Georgia On Our Minds

We’re back from the holiday break and have Georgia on our minds. As such we welcome Erick Erickson, host of “Atlanta’s Evening News” on WSB AM/FM, and he joins to us to analyze “suitcase-gate” and give us his take on January’s double US Senate election in the Peach State. (Erick’s podcast is available right here on Ricochet.)

Then we talk to old friend Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. As the Covid-19 vaccination comes to market, what’s the best way to do it? Who gets priority and who shouldn’t be bothered?

Eustace C. Scrubb walks away with the coveted Lileks Member Post of the Week for his essay on the passing of David Prowse, one half of the man behind Darth Vader.

Music from this week’s episode: The Devil Went Down to Georgia by Charlie Daniels.

 

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  1. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Joseph Stocks (View Comment):

    The Georgia run-off elections serve as a test for our GOP betters in assessing their ‘surgical strike’ electoral theory of Trump’s defeat. I believe we have seen a number of ‘only Biden’ ballots but those cannot be in the mix in the January 5th election. So, the theory is Republicans just wanted to get rid of Trump but elect Republicans pretty much everywhere down ballot. This should bode well for Loeffler and Perdue.

    Count me skeptical. My prediction is it will be close and just enough ballots will be found to get the two Democrats the win.

    In which case, it was not a ‘surgical removal’ of Trump but corrupt machine politics that will hand Democrats every, or almost every close important race.

    I guess the Biden-only ballots were also “surgical strikes”.  If you just follow the logic.  They were voting for Biden, but not the Squad.

    • #91
  2. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    I think Ricochet has been forced to make a decision that nearly all conservative media have had to make over the past several years.  

    Megyn Kelly talked about the dilemma that Fox News was in at around 2015 when Trump entered the presidential race.  Trump and Megyn Kelly got into a dustup over a question that Kelly asked in the first presidential debate.  Roger Ailes hated the question, which was vaguely related to charges of sexism.  

    Kelly said that Roger Ailes wanted to appeal to the Breitbart wing of the Right while also appealing to the National Review wing of the Right.  It’s a hard juggling act to pull off sometimes.

    In the most recent episode of The Editors podcast at National Review, the participants are very critical of Donald Trump and the allegation of the election being stolen in general.  National Review wrote an editorial titled, “Donald Trump’s Disgraceful Endgame.”  

    Someone described the split in the Arizona Republican party as a split between the Crazies and the Establishment.

    • #92
  3. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    HeavyWater (View Comment):
    Someone described the split in the Arizona Republican party as a split between the Crazies and the Establishment.

    I don’t think John McCain et. al. helped the situation.

    • #93
  4. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):
    Someone described the split in the Arizona Republican party as a split between the Crazies and the Establishment.

    I don’t think John McCain et. al. helped the situation.

    I was trying to figure out who the two sides were since McCain was the establishment and crazy. 

    • #94
  5. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Joker (View Comment):
    I have a hard time understanding conservatives who think that their policy preferences have a better chance under President Biden. Or President Harris.

     

     

     

    I have explained this over and over. You have to look at the way things are now. The GOP hasn’t been that great for a couple of decades.

     

     

     

     

    Good stuff.  I’ve been saying something similar for a long time. Our political incentives are upside down.  Politicians are incentivized to spend money.  Why?  It helps them get re-elected.  

    While this isn’t shockingly new news, it’s what’s fueled the exponential debt growth in the last 30 years, and at least half the polity wants to stomp on the spending accelerator with all the combined weight of several small planets, and the other half wants to to the same, but just slightly less stomping.

    So even though Georgia is being sold as some kind of battle for our national souls, I hate to point out to anyone that we don’t have them anymore, souls, in a political sense.  Even Reagan tripled the national debt.  Barry doubled it in 8 years, going from 10 to 20 trillion, doubling a number that took about 240 years to get to, in 8 years.

    We are fools for continuing to allow it.  Yet we worry about a president’s tweets, Joe Biden’s dentures, and Kamala’s ambitions.  They are all immaterial to the weight of debt we’re saddled with, at their hands.  

    • #95
  6. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Gazpacho Grande' (View Comment):
    We are fools for continuing to allow it. Yet we worry about a president’s tweets, Joe Biden’s dentures, and Kamala’s ambitions. They are all immaterial to the weight of debt we’re saddled with, at their hands.

