Skepticism, Yes. Cynicism, No.


Senators Call For Passage Of Military Justice Improvement Act   “Leave no tired cliche this all there is?”
“Do young people like all these catch phrases?”
“Anyone who thinks college liberals will warm to an anti govt tirade or conservs will buy empty platitudes on def? Get real”

When Rand Paul announced his candidacy this morning, I had one eye on his speech and the other on the Twitter reaction. About a quarter of the tweets were positive to neutral reactions while the rest mocked the candidate, denigrated his fans, and ridiculed his chances in the primary. All the above comments were from a single Beltway GOP voice, but the jaded tone dominated my feed. These weren’t snarky reporters and Democrats, but Republicans who claim to want victory in 2016.

In the rapid-fire world of social media, negative voices dominate, whether fomenting the outrage du jour or sniping at the story of the moment. I get that and, all too often, engage in it myself. But I don’t understand negativity as an aspiration, especially among allegedly savvy Republicans.

Sen. Rand Paul is an interesting candidate. He broadens the tent to new constituencies, is willing to take on the establishment, and freaks out Lefties something fierce. Why do so many conservatives feel the need to micturate on his corn flakes during the opening minutes of his campaign?

This isn’t the grumbling of a Rand devotee (at this stage, I lean toward Gov. Walker); Sen. Ted Cruz announced to a similar chorus of snark and ridicule by members of his own party. That student’s wearing a Rand shirt! Speech is too religious! Cruz doesn’t have a chance! LOL! Rubio and Walker and Carson and Bush and Fiorina and anyone else foolish enough to want to serve this country will be greeted with the same derision by ersatz allies.

Why do Republicans savage their own every election cycle? We know that the Democrats and the press (but I repeat myself) will kneecap anyone with an “R” after their name; what is gained by joining in their contempt?

It’s understandable for conservatives to feel negative after the past eight years. We saw the Bush era end with more debt, more government, and a grinding war. He was followed by an inexperienced naif who has kicked government growth into overdrive and seems intent to drive the world into ever-expanding violence and terror. But no voter will be drawn to a party of miserable, embittered buzzkills.

A conservative understands that skepticism, especially when dealing with politicians, is wise. We should vet candidates, test their assumptions, and look at their results. All of this is beneficial.

Cynicism, however, is self-defeating. The cynic dismisses every candidate as a corrupt fraud from the start, assumes each promise is a lie, and has given up hope. This pose might impress a few jaded souls online or sullen teens at the local food court, but it repels voters and chokes the soul.

I like every Republican considering the presidency. Rubio is an amazing orator. Carson is a brilliant physician. Walker sits atop a throne of skulls of his vanquished enemies. Cruz liked an article I wrote (flattery works, people). Mix and match any of our candidates and you’ll have a solid ticket — one that’s a far sight better than any of the septuagenarian retreads the Dems are trying to shove down our collective throat. The GOP has a nice slate developing and I applaud them all.

Instead of cynicism and contempt, Cruz took a different tack with Rand’s announcement:

“I am glad to welcome my friend Rand Paul into the 2016 GOP primary. Rand is a good friend, and we have worked side by side on many issues. I respect his talent, his passion, and the work he has done for Kentuckians and Americans in the U.S. Senate. His entry into the race will no doubt raise the bar of competition, help make us all stronger, and ultimately ensure that the GOP nominee is equipped to beat Hillary Clinton and to take back the White House for Republicans in 2016.”

There’s enough time for sharp elbows once the primaries begin in earnest. At this stage, let’s sit back and marvel at the deep bench of talent the GOP will offer in 2016.

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  1. billy Member

    Minor Correction:

    ” Rubio and Walker and Carson and Bush and Fiorina anyone else foolish enough to want to serve this country will be greeted with the same derision by ersatz allies.”

    This is coming from the Bush camp, so it is unlikely to greet his formal announcement.

