Saturday, August 29, 2015

Jindal Politicizes Katrina By Begging Obama Not To "Politicize" It

President Obama greeting people in New Orleans this week
as he marked the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  
One of the strangest sideshows in the current orgy of 10-year Hurricane Katrina retrospectives is Louisiana Governor and Presidential Candidate Bobby Jindal's letter to President Obama.

Obama went to New Orleans to talk about the progress the city has made in the 10 years since Katrina and the sorely lacking things that need to be done.

Before Obama arrived, Jindal wrote the president a note asking him not to talk about climate change, says Think Progress, a left leaning news site.

Jindal wrote in part:

"Although I understand that your emphasis in New Orleans will - rightly - be on economic development, the temptation to stray into climate change politics should be resisted.......While you and others may be of the opinion that we can legislate away hurricanes with higher taxes, business regulations and EPA power grabs, this not a view shared by many Louisianians. I would ask you to respect this important time of remembrance by not inserting the divisi e political agenda of liberal environmental activism."

I suppose the letter is smart politics on the part of Jindal. After all, Republican presidential candidates have to appeal to their base. And this year the base is really base. So to be a viable candidate, you have to pretend climate change doesn't exist in order to keep your potential voters happy.

I love the anti-intellectual part of the letter, too. I guess that's politics, too.   Climate change policies are apparently a goofy attempt to "legislate away hurricanes"? Huh? When did anybody say that they can make hurricanes go away by passing a law banning them?

Bobby Jindal, you're so silly.

Plus, Jindal's letter is a classic example of the political playbook that if you don't talk about something then it doesn't exist. By pressuring Obama to not discuss climate change in Louisiana, everybody an pretend it doesn't exist, or at least can be safely ignored.

Obviously, we don't know for sure if climate change made Katrina a worse storm than it otherwise would have been.

But sea levels are rising because of climate change, and since New Orleans and the rest of coastal Louisiana is so at risk by this rising tide, it makes sense that Obama would throw in a comment about climate change in his visit to the Katrina zone.

In his New Orleans speech, the transcript shows Obama, as expected, focused on the city's recovery, the government's success and failures, the resilience of Louisiana's and what needs to be done.

But he did briefly bring up climate change, which must have irritated Jindal. Or maybe delighted him, by showing Republicans that those evil liberals will insert their climate change bullshit into anything.

However, reality based policy makers like Obama know that something has to be done to make us more resilient to climate change.

I just wish Republicans would give us their conservative options to deal with this, so we can have a realistic debate on how we as a nation should combat climate change.

If you bury your head in the (beach) sand, the rising tide of global climate change will otherwise just drown us.

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