This past week after President Obama gave what can only be called an inspirational speech to Congress and the nation about his agenda for the next four years and beyond, Republican Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal gave the official Republican Response.
Before I go on, it should be noted that his performance during this “Response” has been panned by nearly everyone but the most in-denial conservatives. His delivery was sing-song, stilted and seemed aimed at an audience of 4th graders. (Perhaps that’s the intellectual level of his followers, I don’t know.) For me, it was just creepy. He emerged from the shadows in a hallway in his huge home and sorta slinked up to the camera. His body language was totally oogy and his speech patterns were, how should I put it…? Weird.
Anyway, during his ultra right-wing screed against President Obama, he told a little story to demonstrate how government interferes with ordinary citizens getting things done:
During Katrina, I visited Sheriff Harry Lee, a Democrat and a good friend of mine. When I walked into his makeshift office, I’d never seen him so angry. He was 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 had 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 ready to go, when some bureaucrat showed up and told them they couldn’t go out on the water unless they had proof of insurance and registration. I told him, “Sheriff, that’s ridiculous.” And before I knew it, he was yelling into the phone: “Congressman Jindal is here, and he says you can come and arrest him too!” Harry just told the boaters to ignore the bureaucrats and go start rescuing people.
That’s pretty nuts, eh? I mean nobody could argue that this kind of thing is simply preposterous. In the face of a
natural man-made disaster with the scope of the aftermath of the failure of the levies in Lousiana after Hurrican Katrina, bureaucratic nonsense like this is just absurd. And it’s a good thing we had Governor Jindal there to lend his support to the good sheriff’s effort, eh?
Unfortunately there is just one little problem: The story as he told it is a complete fabrication.
The guy wasn’t even IN New Orleans when the entire thing transpired. Sheriff Lee yelling into the phone happened days later.
So, yeah, bureaucracy gets in the way sometimes. And sometimes ballsy Democratic sheriffs have to take charge. But Governor Bobby Jindal had nothing to do with it and he’s a damn liar.
Why anyone would go on national television in this day and age and tell a lie that is so easily proven to be untrue is beyond me.
This is the guy that many Republicans are suggesting is their answer to Barack Obama for president in 2012. Hoo boy.
Somebody better get Sarah Palin on the line.
I’m just sayin’…