Jindal: End Dumbed-Down Conservatism

Jindal: End Dumbed-Down Conservatism November 14, 2012

Looks like another Catholic is poking his head out of the Bubble and trying to get conservatives to break with the Dumb. Good. Of course, the question is whether he really willing to embrace the Church’s teaching where it is unpopular with the base. But it’s still a very promsing sign that a conservatism that actually conserves, as well as caring about the weak, might emerge from the self-immolation of the Thing that Used to be Conservatism. Lord, heal our country so that your Church can be free to grow and not be persecuted. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

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  • Adolfo

    Mark, as a Louisiana resident I can tell you that it’s not bloody likely he means what you mean.

    • Mark Shea

      Fair enough. A lot of GOP rhetoric since the election strikes me as “We need to learn how to fake sincerity.” Love beleiveth all things, so you want to hope that a GOP muckety muck is really rethinking things. But I’m also pretty wary that the whole thing is not so much addressing reality by actually asking God, “Where did we sin?” but simply trying to figure out how to fake caring about the least of these for political advantage.

    • Mercury

      I’m also a Louisiana resident, and an employee of a state university as well. I agree that Jindal is not perfect, but I thin he is also being blamed for things beyond his control.

      The state constitution is written so that the budget MUST be balanced, and it allows for cuts to be made to only two areas: healthcare and education. Now, this is moronic, and I do not know how it got written that way (perhaps the lobbyists for those sectors were asleep when they voted on it? Or wash this a referendum style vote, like most Louisiana amendments?). In any event, those are his options.

      What this has meant is massive cuts to all higher educational institutions in the state, including LSU, the flagship university. The real problem, however, is that the state has too many universities to begin with – we have the highest amount of state universities per capita than any state in the country (our population is less than 5 million, I think). We also have not just all these universities, but three separate university systems – talk about redundancy. Add to that the fact that one of these systems only exists because of the segregation laws of the past.

      It seems it would be smart to merge entire universities and university systems, but he has tried that and experienced massive backlash for it.

      As for his other positions and acts, I really don’t know enough – except that from what I can tell he’s uncompromisingly pro-life and not really a hardass on immigration (being a child of immigrants).

      • Adolfo

        And when he has called for a change to that policy? Where have his cries for state aconstitutional amendments been?

        • Mercury

          Well, you may be right in your criticisms. I’m just saying it’s not like Jindal came in and said “raaagghh I hate schools and hospitals!”

          And for the record ANYONE who tries to fix Louisiana public schools in a way that does not equal “give teachers more money for dubious results” will catch hell from the teacher’s union. And I have several family members who are Louisiana public school teachers at various levels, and they too are afraid of the teacher’s union.

          • Andy, Bad Person

            And I have several family members who are Louisiana public school teachers at various levels, and they too are afraid of the teacher’s union.

            You can replace “Louisiana” with “every state I’ve ever lived in” and it would still be apt. In Massachusetts, you can’t shop for auto insurance. Or rather, you can, but every company has to offer you the same rates.

            That is, unless you are a public school teacher or are related to one. Then you get discounts. It’s like the Mafia up there.

            • “In Massachusetts… It’s like the Mafia up there.”

              Yes. Yes it is.

              A Boston *private* school teacher

              • Kate

                Hmmmm. Wasn’t a guy recently running for president governor of Massachusetts?

  • Tom

    Can we move on? Your vendetta against the “Thing That Used to Be Conservatism” has grown tiresome. The Republican Party has a lot of soul searching to do. Why not let them do it without the snide character assasination? Would you at least drop the insulting moniker? Surely, you can discuss your issues with the Republican Party without stooping to this rather juvenile and lazy tripe. You are centainly capable of better. BTW, I don’t think any rational Catholic voting for Romney Ryan did so because they explicitly endorsed Gitmo torture or Wall Street shenanigans. Nobody in the Republican Party was overjoyed with Romney as a candidate. But, considering the alternative – it was a pretty easy choice to vote Republican. Like it or not, there were two choices. You can pat yourself on the back for not supporting intrinsic evil by either not voting or voting for an irrelevant third party candidate, but that action or lack of action was pretty hollow. The net result of the election: The Catholic Church is far more likely to be persecuted and we as individuals will have far less freedom to do as the Church teaches.

