Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The newer and scarier (?!) face of GOP

We all know that’s always possible.

Rachel Maddow made an important point last night about the familiar theme among the “new faces” that the GOP has chosen to project the last few months, one of them of course being Bobby Jindal.

Jindal, son of Indian immigrants, raised a Hindu, and a teenage convert to Catholicism, infamously – or famously, depending on your perspective – wrote about his experiences participating in an exorcism in 1994. In 2003, he declared in the Time Picayune,“I am 100 percent anti-abortion with no exceptions. I believe all life is precious.” This would mean that Jindal does not make an exception even if the woman were raped or if her life were at risk.

This would also mean that he actually makes Sarah Palin look reasonable, with her exceptional ability to consider exceptions for life-threatening situations.

Then there’s Michael Steele who has declared in no uncertain terms that he believes that embryonic stem cells are “life” and is absolutely opposed to embryonic stem cell research. He is staunchly pro-life including in cases of rape and incest.

Of course, we are all used to Republicans that espouse these views, but what makes this scarier is that like Maddow and Ana Marie Cox said last night, this new face is changing in terms of color of skin and gender, but the viewpoints are still the same.

For instance, Jindal opposes hate-crime legislation - a brown-skinned son of immigrants who grew up in Louisiana - wants to repeal laws that would mandate penalties on crimes inspired by hatred toward certain groups or races. These younger, fresher, "more diverse" faces are probably going to inspire younger Republicans from all backgrounds to follow suit, and think it's OK to have ideologies that make no pragmatic sense. That's why it's scarier.