Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review enjoy seeing the lawyers for fired Benghazi Committee staffer remove the accusation that partisanship on the committee led to his termination.  They also react to speculation that Pres. Obama’s increased support for Hillary Clinton means she will never be indicted over her private server.  And they unload on Mike Huckabee for saying conservatives opposing Trump are only worried about their paychecks and need to suck it up and get in line behind Trump.

Please Lie to Us


eve“I trust in the good judgment of the American people.” So said a radio host I admire (not one of the screamers) about six months ago, when the rise of Trump was still notional. At this moment, looking at both parties, you have to ask whether judgment is being applied at all or whether we’re in the much more dangerous realm of emotional release.

Let’s start on the left. Democrats have made careers out of pretending that “government” has money to distribute, that the rich don’t pay their fair share of taxes, that most of the problems of black America are attributable to white racism, that deficits can be eliminated by raising taxes on the few at the top, that women are victims in need of government redress, and that climate change is the greatest national security threat we face. Fairy tales.

In the past several years, partly due to President Obama’s destructive divisiveness, those delusions have deepened, and now, with the influence of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, a full-throated socialism commands the affections of Democrats under the age of 30. In Iowa, for example, Sanders won 84 percent of voters between the ages of 17 and 29.

Trump or #NeverTrump? Haley Barbour and Charles Murray Disagree


On the podcast today, Rob and I interviewed two genuinely brilliant men. Haley Barbour, the former governor of Mississippi, has dedicated the better part of his life to the Republican Party. He helped transform the South into a central component — perhaps the central component — of the GOP base, then served in the Reagan administration (where he and I became fast friends), and then as chairman of the Republican National Committee. Charles Murray has written half a dozen books, including two of the most important works the conservative movement has ever produced. His 1984 masterpiece, Losing Ground, detailed the case that the expansion of welfare did more harm than good to the very people it was intended to help; twenty-eight years later, Coming Apart chronicled in heartbreaking detail the growing gulf between a prosperous new class and those beset by wage stagnation and dissolving families.

Although Haley and Charles joined us at different points in the podcast, Rob and I asked each man the same question: If Donald Trump were to capture the Republican nomination, should we vote for him or support an independent candidate instead? Rather than paraphrase, I’ll let each explain, in his own words, how he answers the most important question conservatives may face this year.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review are pleased to see conservatives beginning to coalesce around Ted Cruz.  They applaud the State Department for declaring ISIS guilty of genocide but scold the administration for apparently not planning to do much about it.  And they react to a Trump supporter telling CNN that convention riots could be a good thing and that they would not be negative riots.

When the New Lines are Drawn, Don’t Abandon the Social Conservatives


Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by IngerAlHaosului using CommonsHelper., GPL.

This election cycle has exposed growing divisions in both political parties. It’s almost an assumption at this point that the GOP is heading for an inevitable disintegration, and there’s reason to believe the Democrats might not be far behind. Either way, the victories of Trump and Sanders are seen as indicators of the desire by many voters to upend the status quo. I’ll agree that plenty in the status could use some un-quoing, but whether things get better or worse depends entirely on where the new lines are drawn.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Ian Tuttle of National Review discuss Tuesday’s sweeping wins for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the realities going forward in both parties.  They also assess what went wrong for Marco Rubio in the 2016 race.  And they slam Trump for suggesting he must be given the nomination even without a majority of delegates or there will be riots.

Primary Lesson


National Review’s two cover stories on Rubio.

The two biggest losers of the 2016 cycle are Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. Bush came into the election with a reputation as a conservative reformer, a successful governor, and (by many accounts) the smarter, better of the sons of George H. W. Bush. That said, Jeb had a number of significant problems — the wrong last name, lack of charisma, support for Common Core, etc. — any one of which might have sank his candidacy, though it’s at least arguable that he was undone by his stance on immigration.

Conrad Black Exactly Right: Trump the GOP Nominee


Conrad Black is a bit of a curmudgeon and definitely a contrarian but his analysis this morning of the March 15 primaries is very accurate in all regards and I endorse what he is saying in this NRO article. Here’s a sample:

Those who initially saw the Trump candidacy as an exercise in buffoonery and exhibitionism, and gradually accepted it as an insurgency, now see it as an attempt to hijack and ravish the Republican party and even to hoodwink the entire electorate. The alternative interpretation has been that Donald Trump, though a billionaire, had the genius of expressing public grievances in an Archie Bunker style that mocked political correctness and was popularly seen as plain talk from the only candidate not in any way complicit in the terrible blunders of America’s political class since the end of the Cold War.

Vote Libertarian!


Here’s a thought:  If Trump is nominated, I know a lot of you plan to just stay home.

Personally, I hope Ted Cruz pulls it off or Trump gets ousted at a contested convention.   But if that doesn’t happen …

What is the Path Forward?


