Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is the congresswoman from Miami. She is also one of Jay’s favorite people in public life (and in life). A congresswoman since 1989, she is retiring at the end of this session.

With Scott Immergut, the producer known as Blue Yeti, Jay traveled to Capitol Hill to record this “Q&A” in person. Ros-Lehtinen’s office was the setting. There are dogs, babies, and general good cheer: This is a family atmosphere. No one ever enjoyed being a member of Congress more than Ros-Lehtinen has.

Jay asks her about presidents: Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43, Obama, and Trump. He also asks her about speakers of the House: Newt, Hastert, Boehner, Pelosi, and Ryan.

There are many other subjects as well. Jay asks the congresswoman about Cuba, of course. (She was born there.) And about Miami (the question of assimilation). And her family (which includes a transgendered son).

Finally, the two of them talk about the health of the GOP and other American institutions. Throughout, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is candid, informed, and charming. Treat yourself to an hour of Ily.

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Members have made 14 comments.

  1. Profile photo of The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    She fled Cuba’s socialist single-payer health care system, but she’s has no interest fighting America’s socialistic health care system when she became the first Republican member of Congress to announce plans to support Obamacare.

    Next week’s interview, John McCain, Susan Collins, or Lisa Murkowski?

    As I said earlier today in response to self-employed Admiral Janeway leaving Ricochet due to health care failure, “Last month I wrote a post entitled, ‘Ricochet failing me. My health insurance went up by a factor of 5 or a factor 10. …’ Obamacare and its decade of crushing of the economy of self-employed small town United States.”

    (But who needs health care freedom and its economic freedom when you have an office with a bunch of celebrity photographs hanging on the walls?)

    • #1
    • July 28, 2017 at 12:11 pm
    • Like2 likes
  2. Profile photo of outlaws6688 Coolidge

    Just another Democrat in Republican clothing.

    • #2
    • July 28, 2017 at 1:28 pm
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  3. Profile photo of Blue Yeti Admin

    I was fortunate enough to be in the room for this interview and I found Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen to be charming, energetic, and passionate about the country.

    If you think you’d be better, why don’t you run for office instead of sniping in an internet comment section?

    • #3
    • July 29, 2017 at 8:07 am
    • Like2 likes
  4. Profile photo of drlorentz Member

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):
    I was fortunate enough to be in the room for this interview and I found Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen to be charming, energetic, and passionate about the country.

    Most politicians are charming, energetic, and passionate, otherwise they couldn’t get elected. How nice, energetic, etc. they are says nothing about their political views or values and, hence, is of limited relevance in assessing them.

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):
    If you think you’d be better, why don’t you run for office instead of sniping in an internet comment section?

    There are two things wrong with this bit of return sniper fire:

    1. For most people, politics is not the most important element of life. Running for office is not the ne plus ultra.
    2. If most people didn’t have other things to do besides run for office, there would be no money for politicians to tax and spend. If not for us, there would be no role for them.

    The idea that only those willing to run for office are entitled to hold and express their political opinions in an internet comment section or elsewhere goes against the whole idea of Ricochet and of this country. Ms. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and her fellow congressmen and women are merely representatives of the people: that’s all.

    I intend to listen to this podcast later today because it looks interesting. Nevertheless, @thecloakedgaijin‘s comments are spot on. No one claimed to “be better.” That doesn’t mean that there can’t be better.

    • #4
    • July 29, 2017 at 10:57 am
    • Like2 likes
  5. Profile photo of Blue Yeti Admin

    drlorentz (View Comment):
    The idea that only those willing to run for office are entitled to hold and express their political opinions in an internet comment section or elsewhere goes against the whole idea of Ricochet and of this country. Ms. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and her fellow congressmen and women are merely representatives of the people: that’s all.

    You are exactly right — they are “merely representatives of the people.” In Ros-Lehtinen’s case, her district is full of elderly people who are overwhelmingly in favor of government involved health care (one of Cloaked Gaijin’s stated issues with her). So what is she supposed to do? Just ignore the wishes of her constituents?

    This is the problem with purists — they demand total fealty to their way of thinking and have zero empathy or pragmatism. It’s politics, not a purity test.

    • #5
    • July 29, 2017 at 11:22 am
    • Like1 like
  6. Profile photo of outlaws6688 Coolidge

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    drlorentz (View Comment):
    The idea that only those willing to run for office are entitled to hold and express their political opinions in an internet comment section or elsewhere goes against the whole idea of Ricochet and of this country. Ms. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and her fellow congressmen and women are merely representatives of the people: that’s all.

    You are exactly right — they are “merely representatives of the people.” In Ros-Lehtinen’s case, her district is full of elderly people who are overwhelmingly in favor of government involved health care (one of Cloaked Gaijin’s stated issues with her). So what is she supposed to do? Just ignore the wishes of her constituents?

    This is the problem with purists — they demand total fealty to their way of thinking and have zero empathy or pragmatism. It’s politics, not a purity test.

