As Suspected

Ken AshfordObama OppositionLeave a Comment

Following up on yesterday's post, it turns out that Jindal wasn't telling the truth after all.

For those needing a recap, here's the video of the relevant portion of Jindal's response:

Some story, huh?  Turns out, it's not so true.

Specifically, when Jindal told the nation that he was in the sheriff's office "during Katrina," he didn't mean "during Katrina." Days later, well after the incident with the boats, Jindal visited with the sheriff. 

When Jindal said he'd "never seen [the sheriff] so angry" as he "was yelling into the phone" about rescuing people, that wasn't exactly right, either. Jindal heard about the story after the fact.

We know this now because Jindal's spokesman has "clarified" this anecdote for us.

Implications of this?

This is no minor difference. Jindal's presence in Lee's office during the crisis itself was a key element of the story's intended appeal, putting him at the center of the action during the maelstrom. Just as important, Jindal implied that his support for the sheriff helped ensure the rescue went ahead. But it turns out Jindal wasn't there at the key moment, and played no role in making the rescue happen.

There's a larger point here, though. The central anecdote of the GOP's prime-time response to President Obama's speech, intended to illustrate the threat of excessive government regulation, turns out to have been made up.

I have a political adage that I'm trying to get into the mainstream.  I call it "The Reagan Cadillac-Driving Welfare Queen Adage".  It's basically this: if you have to lie, fabricate, embellish, exaggerate, or mislead others as to the factual basis of a demonstrative anecdote, then the policy or position you are advocating through the use of that anecdote must lack merit.

Reagan Cadillac-Driving Welfare Queen Adage…. meet Bobby Jindal.