The Ricochet Podcast
Episode 186: Not Sorry About It

Guests: The Washington Examiner's Tim Carney and El Rush Bro himself, David Limbaugh
Oct 17, 2013
Direct Link to MP3 File

Direct link to MP3 file

This week, Troy Senik sits in for Rob Long, The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney on the political fallout from the shutdown, and David Limbaugh (aka EL Rush Bro) is –not surprisingly– energized by the whole thing. Also, the media’s fixation on the Republican Party’s demise, and Lileks gets off the first Harlow Wilcox reference on any media in at least 50 years. 

Music from this week’s episode: 

Crawling From The Wreckage by Dave Edmunds

The Ricochet Podcast opening theme was composed and produced by James Lileks.

Thankfully, EJHill has returned from furlough. 

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  1. Butters

    great guest list, looking forward to listening

    David always gets me fired up!

    And Tim is a great champion of libertarian populism.

  2. Butters

    for Peter, some reasons McConnell needs to go

    1) He isn’t making the argument. When you are in the minority this is especially important. McConnell is usually nowhere to be seen, and when he is, he doesn’t inspire or persuade anyone.

    2) McConnell has no vision for leading the caucus as a minority and in divided government. Which is why you have members of his caucus going in multiple directions. Cruz/Lee are trying to fill that role, constantly imploring, pleading “the Senate GOP should be saying X and doing Y, for these reasons…”

    3) McConnell has presided over decades of government expansion as a member/leader of the Senate. It may not be his fault, but like a coach that may be good but isn’t winning, it’s time for a change (in general, anyone in DC 12+ years needs to be replaced unless they are an exceptional standout in advancing limited government).

    4) McConnell is polling worse than Jim Bunning was in his reelection year. McConnell convinced Bunning to retire and step aside and endorsed KY SoS Trey Grayson (who lost to Rand Paul in the primary).

  3. George Savage
    C

    Out for a lunchtime jog and nearly fell over when I heard myself quoted on the Flagship Podcast.  I guess I can die a happy man now.

  4. #HumbleBrag

    George Savage: Out for a lunchtime jog. · 0 minutes ago

  5. Chris O.

    Spoiler: “I really believe that one of the things that has been hurting on our side is a failure to articulate a principled alternative…” Finally. Thanks, David Limbaugh (and Peter Robinson).

  6. Karen

    Tim Carney’s gonna have to clarify something for me: Veterans’ benefits were not part of the shutdown, as I understand it. Veterans were drawn in due to the war memorial barricade controversy, yes, but the VA has advanced appropriations for this very reason – so the benefits and healthcare of our Veterans aren’t used as pawns during a shutdown. However, if we went past the Oct. 17 deadline on the debt ceiling, that’s another matter. We need to make sure we understand the impact of the shutdown vs. debt ceiling in this debate, and I’m not convinced that we do. By the way, the VA will be affected by the sequester of 2014 and onward in some way. That’s a discussion for another day, but we need to keep that kind of thing in mind when we start evoking Veterans’ access to their just due.

  7. Duane Oyen
    Chris O.: Spoiler: “I really believe that one of the things that has been hurting on our side is a failure to articulate a principled alternative…” Finally. Thanks, David Limbaugh (and Peter Robinson). · 12 minutes ago

    Also a failure to be able to count votes.  McConnell spells it out here- don’t shoot the messenger.

    I don’t care how smooth the messaging is (ours is universally bad, largely because a) the message tends to be lousy, and b) the troops don’t stick to the script like mindless Dems do), if it is not something that the average joe can relate to and see as a Good Thing, it fails.

    So what is our message?  What do they really hear, as opposed to what we are trying to say?

    “We’re shutting down the government for everyone until you let us take away your health care.”

    When all we talk about is cost, saving money, etc., the public is not deaf, blind, stoopid- despite the votes for Obama.  A guy living on the edge will infer what really is important to us- that we want to take away yet another benefit that he sees as being needed.

  8. JDP

    Here in Chicago, the only people I’ve interacted with (in the flesh, as opposed to online) regarding the shutdown are non-conservatives. They all self-identify either as non-partisan, left-leaning, or dyed-in-the-wool liberal. Further, they occupy a position a bit higher on the “informed” scale than the much-maligned “low-information” voter – as subjective as my assessment of their relative sophistication might be.

    I’m sorry to report that these folks, quite decidedly, are NOT walking away from this fiasco having gleaned the lessons that: Obama is a liar; Obama is petty; Obama is mean-spirited; talk of a calamity was no more than Democrat and MSM scaremongering. In their eyes, the Republicans are squarely to blame for the last couple of weeks, during which, in their eyes, we ventured dangerously close to a precipice.

    My opinion may be based on mere anecdote, but I’d be quite surprised if the above impression is not virtually uniform among “higher”-information — not to mention low-information — non-conservatives.

