No Joking with Sen. Tom Cotton

The trio is back in action this week, and after a few weeks off, Rob is in full force! We’ve got Senator Tom Cotton to keep our attention  (R- AR) where it should be: on Afghanistan. He then takes us through what was yesterday’s Wuhan lab conspiracy theory but which has since become today’s news. Cotton also breaks some news about Nancy Pelosi’s future ambitions – you don’t want to miss this!

Our hosts scrap a bit about the California recall but enjoy nothing but unity on Norm Macdonald and comedy, even in our politicized and polarized society™.

Music from this week’s podcast: Make ‘Em Laugh by Donald O’Connor (from the Singing in the Rain soundtrack.)

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  1. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    The artwork Peter referred to:

    • #1
  2. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Yes, Rob let’s repeat the Meg Whitman disaster. Brilliant!

    • #2
  3. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Perhaps former GOP Party Chairman, Michael Steele or Joe Scarborough can also let us know the proper RINO to put up for the California governor’s race.

    • #3
  4. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    Tom Cotton was brilliant!  I could vote for him.

    A hard core MAGA candidate cannot win in Massachusetts, Maryland or Vermont which all have more traditional, non-MAGA Republican Governors.  Or would you prefer Democrats to win there and elsewhere on the East and West Coasts?

    • #4
  5. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Tom Cotton was brilliant! I could vote for him.

    A hard core MAGA candidate cannot win in Massachusetts, Maryland or Vermont which all have more traditional, non-MAGA Republican Governors. Or would you prefer Democrats to win there and elsewhere on the East and West Coasts?

    I’ll take that as you prefer MAGA  p o l i c y, which is progress. 

    • #5
  6. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    Love the art. LAND SPREADIN’ OUT SO FAR AND WIDE

    • #6
  7. Blue Yeti Admin
    Blue Yeti
    @BlueYeti

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    Perhaps former GOP Party Chairman, Michael Steele or Joe Scarborough can also let us know the proper RINO to put up for the California governor’s race.

    The point of this conversation was that if a Republican is going to win an election for Governor in this state, that person is going to have to be a moderate, because the only way a Republican can win is by convincing some very large percentage of Democrats to vote for a Republican. Why? Because there are 2x registered Democrats in this deep blue state as Republicans. It’s just math. Peter said on this podcast that while he’d prefer a strong Conservative in the office, he’d happily take a moderate, because that would still  be a vast improvement over what we have. Fact check: true. 

    Also, while it’s not an apples to apples comparison, and since you brought it up, it’s worth noting that Whitman lost by just under 13 points to Jerry Brown in 2010 and Elder is on track to lose to Newsom (in the yes/no vote on recalling Newsom) by at least 27 points. So yes, by name checking Meg Whitman, you have proven that moderate –or RINO if you prefer– candidates in this state (not speaking for any other state or nationally) are a much more pragmatic choice. Thank you. 

    Sorry, we don’t make the rules. 

     

    • #7
  8. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    There is nothing wrong with a RINO as long as they don’t cause too much damage. Better a RINO than a Democrat. The ones I hate are the ones that voted against Obamacare and then saved it. 

    • #8
  9. Blondie Thatcher
    Blondie
    @Blondie

    Show me results. Y’all had 2 years with Trump and did squat. I don’t believe for one minute that you will do anything about Fauci or the like. It will be the same ole crap that has been going on for years. We’ve said it before and we will say it until the civil war begins, THIS IS WHY YOU GOT TRUMP!!! You talk a good game, but you NEVER deliver!!!

    • #9
  10. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    Perhaps former GOP Party Chairman, Michael Steele or Joe Scarborough can also let us know the proper RINO to put up for the California governor’s race.

    The point of this conversation was that if a Republican is going to win an election for Governor in this state, that person is going to have to be a moderate, because the only way a Republican can win is by convincing some very large percentage of Democrats to vote for a Republican. Why? Because there are 2x registered Democrats in this deep blue state as Republicans. It’s just math. Peter said on this podcast that while he’d prefer a strong Conservative in the office, he’d happily take a moderate, because that would still be a vast improvement over what we have. Fact check: true.

    Also, while it’s not an apples to apples comparison, and since you brought it up, it’s worth noting that Whitman lost by just under 13 points to Jerry Brown in 2010 and Elder is on track to lose to Newsom (in the yes/no vote on recalling Newsom) by at least 27 points. So yes, by name checking Meg Whitman, you have proven that moderate –or RINO if you prefer– candidates in this state (not speaking for any other state or nationally) are a much more pragmatic choice. Thank you.

    Sorry, we don’t make the rules.

