Looking back at the last year or so, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's (R) effort to raise his national profile has run into occasional pitfalls. The far-right governor, for example, has suggested
Americans have a guaranteed right under the First Amendment to appear on reality-television shows, while also refusing to say whether he believes in modern biology
The Louisiana Republican has filed a federal lawsuit in opposition to an education policy he recently endorsed
; he said
Israel would be safer if Secretary of State John Kerry was "riding a girl's bike or whatever it is in Nantucket"; and he made up a ridiculous argument
about Medicaid hurting Americans with disabilities, making it seem as if he doesn't understand the policy.
It's against this backdrop that Jindal is now arguing that President Obama isn't "smart" enough
for his taste.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) attacked President Barack Obama's intelligence on Tuesday, claiming Obama deserves a tuition refund from Harvard since he didn't learn "a darned thing while he was there." [...] "There's actually one lawsuit I'm happy to endorse. You see we have gotten so used to saying we have a constitutional scholar in the White House, we've gotten so used to saying we have a smart man as president. But I'm beginning to wonder if that's really true," Jindal said, according to video posted by the Louisville Courier-Journal.
As part of his indictment against the president's intellect, Jindal insisted that Obama is the "first president ever to occupy the White House who does not believe in American exceptionalism." He made the comments shortly after
President Obama told a White House audience, "I'm a firm believer in American exceptionalism" -- an issue he spoke on at some length.
Part of the problem is Jindal's lazy combination of irony and hypocrisy. The Louisiana governor, desperate to rally right-wing support in advance of a likely national campaign, routinely makes comments that can charitably be described as dumb. For Jindal to pick a fight about the president's intellectual acuity is like New Jersey Chris Christie (R) accusing someone of being a bully -- it's a topic probably better left to others.
But the other part is the governor's actions
, which raise their own doubts about whether Louisiana is led by a "smart man."
Louisiana has a message for many of the scientists and medical experts studying Ebola and aiding efforts to fight the deadly virus in West Africa -- stay away. The state sent a letter to members of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, which is holding its annual conference in New Orleans next week. If they've recently been to any of the West African countries where the virus has infected more than 13,000 people, they shouldn't attend the meeting.
He's apparently changed his mind.