Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Questions for a Consultant, or, Paging Rick Wilson

 

RickWilsonIn his excellent post, my friend and Ricochet member The King Prawn, directed my attention toward a handy article authored by Ricochet Contributor and Political Consultant Rick Wilson. I’ve had a few brief exchanges with Rick and I like him. He’s always impressed me as a straight shooter, earnest, affable, experienced, and capable of communicating without the sneering derision we’ve come to expect from others in his profession.

His latest, Trump Voters Are Hillary’s New Best Friends, is a well-written piece that features an itemized list of reasons Trump will crater and why his supporters are unwittingly aiding the opposition. In the interest of opening a dialogue between two factions that seem diametrically opposed at times, I’d like to pose a few questions to Rick that his article raises, to wit:

Donald Trump is not running a real campaign. He is working the phones, stirring the pot and using the media ecosystem to its fullest. Soon, the bolder members of the field will follow Rick Perry, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush in making harder and more decisive strokes against him. Unlike Trump, they’ll use real oppo, tested and targeted messages—ads built not just to cut, but to kill. They’ll break his operational tempo, get inside his OODA loop and turn his circus into a crispy ruin. It’s what real campaigns do.

I really liked this part, Rick. It made you sound like Conan the Consultant. “…ads built not just to cut, but to kill. They’ll break his operational tempo…” Yes yes, and we will crush our enemies and hear de laminations of de women! And trust me, sir, I believe you. We’ve seen this done with devastating effect on other Republican challengers in the past. But tell me, Conan, where were those “harder and more decisive strokes,” against Barack Obama? When did the “targeted messages … built not just to cut but to kill,” take effect, because I don’t remember seeing them. When was Barack Obama’s circus, complete with faux Greek columns, brought to a “crispy ruin?”

From launching his career in the home of a domestic terrorist to spending 20 years listening to anti-American rants from the pulpit, here was a guy whose heroes were Marxists and who presented more quotes lambasting American constitutional government than I have liver pills. Indeed, the only thing missing was a revelation that he had been taught civics by Alger Hiss, and yet both John McCain and Mitt Romney, whose campaigns I expect you would call “serious,” lost their voice when it came time to launch the heavy artillery against a dangerously radical man, artillery they so readily employ against people in their own party. Is it unreasonable to expect the Republican nominee to be as tough on the real enemy as he is on his colleagues?

Can you understand the frustration this sort of political bipolar disorder engenders on the part of those who grow weary at seeing their advocates savaged by the “establishment” nominee, who then gets trounced in the general election? And if you in fact can understand this, do you think the sort of condescension that is being heaped on those who are relieved to hear Donald Trump (or anyone, for that matter) speak to their concerns will actually persuade them to support the eventual nominee? John McCain refers to those who are taking Donald Trump’s points seriously as “crazies.” A dear friend of mine, who tenaciously defends Republican timidity, wrote in another forum that Trump is, “not a serious candidate for a sentient human.”

Perhaps you’ve heard of Lauran Wilkerson, the lady who spoke yesterday before a Senate hearing on sanctuary cities. Her son was tortured, murdered, and his body was set on fire by an illegal alien who is here by virtue of parents who came here illegally, qualifying him as a “dreamer.” Ms. Wilkerson said:

Sanctuary city policies scream to the criminal element of illegals in this country: ‘Come to our town USA, we’ll protect you from our terrible policemen. We’ll protect you from these tough American laws, that you — because you had a hard life — are not able to go through the same motions that an American is. It is going to take another life lost by a Senator, a Congressman, the President, even another of today’s heroes, someone from Hollywood before someone in a position moves on this. I urge you: you are in a position to do something about this for Americans.

I thank you to Mr. Trump for getting a message out about the nation in two minutes… that countless families like my own have been trying to say for five to six years. It feels good to be heard whether you love him, or whether you don’t, I felt heard.

