If ever you make your way down to the Gret Stet uh Loosiana, you got to go see its biggest attraction -- Piyush Jindal, the Self-Hatin' Furriner.
That Piyush Jindal is gubna uh da Gret Stet only makes him more of a must-see. Listen, Hoss, the boy hates himself and his un-Americanness so bad that he refuses to call himself by his Christian (Hindu?) name, Piyush.
Back in the day, when the future governor was just another brown-skinned, funny-looking lad with a weird name -- and stuck in the middle of Baton Rouge, by God, Louisiana, where the rednecks run headlong into the Cajuns -- he did the only thing a geeky little kid embarrassed by his un-Americanness could do.
He named himself after Bobby Brady. As in The Brady Bunch.
Actually, it probably wasn't a bad call. For my bottom AMERICAN greenback dollar, Piyush is even weirder than Barack.
THAT WORKED OUT pretty well for ol' Piyush Jindal as the years rolled by. He went to an Ivy League college, became a wunderkind, got into state gummint. And then federal gummint. And then into electoral politics.
He went around touting what an all-American success story he was. Talked a lot about his conversion to Christianity -- which doesn't feature monkey gods or anything too un-American . . . except for that Pope in Rome feller. Well, at least he's white. And homo sapiens. (Sapiens, dammit . . . S-A-P-I-E-N-S. Not the fruity kind of "homo.")
And like I say, it all worked out pretty well. That is, until 2003, when he up and ran for gubna and needed to pick up every Caucasian vote he could muster in the deepest backwater of the Deep South.
I'LL LET this article in the conservative American Spectator (dated Nov. 18, 2003) pick up the story from there:
But there's a less savory reason that Blanco made inroads in northern Louisiana. This is where former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke got the votes in 1991 that propelled him into the run-off election against the corrupt former governor Edwin Edwards. (The latter is now serving time in jail for taking bribes; this was the race that gave us the classic bumper sticker, "Vote for the Crook. It's Important.")I RECKON about now you may be thinking "Well, that's interesting enough, but so what?"
"If there was a racist backlash against Jindal anywhere, it would be in north Louisiana, in Duke country," Louisiana political analyst John Maginnis told Rod Dreher of National Review Online after the race. To some extent, Blanco laid the groundwork for a such a backlash herself. She dusted off her maiden name and campaigned as Kathleen Babineaux Blanco. Voters encountered the full name on the ballot, where her opponent was listed as "Bobby" Jindal, complete with quotation marks (Jindal's given name is Piyush). Appealing to tribal instincts in the only state where Frenchness is still considered a virtue, Blanco's packaging of herself was designed to make it clear who had the deeper roots in Cajun country.
Such tapping of identity politics for ethnic whites is nothing particularly unusual or scandalous. The shamrock incorporated into Irish-American candidates' names is a staple of local politics across much of the Midwest and Northeast. It would be unfair to suggest that Blanco ran a racist campaign. At the same time, isn't it worth noting that the usual suspects, to whom unfairness rarely gives pause, haven't so much as raised an eyebrow?
It might be useful to file this case away as a yardstick for the future. There was a small amount of coverage of northern Louisiana's racial politics during the race -- Adam Nossiter's AP dispatch from last Friday, a set of quotes culled to make the town of Amite, Louisiana, sound as awful as possible (sample: "Really, you got a foreigner and a woman. So it's a hard choice to make"), was typical -- but the "Babineaux Blanco" appeal to "Duke country" has gone mostly unnoticed. The next time Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson or Kweisi Mfume or any similar rabble-rouser announces a whiff of racism (or "racial insensitivity"), measure the grievance cited against this non-event. The comparison might be illuminating.
Here's what. And in this case "what" comes in this article from the New Orleans Times-Picayune:
Gov. Bobby Jindal would sign a bill requiring presidential candidates to provide a copy of their birth certificate to qualify for the Louisiana ballot if it reaches his desk, a spokesman said Monday.
"It's not part of our package, but if the Legislature passes it we'll sign it," press secretary Kyle Plotkin said.
House Bill 561 was filed last week by two Republican lawmakers. President Barack Obama's citizenship has been challenged by some groups, derisively called "birthers," despite numerous independent investigations finding that documents and contemporary news reports show that Obama was born in Hawaii.
The bill by state Rep. Alan Seabaugh, R-Shreveport, and Sen. A.G. Crowe, R-Slidell, would require federal candidates who want to appear on Louisiana ballots to file an affidavit attesting to their citizenship, which would have to be accompanied by an "original or certified copy" of their birth certificate.
The requirement also would apply to candidates for U.S. Senate or the House of Representatives.
A similar bill was recently passed by the Arizona legislature.
THUS you have the only-in-Louisiana spectacle of Piyush "Bobby" Jindal, the self-hatin' foreign-ish fellow who fought against prejudice and overcame his Otherness to, in 2007, be elected the Gret Stet's first non-white governor since Reconstruction . . . only to throw his support to a "birther" bill that's aimed squarely at people just like him.
Now let me say that I believe Piyush Jindal was born in this country. I have no doubt about that -- despite all the talk about monkey gods and burnin' girl babies because they ain't as good as boy babies. I believe the man is just as American as the next funny lookin' dude with an oddball name who gets elected to high office.
Which means that I believe -- believe with all my heart -- that Piyush "Bobby" Jindal is an all-American tool. A self-hating tool . . . but an all-American self-hating tool nonetheless.
And, no, you can't make this s*** up.