Tag: GOP outreach

What I Love About Ricochet: No $exting


@blueyeti promised us in Ricochet’s recent Focus Group that “We also do not sell your email addresses or anything else to third parties even though we get asked about it on a regular basis.” As testimony to how good Yeti’s promise is, let me share what happened right after I subscribed to some other well-known right-wing outlet (which shall remain nameless) just this fall. I’ve been a Ricochet member for years. And for years, the partisan demands on my money have been negligible. Few emails, no texts. Life was good. Then, I signed up at that other right-wing outlet:

Now random politicians won’t stop $exting me. You know what I’m talking about. $exting. Those endless texts demanding money, burning up your phone faster than you can block them. Various personas claiming to be “Newt” or “Mitch” or “Scalise” take credit for sending them, though it’s hard to imagine the sender as anyone other than some pitiable peon of a staffer or intern, unhappily grinding out the wheedling that’s below everyone else’s pay grade.

On Pragmatists


shutterstock_254757025Although I may well come across as one of those barn-burning conservatives inclined to cut off our electoral nose to spite our establishment face, I’m not. Despite my awful experience working for the GOP, I learned that there are sets of skills and knowledge that vast swaths of the base know very little about. We need “experts,” people who know voting and demographic trends, folks who can somehow deduce your stance on gun control from whether or not you own a boat, enjoy hockey, wear casual leather shoes, and drink domestic beer. There’s a lot of analysis and strategizing that happens behind the scenes that can – and often does — help good candidates win.

Regarding governance, our political system is one of checks and balances, ugly realities, and innumerable hurdles in the way of getting our message out. Sometimes, it makes sense to throw caution to the wind and push forward, regardless of how many votes we have in the Senate; sometimes, however, it does not. Although it can be beyond annoying to hear “You can’t do that” over and over, there are times when it’s exactly what we need to hear.

Firebrands like us are quick to identify — often correctly — those in the GOP establishment who are actual enemies of conservatism, the kind of politicians or consultants who wouldn’t push for defunding Planned Parenthood or overturning ObamaCare even if we did have the votes. But there is another kind within the establishment who genuinely want what’s best for America, who disagree with the base on tactics, but who ultimately want what we want. This posts is addressed to, and about, them: those pragmatists who are on our side, despite their obliviousness to what many of us would regard as obvious. It’s hard to tell these principled pragmatists apart from the cynical kind of pragmatist, but there is a difference.

On the Arrogance of Republican Party “Experts”


Several years back I worked for a state Republican Party running a Victory Center, or local campaign headquarters. I devoted more to that job than I had to any job prior and more than I have to any job since.  The hours were nine to nine Monday through Friday, nine to five on Saturdays, and near election day several hours on Sundays. Initially, I was thrilled to have been given the opportunity to contribute to a cause about which I cared very much.  Moreover, it didn’t hurt my ego to be interacting on a regular basis with people I had regularly seen on television and their close advisors.

During my initial state of humility, I found myself taking in every bit of knowledge the “experts” for whom I worked imparted to me.  When I was told to do something, I did it, and did it as well as I could without question.

Sorry, Officer, I Left the Visa in My Other Pants — Mark Krikorian


As I wrote over at The Corner, Rand Paul made a fool of himself earlier today in a speech on immigration by claiming that the 5 million or so illegal aliens who overstayed visas (as opposed to infiltrating across the border) “somehow lost their documentation.” (Yes, that’s what he really said, and it doesn’t appear to have been an April Fool’s joke.)

As hilarious (or dumbfounding) as that is, my question for Ricochet is about the overall topic of his speech: How the Republican Party and/or the conservative movement can reach out to American voters with roots in Latin America. For all his supposed iconoclasm, Paul’s approach seems to be the same as the rest of the GOP political/donor class: Amnesty, loose enforcement, and ever-higher levels of immigration.