Is Ms. Wilkerson sentient? Is she a “crazy?” Is she someone that fits into your own characterization of those who suffer from, “a combination I call ‘herpes and a hangover.’ They may have had fun the night before, but they’ll regret the hangover for a day.” Fun? Her son is no longer sentient, of course, his life having been sacrificed on the altar of political expediency by both parties. Did you catch Ms. Wilkerson saying, “It feels good to be heard whether you love him, or whether you don’t, I felt heard?” Rick, why, in your opinion, did Ms. Wilkerson feel that her message had fallen on deaf ears since her son’s murder? You’re a professional, after all, so I’m curious as to why you think she felt as if she had no advocate in a party that ought to embody the justice she seeks? Is it a combination of Republican political and moral sclerosis that left this mother feeling alone in her struggle, or simple bureaucratic idiocy?

One last thing that really came across in your article was a rather high sense of confidence in the abilities of consultants as a group. But I wonder, respectfully, if two resounding defeats at the hands of a very beatable radical ought instead to provoke a bit of humility, introspection and, dare I say it, respect toward those whose vote you will solicit in November?

There are 54 comments.

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  1. Terry Mott Member

    Hear, hear!

    • #1
    • July 23, 2015, at 2:08 PM PDT
    • Like
  2. DrewInWisconsin, Unhelpful Com… Coolidge

    One last thing that really came across in your article was a rather high sense of confidence in the abilities of consultants as a group. But I wonder, respectfully, if two resounding defeats at the hands of a very beatable radical ought instead to provoke a bit of humility, introspection and, dare I say it, respect toward those whose vote you will solicit in November?

    Well said, Dave.

    I hope this gets a response.

    • #2
    • July 23, 2015, at 2:18 PM PDT
    • Like
  3. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dave Carter: It made you sound like Conan the Consultant. “…ads built not just to cut, but to kill. They’ll break his operational tempo…” Yes yes, and we will crush our enemies and hear de laminations of de women! And trust me, sir, I believe you. We’ve seen this done with devastating effect on other Republican challengers in the past. But tell me, Conan, where were those “harder and more decisive strokes,” against Barack Obama? When did the “targeted messages … built not just to cut but to kill,” take effect, because I don’t remember seeing them. When was Barack Obama’s circus, complete with faux Greek columns, brought to a “crispy ruin?”

    First, I’m still smiling over the “Conan the Consultant” line.

    And I too would like to hear why it is that these trained killers couldn’t, in two different election cycles, find anything that could cut or kill Obama’s election prospects? Is there something they tried that failed, or did they just not try?

    • #3
    • July 23, 2015, at 2:20 PM PDT
    • Like
  4. John Walker Contributor

    Bravo!

    • #4
    • July 23, 2015, at 2:21 PM PDT
    • Like
  5. Lockdowns are Precious Inactive
    Lockdowns are Precious Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    • #5
    • July 23, 2015, at 2:21 PM PDT
    • Like
  6. Lockdowns are Precious Inactive
    Lockdowns are Precious Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Vance Richards:

    Dave Carter: It made you sound like Conan the Consultant. “…ads built not just to cut, but to kill. They’ll break his operational tempo…” Yes yes, and we will crush our enemies and hear de laminations of de women! And trust me, sir, I believe you. We’ve seen this done with devastating effect on other Republican challengers in the past. But tell me, Conan, where were those “harder and more decisive strokes,” against Barack Obama? When did the “targeted messages … built not just to cut but to kill,” take effect, because I don’t remember seeing them. When was Barack Obama’s circus, complete with faux Greek columns, brought to a “crispy ruin?”

    First, I’m still smiling over the “Conan the Consultant” line.

    And I too would like to hear why it is that these trained killers couldn’t, in two different election cycles, find anything that could cut or kill Obama’s election prospects? Is there something they tried that failed, or did they just not try?

    If you win you don’t get a return engagement in the Bugs Bunny Black Jacques Shellac not this one! Hoover Dam cannon ball collision.

