Elephant Trainer

Even if it weren’t for voter sentiments over the last few years, a slew of electoral losses might make changes at the RNC seem like a no-brainer. And yet there’s only one member of the committee who’s willing to do anything about the party’s dismal performance. Harmeet Dhillon returns to lay out her impressive list of ideas to break the GOP’s addiction to losing. (Visit her site to support however you can.)

Steve Hayward fills in for the roaming Rob Long. He, Peter and James discuss megalomaniacs in Davos and disdain for academic excellence in Fairfax County.

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There are 31 comments.

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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    I have not listened yet. 

    Does she have “Stop Lying to voters” on the list? Because if not, who really cares what she has to say. 

    • #1
  2. ThomasMcInerny Coolidge
    ThomasMcInerny
    @ThomasMcInerny

    Loved Ms. Dhillon. Tactics and strategy seem to be murky and muddled in the RNC. What’s really lacking is a lodestar. Perhaps “A Conservative Sensibility” ? You can game and work the voting  system all you want (have at it): but present candidates as vapid  as Trump and Gaetz, et al, and you are urinating into the wind. As always, great podcast gentlemen.

    • #2
  3. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Have her previous strategies been effective/successful?  Not that I’ve seen.

    • #3
  4. Quickz Member
    Quickz
    @Quickz

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Have her previous strategies been effective/successful? Not that I’ve seen.

    California, where she is a party leader, was the first state to “play by the new rules,” and brought unexpected wins in 2020, and 2022.

    That’s effective. 

    • #4
  5. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Quickz (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Have her previous strategies been effective/successful? Not that I’ve seen.

    California, where she is a party leader, was the first state to “play by the new rules,” and brought unexpected wins in 2020, and 2022.

    That’s effective.

    I wonder then why she didn’t accomplish anything in Arizona or Georgia?

    • #5
  6. Quickz Member
    Quickz
    @Quickz

    ThomasMcInerny (View Comment):

    Loved Ms. Dhillon. Tactics and strategy seem to be murky and muddled in the RNC. What’s really lacking is a lodestar. Perhaps “A Conservative Sensibility” ? You can game and work the voting system all you want (have at it): but present candidates as vapid as Trump and Gaetz, et al, and you are urinating into the wind. As always, great podcast gentlemen.

    Matt Gaetz won in a landslide, and Trump lost by about 40k votes in three states with the entire media, tech world, entertainment world, university systems, and his own intelligence agencies lined up against him in a year of a pandemic that, thanks to the previously mentioned groups, was “blamed” on him. 

    You could swap out those two names with two others and it would make sense to me, but not with those. 

    And I believe Harmeet addressed that issue in the final part of her segment. 

    • #6
  7. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    @peterrobinson I’m pretty sure John Kerry actually married into money TWICE.

     

    (John McCain only did it once.)

    • #7
  8. Dotorimuk Coolidge
    Dotorimuk
    @Dotorimuk

    Another podcast tic I have been noticing lately, especially during this episode – a speaker will interrupt his own sentence to start a new one. 

    Just an observation, not a criticism. These things just interest me.

    • #8
  9. Dotorimuk Coolidge
    Dotorimuk
    @Dotorimuk

    kedavis (View Comment):

    @ peterrobinson I’m pretty sure John Kerry actually married into money TWICE.

     

    (John McCain only did it once.)

    If Kerry had married TWO ketchup heiresses, I would be more impressed.

    • #9
  10. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    Another podcast tic I have been noticing lately, especially during this episode – a speaker will interrupt his own sentence to start a new one.

    Just an observation, not a criticism. These things just interest me.

    I don’t remember it being noticeable with the others, but that’s something that Peter has been doing for a while: not finishing his own sentences.  Steve Hayward might do it also, but I pay less attention to him.

    • #10
  11. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    DotorimukIf Kerry had married TWO ketchup heiresses, I would be more impressed.

    Kerry was born into money. His middle name is Forbes. No, not a relative of Steve Forbes, these Forbes were of the Boston Brahmins, old money and politically connected.

    • #11
  12. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Dotorimuk: If Kerry had married TWO ketchup heiresses, I would be more impressed.

    Kerry was born into money. His middle name is Forbes. No, not a relative of Steve Forbes, these Forbes were of the Boston Brahmins, old money and politically connected.

    Apparently his first wife’s family had money too, enough for a senator at least, but then when it was time to run for president I guess he needed even more.

