Jindal said the other day that the GOP “has to stop being the stupid party.” But the stupid is strong, and so is the bullshit.
Mr. Jindal posed the problem in a way that would, I believe, have been unthinkable for a leading Republican even a year ago. “We must not,” he declared, “be the party that simply protects the well off so they can keep their toys. We have to be the party that shows all Americans how they can thrive.” After a campaign in which Mitt Romney denounced any attempt to talk about class divisions as an “attack on success,” this represents a major rhetorical shift.
Meanwhile, back in Louisiana Mr. Jindal is pushing a plan to eliminate the state’s income tax, which falls most heavily on the affluent, and make up for the lost revenue by raising sales taxes, which fall much more heavily on the poor and the middle class. The result would be big gains for the top 1 percent, substantial losses for the bottom 60 percent. Similar plans are being pushed by a number of other Republican governors as well.
To replace progressive income taxes with regressive sales taxes is the most transparent effort to engineer reverse Robin Hoodism and transfer funds from the bottom to the top. The guy who wants to stop the stupid has been one of the biggest proponants of same and worse. Think Progress noted five reasons Jindal himself is responsible for the GOP’s stupid streak. Just to name one:
1. He permits Louisiana schools to teach creationism. Thanks to Jindal’s educational voucher system in Louisiana, students will be attending private or parochial schools on the taxpayer’s dime. But those schools don’t necessarily meet the standards of the state’s public schools, and may teach students creationism instead of standard science curricula.
I, for one, do not worry about the Republicans becoming a mainstream party anytime soon. 30 years of RWNJ indoctrination has rendered the average self-identifying Republican incapable of smelling the bullshit their leaders are selling. A legitimate grass roots movement of Republicans (like they said the tea party was) is absolutely not possible at this point. Democrats are the devil. Moderation is the devil. Taxes are the devil. Government is the devil. Evolution is the devil (“a lie straight from the pit of hell”). Women aren’t the devil, but they’re susceptible to his charms and need to be protected from their sinful nature. Black people are the devil, descended from Ham http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/nation02.htm (no kidding). They have invented an entire reality for themselves and internalized it to such a point that they deny anything that isn’t bona fide conservative orthodoxy. They are constitutionally incapable of moving to the middle or changing their fundamental beliefs.
Some of them may go along with common sense immigration reform or gun reform, enough to enact these things with the majority votes of Democrats. But there will be a larger contingent that will not go along and will distance themselves from the collaborators as if this was Vichy France and anybody who consorts with Democrats is a nazi. The extreme right will concoct primary challenges in order to drive candidates back into the fold, and it will work. We’re very likely to get more extreme candidates nominated which will, in some places, help to elect Democrats ala Donnelley, McCaskill, Reid, Coons etc.
So keep it up Jindal. Keep it up Reince. Keep arguing that the GOP just has to change tactics and get the message out better. Like the idiot speaking to someone who doesn’t speak their language and is sure they just have to talk louder to break through the language barrier. It would be embarrassing, if they could see themselves. But they can’t.