I thought that Philadelphia’s Mayor Michael Nutter was going to have a hard time getting reelected because of some of the decisions he’s made, such as trying to shut down a bunch of city libraries and closing some city firehouses.
But Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, might be the only elected official with a more uphill climb to his reelection if he makes a decision he’s threatened to make regarding the recently passed $789 billion federal stimulus package.
According to WWL-TV, the CBS affiliate in New Orleans, Jindal may not take the $4 billion that Louisiana has been alloted through the stimulus package. His reasons: there may be too many strings attached. I wonder if he’ll announce his intentions as part of the response he’s supposed to give to President Barack Obama’s address tp Congress next Tuesday.
(I also wonder if Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the current frontrunner for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination is saying “Geez, what a dumb ass! I’m taking the money. I at least want to have a shot in 2012.)
Now I’m guessing that Jindal will say he’s not playing partisan politics here. I’m guessing he’ll say that he’s just doing what he thinks is right for his state because he doesn’t want to begin a program with the stimulus that might not be sustainable for the state otherwise. I’m guessing that he’s not thinking of refusing this money so that he can say that the 50,000 jobs that the White House says will be created in Louisiana thanks to the stimulus don’t materialize, thus smoothing his path, ever so slightly, to the presidency in 2012.
But no matter what his reasoning is, Jindal is being totally irresponsible in my humble opinion.
Why? Because he’s the governor of Louisiana.
You remember what happened there a few years back don’t you? Hurricane Katrina? Lots of rain? Broken levees? New Orleans turned into a wholly owned subsidiary of the Gulf of Mexico? Lots and lots of drowned and starving folks due to a combination of governmental stupidity and plain old indifference? Anderson Cooper of CNN showing us that he’s more than just a great mound of hair and bright blue eyes?
Well, even if Jindal doesn’t remember Katrina, I’m pretty sure folks in New Orleans do, mostly because in some places, most notably the Lower Ninth Ward, it never completely went away. That’s why Ray Nagin, mayor of New Orleans, has already said that any money Jindal refuses, he’ll take.
But even if Katrina had never happened, Louisiana doesn’t have enough of a margin for error for Jindal to refuse $4 million. It’s one of the poorest states in the union and folks are pretty hard up there.
I get politics. Politics is supposed to be the art of the possible. Most people get into politics because they want to help out their fellow man and find a way to do more for their community.
If someone can tell me where refusing money for your state because you want to make a blatantly partisan point represents the art of the possible, I’d sure like to know.
Somehow, I see a recall election in this man’s future.
Or, at least I should.