    • #12
  13. Leslie Watkins Member
    Leslie Watkins
    @LeslieWatkins

    A government hell bent on knowing how many people have been vaccinated is a government that has jumped the shark: Had COVID-19 turned out to be extremely deadly within all age cohorts, there would have been no need for the mandate because everyone would be shoving everyone else out of the way to get it. The controversy is a testament to both the virus’s targeted lethality and government overreach.

    • #13
  14. Dotorimuk Coolidge
    Dotorimuk
    @Dotorimuk

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    Another podcast tic I have been noticing lately, especially during this episode – a speaker will interrupt his own sentence to start a new one.

    Just an observation, not a criticism. These things just interest me.

    I don’t remember it being noticeable with the others, but that’s something that Peter has been doing for a while: not finishing his own sentences. Steve Hayward might do it also, but I pay less attention to him.

    There was a guest a couple of episodes back who did it repeatedly too.

     It just sticks out to me because I don’t hear people do it in “real life.”

    • #14
  15. Dotorimuk Coolidge
    Dotorimuk
    @Dotorimuk

    kedavis (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Dotorimuk: If Kerry had married TWO ketchup heiresses, I would be more impressed.

    Kerry was born into money. His middle name is Forbes. No, not a relative of Steve Forbes, these Forbes were of the Boston Brahmins, old money and politically connected.

    Apparently his first wife’s family had money too, enough for a senator at least, but then when it was time to run for president I guess he needed even more.

    Those Addams Family residuals won’t last forever.

    • #15
  16. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    kedavis (View Comment):

    @ peterrobinson I’m pretty sure John Kerry actually married into money TWICE.

     

    (John McCain only did it once.)

    John Kerry made his money  the real old-fashioned way – he married into money to someone who married into money (Theresa Heinz) to someone who inherited their money (John Heinz)

    • #16
  17. Quickz Member
    Quickz
    @Quickz

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Quickz (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Have her previous strategies been effective/successful? Not that I’ve seen.

    California, where she is a party leader, was the first state to “play by the new rules,” and brought unexpected wins in 2020, and 2022.

    That’s effective.

    I wonder then why she didn’t accomplish anything in Arizona or Georgia?

    Considering she was one of the three chairs of the California RNC and she ran some of the litigation efforts in Arizona (won some lost some – but was prepared and was in court the day of election. She got in front of a judge to get extended voting hours *that day* after the (ahem) issues happened – denied but tried) Arizona a state where the party apparatus not only did little but actively worked against candidates – I’d say this alone makes me want to see her as national chair. 

    Plus if the requirements are,  you need to be a state rnc chair that turned around your party gotv into an example for the nation (Nunez understands this) AND run your law firm (which fights for us as well – see Ron Coleman), and has to have the ability to stop what AZ and GA GOP have done to their own states (both these states had both chambers leading up to this election) – well I guess we can wait for that black swan to arrive. I won’t be. 

    • #17
  18. The Cynthonian Member
    The Cynthonian
    @TheCynthonian

    A related and very interesting piece:  https://amgreatness.com/2023/01/20/how-rnc-policy-lost-a-winnable-house-seat/

    • #18
  19. ChrisShearer Coolidge
    ChrisShearer
    @ChrisShearer

    I generally enjoyed Ms. Dillon until she used a certain word, “RINO”.  When will Republicans stopped belittling those who aren’t a “true Scotsman”? I’m so tired of hearing “Squish”, “GOPe” and “RINO”.  Even worse is to take the next step as a candidate and declare “I don’t want your vote”. (As Kari Lake did in the last week of the campaign.). Are you running for office or for a prime slot on Fox News at night?

    I find it interested that a Democrat in AZ has taken on the mantle of “maverick”.  Many here (as previous comments would indicate) berate John McCain but I would wager his voting record would be more in line with conservatives than even the most “mavericky” Sinema.

    I left the Republican Party 6 years ago and other than those annoying texts asking for money, I don’t feel that the Republican Party in AZ is terribly interested in my vote.  I guess I’m a nRINO (not a Republican in Name Only), someone who’s is conservative in nature, and by and large in voting, but who is no longer interested in the Party.

    Key point, if you want to change things, you NEED THE VOTES.

