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Do Republicans Reject Talk Radio?

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A new national poll by Wall Street Journal and NBC News exposes serious problems for the GOP—and for talk radio. On some issues, self-described Republicans express opinions you’d expect, with huge majorities backing traditional marriage, gun rights, and the right to life movement. But respondents were also asked, “Do you enjoy listening to conservative talk radio?” Only 38 percent of Republicans said yes—meaning that 62 percent of the GOP doesn’t like the most important component of conservative media.

This reflects sharp declines in ratings for some of the most prominent talk radio shows: the angry, shrill and pessimistic tone taken by many hosts appeals to barely a third of those who identify with the GOP—only a minority of a minority.

Republicans should recognize that radio rants don’t really speak for the party’s broader base, and radio talkers should provide a more reasoned and welcoming perspective to reach a wider audience.

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  1. Dede Armstrong  •  Jan 11, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Agree 100%. For this reason, please take Mark Levine off the air. His shrill and screeching delivery does more harm to the GOP than good. We don’t need to listen to ranting and raving – let’s let Hillary do that! We need reason delivered in an inviting, thoughtful, philosophical way. No one wants to be beaten up by someone else’s ideas. That style of delivery does not appeal to anyone, let alone to people with whom we need and want to engage.

    • AirCavRick  •  Jan 15, 2016 at 9:14 pm

      His name is NOT Levine, but Levin.

      • Brian Harmon, Ret Econ Prof  •  Jan 29, 2016 at 1:18 pm

        Dede is right, even if she did misspell Mark Levin's name.
        She could have added Mike Slaughter and Mike Gallagher to her list of ridiculous conservative radio talk-show hosts.
        Most of the folks I have heard on the strangely-named Salem Broadcasting Network (in LA anyway) are intelligent conservatives. Medved, Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager, and Dennis Miller come to mind. I can't speak for stations in other areas.
        If more people heard them instead of the nut cases, the popular view of conservative talk would be very different.

  2. Rizzo  •  Jan 11, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    I suppose we are all supposed to believe that Michael Medved is the one who offers “the reasoned and welcoming perspective”, that reaches a “wider audience”.

    Somebody better check the ratings… I don’t think Michael is even close to reaching an audience the size of Limbaugh or Levin.

    • Nunyah Bizness  •  Jan 17, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      What does Michael’s ratings have to do with the price of beans?

      • jack Hoffman  •  Jun 8, 2016 at 7:26 pm

        his contract dollars, you know its all about money

    • Mark Larson  •  Jan 21, 2016 at 5:36 pm

      Recall, Medved is an establishment Republican

    • Brian Harmon, Ret Econ Prof  •  Jan 29, 2016 at 12:09 pm

      Mark, if Medved is an establishment Republican, that means Reagan was also.
      Am I right?
      I just want to get it clear where you coming from.

  3. Nani  •  Jan 11, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    It is interesting that the radio talk show hosts and many pundits have found that their stirring their audience up for ratings have in fact led to killing the golden goose.

    I’ve been asking for quite some time, exactly where are they going to hang their “conservative” credentials on if there is no Republican party?

    Perhaps, now they too are beginning to ask themselves the same thing.

  4. Rizzo  •  Jan 11, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Nani…

    Per usual, you are asking the wrong question. The real question is… Once you have completely purged The Republican Party of its base (Conservatives), what purpose will The Republican Party serve?

    Perhaps, now you and Michael will begin to ask yourselves the same thing.

    • Curt  •  Jan 12, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      This is just silly. If hardline conservatives were the majority of the Republican Party they would be doing the purging not being purged as you suggest. Either way, neither conservatives nor moderate republicans have the numbers to win on their own. In fact, even united they lack the numbers to beat democrats without winning the support of most independents. This is how the democrats keep winning. They bring together a coalition of hard left democrats, moderate democrats, and independents. We need to follow that model. We can certainly put forward conservative ideas and principals but we must not ostracize politicians and by extension their supporters who generally agree with our policy positions simply because they do not always agree. Standing on the principle of ideological purity (even for a correct ideology) but losing elections to candidates advancing a completely opposite ideology is not noble its disastrous (and self-defeating). The bottom line is we need to convince more people that conservative principles are better for our country. Obviously it should be easier to convince people who already agree with most conversative principles to embrace other conservative principles than to convince people who agree with virtually none. We don’t do that by continually demonizing each other or alienating moderates and it’s obviously harder to do with Hillar Clinton in the White House.

      • Nani  •  Jan 12, 2016 at 7:34 pm

        Curt, they don’t CARE. The name of the game is to punish (aka DESTROY) the party of Republicans. The talk show mafia has for years pushed the anger button for ratings. I used to hear Laura Ingraham knock the MSM for bashing a “war time president”, only to do the SAME when GW wouldn’t nominate someone to SCOTUS that SHE thought he should nominate. Hugh Hewitt used to caution his listeners about alienating Hispanics; he told the tale of how a bill denying social services to illegal children made Republicans un-electable for years in California; only to jump on the same wagon when he wasn’t invited to the WH to talk about illegal immigration.

        The problem is we are NOT talking about stupid people. These hosts KNOW better; they’ve been around politics enough to know that the numbers are not there. I’ve heard both Dick Morris and Karl Rove say that about 20% will vote for anyone with a “D” or 20% will vote for anyone with a “R” in front of their name. It’s the other 60% all politicians need to be elected. These people KNOW that they can’t get conservatives elected by appealing to the 20%; they NEED the others, but the anger is great for ratings.

        And here’s the real kicker. It’s one thing for voters to just stay home and refuse to vote. It’s quite another when someone feels he HAS to vote AGAINST someone. There are tons of Hispanics, Muslims and other minorities that will vote for Hillary because they HAVE to stop Trump or Cruz.

        The Hard Liners KNOW this, but more than anything they want the GOP to die. Because they have listened to the radio talk shows for years and do not get that it isn’t Republicans that lied and betrayed them; it’s the hosts that told them they COULD control politicians and that most Americans were conservative and voted against Republicans because they weren’t conservative enough.

      • Brian Harmon, Ret Econ Prof  •  Jan 29, 2016 at 12:19 pm

        Hey, I think you, Curt, have it just right. That is precisely what Reagan did. Because of the way he behaved as Governor of California, his support for Goldwater in 1964, and career since the 1950's, everyone with any sense knew that he was the "Real Deal" conservative. But he made no attempt to ostracize, antagonize, attack, belittle, or antagonize those he disagreed with, with the possible exception of Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale, his presidential opponents. But with those two, just talking about their ideas constitutes a major put-down to the sane people who are listening.

  5. Rizzo  •  Jan 12, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Curt,

    Who are these mythical, unelectable “hardline” conservatives? And… Who are these unifying, Hillary-Like Republicans that guarantee us victory?

    Did Romney stand for “ideological purity”?
    Was McCain some “hard liner”?
    We have played your game. We have nominated your candidates. It didn’t result in victory. Your candidates couldn’t beat THE WORST PRESIDENT IN MY LIFETIME, MAYBE OF ALL TIME!

    If you want to convince more people that conservative principles are better for our country, we had better nominate a conservative…. Don’t ya think?

