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May. 15 2010 - 1:02 pm | 1,433 views | 2 recommendations | 2 comments

Exciting new Conservative website brought to you by Hollywood, the 80s!

The Atlantic’s Jordan Smith assures us that Conservatism isn’t dead because fresh, exciting websites like Ricochet exist (or will soon exist). This is going to be totes fun, you guys.

The distinguishing feature of Ricochet will be its unique format, which promises to look unlike any other site on the net. “It will not be a news aggregator, or a megachat like Daily Kos, but instead will be a feed like Facebook or Twitter or Tumbler,” says James Poulos, Ricochet’s managing editor. Approximately 40 contributors will have an online conversation that is akin to a conservative cocktail party.

ZOMG! Like Twitter?? What better way to launch a trailblazing forum than by ripping off one that already exists.

And who are the fresh-faced dissidents that have kicked down the door of mediocrity and said, “No, thank you! I think I’ll have something NEW!”?

Ricochet is the brainchild of two established conservatives, former Reagan speechwriter Peter Robinson and Hollywood producer-pundit Rob Long.

If ever there was hope for Conservatives to inject some vibrancy into a movement that has been hijacked by the lunatic fringe, it exists in a Twitter rip-off launched by the guy who published a book praised by Margaret Thatcher, and the dude who wrote for National Review and Cheers.

This is almost, but not quite, as exciting as Frasier’s Right Network. Maybe Grammer and Long can get together to laugh about all those nutty times with Sam and Norm.

Just in case any of you are worried that Robinson and Long plan to change Conservative ideologies, don’t fret.

Ricochet feels no need to rethink conservatism–it is instead a sign that in the Obama era, right-wingers feel confident enough in their ideas and prospects that they think major ideological modifications are unprincipled and unncessary. “At a time when the country is being dragged to the left by Washington and mainstream media, this is another way to fight back,” says Robinson.

Thank goodness! And who is going to join the team of this Brave New website?

In addition to frequent National Review writers Robinson and Long, John Yoo, Victor Davis Hanson, Shelby Steele, Claire Berlinski and Mark Steyn will grace Ricochet’s virtual pages. Several conservatives have griped privately that these names are hardly in need of more outlets for their commentary, so it is unclear what, if anything, the site will bring new to the ideological table.

Yeah, that’s the point. The Conservatives have no new ideas, so these are the only ideological hacks Robinson and Long could scrape together to form their “D Team.”

Here are the groundbreaking views represented by this incredible crew of mavericks: pro-torture (Yoo,) anti-Iran (Hanson,) anti-affirmative action, but it’s okay ’cause he’s black! (Steele), pro-Thatcher (Berlinski,) warmongering, anti-multiculturalism, shameless Conrad Black lackey (Steyn).

To Smith’s credit, (he? The Atlantic doesn’t have a biography) doesn’t even seem to really think Ricochet will offer any new, exciting ideas. But there is this:

Tellingly, one [podcast] episode features a session bashing conservative apostate David Frum as a “country-club Republican” who cedes too much ground to the Democrats, and doesn’t do enough “fighting, screaming and hollering,” the function of right-wing writers and thinkers, according to Long.

Oh, goody! More hate. But Robinson assures everyone that there really are going to be new, exciting contributors, like

Dave Carter, a 48-year-old trucker who lives in Panama City, Florida. Carter, a former active-duty historian in the Air Force, was reading National Review Online at a truck stop when he emailed Robinson with a question about Justice Scalia. Robinson was impressed with Carter’s biography and enlisted him for Ricochet.

How exciting! Perhaps a working, every man like Carter will espouse a more Libertarian approach to politics. Maybe he’ll talk about an intrusive police state, or wealth disparity. Maybe he’ll adopt a less imperialistic attitude toward foreign policy and the military.

Unusual credentials aside, however, Carter espouses typical Republican opinions. ”Freedom is under assault here at home,” he says. Just as in the Air Force he defended his country from foreign threats, he now will protect it from domestic ones, he says.

Oh. Well, maybe that’s code for the militaristic behavior of the police in the War on Drugs? …Maybe… Surely, this isn’t more “Obama is a Socialist” nonsense. …. Right?

But the founders of Ricochet are more interested in making conservatism fun, light-hearted and accessible than in re-evaluating their ideas, and at least in this mission, to judge by the podcasts, they seem to have succeeded.

That would be fine, except now, more than ever, their party desperately needs to reevaluate their ideas. Quite literally, their base is dying. The thrilling revolution known as the Tea Party is mainly comprised of old, white males, who think Obama favors blacks over whites.

Meanwhile, the Arizonan Republican governor can’t sign legislation fast enough to alienate racial minorities, who will actually soon be a majority of the country. At the same time, the free market crowd are dancing on the ashes of the financial, coal, and oil industries after some of the grossest failures  – spawned by deregulation — in the history of this country.

Their ship is sinking, and these cackling idiots are throwing cinder blocks onto the deck.


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  1. collapse expand

    Oh, that’s just awesome!

    I especially like this gem:

    “Ricochet feels no need to rethink conservatism–it is instead a sign that in the Obama era, right-wingers feel confident enough in their ideas and prospects that they think major ideological modifications are unprincipled and unncessary. “At a time when the country is being dragged to the left by Washington and mainstream media, this is another way to fight back,” says Robinson.”

    Shorter: Conservatism can’t fail, we fail Conservatism.

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