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

There are 48 comments.

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Palaeologus
    Rob Long: 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. · Sep 17 at 2:51pm

    I’m not so optimistic Rob. I think there are more “fiscal conservatives” than unicorns, but not many more. When push comes to shove most people opt for “somebody’s got to fix my financial problem.”

    • #31
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    @FeliciaB

    Ah. I leave for Yosemite for one simple week and come back not understanding any of the inside jokes. Thanks for clue-ing me in!

    • #32
  3. Profile Photo Member
    @
    FeliciaB: Ah. I leave for Yosemite for one simple week and come back not understanding any of the inside jokes. Thanks for clue-ing me in! · Sep 17 at 10:27pm

    Yosemite – God’s country.

    When I was a kid, my dad was a lumberjack in the Sierra’s. Yosemite was almost literally in our backyard.

    I suspect each of us has a spiritual home. For me, it is Yosemite.

    I lived for many years in Manhattan. Mingling among the sophisticates, I heard them tell of the wonders of Europe, of Bali, of Australia. But hardly any of them had ever been to Yosemite. Or to Montana, or Colorado, the Grand Canyon or New Mexico.

    Open your eyes, I’d tell them, The real treasure is right here.

    Right here at home.

    • #33
  4. Profile Photo Member
    @DuaneOyen

    1) Geraghty, the lousy no-good Jets fan, and “royalty”? He is in Alexandria. What are the two biggest East-West streets in Alexandria? All about royalty, I rest my case (forgive me, Kennedy) ;-)

    2) Scott, remember, O’Donnell is a conservative. She advocates positions by persuasion, not government coercion. She will never ban masturbation, she will only use her bully pulpit to try to persuade everyone….. I agree with Mickey Kaus.

    3) After the ugly 2007 immigration debate between Linda Chavez (I’m a fan) on the one hand and Ingraham, Levin (and Mark Krikorian), et al on the other, how could anyone be remotely surprised at the bomnbastic and ugly comments now regarding the Delaware race? I find myself agreeing with Conor about Levin, and I very much wanted it to be different when he started his show. For me, it is back to Dennis Miller and Michael Medved- intelligent civility.

    • #34
  5. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Palaeologus
    Aaron Miller

    With such low standards for victory, we’re doomed. By that measure, it’s good when Republicans slow our decline, rather than stop it and restore healthy limits.

    The longer we merely tread water, the farther we drift from shore. · Sep 18 at 9:45am

    It depends upon what you mean by healthy limits, I suppose. I don’t expect to see the sixteenth amendment repealed. There are opportunities for significant reversals, Reagan’s tax cuts prove that.

    But… sure we’re doomed. Shining cities on hills are no more permanent than other cities.

    • #35
  6. Profile Photo Contributor
    @jameslileks

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

    We got what we got. Things are different now; maybe some on the other end of Penn Av get it, The alternative to having another run at it is . . .what?

    • #36
  7. Profile Photo Member
    @ScottR
    Duane Oyen:

    2) Scott, remember, O’Donnell is a conservative. She advocates positions by persuasion, not government coercion. She will never ban masturbation, she will only use her bully pulpit to try to persuade everyone….. I agree with Mickey Kaus.

    Phew!

    (Actually, I knew that; I was just making a joke. But I’ll alert my teenage son so he’ll stop sending his lunch money to the Coons campaign.)

    • #37
  8. Profile Photo Inactive
    @NickStuart

    Actually, we do (sort of) know that there is gold in Ft. Knox. The History Channel did a documentary on the Ft. Knox focusing primarily on the bullion depository.

    It included a vignette on a time, I think it was in the mid ’70s, when the press was invited in, the Treasury Secretary broke the seals, everybody got a chance to look in the room where the gold was stored, and the room was sealed up again.

    Obviously one nanosecond after the room was re-sealed the conspiracy theories and Ft. Knox “Truthers” started up again.

    Questioning whether or not there’s gold in Ft. Knox is an absolutely unscratchable itch like the demand for certain politicians to produce a birth certificate.

    Even so, the amount that’s officially listed as being on deposit is 147.4 million troy ounces, which at $1000/oz would work out to $147,400,000,000 which is really just sofa change in comparison to the current $13,552,816,000,000 (more or less) which is the national debt figure as of about a minute ago.

    • #38
  9. Profile Photo Inactive
    @NickStuart

    @ Geraghty

    Yes, we’d like to change policy. We won an election in 2000, and Jim Jeffords jumped. We won an election in 2004, and got electible Arlen Specter as chair of the senate Judiciary committee; thank G*d Arlen remained a loyal Republican when it came time to vote on Obamacare, wait, what?

    We’ve learned that winning with guys like Jeffords, and Specter, and probably Castle just affects who gets to hand out the graft (that’s the way it works here in Illinois too where we have just one political party, The Combine, but that’s another post).

    Speaking of Illinois, getting to 51 is of paramount importance so I’m holding my nose to vote for Mark Kirk. If we get the majority, I’ll risk the RINO.

    • #39
  10. Profile Photo Inactive
    @NickStuart

    Speaking of O’Donnell’s anti-M stance, does that make Coons the pro-M candidate? Would that make shaking the Coon’s hand problematic?

    The good news for Coons is when O’Donnell wins, Obama can appoint Coons as the M czar. With fed workers downloading porn on company time we seem to need one.

