Republicans aren’t really stupid, of course, and Begala acknowledges this. But, as he also pointed out, the conservative brain trust once led by William F. Buckley has been supplanted by talk radio hosts who love to quote Buckley (and boast of his friendship) but who do not share the man’s pedigree or his nimble mind. Moreover, where Buckley tried to rid the GOP of fringe elements, notably the John Birch Society, today’s conservatives have let them back in. The 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference was co-sponsored by the Birchers.
But Buckley famously said he'd rather be governed by random people in the Boston phone book than the Harvard faculty. The Republican voter is just putting that into practice -- hence Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, Joe the Plumber, Christine O'Donnell, etc.
And no mention of Buckley should fail to include this.
Nice pedigree, Kathleen.