Need To Know with Mona Charen and Jay Nordlinger
Episode 65: Mr. Smith Goes to Town on Washington

Guest: Former FEC Chairman Brad Smith
Feb 22, 2014
Direct Link to MP3 File

Direct link to MP3 file

This week, Mona and Jay welcome Brad Smith, a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission. He explains some of the strange doings of the IRS and other federal bodies in the Age of Obama. Then, Mona and Jay discuss a vexing question: Why do the people let the government get away with it? Why do they let the government tie us down, in nonsensical and harmful ways? The second the people want a different kind of government, we will have it. There is talk of Ted Cruz, the Olympics, opera, and even Ike’s Tree (R.I.P.). Finally, Mona has some kind words for the New York Times, which, even more amazing, are justified.

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  1. BuckeyeSam

    I’m with Mr. Williamson. I love these podcasts, but her relentless criticism of all things Senator Cruz has me thinking that she’s not worth reading or listening to any longer.

  2. Nick Stuart

    Well Mona, it has a lot to do with the unfulfilled promises that Republican politicians have made for decades (e.g. we still don’t have the Panama Canal back, but we still are saddled with the Departments of Energy and Education). It has to do with Republican appropriators doing things like making the incandescent lightbulb illegal. It has to do with the abuse excreted on the conservative base by the likes of McCain and Rove. It has to do with the “vote for us, we’re not as stinky as the other guys” Republicans wheel out every other year after Labor Day after frittering away the entire preceding election cycle. 

    There are a lot of us out here in the grassroots who are just sick and tired of supporting the Republican Party year after year and having little to show for it besides “it’s not as bad as it would have been if the Democrats were in control.” That’s not nothing, but it’s certainly not what we’ve been promised.

    So enthusiasm for somebody who’s actually going to get in the arena and fight, instead of smoking and golfing, shouldn’t be a surprise.

  3. Butters

    Mona has been on the warpath against Ted Cruz, one of the few elected Republicans making the effort to shape public opinion. 

  4. Look Away

    I do respect Mona for her conservative opinions and particularly her social values. Bravo to her! However,what makes her think that anything will change even if we all shut up and the Republicans win the Senate and House? Maybe at the margins, but I am afraid she might be in for a huge disappointment. Follow the money Mona. The money follows the status quo. You also may want to read, or reread, Angelo Codevilla’s “The Ruling Class” to remind you why some of us have such strong opinions as Senator Cruz.

  5. David Williamson

    I love these podcasts, but I have a bone to pick with Mona over Senator Cruz – oh, well, I will listen over the weekend.

  6. Yeah...ok.

    Many have noted; the citizens are the only ones who can prevent the Constitution from becoming just a piece of paper.

    We are doomed.

  7. Hank Rhody

    Mona, the verse you were attempting to quote is from Job 5.

    For hardship does not spring from the soil,     nor does trouble sprout from the ground. Yet man is born to trouble     as surely as sparks fly upward.
  8. cdor

    Mona, you and Jay are great conversationalists and bounce off each other wonderfully. It is such a pleasure to relax and listen to the soft spoken intelligence you two put forth…until you start criticizing the “Tea Party” ensemble. It is actually you who is causing the strife and angst of the base with your constant virulence against those of us who might have a bit more stridency in our approach than you would prefer. Show us your love, Mona, and you might influence us to soften our tone. But your constant criticism has many of us shutting you out. It is ridiculous to think you aren’t one of us, because I just know you are, so when you start going off on Ted Cruz, et al. I just tune out my Ipod and start a conversation with my wife. See how helpful you are!

  9. genferei

    Mark me down as another who has learned to skip to another podcast when Mona starts on Ted Cruz and the Tea Party types who are going to ruin it for everyone. A great disappointment, because otherwise (well, with the exception of Jay’s ‘America voted for suicide, so we’ll just shrug and drink the hemlock’ thing) the podcast is a highlight.

  10. mike in state college

    1. Not to pile on, but what Ms. Charen perhaps misses is that subtle strategists don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach.  You need some dealers, but you also need some pugilists.  Ted Cruz is a very talented slugger – let him slug away.   Concede that we have to pick our battles, but the way things stand, we should err on the side of action.

    2. On a lighter note, this link is amusing, in light of your discussion, in the podcast, of modern art.

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