    Yes, I understand what the point of the conversation was. Why would you assume that I wouldn’t? Is it just a natural inclination on your part that if someone chooses to disagree with Mr. Long that they must not have understood what he meant? Just so we’re clear, Rob used the term RINO, not moderate. I also understand what the make up of California’s electorate is. You may want to ask why Whitman lost and whether – pre-Trump – many Republicans avoided voting for her and why she wasn’t able to beat Brown. A loss is still a loss or as they say, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

    Given that we’re a little more a year away from the next election, I notice neither you or Mr. Long have thrown out a name of a RINO, excuse me, a moderate Republican whom you feel could beat Gavin Newsom. Here’s your opportunity. Seize it, man!

    Unless, of course, you’re suggesting that Meg Whitman give it another go. Perhaps Liz Cheney can establish residency in time.

    • #10
  11. Blue Yeti Admin
    Blue Yeti
    @BlueYeti

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    Yes, I understand what the point of the conversation was. Why would you assume that I wouldn’t? Is it just a natural inclination on your part that if someone chooses to disagree with Mr. Long that they must not have understood what he meant? Just so we’re clear, Rob used the term RINO, not moderate. I also understand what the make up of California’s electorate is. You may want to ask why Whitman lost and whether – pre-Trump – many Republicans avoided voting for her and why she wasn’t able to beat Brown. A loss is still a loss or as they say, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

    Given that we’re a little more a year away from the next election, I notice neither you or Mr. Long have thrown out a name of a RINO, excuse me, a moderate Republican whom you feel could beat Gavin Newsom. Here’s your opportunity. Seize it, man!

    Unless, of course, you’re suggesting that Meg Whitman give it another go. Perhaps Liz Cheney can establish residency in time.

    If you look at the number of registered Republicans in Whitman’s race vs the amount in Elder’s race, Whitman received a much higher percentage of votes cast in her race than Elder did in his. Note: I don’t know what the actual party voting break down was in either race, but for the purposes of this discussion, let’s assume that the vast majority of votes cast for both Elder and Whitman came from CA Republicans. 

    There were 5.2 million registered Republicans in CA in 2010. Whitman received 4.1 million votes or 78% of the number of registered Republicans. So, not that many Republicans “avoided voting for her.” Again, this is not an apples to apples comparison but the votes cast for Yes on the recall (a stand in for an Elder vote)  has as of today received 3.4 million votes vs. 6.0 million votes for No on the recall. Or 34.4% of registered Republicans vs. 63.6% of registered Democrats. So Whitman got more than 2x the party votes on a percentage basis than Elder did (sort of).

    As for who should run in ’22, I don’t know. It’s a suicide mission.  Because as we have discussed in other threads here and on this podcast, there is no R party structure, money, or ground game in this state and hasn’t been for a long, long, time. So whomever decides to do it has to either be super famous –and super rich– to overcome the lack of a political party. That’s (in part) why Arnold succeeded, although conditions were vastly different then. And yes, he was a RINO. A very effective one from an electoral standpoint. Admittedly less so from a governing standpoint. 

    So my answer would be that asking who’s going to run is the wrong question. The correct question is who can bring the R party back in this state. Because until we do, it’s likely nothing will change. Which is tragic. 

     

    • #11
  12. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    If you look at the number of registered Republicans in Whitman’s race vs the amount in Elder’s race, Whitman received a much higher percentage of votes cast in her race than Elder did in his. Note: I don’t know what the actual party voting break down was in either race, but for the purposes of this discussion, let’s assume that the vast majority of votes cast for both Elder and Whitman came from CA Republicans.

    There were 5.2 million registered Republicans in CA in 2010. Whitman received 4.1 million votes or 78% of the number of registered Republicans. So, not that many Republicans “avoided voting for her.” Again, this is not an apples to apples comparison but the votes cast for Yes on the recall (a stand in for an Elder vote) has as of today received 3.4 million votes vs. 6.0 million votes for No on the recall. Or 34.4% of registered Republicans vs. 63.6% of registered Democrats. So Whitman got more than 2x the party votes on a percentage basis than Elder did (sort of).

    As for who should run in ’22, I don’t know. It’s a suicide mission. Because as we have discussed in other threads here and on this podcast, there is no R party structure, money, or ground game in this state and hasn’t been for a long, long, time. So whomever decides to do it has to either be super famous –and super rich– to overcome the lack of a political party. That’s (in part) why Arnold succeeded, although conditions were vastly different then. And yes, he was a RINO. A very effective one from an electoral standpoint. Admittedly less so from a governing standpoint.

    So my answer would be that asking who’s going to run is the wrong question. The correct question is who can bring the R party back in this state. Because until we do, it’s likely nothing will change. Which is tragic.

    Rob and apparently you are advocating that a super-rich, and super-famous moderate, and someone who can bring the Republican Party back in this state, and step up to volunteer for the suicide mission. Given that we’re a little more than 13 months from the election, I would have to say that asking who you and Rob would name is precisely the right question rather than just sitting on your hands. So, far I’ve heard nothing. I’ve already articulated why I believe that Elder should be the candidate in a post and the reasons why he should. I realize there are those who disagree with me. That’s fine. I may even be wrong. But at least I’ve named someone.

     

    • #12
  13. Blue Yeti Admin
    Blue Yeti
    @BlueYeti

    Brian Watt (View Comment):
    Rob and apparently you are advocating that a super-rich, and super-famous moderate, and someone who can bring the Republican Party back in this state, and step up to volunteer for the suicide mission. Given that we’re a little more than 13 months from the election, I would have to say that asking who you and Rob would name is precisely the right question rather than just sitting on your hands. So, far I’ve heard nothing. I’ve already articulated why I believe that Elder should be the candidate in a post and the reasons why he should. I realize there are those who disagree with me. That’s fine. I may even be wrong. But at least I’ve named someone.

    No, I’m not advocating that, Brian. I’m saying the lack of a party structure makes that type of candidate more able to combat the infinite amount of money that a Democrat can raise and spend an essentially infinite amount of money. That may have something to do with the far larger percentage of the vote gazillionaire Meg Whitman received versus Larry Elder. Would I prefer a working class hero with solid Conservative cred? Absolutely. But that’s not the way this game is set up because again, there is zero party structure here to make up the gap that a rich and famous person can provide on their own. That’s what I meant when I wrote “tragic” above. 

    As we have discussed, I think Elder ran a solid campaign. But he just got crushed and in that crushing, created a very detailed roadmap on how to beat him (he’ll also be 71 years old — a kid compared to Biden, but not a spring chicken). Maybe conditions will be vastly different two years from. Maybe Trump won’t be a factor then. Maybe (probably!) Newsom will continue to govern terribly and make unforced error French Laundry type mistakes. But he did that prior to this race and still won in a landslide. That’s also what I meant by “tragic.”

    I don’t think throwing Larry or anyone else into the Lion’s Den makes any sense unless there is a party structure to support a run like that. I understand it is a difficult, time consuming, and expensive problem to solve. But it has to be done or California –and it’s 55 electoral votes (over 10% of the total!) that are now given to the Democratic nominee for free– will remain the unscalable Blue Wall. 

    • #13
  14. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Blue Yeti (View Comment):

    Brian Watt (View Comment):
    Rob and apparently you are advocating that a super-rich, and super-famous moderate, and someone who can bring the Republican Party back in this state, and step up to volunteer for the suicide mission. Given that we’re a little more than 13 months from the election, I would have to say that asking who you and Rob would name is precisely the right question rather than just sitting on your hands. So, far I’ve heard nothing. I’ve already articulated why I believe that Elder should be the candidate in a post and the reasons why he should. I realize there are those who disagree with me. That’s fine. I may even be wrong. But at least I’ve named someone.

    No, I’m not advocating that, Brian. I’m saying the lack of a party structure makes that type of candidate more able to combat the infinite amount of money that a Democrat can raise and spend an essentially infinite amount of money. That may have something to do with the far larger percentage of the vote gazillionaire Meg Whitman received versus Larry Elder. Would I prefer a working class hero with solid Conservative cred? Absolutely. But that’s not the way this game is set up because again, there is zero party structure here to make up the gap that a rich and famous person can provide on their own. That’s what I meant when I wrote “tragic” above.

    As we have discussed, I think Elder ran a solid campaign. But he just got crushed and in that crushing, created a very detailed roadmap on how to beat him (he’ll also be 71 years old — a kid compared to Biden, but not a spring chicken). Maybe conditions will be vastly different two years from. Maybe Trump won’t be a factor then. Maybe (probably!) Newsom will continue to govern terribly and make unforced error French Laundry type mistakes. But he did that prior to this race and still won in a landslide. That’s also what I meant by “tragic.”

    I don’t think throwing Larry or anyone else into the Lion’s Den makes any sense unless there is a party structure to support a run like that. I understand it is a difficult, time consuming, and expensive problem to solve. But it has to be done or California –and it’s 55 electoral votes (over 10% of the total!) that are now given to the Democratic nominee for free– will remain the unscalable Blue Wall.

    Of course, electing a Republican governor doesn’t mean that PRC wouldn’t still give all 55 electoral votes to the next Democrat nominee for President.