    • #6
    • July 23, 2015, at 2:26 PM PDT
    • Like
  7. DrewInWisconsin, Unhelpful Com… Coolidge

    Pseudodionysius:

    If you win you don’t get a return engagement in the Bugs Bunny Black Jacques Shellac not this one! Hoover Dam cannon ball collision.

    I get all the references, but I can’t quite put them together.

    • #7
    • July 23, 2015, at 2:31 PM PDT
    • Like
  8. iDad Inactive

    Dave

    Great post. And, like your post skewering the Kevin Williamson article – it’s far, far better than Wilson deserves.

    • #8
    • July 23, 2015, at 2:33 PM PDT
    • Like
  9. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    You should be ashamed of yourself, trying to elect Hillary.

    • #9
    • July 23, 2015, at 2:38 PM PDT
    • Like
  10. Austin Murrey Inactive

    It’s hard to develop a winning message when you’re afraid to show up.

    The professional Republican pundits/consultants have a three-step process to woo voters away from Trump:

    1. Declare they’re idiots.

    2. Don’t they know how important it is to get Republicans to nominate Supreme Court Justices? Also, they’re idiots. (See Rick Wilson’s point 3 and 4.)

    3. There were structural issues why our candidate we’ve been preaching for over and over lost! It couldn’t be because he’s a milquetoast who can’t even stand up to a debate correspondent or visibly panics over something he can’t do anything about. Stop telling us the Republicans need a fighter!

    The problem that’s being ignored is that to a growing number of the “holy, holy base” you’re all Acela Republicans. And they don’t like you, so you’re going to lose. Because that’s what you do.

    • #10
    • July 23, 2015, at 2:45 PM PDT
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  11. Leigh Member

    I don’t know what a political consultant will answer, but I suspect I know the real answer. The simple answer is that President Obama also employs political consultants, and that he and his political consultants simply outmaneuvered the Republicans. The Democrats were better at this stuff. One side wins and one loses, and four years ago ours were inferior.

    The good news is that they seemed to have learned some lessons, judging by last year: for one, they had an answer ready for the “war on women.”

    It’s true, though, I suspect, that Trump will be mincemeat when they seriously get to work on him, because he is not a politician. The proof of this is not his stunts with McCain or Graham. It’s the way he fell to pieces when he tried to talk about religion in Iowa. There — where people are probably paying most attention — he’s nine points behind at 13%.

    • #11
    • July 23, 2015, at 3:01 PM PDT
    • Like
  12. Leigh Member

    Austin Murrey: It’s hard to develop a winning message when you’re afraid to show up.

    At least all three candidates thought that was a nutty idea.

    • #12
    • July 23, 2015, at 3:03 PM PDT
    • Like
  13. Austin Murrey Inactive

    Leigh:

    Austin Murrey: It’s hard to develop a winning message when you’re afraid to show up.

    At least all three candidates thought that was a nutty idea.

    Small miracles!

    • #13
    • July 23, 2015, at 3:12 PM PDT
    • Like
  14. Larry Koler Inactive

    It’s disheartening, isn’t it, how few pundits seem to understand what is happening here? Dave, you are one of the few who get it. Thanks for posting this.

    What’s weird is the lavish use of straw man arguments. I don’t recognize what these people are talking about at all. The GLOP podcast covered this topic in such a disingenuous way, too. What is going on?

    What do all these elites, columnists and pundits know that we don’t? Is it something special and something obvious to them but completely missing for us dummies? Are we idiots? I know one thing: we are definitely living in an idiocracy.

    • #14
    • July 23, 2015, at 3:13 PM PDT
    • Like
  15. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Leigh:I don’t know what a political consultant will answer, but I suspect I know the real answer. The simple answer is that President Obama also employs political consultants, and that he and his political consultants simply outmaneuvered the Republicans. The Democrats were better at this stuff. One side wins and one loses, and four years ago ours were inferior.

    The good news is that they seemed to have learned some lessons, judging by last year: for one, they had an answer ready for the “war on women.”

