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Media already trying to rewrite meaning of Jindal win

Not a dozen hours had passed since Republican Gov.-elect Bobby Jindal had captured this prize when at least one media outlet began to rewrite the history and meaning of his victory, publicizing a mythology sure to be replicated across his term of service as governor the next four years.

Regular readers of this space know I present as a lead-in to the posting a media product concerning the subject of the column. If you click on the link at the end and read the article, you’ll find some facts and a lot of – often erroneous – speculation, but there are two things you will not discover from it: that Jindal is a Republican and he is a conservative.

Throughout, the article goes to great lengths to deny why Jindal really won. It implies that turnout was lower than it should have been, making the win seem less legitimate. It also appears to ascribe his achievement as one of luck, by catching a “break” here and there that conspired to give him weak opposition. Finally, echoing a theme sure to become conventional wisdom in the media much as the mistaken idea that Jindal lost in 2003 because social conservatives disproportionately did not vote for him (in reality my published research demonstrates his lack of support among blacks and social liberals and populists cost him), it says people voted for him out of “buyer’s remorse.”

These conjectures fundamentally misunderstand why Jindal won, and that misunderstanding begins with the fact that Jindal is a conservative Republican. Very simply, the majority of Louisianans recognize, at both simple and complex levels, the wisdom of conservatism, the province of the Republican Party, as the proper mode by which to formulate public policy. But conservative preferences will drive voting behavior only when a candidate really believes them, openly articulates them, and does so effectively – and the man and moment intersected with Jindal’s campaign in 2007.

Jindal will become Louisiana’s first true conservative governor in all ways – economically, socially, and culturally. He is the first to present a genuine vision of smaller government aimed at not interfering in people’s lives except to preserve their autonomies and freedoms from encroachment by others or by government. And he very effectively articulated this plan by talking to, probably when all is said and done over four years, hundreds of thousands of people many of whom he persuaded that he had the right agenda for them.

You don’t scare away some potentially formidable opponents because of “breaks.” You don’t raise $11 million from 19,000 people because of “buyer’s remorse.” You don’t handily fend off all comers who do run who outspend you almost double with all running explicitly against you because too few people are jacked up about your agenda to care to go to the polls. You accomplish all of these things because you articulated and disseminated a conservative message that resonated so well among the receptive populace that smart opponents stayed out of your way while others either tilted at windmills or changed their party identifications in desperate attempts to prevent being steamrolled by you.

This reality is something many in the media and the liberal elite will be loath to accept. Their flawed ideological beliefs will be challenged by the proper understanding of the Jindal ascendancy – particularly aggravated because his non-white ethnicity violates the closed-minded tenet of liberalism that conservative Republicans somehow are “against” racial minorities in America – and this task is something most have no desire to try to deal with.

So the rewriting of history about the 2007 Louisiana governor’s contest will commence, an interpretation the sophisticated analyst of politics will find next to useless in understanding the true nature and meaning of the Jindal victory.


The Real Sporer said...

Great post! This gives us all some ammunition in responding to the Dem/liberal media talking points. I linked your post on this one.

Bring some Bayou Bengal spirit over to the Real Sporer tonight as we live blog the GOP debate.

With the Caucuses only 75 days away and the field narrowing we should draw some fireworks heretofore unseen in our debates.

Hope to see you at 7. Here's our link.

publiucious said...

More people voted for the incumbent Lt. Gov. Are you on glue?

Jeff Sadow said...

Are you dense? There is far less ideological voting for the lt. gov. spot since people conceive of it in nonideological terms. Landrieu got more votes than Blanco, Jindal, or anybody in the 2003 primary; so what?

Anonymous said...

The GOP needs to win the Attorney Generals race next month. The Democrats used the Democrat Attorney General in Kentucky to get the newly elected GOP Gov in Kentucky back in '04 and '05 and he never recovered from it.

Anonymous said...

Nice to know that y'all support a man who helped cover up the Mark Foley scandal, as well as sexual harassment in Congressman Alexander's office while he was Chief of Staff to Congressman Alexander.

Jeff Sadow said...

I guess you're referring to Alexander here ... now show us where any legal action has determined your assertion to be fact, or is this just mudslinging of unproven allegations?