mr. Obam-uhh-uhh-uhh. "Somebody get him a teleprompter- quick! Barack's slipping into vocalepsy again."
I think both ends of the political spectrum are afraid to criticize Obama's intellect for fear of seeming racist. He went to Harvard (legacy candidate?). He was editor of the Harvard Law Review (a popularity contest) yet published nothing while in that capacity. Oh yeah, there are the two ghost written autobiographies.
His unwillingness to release his grades, SAT score, or anything else to assess his intellect is telling. If he scored a 1600 on his SAT (or anything close to it), I suspect we'd never hear the end of it- i.e. did Bill Clinton mention he was a Rhodes Scholar?
No, Obama's an empty suit, affecting a phony baritone "white guy" voice to sound edumacated to the broader electorate. Other times, when he's trying to appeal to a more ethnically diverse audience, he uses his "preacher man" voice- a poor MLK impersonation. "Can ya hear me I-wuh?"
He's our president but he's still a little iffy on how many states there are in the union. This man has the nuclear codes- yikes!
Look for Obama's act to wear thin as the economy continues to melt down from self-inflicted wounds.
From all indications, the man is NOT that smart and about as cool as Keith Olberman in a Speedo.

prodigilson said...

And Bobby Jindal is not a liberal. He's a conservative. That's not good. That's bad. Bad, bad Bobby Jindal. Quick! Help me think of all the ways Bobby Jindal is just terrible. Ack! Don't look at him! He's horrible! I can barely stand to look at him. When he first emerges from behind a curtain, I moan "Oh, God." This is terrible. This is automatically horrible. A man of color, who is not supporting our side. One look and I am disgusted. How loathsome!


Really? You really think that I, as a liberal, reacted that way?

Come on, Althouse.

Let me sum up my reactions:

1. Where the hell is he?

2. Oh, there he is, emerging from behind the flag. Bad stagecraft.

3. Why is he talking this way?

4. Seriously, why is he talking down to me?

5. Blah blah. More conservative tripe.

6. What? You are justifying your party's view of government based on your party's botched handling of the response to a horrible natural disaster?

7. THE RAIL LINE FROM LAS VEGAS TO LOS ANGELES ISN'T MAG-LEV, YOU BUFFOON! And it wasn't even written into the stimulus!

8. QUIT LYING TO ME!!

9. Jesus, how did this dude rise to prominence so quickly?

10? What? He lead the University of Louisiana at age 28?

And so on.

Beth said...

The guy who married the daughter of the beer distributor, or the guy who married a lawyer?

I'll go with the guy who married the lawyer and has stayed married to the lawyer, and didn't meet the beer distributor at a bar while he was still married to an older, less satisfying wife that he then dumped for the beer distributor. The first one? Cool. The second? Massively uncool.

Chris said...

Obama's a geek. Jindal's a dork. If you can't tell the difference, Ann, it's probably because you're a dork, too.

Arturo Ui said...

"Instinctively repainting him white is — I would say — presumptively racial. To strip away his racial identity — to stereotype him as an especially white white man — is a powerful racial move."

Oh, please. I guess this means we aren't allowed to compare him to ANYONE, then, seeing as how if we compared him to another Indian-American, we'd be "straitjacketing" him racially, and if we compare him to a non-Indian-American, we're "stripping away his racial identity" via "a powerful racial move". What nonsense. And talk about taking all the fun out of politics.

troy said...

Thanks for telling me how I think! I didn't even know some of that!

marieburns said...

Althouse must be kidding because what she writes is utter nonsense. You really have to be a Republican [Bachmann: "You be da man!"] to give a GF what color somebody is or what color person criticizes or lampoons him.

The Constant Weader at www.RealityChex.com

Julie said...

I've been reading the comments questioning Obama's academic credentials, suggesting that he's merely a legacy or affirmative action admit.

