Hat-tip to Dispatches From the Culture Wars:
[Gov. Bobby] Jindal announced the formation of the Louisiana Commission on Marriage and Family, billed as "an entity within the executive department that serves to propose programs, policies, incentives and curriculum regarding marriage and family...."
I'm sure you'll be surprised to hear that the group is made up of a virtual who's who of the religious right in Louisiana.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (photo) is not unlike Southerner Mike Huckabee and she who is from that-state-so-north-it's-almost-the-South, Sarah Palin. They're Republican governors, all three. They're relatively or absolutely young, all three. They're tagged as rising stars within the GOP, all three. And they're magical, all three! The way each governor's worldview blends conservativism and crypto- (or not-so-crypto-) supernaturalism in the service of power evokes the Persian magi, medieval Vatican court astrologers, or Confucian diviners. (Huckabee loves the magic that is Creationism; Palin, the magic that is holy laughter and magical healing and witch-hunting, and Jindal, the magic that is demon possession.)
However, as Huckabee (Christian fundamentalist) and Palin (The New Apostolic Reformation/Third Wave) flaunt a folksy, affable exterior, yet drop hits of anger simmering beneath--a riptide pulling along lovers of the politics of resentment--Jindal (who is Roman Catholic) offers an ostensibly more attractive and polished style, all the more seductive, especially probably to middle-class voters, thanks to his medical training and Ivy League credentials. (Of course, Sen. Bill Frist, Dr. Video-diagnosis From Afar in the Service of Ideology, has shown us the potentially low value of medical professionals in politics, and Ivy League degrees are a dime a dozen among the long list of villains in American political history--Pat Robertson, just to name one.)
A 2012 GOP presidential ticket combining any two of the three above-mentioned conjurers could almost certainly never occur. It might be a double-dose of craziness that "blue" American and a sizeable portion of even "red" America would find to be simply too much to stomach. However, any one of them balanced on a presidential ticket with a vigorous (but not frenetic) and probably non-Southern--or at least probably not from a state that went to Obama in the 2008 election--white male public offical. Who knows? Jindal has intimated that he'll not run for president in 2012 (which means he's considering doing so).
It's anybody's guess. The GOP may find their Obama (the "GOPama" candidate?), someone as of now still unelected or at least mostly unknown, between now and the 2011/2012 primaries and caucuses season. I don't at this time think that the Gopama is Jindal. But who knows? If he's not keen to be in the running for 2012 or 2016, he certainly has less need to curry favor with the religious right as he's doing with his worrisome Commission on Marriage and Family.