Over The Top and Completely Useless

Who says we don’t break news on this show? The whole gang is back this week, and they’re joined by National Review’s senior political correspondent, Jim Geraghty for a long chat on Republicans leaving the party, fealty to you-know-who, and an update on Wuhan lab theories. Then, Elliot Abrams, who’s most recently served as President Trump’s Special Representative to Venezuela and Iran; joins to discuss  They Israel’s ongoing fight with Hamas and speculate on how it might conclude, while marveling at the strength of the Abraham Accords (negotiated at the direction of you-know-who). Ricochet member  @MarkAlexander gets the coveted Lileks Post of The Week® badge for his post My Shakespeare Confession  and Rob and James mull the wisdom of a million dollar vaccine lottery.

Song from this week’s episode: Bad Blood by Taylor Swift.

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  1. Headedwest Coolidge
    Headedwest
    @Headedwest

    Don’t listen to the Rob Long part.

    • #1
  2. Mark Alexander Coolidge
    Mark Alexander
    @MarkAlexander

    You have GOT to be kidding me!!!

    • #2
  3. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    James:  “Operator” isn’t a great story-song?

    • #3
  4. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    On Rob Long’s hysterical comments comparing Jimmy Carter’s influence on the Democrat Party after his loss, compared to Donald Trump’s influence:

    Jimmy Carter never had a rabid base.  He wasn’t particularly charismatic (for crying out loud, he was an engineer; the last president before him who was an engineer was Herbert Hoover).  When he got close to winning the nomination, he was referred to as, “Jimmy who?”  The closest he had to a base was a mixture of Southern Baptist and Evangelical Christians (there’s overlap in that Venn diagram).

    That was actually a conservative base back when the Democrats had conservatives (often called blue-dog Democrats).

    Carter’s policies alienated that base, and perhaps persuaded them that character in office might be overrated.

    Also Carter’s successor was Reagan.  Trump’s successor is senile.

    No one said “Donald who?” at any point in 2016, even as people were surprised, win or lose, at his success in getting close to, much less garnering, the nomination.  Everyone knew who he was.

    • #4
  5. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Headedwest (View Comment):

    Don’t listen to the Rob Long part.

    If Rob is an admitted “RINO squish” then if the Republican party becomes seriously conservative, no wonder he feels left out.  But what to do?  Move the party more to the “RINO squish” side so that Rob feels more at home?  No thanks.  And why would, or should, Rob expect it?

    • #5
  6. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    “Over The Top and Completely Useless”

    Well, ending this with Taylor Swift is just about right.

    • #6
  7. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Yeah, useless. To state the point with what I hope is complete lucidity: If you are dumb enough to ask whether one is loyal to Trump or the GOPe, nothing you have to say matters. 

    I don’t give a damn about the GOPe and I have no loyalty to Trump as a person because I don’t know him personally. I just liked his actions. The GOPe can go to Hell, and on that point I agree with Rob. 

    As far as the 100 are concerned: Good riddance, and take Rob with you. Or don’t. I don’t much care. 

    • #7
  8. harrisventures Coolidge
    harrisventures
    @harrisventures

    I tried. I logged in to the Ricochet Zoom podcast today. I gritted my teeth and I listened.

    10 minutes in, I had to cancel the travesty.

    This is not an ad hominem argument. This is based on objective reality. You guys are idiots.

    You guys haven’t actually built anything, you are just professional prognosticators. Trump stands accused of having an outsized ego. Hmm… maybe he deserves a little leeway here. He has built several skyscrapers. Dealt with nefarious characters to get things done. How many have you built? Russia, China, and Iran were actually pretty quiescent during his reign.

    He didn’t start any new wars. He built a framework for peace in the Middle East. Highest employment for minorities in history. Appointed a record number of conservative judges to federal courts. You know, really actually accomplished a lot of conservative goals. But… mean tweets. Big ego.

    Jim Geraghty, Kevin Williamson, Rob Lowery, Rob Long, and all the Logjam Republicans have gifted us the Biden Dementia Administration with:

    1. Unrestricted incursions at the border, 100’s of thousands of illegal immigrants every month
    2. Energy independent to highest energy prices in decades.
    3. Mideast Peace to Mideast literally in flames.
    4. Inflation through the roof.

    Yes, yes, this is much better than Orange Man Bad who tweets mean things. The world is burning down around us and you are concerned that Trump might have an outsized ego.

    This is not an ad hominem argument. This is based on objective reality. You guys are idiots.

    • #8
  9. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    This is pretty emblematic of politics in the era of primaries. The electorate of is always drawn to one of two choices: the “next” candidate or the “anti” candidate.

    The “next” candidate is the guy who lost the nomination the last time around. John McCain and Hillary Clinton were “next” for their parties.

    Carter was an “anti” candidate, he was the Sunday School teacher that was going to clean up the mess from the unethical Tricky Dick Nixon. Bob Dole was the “anti” draft dodger to Bill Clinton. John Kerry was supposed to be the “anti” chicken hawk to Bush fils.  Joe Biden is the “anti” Trump.

    The thing is that both of these calculations very rarely work out. It’s almost as if the electorate is really bad at political strategy.

    As to Rob’s question about why Trump didn’t slink away like Carter – well, it’s not the same world and surely not the same electorate of WWII vets who were still running the show 40 years ago. There was no “resistance” movement inside the government that made Carter feel like his own administration was working against him. Nobody changed the voting rules in the summer of 1980. His own FBI wasn’t paying a retired foreign spook to write fanciful “dossiers” and planting stories with friendly reporters to provide “corroborating” evidence to the FISA court. 

    • #9
  10. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    I caught the first part of the Zoom call during my lunch break and thought, the guys need to read their own site. There was a great post laying out Mrs. Perry’s situation and why she is being removed from her leadership position.

    I commented in the Zoom chat about Rob wanting Trump to slink away that Trump increased his vote total. Biden’s vote total is not believable so why should Trump disappear?

    He made inroads to demographics the Republican party needs.

    • #10
  11. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    EJHill (View Comment):
    As to Rob’s question about why Trump didn’t slink away like Carter – well, it’s not the same world and surely not the same electorate of WWII vets who were still running the show 40 years ago. There was no “resistance” movement inside the government that made Carter feel like his own administration was working against him. Nobody changed the voting rules in the summer of 1980. His own FBI wasn’t paying a retired foreign spook to write fanciful “dossiers” and planting stories with friendly reporters to provide “corroborating” evidence to the FISA court.

    Those are some salient points.  It’s like Jimmy Carter had only himself to blame.

    Not that Trump wasn’t his own worst enemy.  I think it was the Covid press conferences that made the biggest difference to his losing.  People who weren’t interested in politics were watching that.  He alienated the undecided with those.

    • #11
  12. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    @ejhill in his last post, mentioned WWII vets running the country at the time.

    One other thing about Carter, and WWII veterans.  Depending on how you count his military service, Carter could have technically not been counted as a WWII vet.  He graduated Annapolis in 1946.  But he was a midshipman starting in 1943 (that class graduated a year early).

    If you do count him as a WWII vet, every president from Eisenhower to George H.W Bush were WWII vets, however modest or great their service.  That’s from 1953 to 1993.  Forty years.  Yet the period of military service we’re talking about was only four years.

    No president has served in Vietnam, though one famously dodged the draft from that war.  We came a little close with John McCain.  But he wouldn’t fight for it.  For that matter, no president served during the Korean conflict either.

    WWII was our finest moment.  The Russians shed more blood, partly due to their leadership’s mistakes.  What we did very well was manufacturing and logistics, and we won that war because of it.  After all, we supplied those same Russians.

    Though we aren’t what we once were, we still have that knack.  And that’s the Covid vaccine.  Too bad Biden is crapping all over it by attempting to pull the patents.

    It might be the last time we display that knack.

    • #12
  13. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    EJHill (View Comment):

    This is pretty emblematic of politics in the era of primaries. The electorate of is always drawn to one of two choices: the “next” candidate or the “anti” candidate.

    The “next” candidate is the guy who lost the nomination the last time around. John McCain and Hillary Clinton were “next” for their parties.

    Carter was an “anti” candidate, he was the Sunday School teacher that was going to clean up the mess from the unethical Tricky Dick Nixon. Bob Dole was the “anti” draft dodger to Bill Clinton. John Kerry was supposed to be the “anti” chicken hawk to Bush fils. Joe Biden is the “anti” Trump.

    The thing is that both of these calculations very rarely work out. It’s almost as if the electorate is really bad at political strategy.

    As to Rob’s question about why Trump didn’t slink away like Carter – well, it’s not the same world and surely not the same electorate of WWII vets who were still running the show 40 years ago. There was no “resistance” movement inside the government that made Carter feel like his own administration was working against him. Nobody changed the voting rules in the summer of 1980. His own FBI wasn’t paying a retired foreign spook to write fanciful “dossiers” and planting stories with friendly reporters to provide “corroborating” evidence to the FISA court.

    In my IMNSHO, it is because the forces that gave rise to Trump have not gone away, aren’t going away, and Trump is smart enough to know it. So is a substantial part of the electorate. 

    • #13
  14. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    @ ejhill in his last post, mentioned WWII vets running the country at the time.

    One other thing about Carter, and WWII veterans. Depending on how you count his military service, Carter could have technically not been counted as a WWII vet. He graduated Annapolis in 1946. But he was a midshipman starting in 1943 (that class graduated a year early).

    If you do count him as a WWII vet, every president from Eisenhower to George H.W Bush were WWII vets, however modest or great their service. That’s from 1953 to 1993. Forty years. Yet the period of military service we’re talking about was only four years.

    No president has served in Vietnam, though one famously dodged the draft from that war. We came a little close with John McCain. But he wouldn’t fight for it. For that matter, no president served during the Korean conflict either.

    WWII was our finest moment. The Russians shed more blood, partly due to their leadership’s mistakes. What we did very well was manufacturing and logistics, and we won that war because of it. After all, we supplied those same Russians.

    Though we aren’t what we once were, we still have that knack. And that’s the Covid vaccine. Too bad Biden is crapping all over it by attempting to pull the patents.

    It might be the last time we display that knack.

    Future “scientists” will be spending all their time keeping detailed notes of micro-aggressions etc, and won’t have any left to discover anything.

    • #14
  15. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    The large majority of commentators at Ricochet are Pro-Trump.  I think that the three points of view from Peter, James and Rob in the Flagship Podcast more accurately represent the membership of Republican Party.  I think that it would be helpful to my fellow Ricochetti to listen to what Peter, James and, yes, Rob, have to say about Trump and his future impact on the Republican Party.

    I suggest that folks listen from the 7:32 point to the 19:01 for a conversation by Peter, James and Rob to hear their varying points of view about Trump and where the Republican Party should go now.  That’s less than a 12 minute investment of time.  You will likely disagree with parts of it.

    But I would suggest that Rob and I aren’t leaving the Republican Party, while we left the Trump Party long ago, and Never Again Trumpers like Liz Cheney left the Trump Party, after the 2020 election and especially after January 6th.  We are still voters who the Republican Party used to rely up and needs to be able to win back the House, the Senate and the Presidency, all of which we lost in a very short time from November 2018 to January 2021.

    Or you can moan and complain about the apostasy of Rob, Liz Cheney and me, ignoring the profound impact of the Capitol Riot on 1/6 on a vast swatch of voters.

    • #15
  16. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    What I meant by the WWII remark was more about the country than the politicians. But even among them, despite differences on which way to proceed, Democrats and Republicans came from a shared experience – Depression and War – and that made a lot of the other stuff seem so trivial. Daniel Inouye was not going to accuse Bob Dole of disloyalty or hating his country or vice versa. And neither would their supporters. You don’t even see much camaraderie between a Dan Crenshaw and a Tammy Duckworth although the Senator did come to his defense in the Saturday Night Live incident. 

    • #16
  17. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    harrisventures (View Comment):

    I tried. I logged in to the Ricochet Zoom podcast today. I gritted my teeth and I listened.

    10 minutes in, I had to cancel the travesty.

    This is not an ad hominem argument. This is based on objective reality. You guys are idiots.

    I stopped reading your comment at that point, and canceled the travesty. Objectively speaking, you’re an idiot. Totally not an ad hominem! Kidding; I read the whole thing.

    You guys haven’t actually built anything, you are just professional prognosticators. Trump stands accused of having an outsized ego. Hmm… maybe he deserves a little leeway here. He has built several skyscrapers. Dealt with nefarious characters to get things done. How many have you built? Russia, China, and Iran were actually pretty quiescent during his reign.

    “You can’t criticize Trump’s public persona because you haven’t built skyscrapers” is the new chickenhawk argument? Whatever; I’m not interesting in criticizing or defending because obsessing over Trump, either pro or con – or obsessing over other people’s opinions of Trump –  is a waste of time. For me. Personally. As an idiot. 

    Jim Geraghty, Kevin Williamson, Rob Lowery, Rob Long, and all the Logjam Republicans have gifted us the Biden Dementia Administration with:

    Since you bailed early, you may not have heard the speculation by me, an idiot, that people who are indifferent at this point to Trump – and equally indifferent to what his supporters think  – would vote for a Trump-endorsed candidate, but that people who look to Trump for guidance would be less inclined to turn out for a conservative candidate he doesn’t like. I might be wrong. 

    • #17
  18. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    The fact that the LP nominated Bill Weld shows how worthless it is, and he is. I really don’t get how an Ivy League lawyer could be so bad at faking being a libertarian. He looked so weak when he got interviewed by reason magazine. It was unbelievable.

     

    I don’t know if this is exactly germane, but our ruling class went way down hill after World War II.

     

    • #18
  19. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
    The closest he had to a base was a mixture of Southern Baptist and Evangelical Christians (there’s overlap in that Venn diagram).

    Hi.

    • #19
  20. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    I agree with Peter. It’s about Trump’s policies. Everything needs to be about why populism and socialism are a problem right now. The institutions are corrupt. I am against anybody that doesn’t see this.

    Just to be clear, Mike Green is more of a statist, but he lays out all of the issues really well. This is literally the only anti-Austrian that makes any sense to me. It’s also significant that he lays out how to keep the United States’ geopolitical power and solve these problems as well. This is a much easier version of a podcast interview of him I keep trying to push on everybody.

    The other thing is Republicans and GOPe have the history of the GOP all wrong in their heads. It’s not something to idealize. All of that boiler plate babble about what we need to go back to. It hasn’t been like that since 1988, at least. It’s all BS.

    • #20
  21. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    The problem with declining the vaccine is, if you don’t get a certain amount of people with herd immunity you are taking chances on a variant developing. Just because the central planners have been stupid and abusive doesn’t mean it still isn’t an issue.

    I am really worried that the deficiencies, lies, and failures of this management freak show for COVID-19 is not going to get the proper reckoning. 

    The damn masks didn’t do a damn thing. You have Republicans acting like they helped. Madness. They are telling us we can take the damn masks off even though only 50% of the population is vaccinated. In fact I’ve heard it’s actually 46%. (I think that percentage is more meaningful if you back out children, but nobody is.) So this thing is political. It’s a bunch of Soviet nonsense. The Danish study said that if you measured it like a vaccine for the individual wearing it, it literally gave you 14% efficacy. It didn’t do a damn thing at the society level. 

    • #21
  22. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

     

    The large majority of commentators at Ricochet are Pro-Trump not Anti-Trump.

     

    • #22
  23. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    There is a reason some people like Rob Long are never going to run for office.  Building a coalition as Peter Robinson started to point out is hard.

    Principled stands are for people who dont want to win elections.  

    Also Liz Chaney is not a conservative.  

    • #23
  24. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    Russia and Saudi Arabia are now allied to keep oil prices high, so Russia doesnt have the antipathy to Isreal that it previously had.  Aside from Iran, peace would be breaking out in the middle east as it did under the mean tweeter.

    • #24
  25. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    I do agree with Rob and James for the end.  Rob is entirely right about throwing out everyone these mad crazy politicians and bureaucrats and throwing out of office (Me I would love to have them in jail).  

    Lockdown are 100 percent a failure.  I completely agree with Rob on this.  There I said it.  

    • #25
  26. Wolfsheim Member
    Wolfsheim
    @Wolfsheim

    As I am old, my hearing is going, so I had to click back to verify whether Rob Long, in the midst of his latest nti-Trump rant, said that he is not “pro-life”…That, I must say, was quite a disappointment…

    One can complain about Trump all one likes, rightly or wrongly, but if his more reasonable supporters are sent into exile along with him, the conservative cause in America is lost.

    Rob Long’s final comments were (somewhat) reassuring…So, of course, were Peter Robinson’s words. (I wish all the best with his vaccination!)

    One linguistic complaint, as one who is an old English speaker. Whatever has happened with “there are”?? James Lileks says “there’s dozens and dozens…” He then says “if you’re one of those people who VERBs…” (I can’t remember quite what it was.) No. “…who…” should be followed by the plural form. 

    I hear these mistakes constantly among well-educated conservative commentators…I am no prescriptivist, but really… 

     

     

     

     

     

    • #26
  27. harrisventures Coolidge
    harrisventures
    @harrisventures

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    Since you bailed early, you may not have heard the speculation by me, an idiot, that people who are indifferent at this point to Trump

    I admit I may have painted with too broad a brush there. My favorite part of the podcast was watching you shuffle papers and important documents while Rob continued to rant. My main beef was with the 2 guys at the bottom of the screen, not you and Peter.

    • #27
  28. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    Peter just became one of the three people who like Gary’s comments. The disconnect between the Podcast and the members is now complete.

    • #28
  29. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    The large majority of commentators at Ricochet are Pro-Trump. I think that the three points of view from Peter, James and Rob in the Flagship Podcast more accurately represent the membership of Republican Party. I think that it would be helpful to my fellow Ricochetti to listen to what Peter, James and, yes, Rob, have to say about Trump and his future impact on the Republican Party.

    I suggest that folks listen from the 7:32 point to the 19:01 for a conversation by Peter, James and Rob to hear their varying points of view about Trump and where the Republican Party should go now. That’s less than a 12 minute investment of time. You will likely disagree with parts of it.

    But I would suggest that Rob and I aren’t leaving the Republican Party, while we left the Trump Party long ago, and Never Again Trumpers like Liz Cheney left the Trump Party, after the 2020 election and especially after January 6th. We are still voters who the Republican Party used to rely up and needs to be able to win back the House, the Senate and the Presidency, all of which we lost in a very short time from November 2018 to January 2021.

    Or you can moan and complain about the apostasy of Rob, Liz Cheney and me, ignoring the profound impact of the Capitol Riot on 1/6 on a vast swatch of voters.

    You are the Schwarzschild Limit. Back around election day you were talking about the importance of purging the party of Trump voters, maybe even reluctant Trump voters. When I asked if you realized that we’d take our votes with us and that the GOPe couldn’t win without us, you ignored that point. Now that a few NTs and NATs are being shown the door, you suddenly want to claim importance for yourselves. Get in line or leave, preferably quietly. We don’t care. I’ve read that Trump increased his share of voters in every category except college-educated white soy-boys and senile old fools terrified of Covid-19. We’ll manage without you somehow.  

    • #29
  30. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    This song is dedicated to Liz Cheney.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    • #30