    • #14
  15. Bereket Kelile Member
    Bereket Kelile
    @BereketKelile

    I don’t think the problem here is a moderate vs. a conservative Republican. Based on research I’ve done in the state over the last 8 years, I’m not convinced either can win. Mainly, it’s because the Republican brand is shot. A conservative will lock up the Reps and some DTS voters but lose everyone else, especially on the question of Trump. A moderate can’t win because there is no constituency for it. There is simply not 51% of voters that you can put together to vote for a moderate Republican.

    I’ve come to the hypothesis that the best shot we have is in a candidate who has no GOP links and has a message and appeal that reaches minority, non-progressive Democrats to moderate conservatives. But that’s just a wild bet.

    I CANNOT EMPHASIZE THIS NEXT POINT ENOUGH!!!

    The only winning message in this election was the one the Newsom campaign used to turn out their base. There were virtually no undecided voters on the recall question. This wasn’t a persuasion campaign. It was a GOTV push. The name of the game was to get your people to send in their ballots, and that’s all about money, advertising, and grassroots work.

    • #15
  16. ParisParamus Member
    ParisParamus
    @ParisParamus

    The Poconos?! THE CATSKILLS.

    • #16
  17. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

     

     

     

    • #17
  18. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Bereket Kelile (View Comment):

    he name of the game was to get your people to send in their ballots, and that’s all about money, advertising, and grassroots work.

    Where “your people” = Not-Democrat (No Party Preference + Republican). The Democrat-Republican head to head count obscures the real electorate, as they choose to identify themselves. In California, the largest group is “Democrat” but that party identification totals less than the combination of “Republican” (fewest or barely second) and “No Party Preference” (second or close third largest party identification by registration).

    The CA GOP is a permanent loser party until it effectively attracts the overwhelming majority of “No Party Preference,” elsewhere “independent” voters. Candidates who wish to challenge the socialist wing of the Democrats must attract a coalition of voters from independents, Republicans, and a few Democrats.

    • #18
  19. Blue Yeti Admin
    Blue Yeti
    @BlueYeti

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Blue Yeti (View

    Of course, electing a Republican governor doesn’t mean that PRC wouldn’t still give all 55 electoral votes to the next Democrat nominee for President.

    It would depend on the candidates, of course but an R Governor in Sacramento would mean that Democrats would have to at least make some effort to win them. Unlike the last 30 years where they have been given away for free like old furniture on the curb. 

    • #19
  20. Quickz Member
    Quickz
    @Quickz

    Did Sen. Cotton say that 45 should have started building the wall earlier and it would have been done before he left office? That seems to me a strange take on history.

    Didn’t the House/Senate (under GOP control) have the chance to fund that wall and fail to do so? Funding that could have been put in a – oh I don’t know – reconciliation bill along with tax reform? And didn’t 45 have to do accounting shenanigans with the military/DOD budget to fund that wall? Shenanigans that took time to figure out, implement, and bring to fruition after multiple lawsuits? Shenanigans that members of 45’s own party opposed?

    I think the Senator would have done better to call out the Congress for it’s failure in supporting the agendas that many now claim to support but were noticeably absent, seemingly focused on RUSSIA! more than policy.

    Loved how the Senator did not take the Harvard-bashing bait from two of the hosts. Lol. He’s a good dude.

    A side note: The Democratic Party is in the midst of a fight with prog/woke/commies and moderate traditional Democrats (more voters than actual representatives, but a fight nonetheless), while the GOP’s fight that started back in the Tea Party days is coming to fruition in pulling in multiple new voters, including broad swaths of workers, minorities, and those believing in American values. Life is good folks. Take the win that is coming.

    Go watch, “Dirty Work” which Norm stars in for a great display of what he could have been – it came out when Hollywood was in the midst of attempting to crush the man’s career. Shame on them.

    • #20
  21. Rightfromthestart Coolidge
    Rightfromthestart
    @Rightfromthestart

    In an evil but brilliant stroke , by starting an investigation of Trump before he took office the deep state essentially tied his hands as far as cleaning them out of Justice and the FBI/CIA on personnel decisions. Anything he did at that point could be described as obstruction of justice and a Saturday night massacre with calls for immediate impeachment.They even bragged that they were going to impeach him before he even took office.

    • #21
  22. Rightfromthestart Coolidge
    Rightfromthestart
    @Rightfromthestart

    However , Rob, we ain’t going back . We held our noses for Dole, McCain and Romney. When we asked RINOs to hold their noses for Trump one time they all said no. The deal is broken. The JEB! Party is as dead as a door nail. It’s Trumpists vs Leftists now , RINOs can pick a side and get out of the way. 

    • #22
  23. Quickz Member
    Quickz
    @Quickz

    Bereket Kelile (View Comment):

     

    I just listened to Andrew Klavan (no “E”‘s) podcast from Friday and he had Owen Brennon on to talk about the California election. I found it enlightening as well as academic – fellah knows his stuff it seems! Check it out: 39:30 for interview – Ricochet will eventually (not here yet!) have the podcast here, YouTube link to the appropriate time here

    • #23
  24. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    Rightfromthestart (View Comment):

    However , Rob, we ain’t going back . We held our noses for Dole, McCain and Romney. When we asked RINOs to hold their noses for Trump one time they all said no. The deal is broken. The JEB! Party is as dead as a door nail. It’s Trumpists vs Leftists now , RINOs can pick a side and get out of the way.

    I am an American, a conservative and a Republican in that order.   Given that Trump is hostile to democracy itself, is a populist and is seeking to create a Cult of Personality, mandated that I not vote for Trump in 2016 or 2020.   

    In Wisconsin in 2020 Trump lost by 20,000 votes.  Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson pointed out that Republican candidates for the Wisconsin State Assembly and the State Senate beat the Democrat candidates by 50,000 votes.  That is a 70,000 vote swing.  A vote for Trump or Trumpists in the primaries is a vote for Democrats.  

    Trump plays the Stone’s “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” at his rallies.  My news to you is that you can’t get Trump.  There were 17 candidates in 2016.  I could live with 16 of them.  But I couldn’t abide Trump, and I will never vote for him.

    What can we agree upon?  How about The Greatest President of the Twentieth Century, Ronald Reagan?  

    • #24
  25. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Rightfromthestart (View Comment):

    However , Rob, we ain’t going back . We held our noses for Dole, McCain and Romney. When we asked RINOs to hold their noses for Trump one time they all said no. The deal is broken. The JEB! Party is as dead as a door nail. It’s Trumpists vs Leftists now , RINOs can pick a side and get out of the way.

    I am an American, a conservative and a Republican in that order. Given that Trump is hostile to democracy itself, is a populist and is seeking to create a Cult of Personality, mandated that I not vote for Trump in 2016 or 2020.

    In Wisconsin in 2020 Trump lost by 20,000 votes. Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson pointed out that Republican candidates for the Wisconsin State Assembly and the State Senate beat the Democrat candidates by 50,000 votes. That is a 70,000 vote swing. A vote for Trump or Trumpists in the primaries is a vote for Democrats.

    Trump plays the Stone’s “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” at his rallies. My news to you is that you can’t get Trump. There were 17 candidates in 2016. I could live with 16 of them. But I couldn’t abide Trump, and I will never vote for him.

    What can we agree upon? How about The Greatest President of the Twentieth Century, Ronald Reagan?

    You mean Ronald Reagan, who would have told you not to vote for Biden?  That Reagan?

    You soil his memory.

    • #25
  26. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

     

    • #26
  27. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    kedavis (View Comment):
    <iframe id="fitvid934347" title="Norm MacdonaldConstant [REDACTED] on OJ Simpson” src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/2SSVIg4Noqc?feature=oembed” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen” data-mce-fragment=”1″>

     

    <iframe id="fitvid144693" title="Norm Macdonald Constant [REDACTED] on OJ Simpson Part 2″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/TCSCJtuyfUY?feature=oembed” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen” data-mce-fragment=”1″>

    These are great!

    • #27
  28. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    democracy itself

    Are you sure you are up to speed on this topic? 

    • #28
  29. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    In Wisconsin in 2020 Trump lost by 20,000 votes.

    Most Wisconsin voters (65 percent) support a proposal to make the process known as “ballot trafficking” illegal, which was part of the legislation that Evers recently vetoed. 

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/09/09/wisconsin-voters-support-voter-integrity-measures-gov-evers-vetoed/

     

    Gary, Trump would have won if Zuckerberg hadn’t intervened. He ***rented the election system*** in key Democrat localities. Beyond that, all of the Democrat lawfare led by MARK ELIAS—who I know you recognize from the latest news, right—wiped out ballot controls that were already bad. 

     

     

     

    This is very plain English from a well spoken lawyer on Zuckerberg.

     

     

    Trump is not worse than all of our failing institutions.

     

     

    • #29
  30. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    How about The Greatest President of the Twentieth Century, Ronald Reagan?  

    He overhauled the tax code. He cut Volker loose on inflation, which took a lot of guts. All of this was followed by the baby boom pushing the GDP up. Then 41 basically undid everything Reagan did. 

    This is a different era and Reagan would tell you that. 

    • #30