    • Curt  •  Jan 13, 2016 at 5:05 pm

      Obviously you didn’t read my post. No where do I suggest that hard line conservatives are unelectable. What I suggest is that neither hard line conservatives nor moderate Republicans are electable if they remain divided. In fact even united we need to be able to win over independents. Can we really seriously suggest that the reason the country has twice elected the most leftist president in our history (by far) is that our candidate was too moderate? By the way, who were the true conservatives that we should have run in the last two elections? I can’t think of any candidate who sought the nomination who hasn’t been labeled an establishment candidate, Romney was championed by Ann Coulter in 2008 before she fell in love with Christie (Mr. Conservative there, wouldn’t you agree). I mean really who? Even Ted Cruz who I would think is the poster child for strict conservativism) is having trouble gaining traction because many on our side are more committed to bucking the establishment (whoever the hell that is) and supporting a candidate that has almost no chance of winning. And in case you’re wondering I’m not saying Trump is an unelectable conservative because he’s not — a conservative that is. By the way you say my candidate couldn’t beat the worst president in our lifetimes? Who was your candidate last cycle? Who? You say Romney was my candidate? Does that mean you voted against him or maybe you just stayed home. If that’s the case you deserve what you got. Unfortunately the rest of the country is suffering along with you. The sad truth however is that we didn’t lose because conservatives stayed home (the data clearly shows they didn’t). We lost because as Romney noted the other side starts with about 47 percent compared to our base of about 37. We need to win about 3 of every 4 independents and we fell short). We cannot appeal to those voters by demonizing candidates who share some of the same moderate positions. That doesn’t mean we don’t advocate for our positions. What we want to do is show voters they should support the candidate who thinks like them on most issues (we can keep working on the others). But why in the world would independents make such a choice when people in our own party keep acting as if Romney, Ryan, etc. are no better or maybe even worse than Obama, Pelosi, and Reid. I consider myself a hard line conservative policy-wise but I recognize that if 51 percent of the electorate shared my views we wouldn’t be having this discussion. We would be working instead for the reelection of a conservative president. What is the path for victory for conservatives without moderates anyway (and vice versa)? Why do we feel these mythical candidates (I say mythical because I’m not sure which conservative candidate we should have run in the past but didn’t) can win a general election when they can’t win their party’s nomination? Damndest logic I’ve ever heard.

      • Leslie  •  Jan 30, 2016 at 6:51 am

        Curt, you nailed it.

  6. Jim Bird  •  Jan 12, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Since 80% of Americans are worried about the direction of the country, you’re right, we should remain quiet, passive, disinterested like the Republican Party is most of the time. We should rely on the old established leaders of both parties to tell the 80% what to think because we are so stupid. How could we possibly get upset with them, with the status quo, with Marxism and cowardess. Get ready for the “fairness doctrine” from Obama in the next couple of months if not weeks. That way all the crazy whack job facist Republican extremist radio hosts can be brought up on enemies-of-the-state charges. It’s only fair.

    • Curt  •  Jan 13, 2016 at 5:41 pm

      Ann Coulter supported Romney in 2008. She was upset that the conservative candidate (Romney) got hosed by the establishment. But whe he actually won he was the establishment. Go figure. His major opponents in 2012 were Huckleberry (establishment moderate), (Gingrich- even Coulter didn’t by that he was a conservative), Huntsman? Perry? Bachman? Santorum? All of them have questionable conservative positions and even if they didn’t (possibly Santorum), How for God’s sake can you win the general if you can’t win a primary (with the exception of Santorum). Really, I’m far right in my policy views but if we can’t find a far right candidate who can win our nomination how could such a candidate win the general? The truth is I do think a strong conservative can win both the nomination and the general but we’ll only do so by bringing moderates and the majority of independents to our side. We cannot do so by demonizing their views and the candidates that share them. These people probably agree with us 80 percent of the time. They should be voting for us. Why aren’t they! I hope a strong conservative gets our nomination and wins but at this point I’d settle for a moderate Republican over another far left socialist because despite the hyperbole that my fellow conservatives keep peddling, there is a difference. If we allow Hillary to win there may not be a country left to save in 4 years (and I don’t think that’s hyperbole).

      • Tony  •  Jan 13, 2016 at 7:27 pm

        Curt, thank you for your clear-headed, well expressed views.

      • Ryan  •  Jan 16, 2016 at 7:19 am

        That is same opinion that has kept us from winning, how many times have we heard same crap from the medveds of party and have still lost. I have listen to mike and rush and both have good points. But the medved side has prevailed theses last few elections and we have lost folks. So how many times are going keep blaming conservatives for the lost of rommeny by the way establishment wants back and mcains and Bob doll.

      • Curt  •  Jan 16, 2016 at 11:25 pm

        Ryan, from where I sit they’re blaming each other. I’d like to see a strong conservative nominated but there is simply no logical basis to support that these candidates lost because they were too moderate. I’ve tried many times to imagine the voter whose thinking went like this: Hmmm that Republican Romney he’s just a RINO. They should’ve nominated a conservative. I guess I’ll have to vote for that socialist Obama. Really? You think that’s how it went? McCain lost because he was just a horrible candidate, the financial crisis hit just before the election, and because the country got caught up in the idea of making history and ending racism. Oops. Romney lost because he decided to play it safe after the first debate and the media was complicit in covering up Bengazi and other Obama failures.

      • Brian Harmon, Ret Econ Prof  •  Jan 29, 2016 at 12:30 pm

        I also consider myself a hard line conservative policy-wise, but I, too, OBVIOUSLY recognize that if 51 percent of the electorate shared my views we wouldn’t be having this discussion. but let's look again at what Reagan did. Because of the way he behaved as Governor of California, his support for Goldwater in 1964, and career since the 1950's, everyone with any sense knew that he was the "Real Deal" conservative. But he made no attempt to ostracize, antagonize, attack, belittle, or antagonize those he disagreed with. with the possible exception of Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale, his presidential opponents. But with those two, just talking about their ideas constitutes a major put-down to the sane people who are listening.
        And I think it was Reagan who came up with the 11th Commandment: "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican."

  7. Gary  •  Jan 12, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Progressives keep moving the ball down the field to their Goal. Republicans provide no defense strong enough to stop them and get on offense to move the ball down to the conservative Goal. Progressives do long plays when they control the execvutive branch, the house and senate. Otherwise they do the short game by negotiating with republicans that cave in thus allowing incremental movements over time to achieve their ultimate Goal. By the way what is a right wing conservative? Someone that believes in the Bill of Rights, Strong National Defense, supports Free Enterprise System, for a Prudent Fiscal Policy, promotes a Melting Pot that incorporates a Common Language, an Immigration Policy that accepts people that are coming to be Good Citizens and screens out those who wish to do Harm.

    • Curt  •  Jan 13, 2016 at 6:06 pm

      I use the term Right Wing simply as a label for people who hold strong conservative positions (I consider myself in that category). I don’t question your positions (I probably agree with you on nearly 100 percent of them). I do question your logic. Just how could Republicans have stopped anything the past eight years? Dems controlled both houses during the first two years. Even then they had to use reconciliation to push through Obamacare past the Republican filibuster. Yes we did win the house two years later and the senate two years after that but neither with filibuster let alone veto proof majorities. I know some are angry that Republicans didn’t push bills up to “force” Obama vetoes. What does that accomplish? Do you really think people are not aware of Obama’s positions? Okay, congress did as you wished recently and the expected veto came. Feel better? It doesn’t sound like it. I will support whoever wins our nomination because I know that person will be closer to my principles than Hillary (in the case of Trump just barely) but whoever that person is had better find a way to unite the party (including those hideous moderates) and find a way to appeal to independents who have most of whom twice voted for BHO.