    • #19
  20. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher
    Goldwaterwoman
    @goldwaterwoman

    Some on here are confusing Ronna McDaniel who is in charge of the national RNC, while Dhillon is strictly California. She talks a very good game that makes total sense to those of us who have not been impressed with RNC progress under McDaniel’s leadership. The most important thing to know abut Dhillon is GOP state legislature additions in California since that’s where all the damage to the state has taken place. Perhaps I missed it but haven’t heard a peep from her about the fact that they 1)haven’t built a new reservoir for 40 years despite the fact that the population has almost doubled; 2)the water pouring out to the ocean every year to preserve the tiny smelt instead of being diverted to the farming community or; 3) the importance of containing wildfires by clearing out brush in the forests. Bottom line: is she all talk or is there some genuine substance there. These golden political issues go ignored while the emphasis has been raising money in smoke-filled rooms. If we make more of these issues, it will  be easier to get donors to pony up.

    • #20
  21. The Cynthonian Member
    The Cynthonian
    @TheCynthonian

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):

    Some on here are confusing Ronna McDaniel who is in charge of the national RNC, while Dhillon is strictly California. She talks a very good game that makes total sense to those of us who have not been impressed with RNC progress under McDaniel’s leadership. The most important thing to know abut Dhillon is GOP state legislature additions in California since that’s where all the damage to the state has taken place. Perhaps I missed it but haven’t heard a peep from her about the fact that they 1)haven’t built a new reservoir for 40 years despite the fact that the population has almost doubled; 2)the water pouring out to the ocean every year to preserve the tiny smelt instead of being diverted to the farming community or; 3) the importance of containing wildfires by clearing out brush in the forests. Bottom line: is she all talk or is there some genuine substance there. These golden political issues go ignored while the emphasis has been raising money in smoke-filled rooms. If we make more of these issues, it will be easier to get donors to pony up.

    With all due respect, the issues you listed are very important in CA, but it’s up to the party’s nominees (made even more difficult by the idiotic Top Two primary) to carry those messages, not the state’s representatives to the RNC.  The state party should be raising money to help its candidates spread those messages, work on GOTV, and other election-related tasks.  I’m sure Harmeet agrees with you 100% on those 3 issues, but she’s not a candidate for the state legislature, where those issues need to be worked.

    • #21
  22. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):
    Bottom line: is she all talk or is there some genuine substance there

    GOP leader? We all know the answer. 

    • #22
  23. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher
    Goldwaterwoman
    @goldwaterwoman

    The Cynthonian (View Comment):
    I’m sure Harmeet agrees with you 100% on those 3 issues, but she’s not a candidate for the state legislature, where those issues need to be worked.

    You’re right of course. I didn’t make my point clear enough. I think what I was trying to say is that the party leaders in the individual states are not using the megaphones their position gives them and then seem to pop up out of nowhere to run for the RNC chair. I have been a member of a state Republican womens’ club and was very disappointed by the lack of leadership from the state chair. For example, the GOP in California is sorely lacking in publicizing issues that appeal to the press and to the public. Individual groups like the one I was in are shockingly under utilized. The states work the phones and organize parties for big $$ donors in back room deals that don’t translate to enthusiasm among the workers at the ground level.

    • #23
  24. Icarus213 Coolidge
    Icarus213
    @Icarus213

    ChrisShearer (View Comment):

    I generally enjoyed Ms. Dillon until she used a certain word, “RINO”. When will Republicans stopped belittling those who aren’t a “true Scotsman”? I’m so tired of hearing “Squish”, “GOPe” and “RINO”. Even worse is to take the next step as a candidate and declare “I don’t want your vote”. (As Kari Lake did in the last week of the campaign.). Are you running for office or for a prime slot on Fox News at night?

    I find it interested that a Democrat in AZ has taken on the mantle of “maverick”. Many here (as previous comments would indicate) berate John McCain but I would wager his voting record would be more in line with conservatives than even the most “mavericky” Sinema.

    I left the Republican Party 6 years ago and other than those annoying texts asking for money, I don’t feel that the Republican Party in AZ is terribly interested in my vote. I guess I’m a nRINO (not a Republican in Name Only), someone who’s is conservative in nature, and by and large in voting, but who is no longer interested in the Party.

    Key point, if you want to change things, you NEED THE VOTES.

     

    What makes her RINO line even richer is that she used it in reference to Jamie Herrera-Beutler, a Republican who was re-elected 5 times in a swing disctrict in Washington State.  She voted to impeach Trump, so of course she had to go, and was primaried by Joe Kent, who then went on to lose to the Democrat.  Harmeet’s line is to blame the RNC for not supporting him enough, not to conclude that the candidate didn’t fit the district.  This is the attitude of someone who isn’t looking to be a majority party, but to stay a minority party that FIGHTS (and loses).