    • #1
  2. DocJay Member

    Maybe they like dishonesty and corruption from their guy ( Bush ) so much it means they have to curb stomp any opposition.
    The same group stood by as the Tea Party was illegally squished. They stand by when Cruz tried to stand up to Obama. Well they can brace themselves now because Cruz and Paul are going to give the constipated old guard GOP the Fleets enema it so desperately needs.

    • #2
  3. Nick Stuart Member
    Nick Stuart

    Time for Paul to spend his time under the proctoscope until the next candidate announces.

    I’m going to try to avoid micturating on any of the GOP candidates (even the ones who make me want to gag) because the alternative is Clinton II, Warren, whoever.

    • #3
  4. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.

    I agree with you, Jon. Now, step back from the trees and console yourself with the view of 99.4% of the public who are asking the question, “Rand who did what to Paul today?”

    • #4
  5. River Member

    I believe Ted Cruz is sincere in welcoming Rand to the race. The Regime Media will have to cover at least some of the discussions and debates, and every one will contain multiple reminders of the catastrophe that is The Joker in the Black Ops House and his Clown Car Cronies.

    You’re so right, Jon: “At this stage, let’s sit back and marvel at the deep bench of talent the GOP will offer in 2016.”

    A very deep bench is what we have, and all the intellectual firepower.  They have the zombie mobs.

    • #5
  6. WI Con Member
    WI Con

    Jon, I was about to ask for the name/s of this DC/GOP insider till I re-read your post before commenting –

    Jen Rubin.

    Say no more. She poisonous. Establishment flak.

    So very glad we not subjected to her execrable analysis and opinions on any Ricochet podcasts any longer.

    • #6
  7. BD Member

    This post is saying, “If you don’t like Rand, you are in league with the liberal media.” No. A Republican Party that embraces Al Sharpton, open borders, and a general Blame-America-First attitude is not going to have me under the tent.

    • #7
  8. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator

    Good article.  I don’t understand all the sniping, either, at this point of the game.  Things can happen between now and the next presidential election, and we as conservatives will do more to shape the next presidency by engaging with those events than by trying to shoot down non-preferred candidates at this point.

    I am reminded of the 2008 election when Democrats were comparing Obama and Hillary, basing their comparisons on features of their health care “plans.”  As if their “plans” would bear any relation to what would come out of the political process.

    I admit that I have said, repeatedly, that I won’t vote for Bush, but I do recall that  in 2000 I would have voted for GW Bush if at any time before election day he had breathed one word about not allowing Clinton-style corruption to occur on his watch.   He didn’t, so I didn’t vote for him, then or in 2004.  But I didn’t rule him out so early in the game.

    You are right. Republicans have a wealth of good candidates this year.  A lot of that has to do with not being shackled to a sitting president like the Democrats are this time around.  But there is a lot of shaping of the next presidency to do between now and then, and the exact body that sits in the oval office is only part of the picture.  If we narrow things down to one candidate so early in the game, we will lose out on the ability to influence the next presidency.

    BTW, I enjoyed this sentence: “Walker sits atop a throne of skulls of his vanquished enemies.”

    • #8
  9. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.

    BD:This post is saying, “If you don’t like Rand, you are in league with the liberal media.”

    Is that a direct quote?

    • #9
  10. BD Member

    This is close enough: “We know that the Democrats and the press ( but I repeat myself) will kneecap anyone with an ‘R’ after their name; what is gained by joining in their contempt?”

    • #10
  11. Eeyore Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: We saw the Bush era end…

    Sadly, Jon, not so much.

    • #11
  12. Ricochet Member

    I think the criticism of our political figures is too automatic, but that doesn’t mean that we have to hold off on people we disagree with. Rand is certainly not the traditional conservative candidate, which is sure to turn off a great deal of people. There’s a difference, though, between deciding against voting for someone and deriding someone for even considering a presidential run.

