Categorized | Opinion


David Paul Kuhn writes (I warn the reader:  There is language I cannot condone in this article) at Real Clear Politics comparing Gov. Jindal with two other leading Republicans:  Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin (who got rare praise from President Obama and immediate criticism from Speaker Pelosi – both compliments as I see it!) and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. 

The title is the nod to the extremely worldly (but alas extremely popular) movie, “Revenge of the Nerds”, but this may be the year of the nerd, dork, wonk, etc.  A friend advised me that DC is “Hollywood for ugly people” (a nod to yet another movie:  Because Washington is Hollywood for Ugly People) but regardless, The thing that Jindal, Ryan and Daniels bring to the table is an intense intellectual curiosity and a desire to solve problems. 

Cong. Ryan has a plan to get the nation out of debt and protect Medicare and Social Security.  Shawn Tully at Fortune has a useful synopsis of the plan and the man.  It’s not without some loss of benefits but that is part of the necessary sacrifice.  He wants to reform the tax system to have a choice – the regular tax return or a simplified tax return at either 10 or 25% with no deductions.  Even the CBO admits the Ryan plan will work.  But, Speaker Pelosi criticized it (Yes, that’s may be best evidence Ryan’s on the right track) as hurting the elderly:

Obama noted that Ryan had “made a serious proposal” to rein in the deficit and then praised him for at least addressing entitlement spending. Following those apparently peaceful words, Democrats launched a withering assault over the next three days as budget director Peter Orszag, Democratic Congressional Campaign chairman Chris Van Hollen, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi all pummeled Ryan for threatening the safety net for the elderly and providing tax breaks for the rich.

Ryan elected to take on the President at the Health Care Summit:

Ryan got his chance to confront the President at the health-care summit Feb. 25. Seated across from Obama, Ryan addressed him directly with a six-minute, numbers-laden, wonkish analysis of the Senate bill that contradicted the administration’s pledge that the plan wouldn’t add to the mountainous deficit.

Ryan correctly stated that the bill projects that Medicare will lower reimbursements to doctors by $371 billion over the next 10 years, yet Congress would cancel those cuts in a separate bill, all part of an attempt to mask the true size of future deficits through “gimmicks and smoke and mirrors.” Obama steered the discussion away from Ryan’s numbers, and the White House hasn’t challenged his analysis.

The nerdy fun seems to be spreading to candidates.  Rick Snyder is a GOP candidate for Governor of Michigan.  His “One Tough Nerd” ad drew chuckles but also increased his polling numbers from less than 1 percent to 12 percent.  RCP explains this in the nerds article:

Snyder has gone from political zero (polling at 3 percent) to a potential-nerd hero. The ad is one big reason. And this story gets nerdier.

The Michigan firm EPIC-MRA recently polled likely primary voters. Only the contenders’ names were first read. Snyder placed third among the GOP candidates, at 12 percent. Then pollsters read candidates brief biography. The Gateway geek rose 10 points and took second place. Among “strong Republicans,” Snyder’s biography moved him from third to first place.

Here’s the ad.  Judge for yourself.  I like Snyder (I also like Michigan, too) and think maybe the issue is we need competence not flashiness.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)


  1. Tom White says:

    Nerds everywhere unite! This is really amazing! Loved it.


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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