Jindal: The GOP "might need to change just about everything"

Since the failed presidential election, the GOP has been grappling with identifying exactly what it is the party needs to work on most — diversity, social issues, and Latino outreach, or election mechanics and a flawed Romney candidacy/campaign? — or some combination thereof, and all of the issues are on the table for discussion at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting in North Carolina. Keynote speaker and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, however, is going for a more overarching message in his address tonight: It’s time to “recalibrate the compass of conservatism,” stop focusing so much on Washington-centric politics, and start going for a message of inclusion and economic growth:

“We do not need to change what we believe as conservatives – our principles are timeless,” Jindal says. “But we do need to re-orient our focus to the place where conservatism thrives: in the real world beyond the Washington Beltway.” …

“Today’s conservatism is completely wrapped up in solving the hideous mess that is the federal budget, the burgeoning deficits, the mammoth federal debt, the shortfall in our entitlement programs,” he says. “We seem to have an obsession with government bookkeeping. This is a rigged game, and it is the wrong game for us to play.” …

“The Republican Party must become the party of growth, the party of a prosperous future that is based in our economic growth and opportunity that is based in every community in this great country and that is not based in Washington, D.C.,” Jindal says.

Of course, the 2016 brand-building has already begun in earnest, and with the GOP bench looking pretty solid, the competition for free-market, economy-growing, conservative credentials will be fierce — and I am one hundred percent okay with that. Jindal is already looking to institute some aggressive pro-growth changes to Louisiana’s tax code, and the message of goal-oriented optimism is one the Republicans could definitely use right about now.

The Democrats have somehow managed to become the party that can provide more for people through the auspices of big government; as Jindal plans to say, they “promise to be the party of ‘more from government,’ but they are actually the party of less.  They are the party of economic contraction, austerity and less from the economy.  The Republican Party is the party of ‘more,’ the party that creates more from the economy.'” The GOP needs to keep hammering home that they aren’t against a social safety net — rather, they’re actively for an economy in which opportunities are so readily available and attractive that people don’t want to be on welfare — and its the type of economy that cannot be achieved through federal orchestration.