    Probably for amnesty too!

    • #6
    • July 29, 2017 at 11:34 am
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  7. Profile photo of drlorentz Member

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):
    You are exactly right — they are “merely representatives of the people.” In Ros-Lehtinen’s case, her district is full of elderly people who are overwhelmingly in favor of government involved health care (one of Cloaked Gaijin’s stated issues with her). So what is she supposed to do? Just ignore the wishes of her constituents?

    The elderly people in her district are on Medicare. Cloaked Gaijin’s complaint was about Obamacare. Ms. Ros-Lehtinen need not attack the interests of those constituents to oppose Obamacare. But there is a larger issue at play here.

    We sometimes refer to political leaders. If the only function of the representatives were to slavishly follow the wishes of their constituents, we might as well fire the Congress and turn the Capitol Building into a museum. The country could be run by continuous plebiscite; we have the technology to do that.

    But it turns out that we have a republic. Ms. Ros-Lehtinen could use her considerable talents to persuade people in her district that they are not best served by having the government involved in every aspect of their lives. If it meant she could not keep her seat, well, it’s a privilege to serve, not an entitlement.

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):
    This is the problem with purists — they demand total fealty to their way of thinking and have zero empathy or pragmatism. It’s politics, not a purity test.

    There’s room for both pragmatism and principle. The overarching principle that healthcare should not be mainly or exclusively run by the government is probably worth preserving, pragmatism or no. A failed reform that harms people should not be upheld, pragmatism or no. @thecloakedgaijin made the point that Obamacare had caused harm. Where’s your empathy for the victims?

    • #7
    • July 29, 2017 at 12:00 pm
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  8. Profile photo of outlaws6688 Coolidge

    @blueyeti What are her views on immigration?

    • #8
    • July 29, 2017 at 12:01 pm
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  9. Profile photo of Blue Yeti Admin

    outlaws6688 (View Comment):
    @blueyeti What are her views on immigration?

    I don’t know. Didn’t come up in this conversation.

    • #9
    • July 29, 2017 at 12:21 pm
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  10. Profile photo of drlorentz Member

    Interesting interview; good technically too.

    • #10
    • July 29, 2017 at 1:35 pm
    • Like1 like
  11. Profile photo of Quake Voter Thatcher

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):
    I was fortunate enough to be in the room for this interview and I found Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen to be charming, energetic, and passionate about the country.

    If you think you’d be better, why don’t you run for office instead of sniping in an internet comment section?

    This is remarkably snotty and rather interesting marketing move from admin: maligning internet commenting as a bootless activity. Can those of who have held office and managed campaigns continue to comment without sneering from admin?

    • #11
    • July 29, 2017 at 10:24 pm
    • Like2 likes
  12. Profile photo of Blue Yeti Admin

    Quake Voter (View Comment):

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):
    I was fortunate enough to be in the room for this interview and I found Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen to be charming, energetic, and passionate about the country.

    If you think you’d be better, why don’t you run for office instead of sniping in an internet comment section?

    This is remarkably snotty and rather interesting marketing move from admin: maligning internet commenting as a bootless activity. Can those of who have held office and managed campaigns continue to comment without sneering from admin?

    Yes.

    • #12
    • July 29, 2017 at 11:39 pm
    • LikeLike
  13. Profile photo of outlaws6688 Coolidge

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    Quake Voter (View Comment):

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):
    I was fortunate enough to be in the room for this interview and I found Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen to be charming, energetic, and passionate about the country.

    If you think you’d be better, why don’t you run for office instead of sniping in an internet comment section?

    This is remarkably snotty and rather interesting marketing move from admin: maligning internet commenting as a bootless activity. Can those of who have held office and managed campaigns continue to comment without sneering from admin?

    Yes.

    And you wonder why the conservative movement is irrelevant.

    • #13
    • July 30, 2017 at 3:04 pm
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  14. Profile photo of George Townsend Member

    drlorentz (View Comment):
    The idea that only those willing to run for office are entitled to hold and express their political opinions in an internet comment section or elsewhere goes against the whole idea of Ricochet and of this country. Ms. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and her fellow congressmen and women are merely representatives of the people: that’s all.

    I intend to listen to this podcast later today because it looks interesting. Nevertheless, @thecloakedgaijin‘s comments are spot on. No pone claimed to “be better.” That doesn’t mean that there can’t be better.

    I haven’t listened yet, but I will. I always liked this Cuban-transplanted, well intended lady. Even when I disagree with her. The point above is not really well made. We are not saying that people don’t have the right to their own views, and to criticize others. What I say is to criticize her as a Democrat in Republican clothing is not fair. I do not know her record, but there are too many people who take one or two votes, and if they are “wrong”, these people will call names. That is not intelligent criticism. It is just carping.

    • #14
    • July 31, 2017 at 5:56 am
    • LikeLike