    This all started, when 43 got rid of Paul Volker and then Greenspan went nuts around 1996. Some people say it was when he intervened during the big stock market crash of 1987. The point of no return was about 2004. Then you got the tea party which was completely foiled and then you got Trump.

    Conservatism and libertarianism cannot really work or sell in this environment. 

    When people freak out about Trump’s Trade wars and what not, he is simply working around the edges because it’s too dangerous to be direct about it, both economically and politically. 

     

    • #96
  7. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Even if this type of “vote counting” only happened in a few select places, how can they ‘splain it, Lucy?

    Also the Benford’s Law problem is a problem. Biden’s vote totals when charted surge and spike over the coarse of the night. Trump’s do not. If both candidates votes where being treated the same, they would show similar patterns when charted. They do not.

    Those who have not seen any evidence of election fraud, are speaking before there has been an investigation. It maybe too soon to call the bloody corpse in the study a murder victim, but until there is an investigation its too soon to call it “natural causes”.

    This all reminds me of the way opponents of Brett Kavanaugh spoke. “There hasn’t been a complete FBI investigation on charges of sexual assault on the part of Kavanaugh,” these opponents said. “We can’t confirm Kavanaugh while he is under a cloud of suspicion.

    It’s similar in this case. Biden won the election. The state and federal courts, including when Trump nominated federal judges have ruled, have ruled against Trump’s attempts to have ballots tossed out.

    Trump lost. It’s over. When Democrats complained that Russians had altered vote totals in the 2016 presidential elections (Harry Reid said this), Republicans laughed. We should be laughing at Trump for making similar claims.

    Yeah, but is it really over?

    • #97
  8. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    All of this global debt is an artificial creation of the global central banks. It creates deflation so they can keep printing. You simply get asset bubbles and all of the money goes to the 1%. This phony excess debt retards prosperity and creates inequality. This is why populism and Socialism are taking off. At some point they are going to have to break all of their rules and create actual CPI inflation.

    • #98
  9. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    There are some counties in Texas where Biden had a huge increase in the vote compared to Hillary Clinton four years earlier.

    Bexar county: 319,550—>448,452

    Travis county: 308,260—>433,062

    Tarrant county: 288,392—>411,567

    Collin county: 140,624—>230,945

    Denton county: 110,890—>188,695

    Williamson county: 84,468—>142,457

    Yeah, but those are Commie counties.

    • #99
  10. Jon1979 Inactive
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    Gazpacho Grande’ (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    There are some counties in Texas where Biden had a huge increase in the vote compared to Hillary Clinton four years earlier.

    Bexar county: 319,550—>448,452

    Travis county: 308,260—>433,062

    Tarrant county: 288,392—>411,567

    Collin county: 140,624—>230,945

    Denton county: 110,890—>188,695

    Williamson county: 84,468—>142,457

    Yeah, but those are Commie counties.

    On a serious note, the Texas vote results were interesting, because of the huge disparity in direction between the urban/suburban ring counties like the ones listed above, and the Latino-majority counties, primarily in South and West Texas, where Biden vastly under-performed Hillary’s 2016 totals, while Trump ran well ahead of other Republicans, like John Cornyn, in the down-ballot races.

    The county I’m in is 75-80 percent Latino, and had voted for the GOP presidential nominee only once in the previous five elections. But it’s also now heavily invested in oilfield and the fracking boom, and it went from Hillary +6 in 2016 to Trump +24 in 2020. That also carried other GOP down-ballot people to wins, but Cornyn was just +18 in his race against MJ Hegar, so Trump ran +6 there with a majority-Latino electorate, and the disaparity was even greater in some of the Lower Rio Grande Valley counties. Trump won Zapata County +5.5, but Cornyn was a -10.5 loser to Hegar there on Nov. 3.

    Those disparities — where Cornyn ran +3-4 points ahead of Trump in the urban and ring counties — means both the GOP and the Democrats have to figure out what this all means, and if the shifts were simply driven by Trump’s personality, or by the positions and actions he took as president, versus what Biden is promising to do as president. Does the GOP try to improve Latino outreach among it’s more establishment types if that turns off suburban voters, since the ring counties have far more votes, but the Latino population continues to rise as a percentage of the overall state vote?

    • #100
  11. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    #100 is dead-on plus supposedly Trump went down with working class males, supposedly. 

    • #101
  12. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    If you divide the United States up into 5 equal categories, equal in terms of total votes cast for either Donald Trump or Joe Biden, and then place the various states into these regions based on how pro-Trump or pro-Biden they were, you get this situation.

