Bobby Jindal has decided to come out against “dumbed-down conservatism” and has stated that Republicans ought to stop being “the stupid party.” His comments could not have been better timed. The anti-intellectualism that has been expressed by some in the Republican party and the conservative movement is rejected by a great many in the party and the movement, but unfortunately, at the very least, those who have embraced anti-intellectualism have had control of the microphone and have therefore had the ability to make their voices heard over and above those who argue–quite rightly–for a more cerebral approach to politics and policy. More specifically, lousy candidates like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock have made other conservatives/Republicans look bad. This has to stop, and given that Jindal will have a bigger platform from which to expound his views when he takes over as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, hopefully it will stop.
In a similar vein, Bret Stephens calls upon Republicans to “get a grip.” He offers specifics on how a grip can be gotten, and you would do well to read his whole editorial.
And Erick Erickson weighs in as well against the nutty fringe groups on the right that have decided to come out in the aftermath of the election in order to peddle their crazy theories. You would do well to read his whole post also, and I would hope that we all reinforce in our own ways the sentiments Erick expresses in his post. Nutty fringe groups are not going to help Republicans win elections anytime in the future.
Team Obama, it should be said, employed a more cerebral approach to politics and electioneering; witness its embrace and use of behavioral science research to advance the president’s electoral cause. This approach helped them beat Republicans even though economic conditions worked against the president’s re-election prospects. Are Republicans going to learn anything from Team Obama’s example, or are they willing to lose more elections down the line, slouching towards irrelevance all the while?