Bottom line:

The Republican party as it is currently configured, even by the reckoning of its own members, is dumbing itself down. See here and here.

These aren’t lilly livered libtards…these are well respected members of the conservative movement (well, formerly, in Frum’s case…he committed the heresy of not marching in lockstep re: health care and was summarily dismissed, cos that’s how the Cons roll, see? No dissent allowed and Frum’s a case in point).

It’s widely held by conservatives that universities are liberal indoctrination mills.

This view is further backed up by the Texas state GOP’s addition in the party platform to attempt to outlaw critical thinking skills, and was specifically referenced (tho unintentionally) by Rick Santorum during his bid for the presidency, when told ‘the faithful’ (speaking to Republicans, about republicans) that ‘Smart people will never vote for us.’

There’s a reason for that, and it’s this systematic dumbing down of the Republican base that makes the party so dangerous on so many levels. The dumbed down base is easier to control. It’s easier to convince them to support ideas that will hurt them by couching it in patriotic or religious language to distract them, and, having robbed or turned them against the tools they need to be able to tell the difference, they swallow it, hook, line, and sinker, and believe “the other guys” to be evil…the enemy, while they are the anointed The righteous. The Real Americans (does this sound familiar to anyone? – if you watch any news, or read about politics on any blog at all, it should!).

The dumbing down of the base is also useful in that it turns them (the base) against the scientific community (witness right wing denials about global warming, even in the face of unprecedented consensus on the matter from the scientific community…a staggering 97%!!).

From here, it’s also easy to hand the R base an economic “theory” based on little more than wishful thinking, and predicated on the notion that math (and any analysis at all, actually) is purely optional, mix in a bit of patriotic chest thumping and religious fundamentalism, and you get today’s toxic brew of Republicanism.

Ignorant hicks being led around by the nose by the party planners, spoon fed simple sound bytes that they can remember and repeat, all the while, utterly convinced that they’re the “Real” (patriotic) Americans.

If it wasn’t so sad, it would be comical, and what adds to the comedy is that despite all the above, when you talk to conservative/republican, they’ll be quick to point out that the “libtards” don’t know anything, and that (obviously!) conservatism holds all the answers.