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Ricochet Podcast #34: The Squishy RINO

We’re all about the mid-terms this week and we’re joined by one of the country’s foremost campaign experts to help us sort through them: National Review’s Jim Geraghty. We cover Delaware, the infamous Murphy post, and a host of other contests around the country. We also politely discuss the Ricochet Code of Conduct and how it works. Or doesn’t.

And now, a fusillade of bullets:

  • Jim Geraghty’s Campaign Spot column is required reading. And while you’re there, subscribe to his daily email blast. We do.

  • The now legendary Mike Murphy Ricochet post Civil War in the GOP? A Peacemaker’s Proposal…
  • El Rushbo didn’t care for it.
  • The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914 contributed to the start of World War I. More recently, he lent his name to a Scottish rock band.
  • You can track the amount of money Christine O’Donnell has raised (and contribute) here.
  • In the 90′s, Christine O’Donnell took a stand against hands (so to speak).
  • Sharron Angle’s latest poll numbers against Harry Reid.
  • In California, it’s close. Very close.
  • Fiorina’s Demon Sheep spot.
  • The Ricochet Code of Conduct: Read it. Learn it. Live it.

Music from this week’s episode:

The direct link to this week’s episode is here, but please do the polite thing and subscribe.

The Ricochet Podcast is sponsored by the Encounter Books Broadside series. This week’s title: Obama and America’s Public Sector Plague by EJ McMahon. Available at EncounterBooks.com

  1. Kenneth

    Rob Long:

    “Well, let’s get some callers in on this…”

    Peter Robinson:

    “Uh, Rob, I thought we said we weren’t going to do this…”

    Rob:

    “OK! Let’s go to….Philip…in Palm Beach!”

    Caller:

    “Hey, Rush! Dittoes! Geez, you’re my absolute favorite…”

    Rob:

    “Um, Rush isn’t actually on the show, Philip…”

    Caller:

    “Sometimes I collect seashells on the beach outside your house, Rush. I keep them in my underpants…”

    Rob:

    “OK!….let’s go to Rachel…in Istanbul!

    Caller:

    “You know, I have like, all these friends? And they’re always telling me there’s, like, no such thing as a moderate muslim? But there are, aren’t there, Rob? Moderate muslims, I mean.”

    Rob:

    “Claire, is that you?”

    Caller

    (Dial tone)

    Rob:

    “(sigh)…alright, let’s go to…Howard…in Van Nuys…”

    Caller:

    “Yeah, Rob, I just wanna ask why you guys expelled me from Ricochet…”

    Rob:

    “Because you were posting about firebombing Mike Murphy’s house. We try to be lenient with freedom of expression, Howard, but that one tripped the zero-tolerance wire…”

    Peter:

    (sotto voce): “Rob, we really, really have to talk…”

    Rob:

    Facepalm

  2. Peter Norman

    Oh great Jim Geraghty the guy who hates Mark Levin because he is willing to hurl insults right back at the left who are constantly firebombing us on the right and the guy who declared absolutley that Mike Castle would win in Delaware. Wow he should bring some real insight to this Podcast. If I might make a contributor suggestion how about Larry Elder? Jim commented on how Mark is a small time radio guy, well the last time I looked Jim you aren’t a radio guy at all let alone a National Radio Guy. Jim please more insight into why MC is going to win in Delaware. This was all on the Hugh Hewit show by the way incase anyone is wondering.

  3. Peter,

    Jim discusses his prediction on Delaware and why he (and just about everyone else) got it wrong. Give it a listen.

  4. Jim Chase

    I for one am looking forward to listening. I’ve followed Jim Geraghty since the early days of The Kerry Spot. He is still daily reading for me. I’ve always found him to be level-headed and insightful.

    However, I’ll have to wait to later to listen, as I’m getting ready to take my wife out to The Melting Pot. A good evening to all.

  5. Aaron Miller

    Wow, a Star Trek reference in every podcast!

    I take Jim’s point that O’Donnell is of questionable character and might turn on Republican voters after being elected to office. But why not gamble when the alternative is a proven dud?

    It’s not about who is “the true conservative.” It’s about the bottom line that Republican seats are means to an end, rather than victories in themselves. The GOP might be a mix of many viewpoints, but without shared principles it’s the U.N.

    “We need to build a coalition”, Jim says. Alliances are formed for a common purpose. What is that purpose? I couldn’t care less if Republicans control policy if their policies are peripheral to restoring Constitutional fidelity. Repair the foundation.

    Let me put it this way. Republicans will not impress me by lowering taxes or changing regulations when I know Democrats will reverse those actions later. Though our government has done some good things, its general course for the past century has been expansion and corruption. If Republicans cannot reverse that trend (not merely slow or stop it until Democrats regain control), any other victories will be shallow and short-lived.

  6. Aaron Miller

    If the odds are against us, so what? What do we teach our children? “Aim high and act with determination.” Right? No matter how high the barriers, we’d be fools to try only for what we know we can achieve. It’s not idealism to strive beyond normal limits. The popular American expression about giving 110% represents a realization that a person should always seek to do more than is clearly possible.

    Forget the odds.

    I agree completely that the messenger matters as much as the message in regard to electability (only ever vaguely known) and public support (also difficult to guage).

    How ironic that Democrats, the collectivists, disregard their candidates’ oddities while Republicans, the individualists, want a regular Joe.

    If unemployment returns to 5% and Americans are happy despite Obamacare and many other expansions of government, I’ll be very depressed.

