Thursday, October 18, 2007

How low can you go, Georges?

Hat tip: Chad E. Rogers, The Dead Pelican

From LAGOP spokesman, Michael DiResto:

A thought experiment: What if John Georges were Bobby Jindal?

Imagine, if you will, that in the closing week of the primary election campaign, one journalist reported, based on an interview with the candidate, that Bobby Jindal accused one of his opponents of deliberately endangering his own child. Imagine that, in his own words, Jindal said one of his opponents "orchestrated" a situation which, in Jindal's estimation, "definitely put his child at risk." What do you think the reaction would be?

Here's what I believe would almost certainly transpire after the initial report of Jindal's accusation:

First, that night, the report would be the lead item in every evening TV and radio news broadcast in the state, and the next morning it would appear on the front page of every leading newspaper in the state.

Second, reporters would clamor for Jindal to explain this horrible charge against his opponent, and they would demand that Jindal provide proof to support such a bizarre and personal allegation.

Third, when Jindal proved unable to reasonably explain and support the charge, the pressure and publicity surrounding it would ultimately force him to issue a retraction and apologize for the allegation.

Fourth, in the aftermath, political commentators and voters alike would be heard to conclude that Jindal had "stepped over an important line of decency and appropriateness," and that the entire episode showed the "extreme steps Jindal was willing to take to get elected" and cast doubt on his "judgment to serve as governor."

Of course, Jindal never made such an allegation about one of his opponents. But one of his opponents, John Georges, has made such an allegation about him.

According to Georges, as reported by a columnist for The Times-Picayune:

"They've been obsessed with us since the day I called him a midwife . . . when he orchestrated the delivery of his child," a reference to the at-home birth of Jindal's third child last year. Jindal has always said the baby came before he and his wife could get to the hospital, and no other candidate has questioned his truthfulness. " I definitely think he put his child at risk." [emphasis added]

That allegation appeared in that paper yesterday, and yet this morning we find that, for some reason, the news was not picked up elsewhere and a journalistic clamor over it never materialized, as it almost certainly would have had Jindal made the comment. And I have a theory as to why. It's because Bobby Jindal, as the "frontrunner," is held to one very high expectation and standard of behavior, while John Georges is held to an altogether different, if non-existent, standard. I suspect by now the media has grown so immune, as a result of repetition, to the strange comments Georges constantly makes, that even when he makes such an extreme and personal allegation such as this, it barely registers.

As a result, Georges suffers from what President Bush, in another context, has labeled "the soft bigotry of low expectations." Well, strange as it may sound, I believe I actually have more respect for John Georges than all those who would overlook such an episode, because I grant him the seriousness with which he holds his own chances of becoming governor, and take his comments seriously and as serious indicators of how he would govern this state if elected.

So far this week the Georges campaign has been making robo-calls, newspaper ads, and TV commercials in a frenzy to say that information released about his gambling ties is "false" and "lies," even though all the information is accurate and they've said nothing to refute its accuracy. What's more, Georges has been on something of a rampage to declare that Bobby Jindal, unlike himself, has broken a promise to run a positive campaign and launched a completely unprovoked attack, even though none of the gambling information is remotely comparable to the false and vicious accusation Georges has made about Jindal.

If John Georges wants to live up to his promise, he could start by retracting the horrible and unfounded attack he has leveled against Bobby Jindal, and apologize for this outrageous and personal allegation concerning one father's love for his child.

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