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At the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, many political luminaries of the right spoke eloquently about how the party didn’t need to change its core message, only find better messengers. But the core message of the Republican Party for

At the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, many political luminaries of the right spoke eloquently about how the party didn’t need to change its core message, only find better messengers. But the core message of the Republican Party for the last 30 years has been the unyielding trust in the free market, and they way they are picking their candidates and messengers today is a violation of everything the party claims to believe in.

Rather than truly trying to understand why they lost in the presidential and congressional elections of 2008 (an unpopular war and economic scandal), the Republican party has sought to roll out a flurry of frontrunners for the 2012 presidential elections. Some make sense. Former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney are veterans of the 2008 presidential election, and have every reason to believe they should be at the table for the 2012 race. But the party’s decision to promote Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal as the frontrunner for 2012 to the point of evangelism is problematic and reflective of their fraying principles.

The problem is most front runners this early in a campaign have no real connection to the voting base. They haven’t had to compete in the marketplace of ideas. They are essentially creations of the party and the conservative press. And whenever these frontrunners are anointed this early in the process, they are bound to fail and leave a power vacuum that threatens to tear the GOP apart with the internal squabbling that we have seen over the last several weeks.

The real problems started for the Republicans when recently elected Party Chairman Michael Steele agreed to allow Governor Bobby Jindal to deliver the Republican response to Obama’s first State of the Union Address. The Republicans assumed this would be a fantastic launching point for Jindal and kickstart the new era of the Republicans in Opposition. Instead, Jindal’s speech flopped, his delivery was stilted, his jokes fell flat, and worst of all, his comments seemed entirely unrelated to the speech that Obama had just given. One bad speech won’t sink Jindal’s political aspirations, but it demonstrates how the Republicans are trying to take a short cut around the political marketplace and create a star "American Idol" style, with one good performance, rather than letting them go through the rough and tumble of real politics.

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