Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Problem with Bobby Jindal

So someone in Louisiana had an idea to build a barricade of rocks out in the gulf to keep the oil from coming ashore, which seemed like it might be a good idea. Bobby Jindal thought that it sounded like a good idea. So far, Jindal and normal people are on the same page. That's good.

Then, the Army Corps of Engineers said that a rock barricade would not be a good idea:

Col. Alvin Lee, commander of the Army Corps of Engineers' New Orleans District, said the plan to barricade Pass Abel and Four Bayou Pass would do more harm than good by speeding water through other passes and possibly hastening the flow of oil into interior marshlands. (

So, normal people said to themselves, "Dang, I thought that would have been a good idea. I guess I was wrong."
But not Bobby Jindal. This is where Bobby diverges from the normal people. He had his office issue this statement:

"Nobody can convince anybody in Louisiana that rocks in the water are more dangerous to the coast, more dangerous to our Barataria Bay, than oil in the water," Jindal said. "That is simply ridiculous.

"The only people who believe that are the Washington bureaucrats who don't smell the oil, don't see the oil, don't touch the oil, don't feel this oil, don't understand what this oil is doing every day when it comes in our bay, comes in our coast."(

See, once someone like Jindal decides that an idea seems right, there's no convincing them otherwise.

It doesn't matter that he is in disagreement with the freakin Army Corps of Engineers, he knows in his gut that he's right. And to him, his gut is more reliable than a bunch of people who have studied engineering and maybe know a thing or two about the situation. And when he says that he doesn't believe that "rocks in the water are more dangerous. . .than oil in the water," it's hard to tell if he really doesn't understand what the Corps is talking about or if he's just being disingenuous. (my money's on the latter)

Also, the Army Corps of Engineers is hardly a bunch of "Washington Bureaucrats."

They're the guys who build stuff like this:

But anyway, the problem with Jindal, and those who think like him, is they don't listen to people who know better. They distrust experts because the experts often challenge their preconceived ideas.

For example, let's say that you a re a person who thinks like a Jindal. And let's say it's late 2000 and you're getting ready to take over as president. You feel in your gut that Osama bin Laden is just some nut in a cave who can't possibly be a serious threat. So when Sandy Berger and Richard Clarke try to tell you that bin Laden and Al Queda will be the biggest threat during your administration, you just know that they're wrong. Because you have already decided that you know better. It seems like it should be true that Al Queda is not a big threat, just like it seems like it should be true that Sadam has WMD's. And Brownie sure seems like someone who would be doing a heck of a job. And if you have that kind of mindset, you're not going to let facts change your mind, and you're sure as hell not going to let some egghead expert tell you you're wrong.