While other state governors reverse course on religious freedom laws, Louisiana’s Jindal is going full speed ahead
Bobby Jindal has staked his reputation on gay rights, and not in a good way. It seems he is standing strong in his support for Louisiana’s attempt at passing a “religious freedom” law. Certainly the conservative base he touts loves what he is doing. Nothing rallies conservatives more than hating someone.
While Louisiana is reeling in a budget crisis, Jindal has decided to side-step the pressing issues of the state, and focus on rallying his religious base against gay rights. While the religious right is eating up Bobby Jindal’s last stand against gay rights, many others feel off-put.
Jindal has branded himself as standing firm on his beliefs, a religious code which says, as part of his faith, he and others reserve the right to treat certain people differently. He defines those against him as “bullies”, and defends his stance by explaining that he is merely a humble man standing up for religious liberty. He has claimed that a near conspiratorial plot has been sought against him. He claims he won’t let “special interests” and “Hollywood liberals” destroy traditional values, and he will not budge when it comes to Louisiana’s “religious freedom” issue.
The problem for Jindal, while he has the support of religious conservatives, he is rapidly losing support from just about every other demographic when it comes to discrimination against gays. In fact, Jindal’s position has come off so poorly that even business groups are questioning whether to do business in Louisiana.
Indiana saw a huge economic backlash against their “religious freedom” law. This backlash extended from big corporations to small enterprises, and is credited with forcing Indiana Governor Mike Pence to revise Indiana’s law. Jindal, however, does not seem to be bowing to pressure being put on him by similar businesses and groups. In fact, he seems to be using it as an issue to further rally the religious right to him.
Unlike in Indiana, Jindal is not bowing to business pressure and instead seems to formulate that some plot has been drawn up against him by “Corporate America” and “The Left.” Jindal is hoping that standing strong will give him stronger support among the religious right. His agenda is fairly obvious.
Jindal is considering running for president in 2016, and he is trying to gain as much support for himself before the Republican primaries as he can. Who are among the most powerful blocks in a Republican primary? That would be religious conservatives. Jindal seems to be posturing himself for a 2016 run, though his advisors should have found him another issue cling to.
The notion that Jindal using gay marriage as a wedge issue in 2016 is silly. While a Republican primary would eat it up, a national set of voters will not. Either Jindal does firmly believe in his religion enough to defy public outcries, or he is a very bad political strategist. perhaps both, which does not paint a rational picture of Jindal.
Jindal has flushed the future of Louisiana down the toilet. While LSU faces bankruptcy, Jindal decided to use the hate-card to revive himself as a relevant political actor. Equality will not be halted by anyone, let alone Bobby Jindal. Certainly, however, watching his plans implode will be interested. Too bad he has to drag an entire state down with him.