Yesterday, by some freakish twist of fate, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal was once again giving a speech on the same night as Barack Obama. The last one, you may recall, didn’t go so well. But last night, at a Republican fund-raising dinner, Jindal tried to just laugh the whole thing off. “I have just learned that because of President Obama’s opposition to torture, it is now illegal to show my speech to prisoners at Gitmo,” he cracked to the 1,200-person audience. Okay, not bad. A little self-deprecation always goes a long way. Of course, for that joke to make sense, Jindal is also implying that President Bush was not opposed to torture, which is true, but not according to the man himself. Nevertheless, Jindal really found his voice last night defending those who want President Obama to “fail,” most notably Rush Limbaugh.
See, Jindal isn’t going to fall into the “gotcha game” the media has been playing by asking Republicans if they agree with Rush and want Obama to fail. Anything other than “‘Why no sir, I don’t want the president to fail,’ is treated as some sort of act of treason,” Jindal claimed. “My answer to the question is very simple,” he continued. ‘Do you want the president to fail?’ It depends on what he is trying to do.” Actually, that’s a perfectly reasonable position. Just because he’s the president doesn’t mean you have to root for him all the time. For example: Obama trying to complete a crossword puzzle? While it wouldn’t really be nice to want him to fail there, it’s not exactly treacherous either. Or how about Obama’s March Madness bracket? We’re all competing against each other, so it’s fine to hope for his failure there too.
Then again, when Rush Limbaugh (who, it should be noted, said he never, “ever again” wanted to hear from anyone who criticized Jindal’s State of the Union rebuttal — a group that now includes Jindal) said he wanted Obama to fail, he was referring to “the Obama presidency,” which, we imagine, hinges on fixing the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression. Which means that when Republicans are asked if they agree with Rush, maybe the answer should be, “Why no sir, I don’t.”