Yesterday, George Packer drooled all over David Brooks’ vacuous “Burkean bell” critique of Obama, which can be summarized as “it sounds complex, so I don’t think it will work.” Today, Amy Sullivan tells us that Bobby Jindal would have been brilliant if only he’d told us what he’d really thought:
Jindal is a smart guy, a frighteningly smart guy. I’d love to hear his real, honest, not-positioning-for-2012 response to Obama’s speech tonight because I suspect he’d have some sharp and useful criticisms.
Now, I suspect that Jindal is relatively intelligent since he was a Rhodes scholar. And, anyway, all Indians are smart, right? But if he’s never made any sharp or useful criticisms of Obama, then why should we believe that he has any? His educational pedigree doesn’t make his nonsense any more logical, just as David Brooks’ faux erudition doesn’t make his vacuous vagaries any more incisive.
Look, there are Republicans who have said intelligent things about the stimulus — Charlie Crist and Arnie (who support it) and Marty Feldstein who supports it with reservations, for example. But Republicans who unreservedly oppose the stimulus have not made any good points about their opposition. Repeating things that Herbert Hoover said 80 years ago does not qualify as a good point.
This really is the soft bigotry of lowered expectations.