There was a time when there were statesmen among the GOP's elected and appointed officials. Men of academic and intellectual accomplishment, such as Dwight Eisenhower, Earl Warren, Nelson Rockefeller and yes, George H.W. Bush. Men and women who didn't brag about not having a passport (the estimable Dick Armey), misunderstand how birth control works or think French kissing was invented in Gaul.
Those were the days.
For the past generation, Republican leaders, talk-show hosts and elected officials have made it their mission to mock anyone of serious intellectual import (liberal elitist!), attack the professional class and wonder aloud about proven science on about as constant a loop as Sex In The City reruns on E!. They have fed at the trough of what the late historian Richard Hofstadter dubbed Anti-intellectualism In American Life.
These decisions have had their consequences. One of the most loyal groups to emerge among what Ruy Teixeira has called The Emerging Democratic Majority are professionals located among "Ideopolis" clusters around the country, usually major cities or college towns and their suburbs. Those who make their living with creativity that requires advanced education, such as software developers, architects and nurses, have abandoned the Grand Old Party in droves. For some reason, seeing gravity as part of suspiciously Semitic War on Christmas, or the principle of inertia as a left-wing plot to grow welfare rolls, just doesn't hold the same chant-"USA"-three-times-and don-an-American-flag-bikini cache for those post-GED.
So it should be no surprise that if you're conservative and you chew your own food, or are willing to try three syllables on for size, you might just become what Paul Krugman refers to as "a stupid man’s idea of what a smart person sounds like."