Epistemic Closure Watch

NRA Gathers In Houston For 2013 Annual Meeting

In Politico, Bobby Jindal attempts a rallying cry for Republicans:

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violate our constitutional rights; reporters should be spied on; Benghazi was handled well; the Second Amendment is outdated; and the First one has some problems too.

Barro sighs:

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.

Ezra piles on:

The upside of this theory is that it frees Jindal and the rest of the Republican Party from having to do the hard work of rethinking and renewing its own governing agenda. The downside of this theory is that it’s utter nonsense. And the most damaging part of this theory is that it’s utter nonsense aimed at Jindal’s own base. … That’s how the GOP becomes the stupid party: Republican Party elites like Jindal convince Republican Party activists of things that aren’t true. And that’s how the GOP becomes the losing party: The activists push the Republican Party to choose candidate decisions and campaign strategies based on those untruths, and they collapse in the light of day.

Larison views it as another step in Jindal’s decline as a serious figure in the party:

Jindal seems to be retreating here from his previous very mild recommendations for Republican reform, and seems to think that there’s nothing ailing the party that can’t be fixed by a redoubling of effort and a more combative attitude. Jindal is right that public opinion can change, and a party’s political fortunes can revive when the public tires of the party in power, but that doesn’t mean that one can simply wish away a party’s political weaknesses. No one would seriously accuse the GOP of having suffered from an “excess of navel-gazing” in the last few months. Most Republican pundits and politicians can’t bring themselves to face up to the bankruptcy of the party’s economic and foreign policy agendas, and they are even less interested in a remedy.

(Photo: Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal speaks during the 2013 NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits at the George R. Brown Convention Center on May 3, 2013 in Houston, Texas. By Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)