The Revenge of the “Elitists”?

Politico surveys the political landscape, and finds that the GOP has made itself toxic to high-information voters.

With their disdain for intellectuals, their flat refusal to acknowledge global warming, their denial of evolution and their inability to comprehend that rape can result in pregnancy, the modern, heavily tea-stained version of the Republican Party is simply unpalatable to the vast majority of scientists, professors and other educated professionals. As GOP candidates continue to pander to aging white religious fundamentalists and conspiracy theorists, they undermine their own hopes for reclaiming the White House in 2016.


As the Republican Party continues to dismiss man-made climate change, continues to ignore the biological realities of the female body and continues to appeal to xenophobia and anti-intellectualism, they will continue to dig their political grave. The GOP has become entirely dependent upon the White Evangelical Christian vote for its political survival. In the 2012 election while White Evangelicals gave Romney a whopping 78-21 margin, the rest of the nation collectively chose Barack Obama by a 60-37 landslide. Since White Evangelicals are now just over a quarter of the electorate and shrinking as a percentage each election cycle, the GOP’s pandering to their anti-science, anti-woman agenda will only hasten their demise as a competitive political party. If the party wishes to continue to disregard the theory of evolution, they may do so at their own peril. For if the GOP fails to evolve into a party that high information voters can again support, they will eventually face political extinction. The Republicans may do everything they can to suppress the votes of students, senior citizens, and minority voters with photo ID laws, but if they continue to remain politically toxic to the highly educated, they will continue to lose elections consistently, and no amount of voter suppression will be enough to save them.

If Politico is right, consciously choosing to remain “the party of stupid” is not a formula for continued success. I tend to agree–but boy, they’re doing a lot of damage in the meantime.


  1. There are not enough high information voters to overcome the debilitating effects of gerrymandering. Through their control of the redistricting process, now coupled with the Supreme Court’s abstention from constitutional review/implementation of Voting Rights, the GOP has such a structural advantage that they guarantee a greater participation than their actual “representation” should allow. It is simply astounding… I fear the low-information, counter-factual, anti-job growth, pro-“business” Members of the GOP will be around for the better part of the next decade – in positions to control/destroy – no matter what.

  2. So why do minorities, gays, women, students and seniors continue voting for Republicans? Their self-destructive actions are hurting the rest of us while they complain of conditions in this country when they are one of the primary causes of these very conditions. They cannot be reached for reasons unfathomable to thinking voters who actually seek information and the truthful basis for party standards. My cousin, a staunch Republican, recently deleted without reading a message I forwarded to her regarding keeping jobs for veterans in this country rather than sending them to other countries. Her son and daughter-in-law are career Air Force members; who is she hurting by ignoring simple truths? I cannot help but wonder how many Republican votes will be lost by the continued efforts to suppress voter registration by Repubicans. Are they aware of this fact or do they believe the opposition will just give up and make no attempt to register? Or, do they ask which party the registrant intends to vote for before denying them their civil right? I see no change in the foreseeable future but I intend to keep plugging along signing on line petitions and heading for the polls every election day.

  3. What a nuanced, well-balanced article, haha. I’m no Republican but come on…

    “With their disdain for intellectuals” – the disdain is for those who use their position to argue for an expanded state role at every turn. Urban blight was caused by government, so obviously we need more government. Kids are too fat because of government policies like the USDA food pyramid, so obviously we need more government.

    “their flat refusal to acknowledge global warming” – the refusal is against accepting state takeover of all aspects of the economy in the name of “climate change”, which based on the evidence isn’t even anthropogenic, and which stopped 15 years ago. If the left loves science so much, and the science clearly says Head Start is a waste of money, why isn’t Head Start eliminated ?

    “their denial of evolution” – that’s just a fringe group. The left has its fringe groups, like “9/11 truthers”.

    “and their inability to comprehend that rape can result in pregnancy” – again, that’s just a fringe group. The left has its fringe groups, like the eugenics movement. The rape statement is based on a very weird belief among about 0.01% of Republicans.

    “the modern, heavily tea-stained version of the Republican Party is simply unpalatable to the vast majority of scientists, professors and other educated professionals” – the Tea Party, if it still is a factor, has the same impact on the Republican party as the Libertarians – which is very little. The core issue of the Tea Party is that same as that of Occupy Wall Street – don’t use tax money to bail out wealthy bankers.

  4. Well, I’m sorry Eugene, but the Tea Party is a regular reason moderates in the R-party are defeated in state primaries (see Richard Lugar). They may not be the rallying force they once were, but they work within the shadows of the party and influence major decisions and policy preferences. And no, Republicans that do not believe in Darwin’s theory are not a fringe group. That is just ridiculous to think that. I would easily say at least 40% of the Republicans I know (and that’s a lot as I come from a very small town) view the Bible as the be all-end all. The only fringe group on the left these days are actual liberals, at least within the party (see Bernie Sanders)

    This is very interesting to me, as I’m very close to a family (father is dentist, as well as daughter and youngest son, who happens to be one of my best friends) who I’ve had recent discussions with regarding this very issue. He owns his own dentistry practice and is very interested in science, the universe, etc. He told me that though it may be a little better for his pocket book, he can’t bring himself to vote Republican anymore because of their stances on science and in particular minority rights. Now, I suspect he is in the minority because I honestly think a large majority of the high-information voters are also high-income voters, and unfortunately most of those that I talk to in that group seem to value their wallets over the general direction of the country.

