By Robert Mann
I knew that Gov. Bobby Jindal and his staff were intolerant of dissent. Jindal has fired so many people who disagreed with him that we’ve all lost count.
But until now, I assumed that the intolerance extended only to people who work for Jindal, not journalists and bloggers who critique Jindal’s leadership or policies. You know, citizens, who speak out in a democracy in a way that the Founders thought was essential for a strong democracy.
But in Jindal’s world, dissent is not tolerated in any form. But at least they had the good sense to keep their intolerance of citizens’ commentary to themselves.
Until Thursday night, that is.
After engaging with several people on Twitter about the relative worth of charter schools versus public schools, Jindal’s assistant chief of staff and communications director, Kyle Plotkin, had enough of my impertinence.
This was his “smack down” directed at a citizen who was merely expressing an opinion about his boss — the governor — on Twitter.
And, a few minutes later, Plotkin doubled down on that sentiment with this:
Let’s give Plotkin the benefit of the doubt. Apparently he has a 14-year-old son who has hacked his Twitter account. (And he clearly does not know how to spell “your.”)
Just contemplate what it means if that’s truly the opinion of the governor’s senior staff — that you shouldn’t speak out or criticize the governor unless you become a candidate for public office. Everyone else, keep quiet. The public sphere isn’t for mere citizens!!
Actually, I have a 14-year-old son. I believe his tweets would be much more mature and circumspect than Plotkin’s.
And, unlike Plotkin, he also knows about the First Amendment.