I don’t get it.

What Jindal seemed to be asserting is that right now, in the middle of the biggest economic crisis we’ve faced in eighty years, the government should be viewed as evil.

Viewing this from a patriotic perspective, I don’t see how this works.  As President Obama pointed out in his speech tonight, anytime this country has been in a major crisis, government activism has spurred a rebound.  To ignore that is simply too partisan for the good of the country.  So much for country first, huh?

Viewing this from a rational-efficent political perspective, the GOP better be doing a heck of a lot better than what Bobby Jindal said tonight.  Jindal’s words tonight formed a message that maybe appealed to 30 percent of America — what’s left of that Republican base (the deep south combined with Appalachia, Utah, and Oklahoma).  As David Brooks pointed out on The News Hour’s recap of the speech, the message of no government is not where the country is going:

JIM LEHRER: Now that, of course, was Gov. Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, making the Republican response. David, how well do you think he did?

DAVID BROOKS: Uh, not so well. You know, I think Bobby Jindal is a very promising politician, and I oppose the stimulus because I thought it was poorly drafted. But to come up at this moment in history with a stale “government is the problem,” “we can’t trust the federal government” – it’s just a disaster for the Republican Party. The country is in a panic right now. They may not like the way the Democrats have passed the stimulus bill, but that idea that we’re just gonna – that government is going to have no role, the federal government has no role in this, that – In a moment when only the federal government is actually big enough to do stuff, to just ignore all that and just say “government is the problem, corruption, earmarks, wasteful spending,” it’s just a form of nihilism. It’s just not where the country is, it’s not where the future of the country is. There’s an intra-Republican debate. Some people say the Republican Party lost its way because they got too moderate. Some people say they got too weird or too conservative. He thinks they got too moderate, and so he’s making that case. I think it’s insane, and I just think it’s a disaster for the party. I just think it’s unfortunate right now.

Hell, even Fox News didn’t like it.

Brit Hume:  “The speech read a lot better than it sounded.”

Of course, I think ol’ Brit’s giving Jindal too much credit there, but it goes to just how phony this speech sounded.