Thursday, November 20, 2008

Losing Their Minds - Republican Anti-Intellectualism

A brilliant piece today in The Economist points out one glaring reason why Republicans were kicked to the curb in 2008.  
"There are any number of reasons for the Republican Party’s defeat on November 4th. But high on the list is the fact that the party lost the battle for brains. Barack Obama won college graduates by two points, a group that George Bush won by six points four years ago. He won voters with postgraduate degrees by 18 points. And he won voters with a household income of more than $200,000—many of whom will get thumped by his tax increases—by six points. John McCain did best among uneducated voters in Appalachia and the South."
Of course, it's difficult to have this discussion without pointing out McCain's choice for VP and her credentials.
"Mr McCain, once the chattering classes’ favourite Republican, refused to grapple with the intricacies of the financial meltdown, preferring instead to look for cartoonish villains. And in a desperate attempt to serve boob bait to Bubba, he appointed Sarah Palin to his ticket, a woman who took five years to get a degree in journalism, and who was apparently unaware of some of the most rudimentary facts about international politics."
What follows here reminds me of what Christine Todd Whitman wrote a few days ago when she openly admitted that her party is being held hostage by a group of "social fundamentalists." The Economist piece goes on to say:
"Why is this happening? One reason is that conservative brawn has lost patience with brains of all kinds, conservative or liberal. Many conservatives—particularly lower-income ones—are consumed with elemental fury about everything from immigration to liberal do-gooders. They take their opinions from talk-radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and the deeply unsubtle Sean Hannity. And they regard Mrs Palin’s apparent ignorance not as a problem but as a badge of honour."
Moderate, pro-intelligent Republicans have a fight on their hands. I'm afraid they're going to lose the battle against a highly enthused, zealous (sometimes paranoid) group of nuts to their far right. They don't give up easy (and they're buying up all the guns).  The fight is on in the Republican party. It's the traditionalists who believe the party will win elections in the future by taking a step to the right versus reformers, like Todd Whitman, urging the party to "end its self-imposed captivity to social fundamentalists."

The crash of the GOP wasn't hard to predict after eight years Bush incompetence, fueled by GOP control for most of Bush's term. Republicans obviously need CHANGE they can believe in too; although I doubt they will stand up to the neo-cons who've been driving the party. I stand by my words from October.
"Republicans need change they can believe in too. They won't find it anytime soon with leaders like John McCain and George Bush who have made a smoldering ruin of the Grand Old Party. Until new leadership emerges and rejects the lunatics who can be heard every day on the radio and television, they will continue to marginalize themselves out of major party politics."

No comments: