Last November, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) wrote a list of seven prescriptions for Republicans. These included "Reject identity politics," "Stop being the stupid party," and "Stop insulting the intelligence of voters."
Apparently he's forgotten.
Today, Jindal has a column — if you can call it that — in Politico, urging conservatives to reject calls for reform. He explains that if conservatives just stay where they are, voters will eventually come running back to them. Here's his reasoning:
At some point, the American public is going to revolt against the nanny state and the leftward march of this president. I don’t know when the tipping point will come, but I believe it will come soon.
Because the left wants: The government to explode; to pay everyone; to hire everyone; they believe that money grows on trees; the earth is flat; the industrial age, factory-style government is a cool new thing; debts don’t have to be repaid; people of faith are ignorant and uneducated; unborn babies don’t matter; pornography is fine; traditional marriage is discriminatory; 32 oz. sodas are evil; red meat should be rationed; rich people are evil unless they are from Hollywood or are liberal Democrats; the Israelis are unreasonable; trans-fat must be stopped; kids trapped in failing schools should be patient; wild weather is a new thing; moral standards are passé; government run health care is high quality; the IRS should violate our constitutional rights; reporters should be spied on; Benghazi was handled well; the Second Amendment is outdated; and the First one has some problems too.
I'll grant Jindal one thing: He certainly didn't ration the red meat in that paragraph.
This is a big reason the Republican party can't change. So many of its members have a warped vision of what liberalism is. They think it's something so mind-bendingly awful that they cannot fathom how voters could willingly choose it. It must be some mistake. And sooner or later, mistakes get fixed.
Back in Louisiana, Jindal has an approval rating of 38%. His popularity took a nosedive this year because he pushed a plan to repeal the state's income tax and replace it with a higher and broader sales tax, which would have meant a big tax cut for the wealthy financed by higher taxes on the poor and middle class.
He had to withdraw the plan because he couldn't get it through the legislature, even though it has a Republican majority. It was just too unpopular — the same poll that found Jindal at 38% found only 27% support for his tax plan.
Yet Jindal does not seem to have gotten the message: Voters are unimpressed with an economic agenda that claims the best way to create jobs and grow prosperity is to cut taxes on the rich.
The liberal economic agenda is flawed, but it's not as flawed as the Republican agenda of tax cuts, spending cuts, and hope. Republicans won't grasp that until they get past the idea that Barack Obama is a red-meat rationer who's trying to destroy the economy.