Thursday, December 6, 2012

What does Jindal's buzzy quote mean?

Two sentences from Bobby Jindal's op-ed in Politico are getting tons of ink, buzz, and tweets this morning.

And they are:

At present, any reading of the headlines over the past week indicates that Republicans are fighting to protect the rich and cut benefits for seniors.

It may be possible to have worse political positioning than that, but I’m not sure how.

Many are interpreting this as Jindal hammering his party's positioning in the fiscal cliff talks, but those interpretations are conveniently overlooking the first part of the sentence: "Any reading of the headlines over the past week indicates..."

He's not calling out Republicans for the negotiations or saying the headlines are a fair representation or that Republicans are perniciously cutting the wheelchairs from under the elderly to line the pockets of the rich.

He's just making the point that, fair or unfairly, that's the way negotiations are being presented, and since Republicans are already being treated as ogres, they should at least fight for structural reform while they're at it.