Not the Swiftest Porsches in the Garage

This story on Republicans who regularly get the party into trouble thanks to the less-than-intelligent comments they are often wont to make in public, is a welcome one. For one thing, it embarrasses those Republicans, and perhaps--just perhaps--forces them to either step up their game, or get off the national stage. For another, it forces party leaders to tell those Republicans to either step up their game or get off the national stage. And for a third, it highlights good work that the Republican party has done in order to enhance its image in the aftermath of two straight presidential election losses.

That having been written, it is clear that Bobby Jindal was right to urge the GOP not to be "the stupid party." To be sure, the vast majority of Republicans have not only heeded that particular call, they have practiced what Jindal has preached long before Jindal started preaching it. But there are too many Republicans who are deaf to Jindal's pleas. As the story makes clear, they have something of an incentive to be deaf; they desperately want to get on television and apparently, they are willing to make dumb statements in order to achieve that goal. Something has to be done to keep those Republicans from taking the party down with them every time they wreak havoc on their own personal reputations.

The best thing that can happen to the Republican party is for it to elect a president whose words and presence will overshadow the mentally challenged statements of a few backbenchers. But paradoxically, those backbenchers make it more difficult for the Republican party to elect one of its own as president, which is kind of a problem for the GOP, anyway that one looks at it. So in the meantime, the Republican party may have to institute a tighter form of message control. Yes, I am aware of the fact that in this day and age, an individual representative or senator is less apt to follow public relations dictates from on high. But that doesn't mean that the Republican party leadership cannot have an open and frank discussion with members about the dangers of making stupid statements, and insist that members either watch what they say and how they say it, or retreat into the shadows. Such a policy will not stop all dumb comments from being made. But it may stop a number of them, which I imagine that the GOP would welcome.