    The Obama administration will take a “pro” stance. We’ll be seeing public service announcements brought to us by the Bureau of M and the Ad Council featuring the mascots Jokin’ Chiken and Spanky Beaver. Narrated by Keith Olbermann and Bill Mahr.
    • #40
  11. Profile Photo Editor
    @RobLong
    Dan Holmes: Hi everyone, this is my first post.

    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.

    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 · Sep 18 at 8:38am

    Welcome, Dan! We’re glad to have you.

    What I was trying to do with those characterizations, on the podcast, was to represent sort of tongue in cheek what each side in this debate thought about the other: it was the traitor Obama-loving RINO vs. the nut.

    But I think you nailed it: people seem to be totally focused on voting for whoever is going to shrink government. Which may be the right strategy.

    • #41
  12. Profile Photo Member
    @

    First time I couldn’t make it all the way through the podcast. Maybe it got better later on but the beginning was largely a rehash of the justifications for advocating for Castle even though O’Donnell is now the candidate for better or worse. Thanks Rob for trying to provide some balance by arguing the other side. But I think the broadcast would have been better served had you featured someone who felt at least as strongly on the other side: that this was the year to stand on principle or at least that O’Donnell was attacked too viciously by the conservative media.

    And I think the “I guess I’m/they’re a RINO/squish/ruling class ha ha ha” non-joke is getting really old, really fast. I don’t mean you Rob of course, one of things I’ve always liked about you is that you come right out and say what you are and you’re not ashamed. As you shouldn’t be.

    • #42
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    @SaxonHarding

    What struck me was the assumption that going for real conservatives, win, lose or draw, was a tactic as though this were politics as usual. It isn’t. Face it, there is a revolution underway, as genuine, determined and focused as the founding one. The vision embodied by the likes of O’Donnell and Miller is the competing alternative to the big government vision of the Obama administration. Both visions aim to change the country and neither party will be the same once the dust settles. The Tea Partiers believe that voters must be given the opportunity to choose which vision they want. That means using every opportunity that arises whether the seat is traditionally blue or red.

    • #43
  14. Profile Photo Member
    @DuaneOyen

    I’d have to see those Maher comments in context. People do dabble in witchcraft when they are young and then grow up. You need to speak publicly, acknowledge, explain, and move on- but it takes time and money. She really doesn’t have either.

    But it is obvious that she was not properly vetted, despite a large, and surprising, to me, body of prior public appearances, being a candidate before, and all that. I’d never heard of her. (but then, what would you expect from a RINO squish like me!)

    As I’ve said before, she will be used to lampoon TEA Party candidates everywhere, and there is likely to be some collateral damage.

    • #44
  15. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Karen

    I don’t see it as purists vs. the GOP establishment. If conservatism is red, and liberal/progressivism is blue, the GOP has gotten a little maroon, maybe even purple, in recent years. For my purposes, the libertarian/fiscally conservative push we’ve seen in the primaries is the color orange. Like a pointillist painting, a few dabs of orange here and a little maroon there creates the appearance of red. We won’t all share the same viewpoint, but the optical mixing of our spectrum of views will nudge conservatism back to a true red – not a flat red, but a vibrant and varied red.

    • #45
  16. Profile Photo Member
    @DuaneOyen
    Scott Reusser

    Duane Oyen:

    2) Scott, remember, O’Donnell is a conservative. She advocates positions by persuasion, not government coercion. She will never ban masturbation, she will only use her bully pulpit to try to persuade everyone….. I agree with Mickey Kaus.

    Phew!

    (Actually, I knew that; I was just making a joke. But I’ll alert my teenage son so he’ll stop sending his lunch money to the Coons campaign.) · Sep 18 at 11:58am

    Oh, the old “I was just asking on behalf of my kid” excuse? C’mon, Scott, we know you are a married man.

    OK, everyone, I will eat crow if O’Donnell wins. I’m still skeptical, even though she is not the nut as claimed by everyone (see Kaus).

    What is interesting is that the RNC and Palin have now joined forces. I got mail today from Palin, and an e-mail yesterday from Michael Steele, both with solidarity messages on Palin and the GOP. Sarah, the new squish!

    • #46
  17. Profile Photo Member
    @ScottR
    Duane Oyen

    OK, everyone, I will eat crow if O’Donnell wins. I’m still skeptical, even though she is not the nut as claimed by everyone (see Kaus).

    Have you checked out the Powerline comments re her many appearances on Bill Maher–she “dabbled in witchcraft” and all that? More embarrassments to come, apparently, in steady-drip fashion. All silliness, I’m sure, but it doesn’t matter. She’s already canceled the Sunday talk shows.

    I think we blew it, Duane. I was on the O’Donnell train for 48 hrs–even started to get emotionally invested–but I’m off again. She’s done–and she should be, frankly–because she’s a silly and completely unvetted candidate.

    Despite serious times, we got careless, and we blew it. I just hope the damage stays local.

    • #47
  18. Profile Photo Editor
    @RobLong

    And yet, she seems to be making all the right moves:

    Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell is making light of comments she made more than a decade ago when she was in high school about having dabbled in witchcraft.

    “How many of you didn’t hang out with questionable folks in high school?” she asked fellow Republicans at a GOP picnic in southern Delaware on Sunday.

    A sense of humor and a relentless on-message campaign — it’s about spending; it’s about the size of government; repeated a thousand times a day — may just win the day.

    “There’s been no witchcraft since. If there was, Karl Rove would be a supporter now,” O’Donnell jokingly assured the crowd.

    • #48
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