Matt Lewis over at Daily Caller comments on Jennifer Rubin's WaPo piece calling for Republicans to be "smart." He warns that appearing too smart on the right hasn't worked electorally for quite a while.
But it is true that Republicans ought to try being smart for a change. For one thing:
Americans are becoming more sophisticated. ... As much as we decry the state of America’s modern educational system, our society is becoming more urbane and highly educated (we are also more skeptical — and less likely to fall for trite bromides). Additionally, technology has made it possible for voters to learn about the issues and “fact check” politicians in a manner that was unthinkable a generation ago. At some point, being anti-intellectual becomes a liability. At some point, this becomes a mathematical and demographic issue.He concludes that being smart will be the only way for Republicans to enact the kinds of changes they want.
I agree. While philosophically I disagree with nearly everything uttered by a Republican since 1984, I do concede that it helps that the person on the other side truly wants to win the argument and not hold onto populist positions for fear of losing the vote. The more heels are dug in, the less things get done. In DC things got done even with Boston liberals like Tip O'Neill running the House and Ronald Reagan occupying the White House. The ascension of anti-intellectuals like GW Bush made it very popular for Republican politicians around the country to adopt a sort of "aw shucks" likeability while leaving the hard work to be done by the brain trusts behind the scenes. Problem is, when a hick like Rick Perry says that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme and then tries to undo the wildly popular program in order to comport his idiotic rhetoric to a done deed, the backroom intellectuals end up being and acting stupid too. So for Lewis to assert that Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio "embody the cosmopolitan conservative vision," he's forgetting that they're advocating politically untenable and pragmatically unworkable solutions. The failure to compromise with half the country's voters and their representatives isn't intellectually honest; it's just hypocritical class warfare. In this case, it's the dumbshits vs. those who don't eat at Cracker Barrel or watch Faux News. But I jest (a little).
So I say let the GOP keep trotting out these idiots who make Obama look like a grown up. It might work for a while to drum up their voters, but sooner or later, those on the fence are going to pick the guy with brains instead of the guy who can drink him under the table (or perhaps pray better).