      • Rizzo  •  Jan 14, 2016 at 10:33 am

        Curt,
        Please consider, Obama has so far exercised his veto less frequently than other recent presidents. President Bill Clinton vetoed 37 bills in eight years, and President George W. Bush vetoed 12 in his two terms. In President George H.W. Bush’s single term, he vetoed 44.
        Congress needs to do its job. They need to send Bills to Obama and put the onus on him. If he wants to be an obstructionist, then the veto is on him. Congress needs to fulfill its responsibilities to exercise the power of the purse. Republicans need to stand for something and do more than just talk about it. This country needs action.

  8. Nani  •  Jan 13, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Who and what are Right Wing Conservatives is the reason why voters are just not buying. They CLAIM to think and believe one thing but support those who say quite the opposite.

    Right Wing Conservatives believe in the Bill of Rights EXCEPT if the Bill of Rights grants citizenship on illegals born in America, then the right must be questioned. Believe in a Strong National Defense EXCEPT if it means spending treasure and blood on foreign wars. Support a Free Enterprise System which includes using the government’s handy eminent domain by a flashy Billionaire. Is for a Prudent Fiscal Policy that would spend billions on deporting and then allowing back in 11 million illegals, creating one of the largest government programs ever. Promotes a Melting Pot that EXCLUDES Mexicans and Muslims.

    • Rizzo  •  Jan 13, 2016 at 6:39 pm

      Nani…

      Please enlighten us all, where exactly in The Bill of Rights does it grant citizenship to Anchor-babies?

      Allow me to help you… IT DOESN’T.

      • Curt  •  Jan 14, 2016 at 12:27 am

        Like it or not Section 1 of the 14th Amendment is pretty clear that children born in America are citizens regardless of their parents’ citizenship or status with the exception of diplomats (hence the jurisdiction provision). I would support an amendment to narrow this provision but I seriously doubt it could ever get ratified (not to mention it would take a decade). I do not agree with the anchor baby policy and would support its elimination but the idea that we’re going to deport tens of millions of people is beyond fallacy. It took several decades for these people to self import across a porous border. Imagine the difficulty (let alone expense) of tracking down these people, battling thousands of motions, petitions, injunctions, lawsuits, etc., not to mention the potential civil rights violations of citizens. Trump may be a clown but he isn’t stupid; he knows this is impractical and ill advised but doubles down on it proving yet again that he is willing to lie to secure the nomination.

      • Rizzo  •  Jan 14, 2016 at 9:10 am

        Curt
        The Bill of Rights is the collective name for the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution.
        Secondly, let’s not pretend that The 14th. Amendment, one of The Reconstruction Amendments, was meant for anything other than to deal with the issue of slavery.
        Lastly, the US needs to implement and enforce laws that will encourage self-deportation.

        Curt… You do believe in the rule of law, don’t you? Or will that lead to the destruction of The GOP?
        How about the destruction of our country?

      • Curt  •  Jan 15, 2016 at 12:16 am

        While I agree that the Bill of Rights holds a special place in our heritage but the other amendments count just as much. As for what the 14th amendment “really” was meant for as opposed to what it says, if we’re going to go down that road, we’re playing right into the old liberal mantra of a living constitution that they use to attack so many of our traditional conservative values. When you speak of the rule of law, I assume you mean the parents not the children. Of course I support the rule of law but it’s up to us to determine how to deal with lawbreakers. I’m not sure the expense and other problems that would come along with a mass deportation effort would ultimately be in the best interest of the country. Moreover I don’t think it’s a winning policy approach. I could be wrong and if you think so you should support Trump. But if Hillary Clinton becomes president we can expect an unambiguous amnesty and can kiss goodbye any hope of winning in the near future as she welcomes tens of millions of new Democratic voters. Why not just strictly enforce band on access to our social welfare system? No social security, welfare, food stamps, unemployment, etc. If you’re illegal in this country you’d better hope your anchor baby provides for you because the American taxpayer won’t. These would be strong deterrents I think but I think we could sell a majority of voters on such a policy. We’re not ripping families apart (which is BS I know but how the media will spin deportation) but breaking the law does not entitle them to enjoy social services meant for citizens. We want to avoid seeming so draconian that we lose. There is a middle ground and I think we can use it to appeal to independents.

    • Curt  •  Jan 13, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      I think some of the issues you take exception with are legitimate concerns raised by conservatives. I share some of these views. For example, I don’t think we should reward illegal aliens by granting them citizenship. However I think the idea of deporting tens of millions of illegals is wholly impractical but more importantly not a winning position in the general. I would support building a wall as a means of securing our border to control not only illegal immigration but also to stem the tide of drugs and help deter terrorists from entering the country. I am however concerned about the cost because really the idea that Mexico will pay for it is ludicrous. And if anyone thinks he can do it with tariffs they should review basic economic principles. Countries don’t pay tariffs consumers do. I would support American taxpayers paying for a wall, but make no mistake we will be paying for it. I support English as a common language but realize that we have nothing to gain by demonizing people who speak only other languages (or candidates who do so for trying to reach those voters). I even think this can be a winning issue (I live in a border community and believe it or not most Hispanics share the view that their children need to learn English – Many opt their kids out of bilingual programs) but it will only be a winning issue in the context of the advantages of mastering the dominant language not by creating the perception that we are attacking a culture and heritage that is conservative in nature and should be fertile ground for expanding the Republican base (and we don’t have to support amnesty to attract them). My frustration is that anyone who takes a position that differs even slightly from the most conservative position is demonized. Some politicians have tuned into conservative anger and decided it’s the best way to win the nomination. In fact, the front runner is capitalizing on this anger on a couple of positions to hide the fact that his conservative credentials ate questionable at best (not to mention new found). That anger may speak to the conservative base and propel this imposter to the nomination but I have serious reservations that it will speak to enough of the electorate to win in November. If it doesn’t we will still have a lot of angry people as we endure another four years (at least) of a socialist, constitution ignoring, power-grabbing president. We can’t afford to let that happen because we’re insistent on throwing a tantrum.

      • Nani  •  Jan 13, 2016 at 8:15 pm

        But Curt, you WANT TO WIN.

        You understand that we will have 4 or more years of Obamanism, soft national security, social chaos, racial division, and risk the lost of more rights if we nominate someone that forces Hispanics and other minorities to vote Democrat. I am not Hispanic nor know of anyone who is (btw Tavares is NOT a Hispanic name) but if a party wanted to deport my family and friends and deny their children their birthright, I’d do whatever it takes to make sure that party’s nominee is not elected POTUS. This is common sense.

        You get that tantrums are a luxury only children can afford; adults have too much to lose with uncontrolled and uncivil behavior.

        Unfortunately, there are some who hate the party they claim to be the base of so much that they want her to die. They cannot really believe that the American people will tolerate a bully nor one who has insulted just about everyone. They know a Trump or Cruz nominee is the only way Hillary can win…and they are ok with that as long as the Republican party is destroyed.