    • Very good comment!

    • Mark Shea

      Actually *lots* of conservative Catholics enthusiastically endorsed torture, staunchly, adamantly, and in the teeth of the Church’s teaching for years. It was a huge winning issue for the delusional right and remains so at this hour. As to my banging away at the Thing that Used to be Conservatism, my principle concern is that Catholics free their minds from the still very much alive illusion-creation machine of FOX, talk radio, and the rest of the conservative entertainment machine that is busily weaving new veils of illusion, rationalization, blame-shifting and, what’s the word?, lies that earned them their recent loss and continue to teach conservatives to live in an imaginary world instead of treating with the real one. Instead of whining about how mean it is for me to counsel prudence and the need to address reality, the Thing that Used to be Conservatism needs to learn to address reality and cultivate prudence.

      • Tom

        Mark – I won’t prolong this past this comment. But, I do find it interesting that you paint all Republicans and all Conservative Catholics with the same broad brush. You surely aren’t that myopic, are you? Not every Republican is pro-torture. Not every Republican believes in and adheres totally to political viewpoint expressed on FOX. Nor do all Conservative Catholics drink from the same straw. FWIW, while I do not listen to FOX intentionally, I do think it provides a different political viewpoint than what you hear in the Main Street Media. Like any source of news these days (or even blogs like yours) – I take what is presented with a grain of salt. What truly is sad, Mark – is that you are perhaps one of the finest writers I have read when it comes to Catholic teaching. Unfortunately, much like Don Quixote you spend far too much time tilting at this particular windmill instead of sharing far more important and deeper insights. Your political writings are sub-par and lazy. Certainly you can do better than repeating “The Thing that Used to be Conservatism” again and again as if, by mere repetition – the point is made and the argument is won. The political contest and discussion of ideas goes on whether you choose to sit on the sideline or not. That you think belittling any group of people (many unjustly so) for what they believe in or that you use such things as “That thing that used to be Conservatism” to blindly hammer away at them seems neither prudent nor wise counsel – it certainly doesn’t equal good writing.

        • Mercury

          To be fair, I don’t thin Mark ever said those things about “all” Republicans, and especially not all conservative Catholics. His point is more that these are the things the “conservative” establishment keep defending, when in fact they are not conservative ideas.

        • Adolfo

          ‘Stick to your charism!”

      • James Isabella

        Just to support Mark here. I distinctly recall Ron Paul getting booed at one of the Republican primaries when he quoted the “Golden Rule” in regards to the way we treat foreign countries that aren’t friendly to us…it was in response to Newt’s “Kill our enemies” line.

        This has always stuck in my crawl. While I was disappointed that the Democrats booed the mention of God at their convention, I’ve come to expect that type of thing from them…but Conservatives booing Jesus just flabbergasted me.

        There is a real blood lust on the Conservative side that is highly unattractive to me.

      • Moreana

        Mark, you can’t get a hold of your emotions on this issue, constantly resorting to hyperbole and invective. I know of no Catholic who “enthusiastically” endorsed what you call torture. Be honest. Stop smearing.

      • TomD

        As a general rule, I don’t believe that FOX and most of “conservative” talk radio is conservative. They are right-wing libertarian. Rupert Murdoch is certainly not a conservative. There is a world of difference between a conservative and a right-wing libertarian.

        And the purity of The Thing That Used To Be Conservatism is mostly a myth, like yearning for the good ole’ days when I was just a little tike.

        • ivan_the_mad

          I don’t think it’s yearning for the purity of conservatism, if such a thing ever existed. It’s an exhortation to reform to an intellectual foundation once articulated.