  7. Trace

    OK I’m starting to look forward to Kenneth’s callers almost as much as the podcast…

  8. Rob Long
    C

    You and me both, Aaron. One of the things that sort of makes me optimistic is the continued insistence by people — maybe not the inside-the-beltway crowd — that cutting taxes, or slowing the growth of government, or actually eliminating entitlements is absolutely necessary. We haven’t had that kind of consensus from anywhere for a long time. In this respect, the Tea Party movement is ahead of the curve. Insiders, I think, have always secretly suspected — with some reason, to be fair — that even conservative voters never wanted to cut their entitlements, that even conservative voters would punish real belt-tightening in the voting booth. As usual, though, the guys at the top are a little behind the voter. All great American movements have been driven from the people up to the politicians. Never the other way around.

  9. Aaron Miller
    Rob Long: Insiders, I think, have always secretly suspected — with some reason, to be fair — that even conservative voters never wanted to cut their entitlements, that even conservative voters would punish real belt-tightening in the voting booth.

    I share their doubt. But we have to try. Like Steyn, my general outlook on the future is pretty grim, but I won’t take the cancer lying down.

  10. r r

    Great point, Jim around minute. 50. The reason we’re riding this tidal wave is because B.O. promised, “elect me and things will be great.” Americans said, “ok.” And now things are worse, much worse.

  11. Kenneth
    Trace Urdan: OK I’m starting to look forward to Kenneth’s callers almost as much as the podcast… · Sep 17 at 2:51pm

    Kiss me.

  12. EJHill

    Geraghty and Lileks seem to have amnesia. Don’t they remember that just ten short years ago we had 100% control of both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. And we got what?

  13. r r

    EJ, in the words of Hansel, “You are talkin’ loco and I LIKE it!”

  14. EJHill

    Every once and a while Peggy Noonan comes up with a gem. Her latest column touches on the idea that on the government yard stick 0″ is conservative and 36″ is liberal. Ideally you end up at 18″. Except even when our guys were completely in charge everything ended up at 28″ and we were supposed to be happy it didn’t end up at 30″!

    When you’re in charge and you end up at the 28″ mark that’s failure. And to quote Mike Murphy, the GOP owned it.

  15. Michael Tee
    EJHill: Geraghty and Lileks seem to have amnesia. Don’t they remember that just ten short years ago we had 100% control of both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. And we got what? · Sep 17 at 4:04pm

    Edited on Sep 17 at 04:05 pm

    We will end up with total consciousness.

    So we got that going for us, which is nice.

  16. The Mugwump
    Kenneth

    FeliciaB

    Trace Urdan: OK I’m starting to look forward to Kenneth’s callers almost as much as the podcast… · Sep 17 at 2:51pm

    What? · Sep 17 at 9:41pm

    Felicia, a few weeks back, there was some suggestion about taking callers on the Ricochet podcast. I begged them not to do it.

    They said they’ll be thinking about it.

    So each week, I remind them where that leads:

    To madness. · Sep 17 at 10:14pm

    Kudos to Kenneth for using the call-in template to skewer Rob. Only those who get the print version of NR would understand the parody of parody. Though for my money Rob’s best efforts from NR are the ones picking on the French. More please.

  17. Jimmy Carter

    Mr. Long, why are some Republicans, principled Republicans, referred to as “fantatic[al][?]”

    Why have I never heard of “fanatical” democrats, or “extreme” Democrats? Leftists? Yes. Liberals? Yes. But Democrats? Never.

  18. G.A. Dean
    Jimmy Carter: Why have I never heard of “fanatical” democrats, or “extreme” Democrats? Leftists? Yes. Liberals? Yes. But Democrats? Never. ·

    That’s because they’re out here in California, the state where Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer and Pete Stark can win elections. There are plenty of fanatical Democrats out here.

    There are still plenty of Obama bumper stickers on the road too. They still get that tingle when they see his face…

  19. Bill F

    I really enjoyed the podcast because I agreed with Geraghty and Lileks 100%. It has been driving me batty this week with folks like Levin and Laura Ingraham being effusive in their praise about Christine O’Donnell when the woman can’t even handle her own financial house. I’m all in favor of strong Conservative (and Tea Party backed) candidates like Ken Buck and Joe Miller, but Christine O’Donnell just strikes me as, OK I’ll say it… kind of a wing nut… not for what she believes (though her statements about masturbation are kind of out there), but for what she has done… or not done. Maybe she can win the Senate race, but I doubt it.

  20. Dan Holmes

    Hi everyone, this is my first post.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that Right-Center podcasts often start out with middling positions like, “Let’s give Obama a chance–he’ s not really all that bad,” and later, when we learn how bad Obama turns out to be, they will say, “Well, he did turn out that bad. Hmm.” The podcast hosts are smart, but Rush, Levin, etc., with their “extreme” views, usually get it right much sooner.

    Rob, and others on this last podcast seem to start out with what I consider to be false premises, referring to Tea Party-backed candidates (a bit in jest in this case, I realize), as “the nuts,” and to their backers as, “The pitchfork guys,” and to Tea Party folks’ views as “Extremist or fanatical,” etc. I view drastically shrinking the size of government as moving away from fanaticism and extremism, not towards it.

    Also, a candidate expressing negative views on TV about masturbation (O’Donnell) does not worry me nearly as much as someone voting with big spending Democrats all the time (Castle), since “getting away with” masturbation is much easier than getting away with not paying your taxes.

    Dan

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