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November 13, 2012

Bobby Jindal: The GOP Can't Stay Stuck On Stupid

The latest entry in "Here's what the GOP should do".

“We’ve got to make sure that we are not the party of big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts, big corporate loopholes, big anything,” Jindal told POLITICO in a 45-minute telephone interview. “We cannot be, we must not be, the party that simply protects the rich so they get to keep their toys.”

He was just as blunt on how the GOP should speak to voters, criticizing his party for offending and speaking down to much of the electorate.

“It is no secret we had a number of Republicans damage our brand this year with offensive, bizarre comments — enough of that,” Jindal said. “It’s not going to be the last time anyone says something stupid within our party, but it can’t be tolerated within our party. We’ve also had enough of this dumbed-down conservatism. We need to stop being simplistic, we need to trust the intelligence of the American people and we need to stop insulting the intelligence of the voters.”

You mean the voters that thought Mitt Romney was going to outlaw women or something? The "intelligence" of those voters?

“We’re a populist party and we’ve got to make that clear going forward,” he said.

To Jindal, that means improving the quality of education for kids across class and racial lines. The author of a major school reform bill this year, he said education is one example of how government needs to be changed to adapt to the times.

“Let the dollar follow the child instead of making the child follow the dollar,” he said of his policies to support charter, private and home schooling.

...

“You’ve got to give the president’s team credit: They did a very good job portraying the Republican Party as wanting to just preserve the status quo for those who’ve already been successful and burn the bridge behind them,” he acknowledged. “That’s not what we as a party stand for and what we as a party can stand for.”

Jindal also talks about the importance of energy policy and financial regulation going forward. In the broad strokes, he makes sense. Alas, the problems tend to be in the details.

I think Jindal is on the right track and not just because I wrote something similar yesterday, though it helps. The GOP and conservatives use to be the party of ideas and innovation. We lost a lot of that after 8 years of Bush where we went along with a lot of things the conservative movement wasn't very fond of (No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D and a big government approach to domestic security to name a few).

I'm sure we'll get plenty of ideas about getting back to our roots and come up with innovative ideas for the challenges facing the country. What I'm less sure of is whether we'll find someone who can carry the message to the GOP and the wider electorate and even if we can do people want those kinds of solutions or is it too late?


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posted by DrewM. at 11:03 AM

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