I’m not much in a writing mood tonight, what with all the bad news of late. But I did have an observation on what I guess I can call the “Trump effect.” Maybe it’s coarsening our national dialogue, but it’s also leading to bold statements.
For example, last week Louisiana governor (and presidential candidate) Bobby Jindal caught word of a Planned Parenthood protest in front of his residence. The state gave notice earlier this month that it was cancelling Planned Parenthood’s state Medicaid funding, so organizers who opposed the cuts were holding a rally. Well, that is until this happened, as his campaign detailed.
Maybe it inspired Planned Parenthood to try their own tactics to drive away protestors.
But the question is whether this brash technique by Jindal, who is somewhere between low single digits and an asterisk in the polls, would be something he would have done a year or two ago before the heat of a Presidential campaign. As I detailed a few weeks ago, Jindal doesn’t have to prove his pro-life bonafides. Yet the views his video has received in two days barely matched the attendance Trump had in one recent rally, and as I’ve said before someplace Trump shares something in common with the NASCAR audience waiting for the eighteen-car pileup. Admit it: you watched the Fox debate for that reason.
What Jindal did sort of walks the tightrope between appropriate and beyond the pale. Maybe it was just overkill because there were only a couple dozen protestors on Planned Parenthood’s behalf.
I think there are a number of things that save the day for Jindal: one is that it was a relatively understated display. In fact, he may have helped spread the word on those Center for Medical Progress videos a little bit, but they weren’t the gaudy, almost over-the-top photos associated with certain aspects of the pro-life movement.
Second, in the time I’ve been studying the candidates, Jindal has consistently scored well. Something like this may be a little bit of showing off but it is in line with his core beliefs.
Finally, it was effective. Whether Jindal can win in court or not, he has made his own good-faith effort to defund Planned Parenthood. That’s a popular place to be with voters.
Aside from the cop being at our rally in Easton and the perceived slanting of coverage, our efforts were more or less the norm. It would be nice if Bobby Jindal helped put the defund effort on the map.