    Region 1: Very pro-Trump -> Trump 60.5 pct to Biden 39.5 pct -> Trump won by 6.5 million votes 

    Region 2: Pro-Trump: Trump 52.4 pct to Biden 47.8 pct -> Trump won by 1.5 million votes

    Region 3: Swing region: Trump 49.1 pct to Biden 50.9 pct -> Biden won by 580,000 votes

    Region 4: Pro-Biden: Trump 41.7 pct to Biden 58.3 pct -> Biden won by 5.1 million votes

    Region 5: Very pro-Biden: Trump 34.9 pct to Biden 65.1 percent -> Biden won by 9.3 million votes

    • #102
  13. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Deleted

    • #103
  14. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Jon1979: Those disparities… means both the GOP and the Democrats have to figure out what this all means…

    I have been saying for almost two years now that we are in a period of political realignment. When that happens, and it happens with great regularity every 40-50 years, the electorate is always ahead of the political class. It’s also a time when the conventional wisdom of the day isn’t worth a dime. 

    Everything is impossible until it happens. The conventional wisdom once held that a Catholic would never be elected, that a divorced man would never be elected or that a black man could never be elected. And those are “barriers” that have fallen just in my lifetime. 

    • #104
  15. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Mark Levin is going to have to data guys on his show tonight. 

     

     

     

    • #105
  16. Joan of Ark La Tex Member
    Joan of Ark La Tex
    @JoALT

    WOW! How surprise to see Ricochet Mainfeed talking about the Election again? I thought this Conservative Mainfeed has already declared Biden as President Elect and started analysing “Data” ( where old people in nursing homes over registrated at 1000% in corrupt cities) on how Trump lost the election “because of Trump” and among ” older people”. Yes, Mr Robinson, heard your  interview with Sky New Australia. Disappointing. 

    • #106
  17. DHMorgan Inactive
    DHMorgan
    @DHMorgan

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    Gary Robbins

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Joker (View Comment):

    This election result suggests the emergence of a previously unknown large contingent of ticket splitting masochists.

    Actually, ticket splitting wasn’t nearly as frequent in the 2020 presidential election as it was in elections such in the 1980s and 1990s.

    When Reagan won a 49 state victory in the 1984 presidential election, the net gain for Republicans in the US Senate was actually negative. The GOP lost a net of 1 seat in the US Senate even as Reagan cruised to victory.

    Some people, including my wife, just didn’t like Trump. A friend of mine who lives in California has been a Republican his entire life, but didn’t like Trump and would not vote for either Biden or Trump.

    Ticket splitting happens.

    Trump has an abrasive style. Some people like it. But it seems over 80 million people do not.

    Over 81 million people voted for Biden.

    To my knowledge, before and during, his term in office, President Trump never received an overall approval rating of over 50%. When was the last time that happened to a President?

    Not everyone is a policy wonk. A lot of people (like my wife) will vote for someone based on their fitness of character, whether genuine or not.

    Donald Trump spent four years — no, make that his entire life — demonstrating his narcissistic, dishonest character traits. He made no attempts to disguise this in order to attract enough voters to win. This reminds me of what I read last night:

                “Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to advice.” (Proverbs 12: 13)

    That’s Donald Trump, right to the end.

    This should be Occam’s Razor material. Alas, it is not.

    I’m still waiting to hear from someone who claims that Joe Biden made a secret trip to Haiti and met with a houngan, who then applied a voodoo hex on the voting tabulation machines. And then some Trump supporters will will say, “Yeah, that sounds plausible.”

                               

    • #107
  18. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    DHMorgan (View Comment):

    Not everyone is a policy wonk. A lot of people (like my wife) will vote for someone based on their fitness of character, whether genuine or not.

    Donald Trump spent four years — no, make that his entire life — demonstrating his narcissistic, dishonest character traits. He made no attempts to disguise this in order to attract enough voters to win. This reminds me of what I read last night:

    Clearly, you/she haven’t been paying much attention to Biden’s lack of character.  Among other issues.

     

    • #108
  19. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    DHMorgan (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    Gary Robbins

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Joker (View Comment):

    This election result suggests the emergence of a previously unknown large contingent of ticket splitting masochists.

    Actually, ticket splitting wasn’t nearly as frequent in the 2020 presidential election as it was in elections such in the 1980s and 1990s.

