Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Jindal blasts GOP for "dumbed-down conservatism"

Bobby Jindal, unleashed, unadulterated, unfettered, and unreservedly unimpressed with the state of the GOP, in an interview with Jonathan Martin.

Bobby Jindal on Monday called on Republicans to “stop being the stupid party” and make a concerted effort to reach a broader swath of voters with an inclusive economic message that pre-empts efforts to caricature the GOP as the party of the rich.

“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.”

Jindal's comments about "dumbed-down conservatism" give public voice to a common, private complaint you've been hearing from some conservative operatives since last Tuesday -- the party really has to stop placating the more partisan elements that aren't willing to look beyond a simplistic message of "bigger tax cuts and bigger military."

Putting this, though, in a 2016 context, there are some risks for Bobby. Even though he has the immunizing force of time on his side, he can't lob too many bruising warnings without risking some bad chatter from the Mark Levins of the world.

And some conservatives will react badly to the notion that the party is in the grips of a "dumbed-down conservativsm", particularly when both parties rely on simplistic slogans and dumbed-down ideology. After all, what was more dumbed-down than Obama's utterly simplistic portrayal of Romney's riches and the relentless class warfare that often wasn't about real solutions; only real demagoguery. 

That's the risk Jindal carries in making comments like these -- sure, for many conservatives, judgment begins in the house of God, but that doesn't mean the temple of Zeus is any less in need of a thumping.