Jindal channeled Mr. Rogers at the start, and it was downhill from there. Evoking Katrina, bringing up debunked myths on high speed rails, ranting about a volcano safety program. This was not an accident. He was sacrificed by his own party.
Neoconservatism and neoliberalism have both learned to capitalize on the trend to failure. Why train for the high jump when you can get away with lowering the bar? The Republicans have made nothing but stupid moves since Obama got elected. Rush Limbaugh is now considered a party leader, and was one of the few commentators to defend Jindal's speech.
They want expectations lowered. Or they're stupid, but for the sake of conversation let's assume that this is a very sophisticated ruse.
The president commits to healthcare and the very next day Democrats turn up on TV remarking that, while universal healthcare is of course the ideal, it's not very likely to happen and, well, we'll take what we can get. The president vows to close Gitmo and end torture, then waits a few weeks before vowing to carry on the War on Terror in a manner disturbingly similar to what we've grown used to (including renewed bombings in Pakistan). This is accompanied by reports of possible court challenges to the closing of Gitmo and even a Democrat now arguing that if we can keep it well-run and respectable, maybe closing Gitmo isn't such a good idea.
Extinguish the light at the end of the tunnel and people will just be happy just to set foot on solid ground.
This is politics. Lowering expectations in these circumstances may not be such a bad idea, but this is more than a plea for level-headedness, it's cynical propaganda, and it works with Jindal's absurd history lesson: America's work is done. Racism's over. Now don't expect too much.