    When Reagan won a 49 state victory in the 1984 presidential election, the net gain for Republicans in the US Senate was actually negative. The GOP lost a net of 1 seat in the US Senate even as Reagan cruised to victory.

    Some people, including my wife, just didn’t like Trump. A friend of mine who lives in California has been a Republican his entire life, but didn’t like Trump and would not vote for either Biden or Trump.

    Ticket splitting happens.

    Trump has an abrasive style. Some people like it. But it seems over 80 million people do not.

    Over 81 million people voted for Biden.

    To my knowledge, before and during, his term in office, President Trump never received an overall approval rating of over 50%. When was the last time that happened to a President?

    Not everyone is a policy wonk. A lot of people (like my wife) will vote for someone based on their fitness of character, whether genuine or not.

    Donald Trump spent four years — no, make that his entire life — demonstrating his narcissistic, dishonest character traits. He made no attempts to disguise this in order to attract enough voters to win. This reminds me of what I read last night:

    “Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to advice.” (Proverbs 12: 13)

    That’s Donald Trump, right to the end.

    This should be Occam’s Razor material. Alas, it is not.

    I’m still waiting to hear from someone who claims that Joe Biden made a secret trip to Haiti and met with a houngan, who then applied a voodoo hex on the voting tabulation machines. And then some Trump supporters will will say, “Yeah, that sounds plausible.”

     

    “President Trump never received an overall approval rating of over 50%.”  

    I trust these numbers were obtained by reliable methods — like studying chicken entrails — rather than by pollsters who, we now know, always undercount Trump’s support.

    “Donald Trump spent four years — no, make that his entire life — demonstrating his narcissistic, dishonest character traits.”

    This is kind of a hilarious charge, when we consider Trump’s predecessor, who really truly believes the sun shines out of his ***.

    Being an amateur politician, Donald Trump actually believed in keeping campaign promises. Most politicians understand all promises lapse on election day, and then you service the donor class and the special interests while you’re in office.

    I have found that what makes someone anti-Trump or pro-Trump is whether they judge a President on what he says, or what he does.  The former position strikes me as insane. But not uncommon.

     

     

    • #109
  20. Jon1979 Inactive
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Jon1979: Those disparities… means both the GOP and the Democrats have to figure out what this all means…

    I have been saying for almost two years now that we are in a period of political realignment. When that happens, and it happens with great regularity every 40-50 years, the electorate is always ahead of the political class. It’s also a time when the conventional wisdom of the day isn’t worth a dime.

    Everything is impossible until it happens. The conventional wisdom once held that a Catholic would never be elected, that a divorced man would never be elected or that a black man could never be elected. And those are “barriers” that have fallen just in my lifetime.

    Trump’s higher percentage of minority voters creates an interesting situation here, especially as far as the #NeverTrump people go and how they want to envision the GOP for 2024 and onward. Short-term, at least in Texas, the GOP could go back to pushing only establishment types of candidates, and would get more votes from the white suburbanites who either voted for Biden or didn’t vote for either candidate. But do they do that, if it’s at the expense of minority outreach, which Trump proved to be better at than either McCain or Romney?

    Nobody’s going to be able to replicate Trump’s style, and if that’s what attracted many Latino voters, as opposed to Trump’s policies, then the vote here’s probably a one-off. But if Trump’s more populist message resonated among voters who had voted Democrat in the past — including for Hillary against Trump in ’16 — do the Republicans in 2024 go back to a Chamber of Commerce-friendly nominee, who might regain some of the ring county voters, but loses ground with minority voters, as they become a higher percentage of the overall popular vote? It really is something Republicans are going to have to figure out over the next three years, and the 2022 midterms should offer a hint on which way to go.

    • #110
  21. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Did someone say “uncommon?”

    Presenting Steve Martin, and the Toot Uncommons (as they were known for the record version):

     

    • #111
  22. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge
    JuliaBlaschke
    @JuliaBlaschke

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):
    It maybe never provable, but I can’t ever believe Biden won this election.

    I am right there with you. But if this election fraud is proven, imagine the consequences. I think a country, coping with Covid and already very weary of Trump and the constant turmoil, will accept facile explanations from people like Erickson and others, rather than deal with the mess we have gotten ourselves into.

     

    • #112
  23. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge
    JuliaBlaschke
    @JuliaBlaschke

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    This is brutal.

     

     

     

    And yet they keep voting for Democrats.

