The Refinery E34: Trash Police, PC Craziness, Fighting All the Time

The podcast is here!

This week’s topic:

On this episode of #TheRefinery, The Conservative Union’s Leslie & Ryan, The Party Of Choice’s Cori & Andy, and Free Radical Network’s Felicia & JD talk about Seattle’s ban on THROWING OUT FOOD, Political Correctness, and discuss “Fighting ‘Til They Win” in our Left Tactics segment!

Of course, the FIRST thing we talk about…Florida Man calls Texans Crazy. 


Your hosts

THIS WEEK’S LINKS:

Florida Man calls Texas ‘Crazy’ – http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2015/02/03/texas-lawmakers-want-apology-to-entire-state-after-hastings-calls-it-crazy-state/

Fingers Malloy – Seattle’s Garbge Police – http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jan/30/fingers-malloy-no-there-shouldnt-be-law/

Emily Zanotti – GOP Candidates, Stop Talking About Vaccines – http://spectator.org/blog/61681/note-gop-candidates-stop-talking-about-vaccines

Jonah Goldberg – China Syndrome Liberalism – http://www.nationalreview.com/article/397604/china-syndrome-liberalism-jonah-goldberg

Why Government Money Can’t Fix Poverty – http://jaltcoh.blogspot.com/2015/02/why-government-money-cant-fix-poverty.html

It’s Never Over Until the Left Wins – Voter ID – https://plus.google.com/u/0/102371306159232675813/posts/1ePL6dLb9kX

Shaneen Allen Is Free (Basically) – http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/388798/shaneen-allen-free-basically-charles-c-w-cooke

Right on Crime – http://www.rightoncrime.com/

Families Against Mandatory Minimums – http://famm.org/

GenOpp – http://generationopportunity.org/criminaljustice/


Join the weekly discussion about solving conservative messaging problems

A collaborative project of Free Radical NetworkThe Party of Choice, and The Conservative Union. Members of each group come together to discuss messaging successes, failures, and strategies in an effort to make ourselves, and the movement as a whole, better at selling Liberty.

“Because if we can’t sell Liberty, we suck; but if we can’t learn how to sell Liberty, we are defeated”

Why The Media Is Doing Chris Christie , And The Entire Conservative Movement, A Favor With Bridgegate

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Bridgegate, as ludicrous as the term is, has now become the popular metaphor for the political shenanigans played by underlings of the Chris Christie administration in their Keystone Cops manuever to punish political enemies by closing down lanes of the George Washington Bridge for reasons that I still fail to fathom.  But as ludicrous as the term is, or the scandal as a whole is, the entire escapade should be thought of as a boon.

Why, might you ask?

For conservatives, it gives the entire GOP establishment time to take a deep, relaxing breath. Many of my ‘establishment’ contacts within the Republican Party were on the verge of jumping on to the Christie train, because they felt it was leaving the station, and nobody wanted to be left behind.  Romney confidants were lining up to join the Christie campaign, as were major Bush donors.  All the ducks were lining up in a neat little row.

Forget whether or not Christie was the best Republican candidate, or if he is even a conservative at all.  The entire concept of anointing anyone at this early stage, barely a year after our last losing campaign, is stupid. We have barely come to terms with the real reasons we lost with Mitt Romney, and we are ready to jump ship with another Northeastern quasi-Republican because he talks tough and get RINOs to fund him?

These are the moments that I accept the GOP is the stupid party.

But Bridgegate?  It is a gift from the heavens.  Truly and deeply, thank you for this gift.

What this scandal does is forces the establishment to look at the field of competitors. And the field, despite the media narrative, is quite strong.  For all the joking you hear from mainstream journalists, there are a multitude of qualified Governors, Executives, and Legislators that could all make fine Presidential material. I am more than happy to allow the nomination process run its due course before jumping on anyone’s bandwagon this early in the cycle.

Additionally, this keeps the bulk of political money off the table for the time being.  Once donors start giving to a candidate, it is very difficult from them to stop…even when they know their candidate has lost, or will eventually lose.

As for Chris Christie, he may not see it now because he is in the eye of the storm, but this was a boon to him as well. He has been the media darling; the GOP example of someone who could ‘work with both sides’, who would go on MSNBC and be praised by liberals as a ‘good Republican’.

How long did that love affair last after Bridgegate broke?

All moderate Republicans who are in love with the mainstream media come to this reality sooner or later.  John McCain didn’t realize it until he was well into the 2008 campaign.  Jon Huntsman remains a media darling to this day for a simple reason: he lost…badly.  Better Christie wakes up now, and realizes a simple, innate reality of the media today:

The mainstream media is no friend of yours, if you are a Republican.

If Christie survives this, first it teaches us that he has the strength of will and the character to fight the Democrat smear machine.  If he goes down in flames, it teaches us that he was never fit to be Presidential material anyway.

All in all, I find the entire episode as a net positive.

IT’S A SCANDAL!!!!! Or maybe just a diversion.

Scandal!There’s something for us to learn from the Chris Christie bridge scandal, but it may not be what you think. John Hayward has done an excellent job over at Breitbart outlining the whole thing. You’ll note in his article he doesn’t really talk about the facts of the case, they’re truly irrelevant. The important part is the speed and intensity of this thing.

The speed and intensity of the media response is what creates the sort of narrative that reaches Low Information Voters, and lingers in their minds for years afterward.

I didn’t pay attention to any news yesterday afternoon or most of this morning. The whole thing happened in that time frame. THAT fast – a story crept up, grabbed everyone’s attention, became massive headlines, and results in a press conference by the “candidate”. That right there tells me it is almost certainly media hype, and partisan media hype at that, rather than any important policy matter that I need to worry about.

I’m effectively a low information voter on this issue,  What I’ve been told to “know” is that Christie is finished. But for the real truth: you don’t need to pay any attention to this thing. If you don’t live in NJ, and don’t drive on whatever bridge they’re talking about, the facts of the story do not matter. Don’t waste your time on it. As Pradheep Shanker has written here scandals distract us from the conservative cause.

The outcome will be – media wants to take Chris Christie down a notch, media wants to make GOP look bad, politicians did stuff that could be interpreted many ways, maybe bad, maybe good, most likely egotistical and self serving – that’s what politicians are. Duh. None of this is news. None of this is worth diverting your attention.

Read Hayward’s article, he really covers it. And then…move on. What matters now, in 2014, is NOT the Presidential race. Not Hilary, not Christie, not anything Presidential. While you are having the easy conversations and posts about this or that national politician…the Democrats are targeting your state.

Obama is creating “Promise Zones” – do you know what those are? Have you considered participating in whatever that stuff is, or do you plan to let the Democrats staff and run those things like they always do?

Focus on your county, your school board, your water district, your state Attorney General.

This nationwide stuff is fun to talk about I suppose, but it can all wait until 2015. We’ve got a lot of hard work to do this year. Quit falling for the stories that the media wants to you care about.

What Christie/McAulliffe Victories Mean

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So, the media will talk a lot about the national significance of these two races, because there is not much else to talk about. This is a repeating event every four years, because there is nothing else to do between the Presidential and midterm elections.

So what can we really learn from these results?

1.  Off year elections don’t mean much.

Historically, these elections mean little to nothing.  You can take a lot of meaning into Christie and McDonnell winning four years ago, right before the Tea Party swept the 2010 elections, but there were many local issues that drove both candidates to victory that were far more important than national trends at the time.

I am sure many liberal bloggers will put a lot of weight into McAuliffe’s victory, and give credence to the argument that the shutdown helped him win, or the Obamacare debacle didn’t hurt him, or some other wacky theory.  But the reality is, McAuliffe ran a better campaign, that was better funded. It was as simple as that.

But, at least it gives the media and bloggers such as myself something to talk about.

2.  Chris Christie starts his Presidential run tonight.

This is among the worst kept political secrets in America, along with the fact that Hillary Clinton is running for the big job.  Christie sees an opening, as do other moderates.  Their view is the GOP has been losing elections because it has moved too far to the right, and that we need a strong moderate leader to take the helm.

Of course, forget the fact that the last two nominees of the GOP are the milquetoast Mitt Romney and the ‘Maverick’ John McCain. I think that claim is dubious.  For me, however, there are more important political trends that Christie’s re-election points to.

First of all, Obama, Democrats and Republicans are making the stench of the beltway toxic to the American voter.  Christie, as the consummate outsider, can use that. He is fat, gruff, at time boorish but glaringly and painfully honest…everything that Barack Obama is not.  2014 and 2016 are likely to be election cycles where being an outsider is a boon, and Christie plays that role quite well.  Just wait and watch Hillary try to run away from her State Department and Obama roots as well.

Second, Obama’s gross incompetence is going to make Americans look for a true manager, and that to me means an obvious solution:  Governors.  Christie may not be the guy, but my guess right now is that a Republican governor from somewhere is going to win the GOP nomination.  Christie believes he is that guy; I am not so sure.

But let us not discount Christie’s achievement.  As Sean Trende pointed out in his piece today, Christie is likely the most conservative statewide elected politician in New Jersey in more than half a century. Christie has run a moderately conservative fiscal plan with a few socially conservative leanings in a far blue state…and is going to win running away. That is pretty unique in the GOP in the last generation.  I may not be the biggest Christie fan, but the achievement is remarkable nonetheless.

3.  The Virginia result is even less important.

Some liberals will say that this is because the GOP lost.  Actually, I have been predicting a loss here for six months, and have said since August that this will be a 5 point victory.

The count is not over, but it appears the race will be far closer than that.

Some well-known liberal bloggers were calling for a double-digit victory not two weeks ago.  So who is more delusional?

The problem with taking any large arching ramification from the Virginia is simple:  there were too many confounding factors.  First, Gov. Bob McDonnell got caught in a horrible corruption scandal, one nobody expected.  Even though Ken Cuccinelli was no ally of the Governors, and continued to try to distance himself, that stench never went away.

Second came the shutdown.  I am not sure how much effect it really had ultimately (I actually think as of election day most people have already forgotten it; exit polls will tell us more), but it certainly halted any effort Cuccinelli made to close the gap in early October.

Now, compound that with a relatively strong third-party candidacy from Robert Sarvis, with many Republicans defecting to the third-party, and I am not sure what to make of the entire mess.

With all that, the GOP candidate likely is going to lose by less than 4 points.  Of the few lessons we can learn from the race, one is this:  the polls should be ignored by the GOP when races are close.  McAuliffe outspent Cuccinelli 3:1, and in the late stages of this election, that could have driven up Democrat votes in D.C. and Richmond, and stifled conservative votes in those regions.  This was a winnable race.

Furthermore, the exit polls are very worrisome for Democrats.  Blame for the sequester?  46% Obama, 47% Republicans for Congress, according to VA exits. Obamacare was upside down, 46% to 53%.  The real terrible story for the GOP was single women, which they lost by…40 points.

4.  Cuccinelli is ideally a poor candidate for modern Virginia.

Virginia is a blue state.  That is the first reality.  Second, it is a major urban population, with the suburbs of Washington, D.C..  Thus, Virginia should be considered more along the lines of Pennsylvania than North Carolina.

As such, Cuccinelli is a poor candidate.  Assuredly, he made his name opposing Obamacare in the courts, but he was almost as well-known for his very strong beliefs in criminalizing certain societal acts, such as homosexual sex and his defense of sodomy laws in unique situations, turned off a large swathe of conservatives.  I know this as a fact, as many of my Virginia friends, those that would vote for Tea Party candidates like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, absolutely refused to consider Cuccinelli.

The GOP must learn that it can stay a socially conservative party; but pushing legislation to dictate the actions behind closed doors of consenting adults simply is a non-starter, even among many (if not most) social conservatives.  Conservatives are largely moving toward become libertarian on these social issues.

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Overall, it was a mixed bag.  I think Democrats can take heart that they retook the Virginia Governorship, but by a much slimmer margin than the polls and conventional wisdom imagined.

For the GOP, they need to learn a couple of lessons.  First, ignore conventional wisdom.  Conventional wisdom stated this race could not be won, that Cuccinelli was done after the shutdown, and the race was a blowout.  All three  suppositions were false.  Cuccinelli’s clear negatives were on social issues, where the GOP needs to hone their msessage; nothing wrong with social conservatism, but it is not the primary issue voters are concerned with.

The shutdown was not the negative that the mainstream media wanted us to believe, three short weeks ago; that effect has already dissipated.  In fact, one can argue (and I admit is is arguable both ways) that Obamacare had more effect on this race ultimately than the shutdown did.  I am sure liberal and conservative commentators will be arguing that for months.

However, a big night clearly for Chris Christie, as he is going to be the clear frontrunneer for the GOP nomination, until a true conservative alternative can come and show they deserve it more.

Why Right Now, I Think Chris Christie Is Our 2016 Nominee

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O.K., before I get too far into this, DO NOT ATTACK ME.  I predict I will get hate through my comment section, twitter and elsewhere quite quickly.  Chris Christie posts do that, much like Mitt Romney posts got me kicked off of various conservative websites a few years ago.

This is not an endorsement; in fact, you could in some ways call it an ‘antiendorsement’.

But I think we are facing the very real possibility of Chris Christie surging ahead to become the 2016 GOP nominee.  And quite honestly, we really won’t have anyone to blame but ourselves.

If there was a big winner in the Obamacare defunding episode, Gov. Chris Christie was it.  In many ways, he benefits far more than any Democrat, and is ideally placed to take advantage of the political winds of the day.

Why do I say this?  First, let us review what the basic political trends of the past few weeks have been.

For the most part, the GOP marginalized itself.  We can argue whether defunding was a good or bad strategy, but the worst strategy of all is one where the party is going in three different directions, had no leadership or spine, and ultimately capitulates on every issue.  That is precisely what happened here.

Furthermore, for the large part of the populace that wasn’t really paying attention to the intricacies involved, the GOP looked like the radical party, shutting down government against the hapless President.  Yes, I stipulate that this is not the reality, but that is what the public saw.  And they made the decision to blame everyone in Washington, D.C….including President Obama.  However, let us also stipulate that they blamed Republicans more.

Third, the public is sick and tired of our broken political system.   They have basically declared a pox on both houses of both parties, and although the GOP has taken a larger hit, it isn’t by as much as many think.

So is the result of this scenario that I have drawn up?

Most importantly, it elevates an outside of the beltway executive who runs against the grain, fights the system, and is a different type of politician, who can declare that he/she is against both parties to a certain extent and will bring a new kind of politics to the White House.

Chris Christie, enter stage right.

To be sure, there are many others that could benefit from this as well.  Every reasonable GOP Governor could stake a claim on this same argument.  Rick Perry, Scott Walker, among others could make this argument.  But Christie has one added advantage:  he is not beholden to the Tea Party.  And for moderates and independents who are not beholden to the conservative base, that is a positive.

I know at this point my conservative brethren are ready to blow an aneurysm.  Christie is a Republican who basically stabbed our prior Republican nominee in the back on the eve of the 2012 election, a man who has questionable standing on some of our most basic foundations of conservatism (government spending, 2nd amendment rights, abortion, Obamacare, etc), and here I am still telling you he may triumph as the Republican nominee in 2016?

Hey, don’t blame me.  I just call them as I see them.

Conservatives (and I mean real conservatives, not just Republicans) better get their act together.  We want a chance to run a true conservative in 2016?  We better have policies that are acceptable to Americans.  We must base our campaign on policies that speak to middle America, that hit at the heart of the economic despair that ravages this country.  We better put out a face of the future, a person that can speak conservatism to the masses.  We need a new type of conservative candidate, and we have to find that person quickly.

Otherwise, enjoy Christie 2016.