Tough love from Bobby Jindal. It's actually debatable how much the comments to which he refers hurt Mitt Romney, but they surely didn't help at any level. But I think the issue Jindal raises here is the one that will decide how the Tea Party and the Republican Establishment live in harmony, or if they do.
Consider; Jindal speaks of "dumbed-down" conservatism when the man perceived as the intellectual leader of the conservative movement, Paul Ryan, was on the presidential ticket. But I would argue the goal of making the race about "big things" wasn't acheived, and it was why Ryan was put on the ticket.
But down ticket, Jindal has a point. The Tea Party has done tremendous things for the conservative movement. But it's in the movement's self-interest to understand that there are qualities that can help a candidate get elected that go beyond believing the right things. And holding these qualities doesn't automatically make the a RINO or an "Establishment Republican." In essence,(and a friend shared this with me recently) the Tea Party Movement needs to recruit a higher quality of candidates. That's not to say it hasn't recruited some gems; U.S. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, to name just one.
I believe Madison businessman Eric Hovde would have been in the Johnson mold, but we may never know. Tommy Thompson certainly wasn't in the Johnson mold, but the party establishment is still strong enough to give the nomination to someone to whom they remain firecely loyal. I have few quibbles with Ryan and Governor Scott Walker, but their "non-endorsement" endorsements of Thompson were frustrating to me.
Rush Limbaugh lives by "vote for the most conservative candidate on the ballot." I still think that's good advice. What Jindal is saying is let's make sure the most conservative is also the most well rounded candidate on the ballot. If that's not what he's saying, I am.