      • FL 7777  •  Jan 15, 2016 at 8:54 pm

        It is imminently practical to deport a large portion of the 11 million illegal aliens and make them come back into the country legally.

        We could easily make Mexico pay for a wall by taxing the money that illegal aliens from Mexico send back to Mexico.

        Making English the official language of the USA does not require “demonizing” anyone. It does however require some guts.

        Trump is not my first pick however, he has said that his political persuasion has changed to a conservative one over time – that even happened to Ronald Reagan. So certainly, Trump should be allowed to demonstrate his “conservative credentials.”

        Your parroting of liberal democrat talking points such as, Trump has “tapped into anger…..” is troubling. Grow up, we are in a war and if “sensitive” people like you don’t get off your butts and start fighting, we are going to lose.

      • Curt  •  Jan 15, 2016 at 11:02 pm

        (1) I guess its practical because you say so.

        (2) So I guess we’re going to open their mail? Seize their bank accounts? Ask them to declare it on their taxes?? We don’t even know who most of these people are?? Hence the shadow analogy. If we could find their money so easily why not confiscate it. Then they’d self deport for sure.

        (3) I agree we should be able to promote English without demonizing anyone. Someone needs to tell this to Trump.

        (4) Reagan changed 20 years before he became president and proved his conservative credentials as a governor. If Trump has “changed,” it was about 20 minutes ago. He continues to defend imminent domain, supports a higher minimum wage (just not right now), wants to raise taxes on the “rich,” supports tariffs, thinks we can replace Obamacare with a federal health care system similar to what Congress has, thinks Putin is just a swell guy, and wants America to rely on all the radicals to kill themselves off. I know that makes me feel safer. Now he’s pulled out the liberal playbook on Cruz because he “insulted” New Yorkers and got a loan from an investment banking firm (never mind he borrowed from himself).

        (5) Trump has tapped into anger. Even he realizes this. The anger is legitimate but that doesn’t mean it’s a smart way to choose a candidate. You sound pretty angry yourself.

        (6) You call it sensitive I call it sensible. I’ve been in combat (a lot) and one thing you learn pretty quickly when the shit starts to hit the fan is that you win by keeping your wits. Another observation I made was that the boasters seldom lived up to their big talk.

        (7) You are right that we are going to lose if people like you don’t figure out that we can’t win by fighting each other, I’m a strict conservative but if my preferred candidate can’t win the nomination, it’s pretty clear he couldn’t win the general. No matter which candidate moves on, we must unite the party and win most independents to win. That’s just math.

        (8) I’ll ask you what no one has been able to answer: which candidate did the establishment hose in 2008? in 2012? Who was it that should have been our nominee.

      • Ryan  •  Jan 16, 2016 at 7:30 am

        Nani to say the republican party will die if it elects a conservative is stupid and by saying that you doing exactly what you are accusing the talk radio of doing. I just love how the dems can have there extreme view on display and not work with republicans for last 8 years and still there going to win next election with Hillary. By the way you talk extreme look at news how bennier is catching up with Hillary and some say she was rejected once why not again.

      • Nani  •  Jan 18, 2016 at 2:40 pm

        Ryan, sigh. There is ONE factor you forget. The Dems have the MEDIA AND ACADEMIA. They are able to get away with their hard Left views because they constantly bombard the people that their way of thinking is enlightening.

        Do you remember before GW ran for his second term? The talk show hosts were united in supporting what Laura Ingraham called our "war time president". Fox and company were also in his corner. It was a small number compared to the HUGE media that the left could put out there but it was SOMETHING. After GW got re-elected, the conservative media and Fox JOINED their liberal counterpart in bashing Bush and all things Republican. All of a sudden, you hear the term "conservative" and how most refuse to call themselves "Republican" like that was a dirty name. And the people, having to choose between a party that everyone hates, INCLUDING their own media and one that stands united in their "truths", guess whose side they ran to?

        Yes, for a small period the tea party garnered the anger over Obamacare into victory but anger can only last so long. And the new tea party, "real conservatives" learned that promises weren't that easy to keep. So Obama, despite lowering our credit rating and being probably the worst president in memory, won a second term.

        So here's the bottom line. You can either have more years of Obamanism by nominating a candidate that Hispanics and minorities will vote to STOP from becoming president or you can get SERIOUS and pick someone that actually has a chance. You can DEMAND that the small conservative media get serious and stop demanding quick solutions to problems that have been around for eons, that they put the truth above their desire for ratings and above all, try to find SOME ground that we can all unite on. Or you can go on getting angry and frustrated.

  9. Curt  •  Jan 13, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    For the party’s sake (and therefore the country’s) I hope you’re overstating the problem though I fear you may not be. I used to love conservative talk radio but found myself listening less and less as hosts and their followers began to attack their own as frequently and with more vigor it seemed than they did this train wreck of an administration. Who needs Air America. With the exception of Medved I quit listening all together when they all jumped on the Trump bandwagon. I’ve tuned in periodically since then hoping to find they’ve come to their senses only to be disappointed. Whether their motive is to intentionally destroy the party or they truly believe they’re right, the result will likely be the same. If so it will not just spell the demise of the GOP but as George Will has noted the conservative movement as well – at least for the foreseeable future. I would sadly add the end of this country as we’ve known it. Ironic isn’t it? I was worried that Obama would try to destroy the Republican Party; turns out we’re doing it to ourselves.

  10. Rizzo  •  Jan 14, 2016 at 7:03 am

    NOBODY attacks Republicans MORE than Michael Medved.
    He puts RINOS on pedestals and belittles CONSERVATIVES. It is sad and pathetic, but that is why I can no longer listen to his brand of BS. He has obviously brainwashed your opinions.

    • Brian Harmon, Ret Econ Prof  •  Jan 29, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      Just for the record, Rush has not endorsed Trump and I believe he has criticized Sarah Palin for doing so, because Trump is not really a conservative. I have heard Trump a lot, but what I have not heard him say is why he believes that a democratic republic is a good way to run a country. In fact, although he (FOR THE PAST FEW MONTHS ANYWAY) supports conservative positions on the push-button issues, I have not heard him explain how he will cut government spending. Other than that he is so great he can… (fill in the blanks). His adoration for Putin makes us think he might not be a Reagan Republican at all.
      As one of Medved's callers recently said of Trump, "He is a self-made man and worships his creator."

  11. Rizzo  •  Jan 14, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Curt
    You and I agree…. Coservatives are electable. How about we try nominating one? We have seen the disastrous results, the last 2 peresidential elections, when we have nominated RINOS.

    There is a better way. I am glad you understand.

    • Curt  •  Jan 14, 2016 at 2:20 pm

      I think the division centers on what constitutes a conservative and how we appeal to voters who are less ideologically pure than we would like but who generally support our positions. I agree that Romney wasn’t as conservative as we’d like but he was a hell of a lot better than what we ended up with. Who should we have run in his place? I’m asking genuinely. Did we not have a conservative candidate run? If not, then how can we nominate such a candidate? If so, and that person failed to win the support of moderate elements of the party (obviously true since Romney won and is now reviled as an establishment moderate), then how could that person hope to win over independents who are generally even more moderate? Much of it is about tone more so than substance which is part of why I don’t think Trump can win in the general (in addition he’s not a conservative). The nominee needs to be able to unite the party to have any hope of attracting enough independents. I think Cruz could pull it off but if he doesn’t we need to unite behind whoever does. That will be hard to do if candidates and their supporters have spent the previous year demonizing each other. Every budget Reagen signed increased the deficit but he is rightfully held up as the conservative standard bearer. That’s because he recognized the value of the long game and its role in implementing his economic vision. Eventually his policies enabled the country to balance the budget (though Clinton wrongly is given credit).

  12. Virginia M. Collins  •  Jan 14, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    The right wing talk show hosts are the single greatest barrier to Republicans winning the White House. They continue to proudly take credit for McCain and Romney’s loss, taking credit for getting their sacred “Base,” to stay home. They have supported Trump who’s only real qualification is that he parrots their angry, misinformed rants. They have thrown real conservatives such as Santorum and Huckabee under the bus, labeling them as members of the wicked “Establishment.” They spend hours every day denouncing the Repbublican Party, members of Congress and any primary candidate who, in their view, is not ” conservatively pure.” Ben Carson is a wonderful, brilliant man who has no depth when it comes to the issues, he has toned down the anger and is losing the talking heads suppot which is now going to Ted Cruz, a thorougly unlikeable and divisive candidate who had accomplished nothing so far. To my point, if Trump, Cruz, Carson or some other candidate whom they have not annointed wins the primary, we will see a repeat of the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections with Rush, Laura, Sean, Mark, et al attacking the candidate daily, and encouraging their “base” to stay home.

    • Rizzo  •  Jan 14, 2016 at 5:05 pm

      That is an absolute lie… None of the mentioned talk show hosts told people to stay home and not support the nominee.

      • Curt  •  Jan 14, 2016 at 10:59 pm

        I have never heard any of these hosts advocate for Republicans to stay home. As I recall they got behind both Romney and McCain during the general campaign. The problem is the damage is mostly done by this time. Independents who hear conservative leaders suggest and in fact in some cases outright state that republicans such as Romney, Ryan, Rubio and others are no better and maybe worse are justifiably skeptical when those same leaders later advocate for candidates they’ve spent years bashing. We need to recognize that we can advance conservative arguments and debate our differences without this sort of self defeating behavior. Reagan and Buckley both recognized that you can’t always get the most conservative candidate but you should always get the most conservative candidate you can.

      • Rizzo  •  Jan 15, 2016 at 12:03 am

        Curt,
        I think I like you. You’re alright.
        I just got done watching the debate. I would vote for any of those candidates on the stage tonight. Some candidates are more conservative than others, and I certainly have my preferences… but ALL of them are INFINITELY BETTER than anything the Dems can offer.
        If we could just get Medved to quit attacking Trump and Cruz, then perhaps they won’t be so damaged when they get to the general. And then, we can more easily get people like Nani on-board with the program.
        Nani… I will vote for The Republican Candidate, without exception. Will you?

      • Curt  •  Jan 15, 2016 at 12:33 am

        I think that’s fair and I plan to support our nominee as well regardless and for the same reason. I too have my preferences and think some are more electable than others but this is always the case.

  13. Mark Larson  •  Jan 14, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Medved is an establishment republican. He recently announced that his new book has been tentatively titled “Left Turns” Look for it at your favority bookstore

    • Curt  •  Jan 14, 2016 at 11:00 pm

      How clever…

  14. FL 7777  •  Jan 15, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Hmmmm, that’s funny, Rush reaches 25 million Americans every week, which is a staggering audience. Are you claiming that Rush is not “shrill” at times??? That’s a false claim.

    Further, talk radio reaches a lot larger audience than just republicans. Independents, libertarians and even democrats. So Michael, your claim that talk radio meets only a “fraction of a fraction” of Americans is false.

    Certainly it behooves both callers and hosts on talk radio to be intelligent, informed and reasoned. However, it is critical that talk radio fight the war that is going on right now for the hearts of our nation and frankly, some talk radio hosts have cowered from that fight. As an example, many talk radio hosts failed to fight the cultural war to protect traditional marriage because they were afraid of the militant homosexuals.

    We are in a war and the real problem with conservatives and republicans everywhere is that talk show hosts like Medved and Levine are attacking republicans more than they are attacking democrats – that has to change!

    • Curt  •  Jan 15, 2016 at 11:15 pm

      Right on all points but I will say that I tune in much less because I’m tired of hearing Rush, Hannity, Levine, and yes Medved to a degree doing just that. However they are obviously playing to their audience and my frustration is if someone who agrees with me most of the time can win that’s a hell of a lot better than someone who agrees with me 100 percent of the time but can’t. If Hillary is elected that percent will be about zero. Realistically if any candidate only gets the votes of people who agree with all of his/her positions, they will have a very small base.

  15. Rizzo  •  Jan 16, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Curt
    You seem like a smart, reasonable guy. But, regarding the 14th. Amendment, you are just wrong.
    I never suggested the 14th. Amendment was any less important than the Bill of Rights. But, you and Nani suggested that the 14th. Amendment was part of The Bill of Rights, which is wrong. Additionally, ORIGINAL INTENT, is how ALL CONSERVATIVES should interpret The Constitution. The ORIGINAL INTENT of the 14th. Amendment was to deal with slavery and the citizenship status of slaves and their children. It had NOTHING to do with anchor-babies and people coming here illegally. Original Intent of the 14th. Amendment is the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of the liberal idea of a “living Constitution”. It is precisely, YOUR interpretation, that is consistent with the liberals and their idea of a living Constitution.

    • Curt  •  Jan 16, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      Rizzo, I think you also seem smart and reasonable. I never meant to suggest the 14th amendment was part of the Bill of Rights (ratified two years after the constitution). I agree with original intent but understand that all potential constitutional questions could not have possibly been foreseen, so the words themselves must carry weight. Though I agree with your interpretation, the Supreme Court hasn’t. In 1898 (just 30 years after the 14th amendment was ratified) the Court held that children born to temporary Chinese workers brought over to help build the railroads wrre citizens demonstrating that trying to determine intent is often fairly subjective (hence the silly debate over Cruz’s eligibility). Regardless I would support legislation to narrow/clarify this provision (perhaps to restrict to legal immigrants) with the expectation that the court would ultimately decide (I haven’t much faith in the outcome to be honest). However I think we can end anchor babies regardless. We can certainly do that legislatively. We should certainly close the social welfare system to illegal immigrants (we should curtail it in general but that’s another argument) and eliminate the path to legal status as well. Those are, I think, fairly strong disincentives to illegal immigration but stop short of the whole ripping families apart scenario (and I agree that is BS but that is how liberals and the media spin it and it has been effective). We need to be able to frame positions to attract voters who mostly agree with us and then keep working on them.

  16. Rizzo  •  Jan 16, 2016 at 8:29 am

    And Curt…
    Let’s be honest, there has NEVER been a candidate that anyone agrees with 100% of the time. Not even Reagan, could I make the claim that I agreed with him 100% of the time. This is kind of a strawman argument.
    Can you name a candidate, or anyone, that you agree with 100% of the time? I can’t.

    • Curt  •  Jan 16, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      It’s not a straw man it’s my point. To many on our side disqualify good candidates based on a single issue. That may in fact be called for but if it leads to the election of someone even worse on the issue (see Clinton, Hillary on any issue) as well as much worse on a host of other issues, then it is like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

  17. Rizzo  •  Jan 16, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Curt
    Regarding who should have run in 2008 and 2012… I don’t know. Republicans definitely had candidates who were more conservative than the candidates who ultimately won the nomination. Perhaps, the conservatives didn’t win the nomination because of people like Medved, who scared Republicans into believing that conservatives are unelectable. That conservatives can’t win the much sought after “Independents”… However, what is irrefutable FACT, is that Romney won the Independents, but he didn’t win the election.
    If, defeat be our destiny, then lets go down with a fight. Let us stand for something we believe in… Let us nominate a candidate who will reverse the Obama/leftist agenda and will fight for traditional American Values.

    • Curt  •  Jan 16, 2016 at 1:13 pm

      Romney won independents but not nearly by a sufficient enough margin to overcome a much larger democratic base. Romney also won a record number of conservatives (another whole in the theory that conservatives were urged to stay home). The only way to overcome the advantage dems start with is to appeal to people who voted for someone who by then had clearly demonstrated his leftist agenda. Nobody wants to give any names of these strong conservatives who should have been nominated so let me take stab. The most ideologically pure candidate I can think of is Rick Santorum and even he wasn’t pure-fect. He didn’t really come close to winning and is an afterthought this cycle. I like Santorum but someone who can’t even come close to capturing the nomination isn’t going to win the general. Does it really make sense that any voters who chose Obama over Romney did so because he wasn’t conservative enough? They might have voted for Santorum? I do want to fight and I’m willing to go down fighting but I’d rather find a way to win and save this country for our children.

    • Curt  •  Jan 16, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      Also, I like Medved but honestly he doesn’t have enough of an audience to have that kind of impact. He has far fewer listeners than Rush or Hannity who certainly have more impact. I understand that some people feel we’ve lost the last two cycles because our candidate was not conservative enough. I just feel this argument is counterintuitive and factually unsubstantiated but worse I don’t understand how the current front runner corrects this problem.

      • Rizzo  •  Jan 16, 2016 at 1:42 pm

        It’s not just Medved. It is Medved, the mainstream media and a host of other wishy-washy RINOS slamming conservatism. Even YOU, are convinced that the only way to win is to elect someone like Romney. Trump is far from perfect, but I will support him if he is our nominee… will you?

      • Curt  •  Jan 16, 2016 at 2:20 pm

        I have said I will support Trump if he is the nominee, and I will, despite him being less conservative than even Romney. I don’t think we have to nominate a moderate, my first choice would be Cruz, and frankly I’m mystified why so many conservatives are supporting Trump over him. He must feel like the loyal boyfriend who watches his prom date run off with the snobby rich kid in his new car. I think all the hosts are guilty to varying degrees of impugning the other candidates but my real worry is that our candidate, whoever he is, will alienate either one sect of the party or another. The whole RINO moniker implies that people who hold opposing views are not true Republicans. Why can’t we accept that people in our party hold a range of views on a variety of issues virtually all of which are far superior to dem liberal positions? We could try moving those moderates more right rather than ostracizing them from the party. Then maybe more independents would follow.

  18. Rizzo  •  Jan 16, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Curt
    Please stop with the strawman argument of a “pure-fect” candidate. No such Unicorn exists, and NOBODY is making that demand. Just like your theory that we have to have a pure-fect candidate to win independents and thus win elections. It has proven itself wrong.
    If we agree that the only solution to fix America’s problem is conservatism, then let’s elect a conservative.
    Any and all of our candidates are HIGHLY ELECTABLE. NOW is the time to find the MOST CONSERVATIVE.
    Regardless, in the end, I will support whoever our nominee is.

    • Curt  •  Jan 16, 2016 at 2:30 pm

      That no pure-fect candidate exist is my whole point. I hope you’re right but I don’t feel that all of them are highly electable. As you’ve pointed out we will battle not only the main stream media but a unified Democratic Party that builds a firewall of support behind their candidates. I think Rubio is absolutely right that this may be the last chance to save the country and we have to win and get a president who will at the very least stop the slide.

  19. Rizzo  •  Jan 16, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Ok Curt… Let’s eliminate the “unelectable”.
    I am ready to narrow this race to 3: Cruz, Rubio and Trump.
    Do you disagree?

    • Curt  •  Jan 16, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      That certainly appears to be the case. I’m not sure it quite eliminates all of the unelectable but hey two out of three ain’t bad.

      • Rizzo  •  Jan 16, 2016 at 3:14 pm

        Come on Curt… Who is unelectable in your opinion?

  20. Curt  •  Jan 16, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    I have my doubts about Mr. Trump for reasons we’ve pretty much beaten to death here, but since he seems to have the inside track, I hope they will be proven unfounded. It’s less his positions than his tone. I don’t understand how it is even remotely possible, but in last week’s Gallup pole Obama’s job approval was at 49 percent! 46 percent disapproved with 5 percent in the murky middle. If that is accurate it illustrates the dilemma. We need to convince that entire murky middle group to see the disaster of this president. And if they aren’t convinced by now it figures to be a tough sell. Hopefully Trump can do it. He has certainly defied conventional wisdom to this point.

    • Rizzo  •  Jan 16, 2016 at 7:12 pm

      The murky middle is looking for leadership. Like you, I think Cruz is my preferred candidate. However, Trump has crazy cross-over appeal. I know so many people who have never voted Republican, but love Trump, and have stated they will vote for him.
      While Trump is not a “Pure” conservative, he has shown conservatives the way to make a stand and to be an unapologetic leader. The murky middle will respond.

      • Hektor  •  Jan 17, 2016 at 2:53 pm

        Rizzo, the one fact is that Hillary Clinton is a horrible candidate. My dear wife is a life long Democrat and even she said she could not vote for Clinton. I would be happy with Cruz, Rubio, Christie or even Trump in the general. Moderate lites like Medved would have a major cow over that bunch running. Trump is just telling an awful lot of Americans what they have been waiting to hear for a long time. McCain was a bad choice to run in spite of Palin and although I think Romney would have made a fine president, he was destined to lose based on what I saw on the 2nd debate.

  21. Hektor  •  Jan 17, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    I have to agree with many points here and I appreciate the back and forth between Curt & Rizzo. On thing said about the statistics regarding presidential vetoes is a little misleading. Obama vetoed fewer than others is thanks to Harry Reid who sent little to Obama to BE vetoed.

    I believe Romney had Obama on the ropes after the first debate and then unbelievably he folded like a bath towel the second. The Benghazi debacle should have been his ticket but he failed to do that and I do not know why. I recal several time when Medved announced Mccain on his radio show as “the next president, John McCain.” We never heard Medved explain this other than just after the election when said on his show that nobody could have defeated Obama. This GOP habit of taking the high road along with the slurs and lies escapes me. Reid got a free pass to attack Romney any way he wanted. Somehow I don’t think he would get away with that with Cruz or Christie or certainly not Trump.

    • Jimbo  •  Jan 21, 2016 at 4:41 pm

      Medved is not a moderate. He is a realist. The goal is to get elected. If you don't get elected you have lost. Espousing ideas that will elect conservatives and republicans does not make a person a moderate. It makes them a realist.

      • Rizzo  •  Jan 22, 2016 at 5:11 pm

        Ok Jimbo… Let's play the game. Who do you and Medved deem "Electable"?
        Never mind what they stand for, just elect another McCain or Romney…. Because they are "ELECTABLE".

      • Jimbo  •  Jan 30, 2016 at 2:20 am

        I have supported Rubio from the time he announced he was running. I liked Scott Walker too. I liked Ted Cruz a lot and donated quite a bit of money and voted for him when he ran for Senate in Texas, but I don't think he is electable as President. Also, I get the feeling it is all about him rather than helping the conservative cause. I don't know why you say "never mind what they stand for." I like practically everything Rubio stands for. I wish he was a little stronger on immigration and I wasn't thrilled that he said he would attend a gay wedding, but other than that, he is a great candidate. There is no perfect candidate. And I never liked McCain. I disliked him from about 1994. But I did vote for him over the empty suit, obama. And I think Romney would have been an awesome president. Too bad so many people voted for good feelings over substance.

        I don't know who Medved likes, but I get the feeling he likes Rubio too. He seemed to like Fiorina a lot early on too.

  22. Jimbo  •  Jan 21, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    Agreed. I am a lifelong republican but no longer listen to any political talk except Medved and his show is starting to get on my nerves too. I listened to Limbaugh for 20 years but over time he just became a blowhard that was no longer helping the conservative movement. Levin and Savage are so shrill and annoying I can't even stand to listen for a few minutes. Both make the conservative movement look horrible and angry. Savage espouses positions just to get listeners and he doesn't even believe them. Hannity and Beck just aren't very intelligent. O'Reilly is a blowhard who also espouses positions just to get listeners. Does he still have a radio show? I don't know. Conservatives need a new outlet for their ideas because talk radio has gone downhill and is no longer helping the movement.

    • Rizzo  •  Jan 22, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      Jimbo…. You need to relax. You are coming off as very shrill.

      Please explain the strategy of "getting listeners" by being "annoying, angry, horrible blowhards"?
      You obviously don't REALLY LISTEN at all.

      • Jimbo  •  Jan 30, 2016 at 2:12 am

        I am not shrill at all. But yeah, I know you just wanted to criticize me because I upset you with my comments. Hint: next time you want to criticize somebody, try to find a criticism with some basis in fact.

        So you are denying that Levin and Savage are shrill and angry? Wow, you couldn't be more wrong. I think you are the one that doesn't listen at all. Levin seems like a very intelligent guy, but he just yells all the time. It is unbearable. And as I said, I don't think Savage really believes the things he says. It is about making money for him.

        I never discussed a "strategy of getting listeners by being annoying, angry, horrible blowhards." I think people listen mostly because they enjoy listening to something that supports their preexisting point of view. Also, some people actually like being angry and riled up. I listened to Limbaugh for 20 years because I enjoyed his humor, enjoyed hearing is point of view on current events, and enjoyed listening to a forum where conservative ideas were actually promoted. His show changed a lot over the years. I no longer enjoy listening, so I agree I don't listen to him at all anymore. There is no substance to his show. He is mostly just there espousing unsupported or very weakly supported opinions. That is why I still listen to medved. Medved actually gives good support for many of his points of view, although he does frequently throw out some straw-men and commit logical fallacies when it comes to debating immigration. Limbaugh's show is mostly just his opinion supported by anecdotal evidence. I need more than that.

        So tell me, what specifically in my comment upset you?

  23. Jim Bird  •  Jan 21, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Michael had Bill Press on his show today and a couple of weeks ago his special guest was the one and only Michael Moore. I didn't listen to either interviews because of acid reflux. I think Michael is either preparing for the "Fairness Doctrine" being reinstated by Obama or doing research for his new book "Left Turns."

    • Curt  •  Jan 21, 2016 at 9:24 pm

      I listened to the Press interview and found it interesting. Much of it centered on the problems the Clinton campaign is having though they did discuss the Republican race as well. Medved frequently challenged Press on many of his liberal assertions though he largely agreed that both Cruz and Trump are unelectable (he is saying the same thing about Hillary and Bernie). Whatever. That is his opinion and he has a right to it just as many on this forum have expressed that same opinion about Jeb (which I agree with). I didn't (thankfully) hear the Moore interview but my guess would be that there were few if any points of agreement. I think it's important to hear the other side's perspective if only to remind ourselves that the people really do still hold these liberal positions. Sometimes I find myself thinking they can't possibly really believe this dribble–but yes the do.
      Jimbo is on point here about electability and I've expressed my doubts in earlier posts regarding Trump. I feel Cruz is electable but he could be more careful of Tone as well. Meanwhile Trump is showing yet again with his treatment of Cruz and his statements on ethanol subsidies that he is no conservative. And yes it's true subsidies won't decide the election but it shows that he is willing to trade favors for votes and let taxpayers foot the bill. Sounds like "establishment" to me.

  24. Jim Bird  •  Jan 22, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Every election cycle, especially presidential ones, the key issue is always "electability" which means conservatives get a pat on the head from the Old Guard GOP. When conservatives talk back, disagree they are denigrated at every turn just like Michael's rants. OK LET'S ELECT JEB. I'M INCREDIBLY ENERGIZED! HOW 'BOUT YOU! LET US ALL REJOICE IN THE BUSH ROYAL FAMILY – THE GREAT TRIAD OF INCREASED GOVT. SPENDING, INCREASED BUREAUCRACY AND INCREASED DEVASTATION OF THE REPUBLIC FROM POMPOUS POLITICIANS. Republican Party politicians literally were afraid Reagan would push the nuclear button. Obviously they were right.

    • Curt  •  Jan 22, 2016 at 11:14 pm

      I've never advocated for Bush. I feel he may be even more unelectable than Trump, for different reasons (his name is toxic for starters). I'd like to see what we could do in the general with a strong conservative who isn't a clown. Sadly we'll probably get our rears handed to us because so many in the party are having a tantrum and insisting instead on nominating a clown who isn't a conservative. I've yet to see a coherent argument for Trump just a lot of angry rants against the "establishment"! Oh, my! For years the base has bitched about not running a strong conservative but now have abandoned Cruz for this bozo. And why? Because he channels their anger. If Trump is the nominee the base will have rightfully lost all credibility when it comes to complaining about candidates lacking conservative cred. He continues to support eminent domain, taxing the "rich," some form of government healthcare (don't worry it'll be better, in fact it's going to be so great you won't believe it), and tariffs on consumers. His Mideast strategy vacillates from letting the Syrians and ISIS kill each other off to getting his buddy Putin to do the job (must have learned that from Kerry and Barry). Never fear, maybe he'll have a Road to Damascus conversion like he did on Hillarys negotiating skills, gun control, and abortion. Good thing that kid of his friends turned out to be a superstar; if he had turned out to be a putz (or worse yet low energy), then I guess it would have been acceptable to keep murdering babies in the womb,

      • Rizzo  •  Jan 22, 2016 at 11:45 pm

        But Curt… Didn't you ask the question, in an earlier post, how can a candidate win if they can't even win the nomination?
        I would love for Cruz to win, but maybe he is considered too conservative, for the murky middle. I thought you wanted a candidate that had appeal to those people and that was the key to victory?

      • Curt  •  Jan 23, 2016 at 2:42 am

        Certainly a valid point to call me on, and maybe you're right about Cruz. What frustrates me is that it's not the murky middle pushing Trump to the nomination, it's conservatives. As I've expressed before I want to nominate the most conservative candidate who can win and I don't really think Trump is strong on either front. I really feel like I'm living in an alternative universe here. Just heard a clip of Rush basically saying it doesn't really matter if Trump is conservative and now Hannity is on his TV show twisting himself into a pretzel saying the same thing. Unbelievable. Now Trump is saying he's ready to work with the establishment. His crowds cheered that remark. Seriously. I've been arguing that we need to adjust the tone of our conservative principles to appeal to a broader electorate, not abandon them. I hope I'm wrong but I have a bad feeling Hillary is going to kick our tails and after she appoints two more liberal Supreme Court justices, the constitution will essentially be history.

  25. Rizzo  •  Jan 23, 2016 at 6:40 am

    Curt…
    I agree. But, you also essentially said… let's not beat-up our guy.
    I think Limbaugh and Hannity are supporting our front runner.
    You are right, Trump is not the most conservative. But, he appears to be the most electable. Hillary is not going to win…. and certainly, while Trump is imperfect, he will be a vast improvement over the status quo.

    • Curt  •  Jan 23, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      I guess we'll have to agree to disagree when it comes to Trump's electability but since he's looking more and more like the likely nominee, I'll cross my fingers that you're right and I'm wrong. I agree we need to start uniting the party, which is why I thought the National Review issue, though intellectually accurate, was ill-advised and not helpful. The tantrum now seems to be party-wide.

      • Rizzo  •  Jan 23, 2016 at 7:42 pm

        If not Trump, then who? Who is more electable, if not our nominee?

      • Curt  •  Jan 23, 2016 at 9:00 pm

        I'm beginning to wonder if any of our candidates can. I had hopes for Cruz but he apparently can't even excite his own base let alone moderates. Rubio won't win the support of the conservative base and I'm not confident Trump will appeal to moderates in our party or independents. I'm skeptical of his cross over appeal but hope you're right about that. We've got Medved openly pining for a brokered convention to deny Trump the ticket (which will likely result in an independent run), National Review launching a hit piece, and Levin firmly off the Trump train. I've never heard Rush so confused, and Hannity's lost without Rush's lead. From where I stand the party is fracturing before our eyes.

  26. Brice  •  Jan 23, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    I'm a conservative-libertarian. I'm engaged in politics and have enjoyed reading the previous posts. Maybe I'm a madman. Why hasn't Fiorina had any mention in all of this bantering? I have looked at her positions and don't know why she doesn't get more respect from the "conservatives". Is it that she is a woman and therefore can't be elected by conservative "white men"?? What am I missing? I'm have not made up my mind on any candidate, but I want the most conservative candidate to win. I would vote for Trump if he got the nomination but he is almost the last on my list. We have seen what "emotions" have elected in the last two presidential elections.

    • Rizzo  •  Jan 23, 2016 at 11:17 pm

      Brice
      I would be totally fine with Fiorina. Conservative, white men could NOT give a shit less if our candidate is a woman… we want the most conservative candidate that can win.
      It appears we will get less than a conservative to represent us, which is disappointing…. regardless, our candidate will win. The Democrats have ABSOLUTLELY ZERO TO OFFER.

    • Curt  •  Jan 23, 2016 at 11:57 pm

      Good points. I like Fiorina, but realistically she's not going to win. For whatever reason, she couldn't turn her early bump into real momentum (though I doubt for the reasons you suggest). I've been trying to figure out Trump's appeal for awhile. Earlier I was posted how confused Rush sounded basically saying it didn't matter that Trump wasn't conservative. Actually, now, I think it does matter that he's not conservative – I think it's helping him. Here's my reasoning. Most people who call themselves conservatives aren't really. They follow conservatives and Republicans solely because the democrats/liberals have abandoned them for every wedge issue special interest group on the planet. The dens are able to cobble together a coalition because these groups are so committed to a single issue (think climate change) that they don't give a damn about anything else. Meanwhile middle class Americans are ignored and left to foot the bill. Classical conservative principles such as tax policy, imminent domain, and the free market don't really resonate with them. They see that Obamacare has made the country worse but sympathize with people who don't have insurance too, realizing they are a lost job away from the same leaky boat. They worry about the national debt but worry more about their own debt. They are not bigots but they fundamentally understand that illegal immigrants are threatening to collapse the country's social safety net that many Americans also depend on. Combine that with the flow of drugs coming across the border and the government's impotence at addressing even criminal aliens and people justifiably feel as though they're losing their country. Add in efforts by both parties to curry favor with immigrants who seem to have no interest in assimilating and often seem more loyal to the countries they left than to America and you can understand why they feel they have already lost their culture. This just isn't people who've supported Republicans in the past but middle class people from across the spectrum, some of whom could never vote conservative because they worried our party would yank the social safety net that they (or people they care about) had come to depend on (not by choice). Whether by design or dumb luck, Trump has appealed to this constituency brilliantly. These folks don't care about classical conservatism, they care about their own day to day lives and they care about an American culture that used to care about them. Rizzo just may be right that this group can coalesce and propell Trump to victory. We should note that this type of populist movement comes with a fair share of negative, mostly unintended consequences, particularly if it falls short and liberals prevail again. In the long run I'm not sure it's what's best for our country but it's damn sure better than what we've had these last seven years (some would argue longer). Ironically Trump may just provide the breathing room we need to begin to convince people that classical conservatism is the long term answer to making the country great again. Let's hope so.

      • Rizzo  •  Jan 24, 2016 at 9:33 am

        Curt… You have outdone yourself. I think you are absolutely right… Brilliant!

      • Curt  •  Jan 24, 2016 at 11:32 am

        I think you've been trying to make this point to me for a while but I can be a little hard headed.

  27. Rizzo  •  Jan 24, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    You are not hard headed at all…. You have been able to decipher my inadequate words, and have managed to crystallize my thoughts flawlessly. Thank you… it has been a pleasure to chat with you and I look forward to future conversations. Stay positive, I think we have a better than average chance of making lemonade out of these lemons we have been handed. I am not even ready to give up on Cruz. But, regardless, we are going to win this thing and start to bend the curve back away from the LUNATIC LEFT.

  28. Brian Harmon, Ret Econ Prof  •  Jan 29, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    Since Ronald Reagan is the closest thing to a conservative to be elected President, I think we should at him as the example of how to win. Of course, given the changes in demographics Reagan would not win today if he got the same percentages of whites, African-Americans, Latinos, and Asians as he did in 1980. But let's look again at what Reagan did right. Because of the way he behaved as Governor of California, his support for Goldwater in 1964, and career since the 1950's, everyone with any sense knew that he was the "Real Deal" conservative. But he made no attempt to ostracize, antagonize, attack, belittle, or antagonize those he disagreed with. with the possible exception of Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale, his presidential opponents. But with those two, just talking about their ideas constitutes a major put-down to the sane people who are listening.
    And I think it was Reagan who came up with the 11th Commandment: "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican."

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