      • Thomas R

        I only watch Fox News when I’m visiting relatives. I still also found your attitude to be more insulting than instructive or useful and hence I left.

    • TheRealAaron

      I keep hearing how nobody liked Romney. How did he even get nominated?

    • Art

      I agree with everything that Tom stated. I would also like to add the hammering of the liberal left need to be hammered much much more as opposed to conservatives. Most conservatives I know who are Catholic do not believe torture is a good thing. You however talk to Catholics who have an Obama bumper sticker at the parish and ask him about abortion and social justice issues and if he or she believes in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist you might find this being the status quo of the Catholic Church in America. Do conservatives have their issues, yes! However the evil that is taking over our Church is not from conservatives, it is from those bleeding heart liberals that are constantly wanting to change the church. The politics in this country reflect it too (legalized abortion, welfare assistance programs, legalizing “gay” marriage, socializing medicine to the point of religious institutions having their freedoms taken away, etc. etc. etc.) This was not done by conservative Catholics!!! This is approved and stamped by liberals in the Church!!!

      I digress though… let’s bark down the wrong tree. My only hope is in Jesus Christ and those who still want to keep the Church faithful to the teachings. I have very little faith in some of our leadership in our Church anymore. There are a few left and those I support 100%.

      • jacobus

        Lord, thank you for not making us like those dirty liberals over there.

        • Dale Price

          Well, planks and splinters, yes. But it’s the left leading the assault with the Mandate, no doubt about that.

      • Cinlef

        As Mr. Shea has pointed out several times in the past enthusiastic pro-abortion pro-HSS mandate Obama supporters don’t read his blog (or probably any blog in the Catholic blogosphere) nor are the reads of his blog likely to be tempted to buy into that ideology thus criticisms of that viewpoint though entirely legitimate also risk being mere preaching to the choir.

        By contrast many of the readers of his blog are more likely to support / be tempted to support things like torture, and other issues where the GOP differs from the Church hence an emphasis on those things when he comments on politics

        • Art

          Cinlef and that is exactly the problem within our local parishes around the country! While “pro-abortion pro-HSS mandate Obama supporters” do not read his blog, there is a sense of backlash within the Catholic Church.


        • Mike Petrik

          Fair enough, but snark is not persuasive. I have persuaded several of my conservative Catholic friends to oppose torture. I’m pretty sure that if snark was my strategy I would have failed. My friends did not deserve snark. They are good people with sound moral instincts who were simply wrong about torture. To treat them as evil cartoons would have been unjust and ineffective.

        • Thomas R

          I think there’s a way you can criticize without the invective he tended to use. Mike’s right. Telling people they’re dumb or callous or whatever doesn’t usually do much. At best it only makes sense if you’ve given up on the person completely, or talking to them, and are using them as a bad example for others. Even then that can be a difficult thing to pull-off as the risk of just sound condemnatory is pretty great. Jesus, and maybe some of the saints, could condemn to some degree but I don’t think a blogger usually has the kind of authority or knowledge to manage it.

    • Moreana

      I second that. Very tiresome. Give it a rest.

      • Mark Shea

        Thanks for your input.

  • Mark R

    Didn’t he have 15 min. of fame for a lousy “democratic response” after an Obama address?

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Of course, the question is whether he really willing to embrace the Church’s teaching where it is unpopular with the base.

    Is that really the question? Because I can think of other questions to ask.

    Jindal urged Republicans to both reject anti-intellectualism…

    Such as, isn’t it ironic that a believer in Creationism and demonic possession is calling for a rejection of anti-intellectualism? “Please reject me!”

    • ivan_the_mad

      Obvious troll is obvious.

      • Chris M

        Subtlety is not the purview of the internet atheist..

    • Andy, Bad Person

      Words to look up tonight: “ironic” and “creationism.”

  • Phil

    We could be intrispective and soul searching, or we could jsut blame it all on Ted Kennedy:

  • Phil

    We could be introspective and soul searching, or we could jsut blame it all on Ted Kennedy: