Need To Know with Mona Charen and Jay Nordlinger
Episode 49: Seat Of The Pants

National Review's Mona Charen and Jay Nordlinger
Oct 18, 2013
Direct Link to MP3 File

Direct link to MP3 file

This week, Mona and Jay wing it (a bit), but of course it’s as cogent as ever as they cover Jay’s jury duty, the case for cameras everywhere, early despair for the next governor of Virginia, the fallout from the shutdown, the medical device tax, and one more pass at the Redskins controversy. 

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  1. Joseph Ducreux

    I think that one of the reasons why us Tea Party types are so uppity is that we see an $18 trillion in debt (excluding unfunded entitlements) as an existential threat to our Republic. We see Obamacare as an existential threat to a healthcare system that is the envy of the world. We see that, despite the Republicans holding the White House and one or two houses of Congress from 2001-2009, no progress has been made in cutting spending.

    We see that the Democratic leaders in the House and Senate are from the left of their party, and fight tooth and nail on every issue that is dear to their base, but the Republican leaders in the House and Senate are from the mushy-middle of their party, and are always looking to cut a deal that entails throwing the conservative base under the bus in the spirit of “bi-partisan compromise”. We see that the McCain/Romney wing of the party has had two chances to win, and are wondering why it would be any different next time. 

    So, maybe you can excuse us for getting excited about seeing someone fight for what WE believe for once.

  2. Edward Smith

    Astonishing:

    If I met you (and I may well have on Tuesday night) I would call you by your name, and here on Ricochet by your call name.

    But if you told me you played football for Washington DC I would call you a Redskin with blushing.

    But that I would not call an Aboriginal American (there are now too many people of South Asian Indian lineage born here in America for that term to not refer to as Native Americans now, as far as I am concerned – mind you there are terms South Asians themselves prefer) a Redskin.  Not because I consider it to be Racist, but because every last one of you has a name.

    At best I would inquire about which tribe you are most part of and use that term.  Cherokee, Sioux, Yute, Arapaho and Navajo are not insults to the living, just as Anasazi is no insult to a dead Aboriginal American who happened to live where the Navaho now live.

  3. Astonishing

    Pardon the irony:

    When Jay says, “Now that there’s no draft, jury duty is the only obligatory thing our government requires of us, except for taxes,” a Senator Cruz might drawl, “Yes, Jay, there’s jury duty, taxes, and that other thing, ObamaCare.”

    How quickly some forget about ObamaCare when Cruz is not there to remind them.

    Yes, we can disagree about tactics, but when the time came to stop arguing over tactics, when the time came to stand together, when the battle was joined, Mona, you joined the other side.

    Betrayal is not a tactic.

    What is “winning” about your friendly fire tactic that alienates the rank-and-file, without whom the GOP can win nothing?

    What is “winning” about you continuing to reinforce to the nth degree the Democrat spin?

    (My nephew who is also my godson, now six, is also T1 with onset when he was 4. I worry about him constantly. But he lives with his disease much more comfortably than we adults do. I guess you know, there’s also some very promising emerging bio-tech involving autologous stem cells that might be an even more wonderful treatment. ObamaCare woould destroy such innovation.)

  4. JediGraz

    Still enjoy the podcast, but I really can do without the dismissive tone and attitude. 

  5. Edward Smith

    There is one thing I want to hear Mona Charon and Jay Nordlinger finally say aloud.

    For all of his rashness, arrogance, and unbridled aggression Ted Cruz was not the only reason the Republican Party stumbled down like it did in these past two weeks.

    There was no leadership to keep Ted Cruz in line.  There was no leadership able to persuade him that this fight was futile, but that there was a fight in play where his energy and aggressiveness could help advance the party.

    There was no leadership.  There was an Unfailingly Polite Accountant (Paul Ryan, bless his heart), a pair Middle Managers (John Boehner and Eric Cantor) who skill sets seem limited to holding their position within the party but not to combating the opposition, and two genuinely good strategists (Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul) who ARE NOT THE PARTY LEADERSHIP.

    This shutdown was as much a FAILURE OF LEADERSHIP as it was Ted Cruz’ fault.

    Mona, Jay, John Podhoretz:  don’t just blame the guy who kicked over the hornet’s nest, blame the people who stood by uselessly when that guy kicked over the hornet’s nest, doing nothing to try and stop him.

  6. jeannebodine

    I can only add that I cancelled my automatic renewal to Ricochet. I don’t mind lively disagreements; in fact, I find them stimulating.

    It’s the unrelenting condescension I can’t tolerate any longer. I can get plenty of that for free from the usual suspects, NRO, The Weekly Standard, etc.

  7. Edward Smith

    Mona, Jay, John Podhoretz:

    Why didn’t the American people understand that Obamacare was and is a bad deal?

    I’ll let AlfonZo Rachel finish this answer, in the first half of this video.

    The GOP sucks at selling its message.  It is that simple.

    Ted Cruz may be a One Trick Pony, and as Paul Simon put is “one trick is all that he can do”, but he rocks at the one trick he is good at.  The GOP could stand to learn a thing or two from him, and Rand Paul.

  8. Astonishing

    Well, if no one else is going to jump in and post another comment, then I will.

    BTW, at around the one hour mark, after this podcast seems to end and Mona and Jay say their goodbyes, there’s a minute or so of silence, and then we hear Jay and Mona discussing the Redskins in an extended dialogue that apparently was supposed to be cut out.

    About those Redskins, I’m American Indian or Native American or Indigenous–use whichever word works comfortably for you because Redskin bothers me not at all.

    Still I think you should drop the name, not because of what your using it does to me and mine, but because of what your using it does to you and yours.

    If we spoke in person, you would probably never call me a redskin to my face, and if by some slip you did so, you’d probably feel ashamed, even if I said something to try to put you at ease about it. So if you couldn’t feel comfortable using the word as freely as any other when talking with me face to face, maybe you shouldn’t use it at all.

  9. Astonishing
    Edward Smith: Astonishing:

    If I met you (and I may well have on Tuesday night) I would call you by your name, and here on Ricochet by your call name.

    But if you told me you played football for Washington DC I would call you a Redskin with blushing.

    But that I would not call an Aboriginal American . . .  a Redskin.  Not because I consider it to be Racist, but because every last one of you has a name.

    At best I would inquire about which tribe you are most part of and use that term.  Cherokee, Sioux, Yute, Arapaho and Navajo are not insults to the living, just as Anasazi is no insult to a dead Aboriginal American who happened to live where the Navaho now live.

    Good points.

    But like I said, Redskin doesn’t bother me in any context. I like people always to use words their own conscience approves. That way we won’t deceive each other and will have a better chance to understand each other.

  10. Joseph Ducreux

    Edward Smith - 

    You hit the nail on the head with your last two posts, which are closely connected. The GOP leadership’s inability to keep Cruz in line is directly linked to their inability to communicate – either to potential GOP voters or to actual GOP voters.

    Having establishment GOP guys like Peter King heap scorn on the Tea Party (whose energy I think was arguably instrumental in sweeping the GOP into its House majority in 2010) is not going to help them expand their majority (let alone keep it) in 2014. 

    Instead of blaming the Tea Party for being unruly, the establishment should either 1) communicate to them what they have been doing to support the causes that the Tea Party cares about, 2) communicate their vision about how what they are doing will support those causes in the future, or 3) explicitly tell the Tea Party what they are implicitly telling them now – to sod off.

    For now, I’m guessing it is #3.

  11. Scott R

    Yes, we can disagree about tactics, but when the time came to stop arguing over tactics, when the time came to stand together, when the battle was joined, Mona, you joined the other side.

    I’ve seen similar comments like this before, Astonishing, and I still don’t quite have a handle on what you mean. Are you saying that Mona (and I) should get with the program even if we believe it to be destructive? Are we not allowed even to criticize an approach we vehemently disagree with, an approach we see as more destructive the longer it continues? Would you hold your tongue if the situation were reversed — if, say, Boehner put in motion a plan you saw as counter-productive? Would you shush, during and after, just to maintain unity?

    I wouldn’t expect that of you, Astonishing. After all, what’s the point of all this – the podcasts, the posts, the comments, everything — if we’re not free to speak our minds?

  12. @Astonishing we’re aware of that issue. It’s a problem with our content delivery network and will be fixed later this evening.

  13. Scott R

    Yeti: You exist, by the way.

  14. Astonishing
    Joseph Ducreux:  . . .

    Instead of blaming the Tea Party for being unruly, the establishment should either 1) . . .  2). . . , or 3) explicitly tell the Tea Party what they are implicitly telling them now – to sod off.

     . . .I’m guessing it is #3.

    The chances for emergence of a new conservative party are greater now than they have been for a very long time.

    The possibility is being seriously explored to the point that necessary pieces are being aligned. (Sorry for the passive voice.)

    Much depends on how the GOP apparatus handles the base going into 2014. Cruz is forcing the GOP establishment to choose and to show its colors. If the establishment moves away from the base (as it seems to want to do), 2014 will be a serious disappointment for the GOP because the TP base won’t turn out in good numbers. At that point, a formal split going toward 2016 would seem almost inevitable. The important thing will be to get as much infrastructure in place as possible before the formal split, and to keep 3rd party talk vague until then. The TP greatly facilitates that preparation.

    The GOP establishment attack on Cruz set up this chain of events.

  15. Astonishing

     

    Scott Reusser . . . Are we not allowed even to criticize an approach  . . . we see as more destructive the longer it continues?  . .

    I cannot prevent you speaking your mind. Whatever you do with that freedom redounds to your praise or blame, not mine.

    Notice how the substance and tone of the establishment criticism echoed that of Harry Reid, and then explain how Harry Reid was trying to do Cruz and the GOP a favor.

    In the battle for public opinion, the establishment GOP helped focus public opinion against the great core of its own party base. In the battle for the “party brand,” they helped talk down the brand. In the battle for expectations, they fed the expectation that the GOP would lose, that it deserved to lose.

    For what?

    Supposedly to curtail a self-destructive battle?

    But the most serious self-destruction was not what could come from  losing this ephemeral fight to Dems. The most serious destruction was the harm the establishment types could do the GOP cause by alienating the party base.

    Even if the GOP establishment was right about the smaller thing, they were selfishly wrong about the bigger thing, which is almost the clinical definition of disloyalty.

     

  16. It wasn’t supposed to be cut, it was a portion of last week’s show. Not sure how or why that happened. In any case, it’s fixed now. 

    Astonishing: BTW, at around the one hour mark, after this podcast seems to end and Mona and Jay say their goodbyes, there’s a minute or so of silence, and then we hear Jay and Mona discussing the Redskins in an extended dialogue that apparently was supposed to be cut out.

     · 3 hours ago

  17. Whiskey Sam

    As near as I can tell, Mona’s concept of winning against a century of losing ground to the Progressive domestic agenda is to just give them what they want at a slower pace than they want it.  This is the same mindset that gives us “spending cuts” where spending goes up 8% instead of 10% and declares it a win.

  18. Nick Stuart

    First, take a week, maybe two, and get it all out. With flashing wit and incisive prose mercilessly dissect the errors of the way of Cruz and his ilk. Craft a column that gives it your best shot.

    Then, you have until January 15 to lay out in all its glory your plan for accomplishing all the wonderful things that could have happened if only those people hadn’t gummed everything up.

    Yes, this is the establishment Republican’s, center-right punditocracy’s, moderate bien pensant’s golden opportunity to show us knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing Tea Party Troglodytes (who wouldn’t know a French horn’s sneeze from a French poodle’s breeze) how it’s done.

    This is your golden opportunity, your shining moment. We’re expecting great things since you all are the smartest people in the room (or so you’ve told us for weeks). 

    Don’t screw it up.

  19. Nick Stuart
    Joseph Ducreux: Edward Smith - 

    You hit the nail on the head with your last two posts, which are closely connected. The GOP leadership’s inability to keep Cruz in line is directly linked to their inability to communicate – either to potential GOP voters or to actual GOP voters.

    Anybody think the only place we’re going to see John Boehner between now and 1/15/14 is on a milk carton?

  20. Sabrdance

    Jay – I got good news and bad news.  Rotary still meets.  I’m a Rotarian.  I like to think we do good stuff.  Polio is almost erradicated.

     

    We also have mission creep, the organization is dying in the US (expanding somewhat in Asia and Africa), and one of the Rotarians I’m with announced at our last meeting that the Tea Party should be tried for treason.

    O’Sullivan’s Law, I’m afraid.

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