Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal penned a defiant op-ed in the Thursday edition of The New York Times, defending his opposition to gay marriage. In his diatribe, Jindal attacked corporations and “left-wing activists”, accusing them of bullying elected officials, in order to undermine “religious freedom” laws in Indiana and Arkansas. Governor Jindal insisted that he would not bow to economic pressure from corporations to modify his position in Louisiana. Jindal plans to fight for passage of a ”Marriage and Conscience Act”, and he says he will not be deterred by corporate pressure, not to sign the legislation into law.
In a case of projectionism, Jindal angrily argued:
That political leaders in both states (Indiana and Arkansas) quickly cowered amid the shrieks of big business and the radical left should alarm us all. As the fight for religious liberty moves to Louisiana, I have a clear message for any corporation that contemplates bullying our state: Save your breath.
He continued with more hyperbole, excoriating business leaders, and ironically, characterizing supporters of marriage equality as intolerant radicals while defending his radically intolerant position. Jindal argued:
If we, as conservatives, are to succeed in advancing the cause of freedom and free enterprise, the business community must stand shoulder to shoulder with those fighting for religious liberty. The left-wing ideologues who oppose religious freedom are the same ones who seek to tax and regulate businesses out of existence. The same people who think that profit making is vulgar believe that religiosity is folly. The fight against this misguided, government-dictating ideology is one fight, not two. Conservative leaders cannot sit idly by and allow large corporations to rip our coalition in half.
Governor Jindal clearly relishes a fight with business leaders and marriage equality supporters, hoping to burnish his credentials as a rock-solid social conservative. While such an intemperate position may excite far right evangelical voters, Bobby Jindal’s intransigence will likely serve as a lifelong source of embarrassment to the Governor, as history passes him by.
Like George Wallace standing in the schoolhouse door in the 1960s, Bobby Jindal may feel proud, as fellow bigots rally to his side. Yet, like Wallace, Jindal is merely solidifying that his legacy will be to be remembered forever as an anti-gay bigot who stood in the way of progress at a crucial juncture in American history. Whether corporations choose to boycott Louisiana or not, Jindal has made sure that he will personally stand on the wrong side of history. That he is doing it so proudly, on the pages of The New York Times, only accelerates the speed at which Jindal will complete his demise into history’s hall of discredited bigots who once served as Governors. Jindal has earned that dubious honor. At some point, he may regret it.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.