  9. JeanVianney

    It is discouraging the degree to which so many of our fellow adult colleagues in our association are disciples of the mind-numbed robotic mantras of the MSM.  As one who has long ignored this, it is still surprising when I go into the Apple App Store and see the dozens of zombie-liberal podcast offerings, with not so much as a single alternative, that refuses to see the world through rose-colored glasses of the Liberal History and Catechesis of Western Education of the past 60 years.  Thank heavens some of us insist on more, and look a little further!!  The discernment of Ricochet among others actually engage the mind in creative thinking with the appreciation that God exists, and that those who love and obey Him are the secret of the greatness of America!  This is the task that the Tea Party has rightly undertaken:  to upset the dull message of the Mass Media with a call to look again and consider another view far more vivid, scintillating, and divinely inspired.  Those of us who see the real world of God’s creation must redouble our efforts to “get out the message!”

  10. Crow

    Troy referred early in the podcast to the discussion taking place on the thread he wrote discussing Eric Cantor’s assertion that the shutdown debate was basically one about tactics and strategy, not one about ends. Troy supported Cantor’s point and took what he said at face value, though he also noted some of the push-back members provided on that thread.

    Earlier today on another podcast in my rotation, Coffee and Markets (co-hosted by Ricochet contributor Ben Domenech), Matt Lewis asked a provocative counterfactual that many of us have on our minds: if the current GOP officeholders (what some have termed “the establishment”) actually had the votes (and the power) to overturn Obamacare, would they? Or would they be content to trim around the edges? He concludes he isn’t sure one way or the other.

    I think it is this uncertainty that animates a lot of the infighting we’re seeing in the party now, because, like Lewis, I think many of us share his doubts. I am unconvinced that we do share the same ends with some prominent GOP office-holders. Our suspicions, given their behavior when in power this last decade, are well founded.

  11. Troy Senik, Ed.
    C
    Crow’s Nest:

    Earlier today on another podcast in my rotation,Coffee and Markets(co-hosted by Ricochet contributor Ben Domenech), Matt Lewis asked a provocative counterfactual that many of us have on our minds: if the current GOP officeholders (what some have termed “the establishment”) actually had the votes (and the power) to overturn Obamacare, would they? Or would they be content to trim around the edges? He concludes he isn’t sure one way or the other.

    I think it is this uncertainty that animates a lot of the infighting we’re seeing in the party now, because, like Lewis, I think many of us share his doubts.

    Entirely fair point and one I can’t argue because it’s inherently speculative. I’m not generally an advocate for trusting them any further than you can throw them, but my own hunch is that they would in fact repeal Obamacare. Now — reining in the debt, shrinking other parts of government … I’d be a lot more skeptical. But if there are GOP members of Congress who, in their heart of hearts, are wobbly about whether Obamacare should go … those are the people the RINO label was made for.

  12. Crow

    In the podcast, Limbaugh says a version of all of the following:

    He argues that we’re in a better position for victory in the long term, though he admits that during the shutdown poll ratings were lousy for everyone. He rejects the polls as slanted, merely a snapshot in time, but he is cheered by the fact that Obama is at his lowest job approval rating yet in these same suspect polls.

    He argues that our side has failed to give a principled alternative to left wing radicalism. He then confesses that neither he nor Cruz really thought they ever could have gotten Obamacare defunded, and further on notes that we extracted very few concessions as a result of the shutdown, yet he says that the shutdown wasn’t merely symbolic, either. 

    He goes on to say that people won’t really remember this shutdown, that things are so fluid that we’ll be talking about something else in the 2014/2016 cycles. But then he says that the shutdown represented a moment of clarity in which the public came to see that there is a principled alternative….

    Does El Rushbro’s allergy medication also treat multiple personality disorder?

  13. Crow
    Troy Senik, Ed.

    Entirely fair point and one I can’t argue because it’s inherently speculative. I’m not generally an advocate for trusting them any further than you can throw them, but my own hunch is that they would in fact repeal Obamacare. Now — reining in the debt, shrinking other parts of government … I’d be a lot more skeptical. But if there are GOP members of Congress who, in their heart of hearts, are wobbly about whether Obamacare should go … those are the people the RINO label was made for.

    Fair enough as well–the point is speculative, and I don’t think any of us can answer a counter-factual.

    But the phenomenon of distrust between these camps in the party is real, and it has been playing out in slow motion over the past several years through every CR debate, every debt ceiling raise, the primary election, the general, and in many other ways.

    In any event, I concur with your reading of these other issues.

  14. David Limbaugh
    C

    Nothing inconsistent, at all. Without going into great detail here, Obama’s approval polls are different from generic polling on Congress — as opposed to specific congressmen — concerning the issue of a shutdown. No one wants a shutdown, other things being equal. And everyone, it seems, loves to hate Congress, corporately.

