If you listen carefully, you can hear the"click" of their collective jaw unhinging and the "clack" of it hitting their laptops:
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's refusal to raise taxes is boosting his stature with a re-energized national GOP, even while his state faces severe budget cuts to education, health care and social service programs.
His approval ratings in Louisiana are still high, but critics and some analysts wonder how long he can please power-brokers outside his state without angering voters in it.
Recent polling has shown that 60-70% of all Americans prefer lower taxes even with the so-called "downside" of reduced services. But like the polls that showed Scott Brown closing and eventually leading Martha Coakley, it appears that anything that may cause cognitive dissonance from the liberal playbook is automatically rejected by its handmaidens in the media.
Thus, in the case of Bobby Jindal, the media ascribes his governing philosophy as an attempt to "play to the national GOP", as opposed to responding to the wishes of his constituents in Louisiana.
The AP still sounds shocked:
Jindal ran against tax increases and big government spending, but he took office in January 2008 when the state had hundreds of millions in surplus cash.
Now the state's budget shortfall is estimated at $1 billion for the fiscal year that begins July 1, and the gap is expected to grow even larger a year later when federal stimulus money disappears. The worst budget cuts would fall right in the midst of Jindal's 2011 re-election campaign. But he hasn't changed his mind on taxes, and complaints are growing about big cuts to state programs.
Who is making these complaints? The AP quotes one English teacher. Ah, sorry guys, not a statistically significant sample. And despite their dismay that Jindal won't follow the liberal policy of raising taxes to fund social services in the middle of a crippling recession, the last two paragraphs of the story explain why:
Still, polls in the increasingly red state back Jindal. He has a high approval rating, and Baton Rouge-based pollster Bernie Pinsonat said annual surveys of voters repeatedly show they think Louisiana has a spending problem, not a revenue shortfall.
"I'm not going to sit here and say that Bobby Jindal can cut, cut, cut and there will be no consequences. Certain people are going to be unhappy. But is that the overwhelming majority of Louisiana? I don't think so,"...
The only ones unhappy will be the mainstream media, who will shake their heads sadly and blame ignorance, racism, and FOX News for a nation too "stupid" to understand the moral high ground that is financial ruin...
UPDATE: Freeman Hunt sounds the same theme here...