    It’s true, though, I suspect, that Trump will be mincemeat when they seriously get to work on him, because he is not a politician. The proof of this is not his stunts with McCain or Graham. It’s the way he fell to pieces when he tried to talk about religion in Iowa. There — where people are probably paying most attention — he’s nine points behind at 13%.

    Thank goodness our political consultants are new and improved. Otherwise they might think it a good strategy to mock the voters who favor an opposing candidate.

    • #15
    • July 23, 2015, at 3:18 PM PDT
    • Like
  16. jetstream Inactive

    Rick

    It’s real simple, all the Republican elite who support illegal immigration and comprehensive immigration reform should stand up and refute Trump with their impeccable logic.

    • #16
    • July 23, 2015, at 3:24 PM PDT
    • Like
  17. Leigh Member

    Basil Fawlty: Thank goodness our political consultants are new and improved. Otherwise they might think it a good strategy to mock the voters who favor an opposing candidate.

    I’m not aware of the people advising Walker, Rubio, or Bush mocking voters. I even remember Walker firing a staffer for mocking voters and getting a good deal of grief on here for doing so, in fact.

    • #17
    • July 23, 2015, at 3:25 PM PDT
    • Like
  18. Larry Koler Inactive

    Dave Carter:

    [From Wilson’s column:] Unlike Trump, they’ll use real oppo, tested and targeted messages—ads built not just to cut, but to kill. They’ll break his operational tempo, get inside his OODA loop and turn his circus into a crispy ruin. It’s what real campaigns do.

    What planet is Wilson living on? I know that they can do this to Newt and to Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz — yes, we have seen them do this. But, honestly, the reason they are successful with these people is because the media does the hard work.

    • #18
    • July 23, 2015, at 3:25 PM PDT
    • Like
  19. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Leigh:

    Basil Fawlty: Thank goodness our political consultants are new and improved. Otherwise they might think it a good strategy to mock the voters who favor an opposing candidate.

    I’m not aware of the people advising Walker, Rubio, or Bush mocking voters. I even remember Walker firing a staffer for mocking voters and getting a good deal of grief on here for doing so, in fact.

    Have you read Rick Wilson’s Twitter feed lately?

    • #19
    • July 23, 2015, at 3:59 PM PDT
    • Like
  20. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive

    Well said, Dave, and outstanding questions. Yours is the first cogent response to Rick’s article and deserves to be answered.

    • #20
    • July 23, 2015, at 4:04 PM PDT
    • Like
  21. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The problem with the Republican elite is that it isn’t.

    • #21
    • July 23, 2015, at 4:09 PM PDT
    • Like
  22. Leigh Member

    Basil Fawlty:

    Leigh:

    Basil Fawlty: Thank goodness our political consultants are new and improved. Otherwise they might think it a good strategy to mock the voters who favor an opposing candidate.

    I’m not aware of the people advising Walker, Rubio, or Bush mocking voters. I even remember Walker firing a staffer for mocking voters and getting a good deal of grief on here for doing so, in fact.

    Have you read Rick Wilson’s Twitter feed lately?

    Which of those three is he advising?

    • #22
    • July 23, 2015, at 4:26 PM PDT
    • Like
  23. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Leigh:

    Basil Fawlty:

    Leigh:

    Basil Fawlty: Thank goodness our political consultants are new and improved. Otherwise they might think it a good strategy to mock the voters who favor an opposing candidate.

    I’m not aware of the people advising Walker, Rubio, or Bush mocking voters. I even remember Walker firing a staffer for mocking voters and getting a good deal of grief on here for doing so, in fact.

    Have you read Rick Wilson’s Twitter feed lately?

    Which of those three is he advising?

    The Borg.

    • #23
    • July 23, 2015, at 4:40 PM PDT
    • Like
  24. Blondie Thatcher

    “…who presented more quotes lambasting American constitutional government than I have liver pills”
    I see what you did there.