    • #12
  13. user_348375 Member

    Join the circular firing squad.  Somebody shouts Freedom, and you shrivel.  Those of us out here in the nation repudiate you and your ilk.  Either Cruz of Paul engender trust.  Just what Ronnie had.  Save your ink.

    • #13
  14. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.

    BD:This is close enough: “We know that the Democrats and the press ( but I repeat myself) will kneecap anyone with an ‘R’ after their name; what is gained by joining in their contempt?”

    I don’t have contempt for anyone who is planning to run for the Republican nomination. I like all of them and think they would probably do a decent to excellent job in the White House; certainly better than the current occupant. I see no advantage to joining with the press in bashing every GOP candidate as he/she announces. It’s counter-productive.

    • #14
  15. user_199279 Coolidge

    The crop of Republican candidates gives hope, and gives way to hope, not cynicism.

    But, generally speaking, let’s not blame Americans (at least the ones who pay significant attention) for being cynical.  You know why?

    Because history teaches them that they ought to be.

    • #15
  16. Quinn the Eskimo Member
    Quinn the Eskimo

    I don’t think all of the criticism is bashing.  I think there is a natural impulse to give one’s first impressions, good and bad.   In the case of Paul and Cruz, this is heightened as they have both a lot of friends and a lot of enemies.

    Any Republican candidate is going to have to have the strength to persist through criticism.  I expect every gaffe by a candidate (or deliberate misinterpretation by the press) to create an Indiana-level media storm.  Our folks are going to have be tough if they have any hope of getting elected president.   CNN is not going to set up criticism-free zones for Republicans.

    • #16
  17. Ball Diamond Ball Member
    Ball Diamond Ball

    Rubin is a frickin piece of work.  If ever you need an example of a hateful, vile, lying traitor (or infiltrator), look no further.  From her poison pen issue willful assaults on the truth.  She beats the drum for an establishment army of anti-conservative bear-baiting foo-flinging monkeys.

    She engages in the lowest innuendo and assassination.  She is one of the GOP Establishment’s most reliable dirt merchants, and what she cannot find she will simply make up.  She is an Alinskyite Republican, skipping from lie to lie and slander to slander, knowing that she doesn’t have to back it up — she won’t be asked to, and if she is, it will be safely staged in the shallow end of the “conservative” media pool.

    She is James Carville without the charm — Donna Brazile without the integrity — Al Sharpton without the physical courage.

    • #17
  18. user_50776 Member

    Jon, thanks for a great post.  I also question why Republicans seem more prone to the type of candidate criticism we are currently seeing than the Democrats are.  As Yul Brynner said in The King and I, “It’s a puzzlement!”

    I think we have a great collection of candidates.  I am not currently supporting either Ted Cruz or Rand Paul, but I am very glad both of them have announced their candidacy.  They are both very talented conservatives, and they each bring some unique capabilities to the primary campaign.  I hope the majority of Republicans respond to Paul’s candidacy as Cruz did.  We’ll get enough negativity from the media and the Democrats.

    I stopped paying attention to Jennifer Rubin a long time ago.

    • #18
  19. Concretevol Thatcher

    I agree, that’s why I’m not getting worked up over Jeb either.  He has to go through the primary like everyone else and it’s up to the candidates to win the nomination.  I love the positive message and attitude Rand brings as well as his ability to broaden the party’s appeal.  He annoy’s me with his penchant for what I consider “straw man” attacks on “neoconservatives” but I don’t wish him out of the race for that.

    • #19
  20. Guruforhire Member

    Because there is no republican party.  There is not even a conservative movement.

    There is a loose not-not-alliance of minority interests who don’t like each other, but really dislike the dominate orthodoxy.

    More importantly, America has been talking about the same stuff for a century -and its boring- so all that’s left is talking about the process.

    So its another election and the copyrighted republican campaign slogan “Shut Up and Send Money” campaign is starting to ramp back up.

    • #20

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