03/28/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Bobby Jindal's Time Machine

Dear Governor Jindal,

We're all here in 2009. But you're all over the place! It's like you hopped into a time machine and left your brain with the 2012 election and your tongue back in 2008.

Given your speech after President Obama's address to Congress, it seems like you're following a long republican trend of small government talk. But you seem to have confused a trend with being trendy, as in, espousing a popular idea. Yeah, you've got your pulse on the national mood all right. Retro really is all the rage right now. As with clothes, so with rhetoric and ideas, right?

Much like those who arrive at trends just a second too late, you risk going all gung-ho and committing yourself to a fad that might be over. Government hating, I mean. To me is seems, like so many would be trend-setters, you're not facing the fact that you've missed the boat and everyone else has been on it for a while and is looking to disembark. I mean, even David Brooks is with me here.

It must be all this time travel getting you confused. Your head's in 2012, while you do your idea shopping in the way-back-when-conservatism-stood-for-something. So OF COURSE you're acting weird in 2009.

Now, you're a really smart guy, so we know you can get your focus back. Wouldn't it be best to use that time gadget thingamagig of yours to look into the future for ideas instead of the past? Then you could know what works before it even happens! Even if your head's stuck reading tea leaves in 2012, shouldn't you at least talk about how these tried and not-so-true ideas you're taking out of that crusty Ye Olde Tyme Repvblikan Playbük are going to work this time? You're the one with the time machine. You tell us!

Seriously, when the chatter class is worried about us backsliding into protectionism and disengaging with the world it seems kind of weird that you'd slide back within the borders of such tired ideas and rhetoric as the ones you used in your response to President Obama. What's worse, you go on and on about how Republicans let us all down but seem to forget they were telling us just what you were saying about limited government right before they screwed us over! And don't give us more rhetoric. That's your tongue talking, still stuck back in 2008.

You should show people that you're different, but there you go trying to teleport into another time when rhetoric leeds to a just-as-sunny reality and plentiful grocery shelves indicate that Americans can do anything. (Seriously, what was that line of yours all about? Groceries mean we can do anything? I've got one word for you: smarmy. And no, that's not a new cream cheese spread.)

Even if you do have a time machine, it can't take you to times or places that have or will never exist.