    Once again, you’ve nailed it. Sure would be nice to have somebody go out after the Dems as hard as they go after each other. Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, anybody on the Republican side going against the “approved message” gets beat down and called irresponsible and worse. We all know Trump’s past. We know how he benefits from crony capitalism, has given money to Dems, been pro-choice, etc. I have a favor to ask of Rick and the like, don’t preach to me about these things I already know about Trump and then tell me to look the other way about Jeb! and his love for Common Core, amnesty, and giving Hillary a freaking medal and more! Give me a big league break!

    • #24
    • July 23, 2015, at 4:41 PM PDT
    • Like
  25. Barbara Duran Member
    Barbara Duran Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Basil Fawlty: Have you read Rick Wilson’s Twitter feed lately?

    Nope. If we can define “lately” as “today.” Unfollowed him yesterday, matter of fact, because I’d finally had enough.

    • #25
    • July 23, 2015, at 5:10 PM PDT
    • Like
  26. Zeke Inactive

    Larry Koler:It’s disheartening, isn’t it, how few pundits seem to understand what is happening here? Dave, you are one of the few who get it. Thanks for posting this.

    What’s weird is the lavish use of straw man arguments. I don’t recognize what these people are talking about at all. The GLOP podcast covered this topic in such a disingenuous way, too. What is going on?

    What do all these elites, columnists and pundits know that we don’t? Is it something special and something obvious to them but completely missing for us dummies? Are we idiots? I know one thing: we are definitely living in an idiocracy.

    Yes, very disheartening. Do they not understand? Or is focusing on Trump’s shortcomings a way to avoid addressing why his message is resonating with so many people?

    I guess the elites, columnists, and pundits “know” that conservatives’ dissatisfaction over illegal immigration is unjustified and boorish, so let’s move on with nominating an “electable” Republican who will cave on amnesty.

    • #26
    • July 23, 2015, at 5:25 PM PDT
    • Like
  27. Commodore BTC Inactive

    the Romney team destroyed Newt with ads

    Obama, not so much

    The smart candidates responding to Trump are Cruz and Fiorina. Cruz outright applauding Trump, and Fiorina expressing empathy with the frustration of voters Trump is channeling.

    Walker and Paul have pretty much ignored him, which is also fine.

    Perry, Bush, Rubio have all been baited into the media trap of seeing who can condemn Trump the loudest (combined with the Gang of Eight fiasco, Rubio’s political instincts are highly suspect).

    • #27
    • July 23, 2015, at 5:37 PM PDT
    • Like
  28. Larry Koler Inactive

    Zeke:

    Larry Koler:It’s disheartening, isn’t it, how few pundits seem to understand what is happening here? Dave, you are one of the few who get it. Thanks for posting this.

    What’s weird is the lavish use of straw man arguments. I don’t recognize what these people are talking about at all. The GLOP podcast covered this topic in such a disingenuous way, too. What is going on?

    What do all these elites, columnists and pundits know that we don’t? Is it something special and something obvious to them but completely missing for us dummies? Are we idiots? I know one thing: we are definitely living in an idiocracy.

    Yes, very disheartening. Do they not understand? Or is focusing on Trump’s shortcomings a way to avoid addressing why his message is resonating with so many people?

    I guess the elites, columnists, and pundits “know” that conservatives’ dissatisfaction over illegal immigration is unjustified and boorish, so let’s move on with nominating an “electable” Republican who will cave on amnesty.

    Yes, they seem to “know” something, don’t they? One thing they know is not to talk about immigration itself and instead talk about Trump as though he is the problem and not their abject disconnect from all of us on the right on this issue and others.

    • #28
    • July 23, 2015, at 6:05 PM PDT
    • Like
  29. Doctor Bass Monkey Inactive

    It’s good to be back and see Dave has lost none of the piss and vinegar that make his pieces must-read.

    • #29
    • July 23, 2015, at 7:30 PM PDT
    • Like
  30. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter

    Whiskey Sam:It’s good to be back and see Dave has lost none of the piss and vinegar that make his pieces must-read.

    Jack Daniels helps. And it’s great to have you back! You look no worse for the wear and tear.

    • #30
    • July 23, 2015, at 8:19 PM PDT
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