    • #24
  25. Archibald Campbell Member
    Archibald Campbell
    @ArchieCampbell

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Quickz (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Have her previous strategies been effective/successful? Not that I’ve seen.

    California, where she is a party leader, was the first state to “play by the new rules,” and brought unexpected wins in 2020, and 2022.

    That’s effective.

    I wonder then why she didn’t accomplish anything in Arizona or Georgia?

    Because she wasn’t involved in the races there.

    • #25
  26. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Archibald Campbell (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Quickz (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Have her previous strategies been effective/successful? Not that I’ve seen.

    California, where she is a party leader, was the first state to “play by the new rules,” and brought unexpected wins in 2020, and 2022.

    That’s effective.

    I wonder then why she didn’t accomplish anything in Arizona or Georgia?

    Because she wasn’t involved in the races there.

    Then why even show up, and claim to be doing something?

    • #26
  27. Archibald Campbell Member
    Archibald Campbell
    @ArchieCampbell

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Archibald Campbell (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Quickz (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Have her previous strategies been effective/successful? Not that I’ve seen.

    California, where she is a party leader, was the first state to “play by the new rules,” and brought unexpected wins in 2020, and 2022.

    That’s effective.

    I wonder then why she didn’t accomplish anything in Arizona or Georgia?

    Because she wasn’t involved in the races there.

    Then why even show up, and claim to be doing something?

    Because as noted, she was working legal cases, not managing the election effort.

    • #27
  28. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Archibald Campbell (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Archibald Campbell (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Quickz (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Have her previous strategies been effective/successful? Not that I’ve seen.

    California, where she is a party leader, was the first state to “play by the new rules,” and brought unexpected wins in 2020, and 2022.

    That’s effective.

    I wonder then why she didn’t accomplish anything in Arizona or Georgia?

    Because she wasn’t involved in the races there.

    Then why even show up, and claim to be doing something?

    Because as noted, she was working legal cases, not managing the election effort.

    Most of the legal cases came AFTER the election, but she was already gone.  And apparently repeated the same performance in Georgia.

    • #28
  29. Archibald Campbell Member
    Archibald Campbell
    @ArchieCampbell

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Archibald Campbell (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Archibald Campbell (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Quickz (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Have her previous strategies been effective/successful? Not that I’ve seen.

    California, where she is a party leader, was the first state to “play by the new rules,” and brought unexpected wins in 2020, and 2022.

    That’s effective.

    I wonder then why she didn’t accomplish anything in Arizona or Georgia?

    Because she wasn’t involved in the races there.

    Then why even show up, and claim to be doing something?

    Because as noted, she was working legal cases, not managing the election effort.

    Most of the legal cases came AFTER the election, but she was already gone. And apparently repeated the same performance in Georgia.

    I no longer know what you’re talking about.  Are you questioning her ability to run election races, or her effectiveness in making legal challenges to wonky election processes?  It doesn’t matter, of course, because you’ll simply massage things so that you are somehow “right,” but I’d be interested in what exactly you’re questioning.

    • #29
  30. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Archibald Campbell (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Archibald Campbell (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Archibald Campbell (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Quickz (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Have her previous strategies been effective/successful? Not that I’ve seen.

    California, where she is a party leader, was the first state to “play by the new rules,” and brought unexpected wins in 2020, and 2022.

    That’s effective.

    I wonder then why she didn’t accomplish anything in Arizona or Georgia?

    Because she wasn’t involved in the races there.

    Then why even show up, and claim to be doing something?

    Because as noted, she was working legal cases, not managing the election effort.

    Most of the legal cases came AFTER the election, but she was already gone. And apparently repeated the same performance in Georgia.

    I no longer know what you’re talking about. Are you questioning her ability to run election races, or her effectiveness in making legal challenges to wonky election processes? It doesn’t matter, of course, because you’ll simply massage things so that you are somehow “right,” but I’d be interested in what exactly you’re questioning.

    Well, for those who claim that she’s only involved with/responsible for certain activities in California, why would she have gone to Arizona – or Georgia – at all?

    But once she’s there, and supposedly involved in legal cases, why pack up and leave before doing anything useful?

    Was she just trying to raise money or something?

    • #30
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