EDITOR OF REDSTATE
The Importance of the Coordinated Attacks on Bobby Jindal
To summarize: Some guy named Zachary Roth is apparently offended that Bobby Jindal is not a Democrat due to his skin color. Roth, who is apparently overly emotional, constructed a fable distorting Jindal’s story about Sheriff Harry Lee. The lefty blogs and MSNBC picked it up and broadcast Roth’s fable as truth and the true story as a fable.
The attacks are, superficially, about Jindal — a popular Republican who might one day challenge Obama. But dig deep, and the attacks are really about big government.
Here’s the story as recounted by Governor Jindal in the Republican response to Barack Obama’s non-State of the Union State of the Union Address:
During Katrina, I visited Sheriff Harry Lee, a Democrat and a good friend of mine. When I walk into his makeshift office, I had never seen him so angry. He was literally yelling into the phone. “Well, I’m the sheriff, and if you don’t like it, you can come and arrest me.” I asked him, “Sheriff, what’s got you so mad?” He told me that he put out a call for volunteers to come with their boats to rescue people who were trapped on their rooftops by the floodwaters. The boats were all lined up and ready to go. And then some bureaucrat showed up and told him they couldn’t go out in the water unless they had proof of insurance and registration.
And I told him, “Sheriff, that’s ridiculous.” Before I knew it, he was yelling in the phone. “Congressman Jindal’s here, and he says you can come and arrest him, too.” Well, Harry just told those boaters ignore the bureaucrats and go start rescuing people.
The most obvious reason for attacking Jindal is because the left feels threatened by him. But there’s an even more important reason why they are attacking him and attacking the veracity of this story.
The story reminds people of the evils and incompetence of government bureaucracy. At a time the Democrats seek to expand government, this is a dangerous story to tell.
People have a legitimate, innate sense that government bureaucracy is a terrible thing. Mail delivery, standing in line to get a driver’s license, trying to get a passport, sorting out social security benefits, paying taxes — all of these are frustrating experiences dealing with government.
The more government expands, the more these experiences creep into people’s lives. These are mere nuisances. The Katrina story shows that bureaucratic incompetence goes beyond that to the point of directly affecting whether people live or die simply by the bureaucracy functioning.
And Obama wants to have the bureaucracy not just deal with the saving or obstructing the saving of lives in a hurricane, but also in hospitals — in our day to day lives, he wants the same bureaucrats who denied Harry Lee the tools he needed to rescue citizens from a natural disaster to deny doctors, nurses, policemen, firefighters, and others the tools they need to save lives.
The Katrina story is a dangerous true tale of why we do not need and should not want what Obama is offering.
So the left must destroy it as best they can.
That does not make it any less true.