  5. “the Republican Party is simply unpalatable to the vast majority of scientists, professors and other educated professionals.”

    So tone deaf. Practically Romneyesque in its cluelessness.

    It makes me wonder if Politico is that dumb, or are they deliberately trying to offend anyone who finds the Republican Party unpalatable and yet (inconceivably) is not a scientist, professor, or other educated professional?

    Just what is an ‘educated professional’ anyway?

  6. Funding…The Republican Party has no problem with corporate funding, and corporations love the teachings of the religious right that tell their followers, “You are here to suffer, but if you give $ to us and don’t ask for your fair share…you will be rewarded after you die.” This is a big problem amongst the uneducated of our population indoctrinated since birth.
    But the religious right is also hurting financially as to why Bush introduced the “Faith Based Initiative” program. The abuse is astounding and where it is not reported. As I posted before, in Florida a Christian Prison Org was exposed financing Republican Candidates who support privet education (of the Christian sort) from funds they received for their religious prison org through Faith Based programs. They also support candidates who support the War on Drugs and longer sentencing for these non-violent offenders. Why? Forced conversion…as the more inmates they have in their programs, the more govment cash they receive.
    Prison Org’s like “Prison Fellowship Ministries” help to release high profile violent offenders across the country simply for converting to Christianity. Their reason is simple, this carries much weight amongst the inmate population, “If we can do this for them, think what we can do for you”…thus increasing their orgs inmate membership = more cash!
    PFM, Nixon henchman Chuck Colson’s religious prison cult was a very big player in this and did have Bush’s ear.
    PFM (amongst others) is active in Indiana Prisons and one has to look no further than the Indiana murder of Shanda Sharer to see them in action. It is no accident that Shanda’s murderer Laurie Tackett immediately joined a program at IWP called PLUS, a PFM prison org, before the cell door hit Hope Rippey (Shanda’s other killer) in the ass with her unjust early release. Laurie knows who runs the prison with republican political connections and who can help her

  7. I’d also like to add that a poster here named Mark Small represented two of Shanda’s killers, Melinda Loveless and Hope Rippey. Maybe he can enlighten us about who really paid his fees.
    I’ve read Marks posts and he appears to be a stand-up guy with liberal, moral values. Does he know the affects of Hope Rippey’s early release? The many besides Laurie who joined a religious prison org after her release, thus giving them more cast to use politically? Kinda defeats what he believes…was the lure of $$ more important than his beliefs?

  8. Another group to watch our for, using “Faith Based Initiative” Cash !!

    In the U.S., Robertson’s ACLJ has played a major role in hot-button culture war issues in the U.S. for more than two decades. It promoted the Defense of Marriage Act passed by Congress in 1996 (recently overturned by the Supreme Court), it continues to challenge city and state sponsored domestic partnerships, it provides legal defense for anti-abortion activists protesting outside reproductive health clinics, it is a strong advocate for school vouchers, and was a major supporter of President George W. Bush’s Faith-Based Initiative.

  9. I only read the posts on this particular blog of Sheila’s this morning. I appreciate Mark’s statement that I appear to be a “stand-up guy with liberal, moral values.” As to why I represented these clients, I was asked to review transcripts of Hope Rippey’s case. After that review, I believed the court had not followed the statute then in place one waiver of a juvenile into adult court. That was the basis of the post-conviction relief petition we filed with the court. The case, previous to my representation, had been venued out to St. Joseph County. The court denied the PCR. We filed Notice of Appeal. The deputy prosecutor was concerned enough about the Court of Appeals reversing the trial court—and thus sending it back to juvenile court, where the court could consider whether waiver was in Ms. Rippey’s best interest as well as her record while incarcerated—that he agreed not to oppose a petition to modify sentence. At hearing on modification, he argued that Ms. Rippey’s sentence should not be modified. The trial court heard Ms. Vaughn’s testimony on behalf of the State. The judge granted the petition to modify, based on the evidence presented in court. I was paid by an individual, not an organization. These matters all are part of the public record or were made as statements in public (the latter, specifically the deputy prosecutor’s comments about the agreement on the Notice of Appeal). I represent individual clients. If religious not-for-profits have found some way to benefit themselves by way of a case in which I have represented an individual, that is unfortunate. I will not comment on Ms. Loveless’s case. She no longer is my client. Because she still is incarcerated and, at a later date, may seek some sort of relief in court, it would be inappropriate for me to say more than that.

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