I've been trying for days to put into words what I thought of Bobby Jindal's god-awful response to President Obama's not-state-of-the-union speech. It was one of those events that left me jaw-dropped, waiting for Alan Funt or Ashton Crutcher to walk in and let us all in on the joke. Take Mr. Rogers' mannerisms and speaking style, add a touch of televangelist, give him an awesome tan, and you'd have it. It was insulting, offensive, and hilarious at the same time. I haven't felt like this since, well, you know when.
But the worst part of the speech was the continuation of the GOP anti-science streak. Again, when a Republican chooses to talk about wasteful spending, it's always the science, and they always get it wrong. First it was McCain's grizzly bear DNA, then Palin's French fruit flies, and now Jindal has his volcano monitoring.
But unlike McCain's and Palin's remarks, this one doesn't require much scientific expertise to appreciate. Volcanoes kill a lot of people and destroy a lot of property when they erupt. Having a monitoring system that warns people of such an event ahead of time has obvious benefits, the same sort of benefits science has for areas destined for flooding problems were they hit with a huge hurricane.
You'd think Jindal of all people would appreciate this, yet he used Katrina as an example of how government can't be much use in such situations. Now that's what we call chutzpa: Republicans fucking up FEMA with cronyism, totally botching Katrina, and then using that as an argument that government can't do anything right. That's like a child murdering his parents and then pleading for leniency on the grounds that he is an orphan.
Historically, when the GOP has lost with a middle-of-the-roader like McCain, their reaction was to contract right, and so far it looks like they are repeating that history. The new leaders of the party: Jindal, Steele, and (ugh) Palin, are completely out of step with the country outside the 28% that think invading Iraq was a good idea. They'd better be careful, or that's all the votes they are going to get.