    • #113
  24. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

     

     

     

    • #114
  25. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    DHMorgan (View Comment):
    Not everyone is a policy wonk. A lot of people (like my wife) will vote for someone based on their fitness of character, whether genuine or not.

    I just realized this week that the leading Never Trump person on this site who goes on and on about Ronald Reagan and acts on it really isn’t into policy.

    • #115
  26. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    Eric Ericsons explanation of the video doesnt past the laugh test.

    Imagine if you will its the Disney stock holders meeting. And they had difficulty with the vote of the new board of directors.  So they kick out all the poll watchers and told them to go home.  That the CFO and the official Disney hired counters were going to run the elections themselves.

    People would be calling that for the fraud it is.  I am not a lawyer, but I am 20 year veteran of electioneering.  The whole point of election security is that both sides get the opportunity to watch the counting process.  If you count without witnesses, it doesnt count.  He would know that.

    From Wikipedia.

    scrutineer (also called a poll-watcher or a challenger in the United States) is a person who observes any process which requires rigorous oversight. Scrutineers have the tasks of preventing the occurrence of corruption and of detecting genuine mistakes.[1][2] The scrutineering process takes place most commonly alongside voting in an election; the scrutineer observes the counting of ballot papers, in order to ensure that election rules are followed. There are other uses of the concept, such as in motorsport, when a scrutineer is responsible for ensuring that vehicles meet the technical regulations.

    • #116
  27. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    Eric Ericsons explanation of the video doesnt past the laugh test.

    Imagine if you will its the Disney stock holders meeting. And they had difficulty with the vote of the new board of directors. So they kick out all the poll watchers and told them to go home. That the CFO and the official Disney hired counters were going to run the elections themselves.

    People would be calling that for the fraud it is. I am not a lawyer, but I am 20 year veteran of electioneering. The whole point of election security is that both sides get the opportunity to watch the counting process. If you count without witnesses, it doesnt count. He would know that.

    The reason why they counted the ballots is because once those boxes were opened, they were required to count them before they went home for the night.  Once those boxes were opened, they could not simply leave or they would have violated the rules.  So, they counted them as required.

     

    • #117
  28. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge
    JuliaBlaschke
    @JuliaBlaschke

    HeavyWater (View Comment):
    The reason why they counted the ballots is because once those boxes were opened, they were required to count them before they went home for the night. Once those boxes were opened, they could not simply leave or they would have violated the rules. So, they counted them as required.

    Erickson said they were empty boxes. So why were they pulling empty boxes out of that black container? And I heard that counting would stop for the night at 10:30pm. Not that counting would stop after selected workers counted a great big bunch of ballots after people went home. And I guess the water main break that turned out to be a leaky toilet was just BS? 

    Erickson wants to move on from Trump. I don’t blame him. But what would poll workers tell him if they were in fact up to no good?  The explanation is a little too pat for me, but Trump weary Republicans like me and others will just accept it because the alternative is too awful to bear. And frankly, I voted for Trump but I sure as heck don’t want him using election fraud as waving a bloody shirt to raise money and rally the troops for another round.

     

    • #118
  29. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    What saddens me most about this post-election season is the seeming unwillingness of people I used to respect to critically analyze important topics. When @peterrobinson commented that his cursory thought on the evidence made sense, but then threw up his hands at the headlines regarding Barr’s statement and decided to simply tune out, he revealed the greatest problem facing our side: capitulation.

    Peter, James you are a smart men, highly discerning…trust your instincts.

    Don’t let them distract with smoke and mirrors because we need men of your caliber to examine what’s happening, stand up for those without a platform, and use your gifting in defense of your country before it’s too late.

     

     

     

    • #119
  30. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    Eric Ericsons explanation of the video doesnt past the laugh test.

    Imagine if you will its the Disney stock holders meeting. And they had difficulty with the vote of the new board of directors. So they kick out all the poll watchers and told them to go home. That the CFO and the official Disney hired counters were going to run the elections themselves.

    People would be calling that for the fraud it is. I am not a lawyer, but I am 20 year veteran of electioneering. The whole point of election security is that both sides get the opportunity to watch the counting process. If you count without witnesses, it doesnt count. He would know that.

    The reason why they counted the ballots is because once those boxes were opened, they were required to count them before they went home for the night. Once those boxes were opened, they could not simply leave or they would have violated the rules. So, they counted them as required.

    Just repeating what Erick Erickson said about it, doesn’t make it true.

     

    • #120
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