    MSM (and other) polls will hardly ever be slanted against Obama, so the 37% number is significant. But the bigger point is that we don’t measure the success of a position on concurrent polls. We’re a year out from 2014 and we don’t know yet whether this shut down or the one after or the one after that, if any, will impact the election. You don’t measure Cruz’s success solely on whether he got concessions. If he helps unite the base and it leads to positive action or election results in the future it’s way more than symbolic. It was never just about concessions. And, I repeat, the public was treated to an alternative position, clearly articulated and boldly presented — by people who are willing to risk a great deal and who are willing to stand up and fight for their convictions. 

  15. Crow
    David Limbaugh: And, I repeat, the public was treated to an alternative position, clearly articulated and boldly presented — by people who are willing to risk a great deal and who are willing to stand up and fight for their convictions. 

    I understand what you’re trying to say, David, but it’s here that we disagree and where I think there is an issue with your argument.

    We can’t at the same time say that people aren’t going to remember the shutdown, or that it is too early to know what electoral effect it will have, and then say confidently that the public has had a moment of clarity that will galvanize them in our direction.

    To the contrary, I think the reason we see widespread disaffection is that people are exasperated with both sides, and see the whole issue as a muddled mess. Our message hasn’t helped in this regard: we’re going to shutdown the government ostensibly over Obamacare, get no concessions on that front, argue mostly about spending while the government is shutdown, and then reopen the government without any significant change whatsoever.

  16. Crow
    David Limbaugh:  You don’t measure Cruz’s success solely on whether he got concessions.

    Here we agree–and its why I supported the Cruz “filibuster” on the issue as a final capstone and exclamation mark over GOP concerns with this legislation.

    But because I recognized (and as I think Cruz himself recognized) that no concessions could be earned in a fruitful way, I rejected the shutdown strategy. We ought to have filibustered, we oughtn’t to have shutdown the government. I see nothing gained by the latter strategy that wasn’t already accomplished by the former.

    If opinions about Obama are shifting, that shift wasn’t primarily caused by the shutdown–it was caused by a series of defeats he’s had through this year, the disastrous roll-out of Obamacare and the dishonesty in that legislation that will be exposed ad oculos as Americans enroll in it, and the general disaffection with every second term President right around this time.

    Since we didn’t emerge a clear winner in this fight, it is at best unclear how much we stand to gain in the 2014 midterm–which is to say, no different than where we began.

  17. Crow

    Oh, and thanks for joining the conversation, David, and discussing this conversation with us members! We always appreciate it when contributors are willing to post and and reply to arguments.

  18. David Limbaugh
    C

    I will also add that I am a bit sensitive to the increasing notion among some conservatives that there is no difference between the parties, etc. You’ve surely heard it. I really noticed it in 2006 when I my book Bankruptcy came out and I was slamming the Dem Party. Many callers on radio programs I was invited on expressed their utter disgust with the GOP too. They weren’t as receptive to my condemnation of Dems when they thought the GOP wasn’t offering much of a contrast. I think that feeling has festered and grown and the grassroots are hungry for a conservatives to fight, unapologetically, for our principles — in bold colors, not pale pastels  (RReagan). My perception is doubtlessly tainted by my own biases and my own experiences and relationships, but I believe the key to GOP victory is principled conservatism and Cruz et al are offering that and that’s exciting to me. We are headed toward national bankruptcy. Dem lite not only won’t be sufficient for us to win; it won’t save us either. Feel the urgency, brother, for it is upon us.

  19. Crow
    David Limbaugh: 

    I didn’t say with certainty that people aren’t going to remember the shutdown, but my guess is it won’t be a big factor a year out and with so few real consequences. But the moment of clarity presented by Cruz et al transcends the shutdown. It accompanied it, but it could have happened at any friction point. People will remember the fierce, galvanizing, inspiring message — at least grassroots will

    Well, here we have a couple of points that we’d do well to disentangle.

    I agree with you that it is simply unknowable at present how the shutdown will play into 2014.

    I also agree that Cruz’s point transcends the shutdown. 

    But now we arrive at the crux of the matter: was the shutdown integral to getting Cruz’s message across, or was it epiphenomenal? Could the argument have been effectively made in its absence, or was it in itself the crucial moment?

    I do not think we can simultaneously say that it was integral and crucial and a moment of awakening, and then say no one will be talking about it or it won’t be a decisive factor.

  20. Rightfromthestart

    About shooting inside the tent, I haven’t heard Cruz use the term ‘fraud’ to refer to anyone. I wrote Peter King yesterday expressing my disappointment with him and asking if he ever referred to Ted Kennedy, Al Gore, John Kerry or even Barack Obama as ‘frauds’. I very much doubt it, ‘my good friend and colleague across the aisle’ and all that.

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