We all expected yesterday to be pretty awful, so let’s not spend too much time mourning today. I wish Rubio had dropped out before yesterday and proven himself to be the statesman that many of us believe he’s capable of being, but the job now is to find a way forward.

Kasich did those of us who are #NeverTrumpers a favor by winning Ohio, of course, but I think he’s going to be a thorn in our sides from here on out. He will divide our side’s vote and prevent Cruz from cleaning up. I can’t see him dropping out, however, even though there’s zero chance he’ll win enough delegates to secure the nomination. He surely hopes to be the compromise candidate at a brokered convention, but he must know that’s highly unlikely, because even in what would be a best-case scenario for him, he won’t win very many delegates. More likely, he hopes to play kingmaker and score the veep slot.

In this comparatively early venture in pessimism about the moral strength of the West, two leading historians of the classical world voice their doubts about whether Europe can (or will) resist the second coming of Islam. They are Victor Davis Hanson and Bruce Thornton who joined us in this prescient discussion in 2008.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review react to Hillary Clinton saying no Americans were lost in Libya.  They also discuss Ben Carson endorsing Trump and saying if he’s bad president it will only last four years.  And they have fun with Trump taking a shot at his friend Chris Christie to discuss how John Kasich has been out of Ohio a lot.

Spend Jeb Bush’s Money!


shutterstock_256517059Am I the only Ricochet member outraged that the Republican Party big shots blew $100 million on Jeb Bush? A year ago, I could have told anyone who asked the result of attempting to foist another Bush on an electorate still walloped by the last: Zilch. One hundred million dollars turned into the kind of floating dust that can only be seen when it’s hit by direct sunlight. Are we all so rich that the waste of tens of millions of dollars is no big deal to us? Where is the outrage (I know, I know, a rhetorical question)? I don’t even mean to pick on Bush, who is merely the latest recipient of the party’s foolishly spent, misdirected largesse. I’m not bitter, just outraged.

But whereas the Republican party has lots of money and no imagination, I have the opposite. So indulge me in a thought experiment: A little over a year ago, the Republican party bosses came to me with a briefcase full of money and said “Dex, we recognize your personal beauty, masculine prowess, and superior wisdom. Please take this $100 million and do what you will. We trust it entirely to you. Feel free to take out $99,999,999.00 for your salary. Whatever you do, it’ll be better than what we come up with.”

I was in no mood to haggle, so I thanked them and put the cash in escrow while I drew up the following budget (quietly returning 100% of my salary to the budget).

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review discuss the ugly scene in Chicago Friday as protesters trigger chaos at a Trump rally and spill into the streets.  We unpack the very public dysfunction at Breitbart News.  And we slam John Kasich for his clueless campaign strategy.

Flyover 52 – Ricochet Celebrity and Celebrity Candidates


We are joined this week by local Ricochet celebrity, Shawn Buell, also known as our “Majestyk.” Shawn shares the key to his new-found success, and — whether any of us want to talk about it or not — we try to wrap our heads around all of this business with Donald J. Trump.

Stick around, and even if you disagree with us, let’s talk about it in the comments!

Of RINOs and a Home for Conservatives


People like to toss around the accusation that this or that person is a “Republican in Name Only,” or a RINO. Generally, this means the person is not a conservative, at least in the eyes of the accuser. The accusation is meant to be an insult or an attempt to dismiss what the accused thinks.

I once heard Jonah Goldberg say that every conservative ought to be a RINO. What he meant was that one’s loyalty should be to conservative principles, not a political party. I agree with him.

Greg Corombos of Radio America and Jim Geraghty of National Review applaud a substantive debate but are glad the debate season is just about over.  They also shake their heads as Dr. Ben Carson endorses Donald Trump, the man who once compared Carson to a child molester.  And they dissect the Trump campaign’s response to allegations campaign manager Corey Lewandowski roughed up a female reporter.

From the Editors’ Desk: Clinton vs. the NRA?


shutterstock_211678324Via the WSJ, Hillary Clinton is doubling down on her anti-Second Amendment message:

Durham, N. C.—Hillary Clinton is making gun violence a central theme of her campaign, becoming the first leading presidential candidate to directly confront the National Rifle Association without the cover of a hunting license. She is holding town halls with a group known as the Mothers of the Movement, composed of mothers of victims of “gun violence, police and racially charged incidents,” including Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager fatally shot by a white neighborhood-watch volunteer in 2012. In Ohio, six leaders of the group, all of whom lost children in high-profile shootings or police altercations, are set to campaign on her behalf again this weekend in Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, ahead of Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

And while this may be smart politics in the Democratic primaries, she may find herself downrange of one of the most powerful and effective lobbies in the land come the general election: