Our own Lord Delingpole welcomes Ricochet’s Rob Long and columnist and author Douglas Murray. They cover the election, their books, and the way back from a crushing defeat. Then they tell a few jokes, and James reveals his secret plan to save the GOP. Cheer up!

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There are 17 comments.

  1. Inactive

    Rob and James, I dare you to push the social issues out of the Republican party. As Hugh Hewitt noted on a show recently, those are load bearing walls within the party. Remove them at your peril. You will not win over the percentage of votes you think you will. You will bleed a large portion of your base.

    You should stop indulging your fantasy that morality and social behavior are separate from good governance and a healthy society. I know you don’t like people to explain that there is a right way to behave and a wrong way, but propriety and absolute truths exist. We as a nation and the west in general have gradually tried to tell ourselves they don’t, that believing they do is ugly and mean. The epidemic of illegitimacy and single parenthood, and how they contribute to poverty and many of the pathologies of the our culture are not helped by ceding the argument about the behavior that leads to them and causes many of our society’s ills.

    Go ahead and hide the values voters in the basement. You will see a 2% loss in elections turn into 7% losses.

    • #1
    • November 10, 2012 at 3:15 am
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  2. Inactive

    Mr Delingpole looks like the way I feel. Soon, we too will know what it is like to live as a small minority in Occupied Europe (actually, we already do).

    Keep calm and carry on.

    • #2
    • November 10, 2012 at 4:10 am
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  3. Inactive

    “Widely but not universally loathed” With just a little effort you can do it James.

    On what seems the subjects of concern to posters so far, pro-life and traditional marriage are primary bearing walls in the foundation of the Republican Party. Remove them and the structure will crumble, just that simple. Even tinkering with them is attendant with great peril.

    Overall Social Cons may not contribute large sums of money, but many a crumpled ten and twenty is fetched out of that reserve pocket of the wallet and tossed into the coffer (or down the toilet depending on your view) representing a lot more to the giver than the $max contributions of the elites.

    • #3
    • November 10, 2012 at 6:25 am
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  4. Inactive

    Haven’t the exit polls now shown that Romney actually beat Obama among white millennials? Given that the election was lost among hispanics and blacks (who are more socially conservative than whites) how on earth does anyone reach the conclusion that turning away from values voters is the way to go?

    If anything, wouldn’t it make more sense (for long-run) to ease-back on the fiscal conservatism (in the short-run)? That seems to be the lower hanging fruit, after all. Given the apparent unpopularity of prudent financial governance – it is clear to me who needs whom more at the moment.

    Rob, I know you hate having to be damned by association with social conservatives. Given the part of the world you live and work in, I can understand (and relate). Until you can demonstrate – with maths – that doing so would be a net increase in the GOP constituency, however, I think you have to just get over it.

    • #4
    • November 10, 2012 at 6:59 am
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  5. Member

    Double Post

    • #5
    • November 10, 2012 at 7:28 am
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  6. Member

    My head is spinning. Sarah Palin as a serious candidate who sat out while Romney was a lightweight? Fortunately, I was sitting down. 

    • #6
    • November 10, 2012 at 7:32 am
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  7. Inactive

    And just to add one more thing – I really like James Delingpole as a writer. He is very entertaining. I always make sure to read everything he writes in the Telegraph and the Speccie. He’s also done a great public service by so spectacularly exposing the climate charlatans.

    However, he’s no Mark Steyn – who combines entertaining writing and wit with what is obviously a more systematic mind. One of Steyn’s great insights is that the distinction between true fiscal conservatism and public morality is false.

    So ditching social conservatism shouldn’t only be seen as tactically stupid, but wrong on the merits too.

    One of James’s most underrated Telegraph colleagues is Ed West. He’s a good fit as the potential English Mark Steyn and is a lot more clearsighted on the utopian pretensions of unthinking libertarianism. A little while ago he quite correctly observed:

    Libertarianism has grown in reaction to the enormous expansion in the state, but if more people were socially conservative we wouldn’t need a enormous taxes to pay for social services, prison, broken homes or, indeed, treating drug addicts – and drug legalisation wouldn’t be such a problem.


    • #7
    • November 10, 2012 at 7:40 am
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  8. Coolidge

    As someone who is active in the prolife movement, and help women who are in crisis pregnancies, to throw a good and honest man like Richard Mourdock into the looney category is pretty unfair. He shared his personal view, which if a person gets involved in the prolife movement and meets individuals, actual people who were conceived in rape and incest it’s hard to look those people in the eye and tell them that they should have been killed in the womb because of the way they were conceived or to meet a woman who gave birth to a child that was conceived in rape (which to me these women are the bravest Most selfless women I have ever met) and tell her that she should have killed her child. This is an issue that has been so clinicalized by the left that its just a word now, not people. Republicans need to personalize abortion show people the damage that it can do to a woman in the aftermath (we council post abortive women as well). Conservatives need to expose this lie instead of run away from it. If we don’t do it, no one else will

    • #8
    • November 10, 2012 at 8:55 am
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  9. Inactive
    Thom Williams: Go ahead and hide the values voters in the basement. You will see a 2% loss in elections turn into 7% losses.


    I was listening to the Jerry Doyle show the other day and he was essentially calling all social conservatives “Extremists”, “nutjobs”, “loons”, “Religious Fundamentalist”, etc. Doyle, a former actor(Babylon 5) ran for congress as Republican and now describes himself as a “independent conservative”. As someone who finds himself increasingly in tune with social conservatism(& a Tea Party member) the older I grow I found his attacks so offensive that I actually thought about never voting for a moderate/libertarian Republican again. If that’s the level of contempt for conservatives who have legitimate moral concerns that come from their faith, then thanks, I’ll stop voting for the Republican Party if the moderates find social conservatives so repugnant.

    • #9
    • November 10, 2012 at 10:14 am
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  10. Inactive

    It would be far better, in my view, for social conservatives to start pushing back by using the left’s own tactics. The left (and the type of libertarian who is essentially an unemotional liberal) love to push traditionalists into the corner by bringing up pregnancy by rape which, thank God, is quite rare.Pro-lifers should push back by focussing on sex-selective abortion – which is all too common. If conservatives were to rally around this cause, it would put the left on the back foot of having to defend the indefensible and would expose liberalism’s internal contradictions. The logic of the matter would surely lead a lot of people to be less reflexively “anti-pro-life.”Seems to me that is a better long term strategy than immediately ditching between a third and a half of your coalition to go after the high-hanging fruit of metropolitan elites, movie producers and newspaper editors.

    • #10
    • November 10, 2012 at 10:28 am
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  11. Inactive
    Jim Ixtian
    Thom Williams: Go ahead and hide the values voters in the basement. You will see a 2% loss in elections turn into 7% losses.


    If that’s the level of contempt for conservatives who have legitimate moral concerns that come from their faith, then thanks, I’ll stop voting for the Republican Party if the moderates find social conservatives so repugnant. · 2 minutes ago

    Perhaps the real fallout from Mourdock was thousands of GOP voters who didn’t show up because the party rushes to denounce and degrade them whenever the issues they care about most are addressed.

    Mourdock’s comments weren’t really “extreme” as far as believers go: God works all things for good. It’s not an endorsement of evil, just an understanding / belief that everything is in His hands. An all-powerful deity controls everything by definition. It’s the more complex argument.

    Hated by the DNC and hated / dismissed by the GOP, the religious gracefully bow out? Earthly concerns aren’t their focus anyway.

    Can we assume Libertarians are the only ones refusing to hold their noses?

    Are social conservatives the ones who “didn’t show up because they don’t agree.”

    • #11
    • November 10, 2012 at 10:36 am
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  12. Inactive

    The dumbest part of the whole thing is that ditching social conservatives shows the very bone-headed lack of long term thinking that everyone is complaining about.A huge part of the conservative coalition is, and always will, consist of orthodox Christians. These people have zero-room to move on marriage and life matters. It’s a simple question of: do you want those people in your coalition or not? If so, then the long term answer is to make social conservatism more palatable to the rest of the public.And that’s hardly impossible – look at the huge strides SSM has made in the past 20 years. What it does take is a concerted effort to take continuous small steps in that direction. For social conservatives, that means the discipline to pick battles wisely – e.g. partial birth abortion, gender selection abortion etc. For metropolitan conservatives and libertarians, it means showing the good grace not to ridicule or dismiss social conservative concerns at every available turn. And yes, that includes an effort NOT to publicly make common-cause with social engineers just for the purposes of burnishing your ‘cool kid’ bona fides.

    • #12
    • November 10, 2012 at 10:49 am
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  13. Member

    Social Cons Unite! 

    • #13
    • November 11, 2012 at 3:18 am
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  14. Inactive

    James – I like Sarah Palin as much as anyone but the media/left-wing assault on her would be beyond imagining. The remains of the GOP would resemble Dresden.

    And I don’t think it’s possible to separate social and fiscal issues. From what I’ve read in the papers (and by Theo. Dalrymple), the British social fabric is thoroughly shredded… which, IMHO, makes shrinking the British government impossible.

    I do agree that social cons need to learn to choose their battles… the effect of gay marriage on the family is zilch compared to illegitimacy, divorce, the porno-culture, poor parenting &c. To borrow from Saul Alinsky – pick the target…

    • #14
    • November 11, 2012 at 6:19 am
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  15. Member

    James – Stop talking about “the voters” as if people all vote for the same reasons. Almost all people vote for someone/something based on a collection of features. Smart political campaigns have to find ways to appeal to each group.

    This does not mean offering bribes!

    Saying “we favor ‘small government”” is so non-specific as to be blather. Worse than blather in that your opponents will define it for you in the worse possible way.

    Winning a political campaign is like winning a war. It requires smarts at many different levels using your advantages and exploiting your opponent’s weaknesses.

    We were outgeneraled

    • #15
    • November 12, 2012 at 5:11 am
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  16. Member

    Sarah Palin – IMHO, outsider looking in (I want to be proven wrong), Sarah Palin was on the verge of announcing her candidacy at the last possible moment, recalling her visits to Iowa, generating free media coverage, etc. HOWEVER, I think her team discovered late in the game that Team Palin had missed some requirements (e.g. prerequisites for getting on the New Hampshire primary ballot). Consequently, I think they conduct a strategic withdrawal. Had she announced, then later the media ‘discovered’ she wasn’t going to be on the New Hampshire ballot, then yes it would be Dresden + Tokyo + “Totally Blonde” thrown in. This is similar to how Newt’s team apparently discovered they had missed the requirements for getting on the Virginia primary ballot, making him look like he didn’t have his act together.

    Social Issues – the only people talking about ‘social issues’ were Team Obama and their media surrogates. Gov Romney from liberal Massachusetts was not going to upend the ‘social issue’ apple cart status quo. Team Obama flogged the (non)issue to death in order to both turn out his base and to turn off ‘moderates’ leaning toward Romney.

    • #16
    • November 12, 2012 at 8:29 am
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  17. Inactive

    Enjoyed it very much, thanks James. Btw, what was the song played at the end of the podcast?

    • #17
    • November 17, 2012 at 2:57 am
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