By this measure, the degree of ANY minority is inherently suspect, yet conservatives always insist that if "the blacks would just pull themselves up by their bootstraps and get an education, they'd prosper like everyone else".

(I don't recall conservatives shouting "Legacy!" when the President in question was George Bush, but I maybe I just missed it.)

So how did Obama fool the brilliant conservative faculty at University of Chicago School of Law? Despite profound philosophical differences, every single former colleague raves about the depth of his intellect and insight.

Can't we simply accept that both Jindal and Obama are highly intelligent individuals, who should serve as an inspiration to young people of ALL races and ethnicities??

filmex said...

Racism has nothing to do with Jindal's unintended hilarity.

His Katrina story (standing side by side with the sheriff) ranks right up there with Hillary dodging machine gun fire in Bosnia.

He's toast. (And that's not a racial observation based on pigmentation, you wingnut tools).

Weezie said...

Obama's a geek. Jindal's a dork. If you can't tell the difference, Ann, it's probably because you're a dork, too.

Exactly.

Blue Fielder said...

Can't we simply accept that both Jindal and Obama are highly intelligent individuals, who should serve as an inspiration to young people of ALL races and ethnicities??

No.

Obama is an inspirational story.
Jindal is a cautionary tale.

Omnibus Driver said...

Personally, having grown up in a family that put strong emphasis on hard work, socking away your money until you could afford to invest, and paying off debt ahead of schedule, I find Jindal refreshing. Geeky, maybe. But the man makes sense if you read his words, instead of listening to his delivery of same.

Quite frankly, this is a man I could vote for, no matter what his color, creed or religion.

pj said...

No, it's not an asian thing. It's almost a Dennis Kucinich thing - the way conservatives feel about Kucinich that is - but not that bad.

Dennis Kucinich could never be President because we aren't going to elect a lesbian president and hir tongue-stud partner as first lady. S/he is 60-something with a suspiciously full head of hair and shirt collars that reach up over hir adam's apple.

It's not really direct racism or sexism - it's closer to "not fuckable-ism" layered on top of partisan bigotry - as usual.

I think there's something to this theory though - how many white guys do I see with asian women? How many white girls with asian guys? (Many less.) How many white girls with black guys? (More). How many white guys with black girls (Not so many.) And how many asian girls with black guys? (Less, but some). How many asian guys with black girls? (Way way less.)

Diane said...

Obama's cool is "studiuosly achieved"
??? Not a chance. Check out the pics taken of him in high school. He already demonstrates his star power as a teenager. Sorry, some people have it and some don't. He's a sparkly guy, and a geek as well. You can't "study" to get this. Jindal is a good man, smart, etc. etc. While you can be a geek and still be cool - like Bill Gates, Jindal is still a dork. Maybe some white people automatically call black people cool, but not everybody is. One can be cool and come from an Indian family. Jindal is not one of these people. Meanwhile, Jindal and Obama can both do a decent rendition of a white politician. That's why they have both gotten far.

Frank said...

This is drooling idiocy and mendacity even by the standards of a law professor:

3. Comparing Jindal to Kenneth of "30 Rock" is not a nice indicator of Americans' ability to see beyond skin color. Quite the opposite! Instinctively repainting him white is — I would say — presumptively racial. To strip away his racial identity — to stereotype him as an especially white white man — is a powerful racial move. This is not nice at all. I would really like to know what makes white people so sure they are being nice about racial things. This confidence in niceness is misplaced, yet very very common....

The comparison of Bobby Jindal to Kenneth on 30 Rock has nothing to do with race and everything to do with Bobby Jindal's ineffectiveness as a public speaker.

He racially deracinated himself by choosing the name "Bobby" rather than his given name "Piyush."

Bobby Jindal is no wonk. His speech was rife with anti-scientific propaganda (his attack on "volcano monitoring") and anti-intellectualism. He's certainly not owed the same respect as Obama because Obama took attacks for being an intellectual from both Clinton and Palin without ever joining attacking anyone else for intellectualism.