Some basic lessons for Gov. Bobby Jindal

Published 9:39 am Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Perhaps it would be easier if he just wore a T-shirt that reads: “I need attention because I’m running for president.”

On Tuesday, Gov. Bobby Jindal said he would issue an executive order to “accomplish the intent of HB 707 to prevent the state from discriminating against persons or entities with deeply held religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman.” This followed a handy defeat of the bill in committee before it even reached the floor of the Legislature.

HB 707 is, of course, the “religious liberty” bill pushed by the governor heavily in recent weeks. He pushed for the ill-advised legislation even after witnessing the resultant disaster after Indiana passed similar legislation.

If Indiana was worried about the impact the lost tourism would have on its economy, one can only imagine the impact it would have on a state that depends as heavily on tourist dollars as Louisiana does.

But, as most residents of Louisiana have come to realize, Jindal’s actions are not for the benefit of the people of Louisiana — they are for the benefit of Jindal’s political future.

Now might be a good time to offer a little vocabulary lesson to Gov. Jindal. Discrimination is the act of treating a person or group of people unfairly because of factors such as gender, race or age. Discrimination can never be achieved by granting equal rights or civil liberties to a group. In fact, discrimination is essentially the opposite of what is implicated in HB 707.

Now onto a civics lesson for the governor: private businesses already have the right to refuse service to anyone on any grounds. That does not mean there will be no ramifications for such behavior, but that is the nature of free enterprise and capitalism. To take away the right of people to respond in such a way smacks of fascism.

Lastly, here’s one more vocabulary word for the governor: hypocrisy. On several occasions Jindal has railed against President Barrack Obama’s habit of issuing executive orders when Congress was not moving in the direction he liked. After Obama’s executive order on immigration, Jindal even said the president “should go make the case to Congress and our people.”

Yet when this state’s own Legislature did the same thing, Jindal quickly announced that his own executive order would be forthcoming.

Jindal’s words and actions of late have moved even beyond the realm of blatant political pandering and into the absurd. Maybe the back of that T-shirt should read: “I don’t have a chance, so I resort to increasingly desperate measures.”