Republican Party

The Ohio GOP Senate Primary Is an Embarrassing Spectacle

Josh Mandel and J.D. Vance are locked in a race to the bottom.

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A crowded field is competing to replace Sen. Rob Portman (R–Ohio), who will retire when his term ends next year. Among the Republicans currently campaigning for their party's nomination are former state Treasurer Josh Mandel and Hillbilly Elegy memoirist J.D. Vance. The race has laid bare some ugly aspects of our political moment.

Mandel previously ran, twice, against Ohio's other senator, Democrat Sherrod Brown. Vance, a Yale-educated lawyer turned Silicon Valley venture capitalist, has no previous political experience, but he does have the backing of former boss and fellow venture capitalist Peter Thiel. One thing the two candidates have in common is the utter shamelessness with which they stumble over themselves trying to appeal to former President Donald Trump's voting base.

Vance, who infamously insisted in 2016 that he would "never vote for Trump," said after launching his Senate campaign this summer that since Trump is "the leader of this movement…I need to just suck it up and support him." Since then, he has moved deeper and deeper into the authoritarian nationalist wing of the American right, whose members want to use state power to bend society to their will. Last month, for example, he declared that nonprofits like the Ford Foundation are "fundamentally cancers on society" and called for the government to "seize…their assets" and redistribute the proceeds.

Yet Mandel apparently considers Vance a squish, calling him "a RINO and a Never Trumper." He repeatedly has called for the 2020 election to be "decertified," claiming that Trump actually won. While Republicans in Congress have objected to a larger investigation of the January 6 events at the U.S. Capitol, when pro-Trump rioters tried to halt the counting of votes, and they don't tend to dwell on the events themselves. Mandel, by contrast, referred to his fellow Ohio Republican, Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, as a "traitor" after Gonzalez voted to impeach the then-president over his behavior before and during the event.

In his first run against Brown in 2012, Mandel backed Mitt Romney, that year's Republican candidate for president; now he stakes out positions on the far end of the Trumpian right. Vance, meanwhile, dispenses bromides with all the conviction of an understudy shoved onstage at the last minute. Days after announcing his candidacy, erstwhile San Franciscan Vance tweeted a "serious question" about New York City: "I have heard it's disgusting and violent there. But is it like Walking Dead Season 1 or Season 4?"

Both candidates seem to be doing the same thing: playacting what they think the Trump base wants to see. Whether they're pandering or whether they truly believe these things, the spectacle is bad news. If there's one thing that we should have learned over the last five years, it's that Republicans who are this beholden to Trump have absolutely no appetite for limiting the size and scope of federal power.

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  1. Embarrassing spectacle? Sounds more like an embarrassment of riches! I’d take either one of them over the senators in my state.

    1. Not a single word about policy in Joe Lancaster’s write up above.

      Reason is an embarrassment. Readers can go anywhere for this Middle School Mean Girls bullshit, Reason.

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  2. THE Ohio State Senate

    1. Thank god we have no enemies on the left, then we’d really be screwed.

      1. If they are coming from their left, we’ll need the right guard.

        1. The one on the right is on the left.

  3. Both candidates seem to be doing the same thing: playacting what they think the Trump base wants to see. Whether they’re pandering or whether they truly believe these things, the spectacle is bad news. If there’s one thing that we should have learned over the last five years, it’s that Republicans who are this beholden to Trump have absolutely no appetite for limiting the size and scope of federal power.

    As opposed to the small govt Biden admin, you lying sack of shit?

    1. A Republican primary is a choice between Republicans. Or here, Trumpkins. Neither of which have an appetite for limiting the size and scope of federal power. If Trump wants a big beautiful infrastructure bill, and Chuck and Nancy (the inevitable majority leaders, while Trump drags down the down ballot) say a few nice words to him, they’ll get exactly what they want.

      The Republican party has been disembowled as a counter to the left by Trump and his toadies. There’s still a hard left democrat senator in Ohio. Running retards like this might fly in Nebraska, but every single time the Republican party indulges Trumpkins in a state where Democrats have an electoral prayer, it’s an own goal. And why we have a 50-50 Senate in a country with 22 fully Republican-controlled state governments.

      1. “And why we have a 50-50 Senate in a country with 22 fully Republican-controlled state governments.”

        Not sure the relevance of this. 22 fully Republican state governments would translate to 44 Senators. How many fully Democrat controlled governments are there?

        1. 15 Democrat currently.

          By the way Republicans had a lot more before Trump, the high water mark was before the 2018 midterms. Which were also the Republican party’s squandered shot at 60 senators (26 Democrat seats in play, 8 Republican).

          But there was a certain psychotic albatross to account for. So the project waits for Republican primary voters to come to their senses. We’ll still have a country to save when they’re done raging, right?

          1. “…But there was a certain psychotic albatross to account for…”

            More than one TDS-addled asshole.

      2. “…Or here, Trumpkins…”

        Posted by TDS-addled asshole.

        1. Republicans. Or here, Trumpkins. Neither of which have an appetite for limiting the size and scope of federal power.

          He’s got your type pegged though. You simpering little Trump-cuck.

          1. turd lies. It’s what turd does. Especially as regards Trump; turd is a TDS-afflicted lying piece of lefty shit.
            turd lies; it’s what turd does,

      3. Typical primary. Candidates race to the extreme in the hope to get the party vote, then in the general they wonder why everyone in the middle (who they need to get elected) think they’re too extreme.

        Trump won in 2016 because he said “fuck the vast middle of America, I’m going to bank my chips on the vast middle hating Hillary worse”. And he was correct. Given a choice between a douche and a turd sammich, the voting public preferred the douche. At least it’s lemony fresh.

        But it’s not a stategy that works in the long term. We eventually get to the point (like right now) where elections are between two extremes and voter turnouts are at record lows. A moderate who could figure out how to get hte media to cover them could sweep the race. But the media gobbles up the extremes, because it’s juicy news. Moderates are boring.

        p.s. I am not a moderate, but the option of a three way race with an extreme libertarian in the mix just isn’t on the table. Given the choice of two authoritarian dick waggers, I would rather take the boring Mitt Romney clone and postpone the apocalypse another four years.

        1. You want a boring Romney like you wanted a boring biden? Go fuck yourself. At some point the harm has to be undone.

        2. I completely disagree.

          Trump was obviously the turd sandwich in that metaphor.

          1. I blame the Simpsons for a bad metaphor.

              1. Simpsons did it! Simpsons did it!

            1. Are you just incapable of admitting your leftist savior is just utter trash? You have to run to both sides?

              1. Some of them are like a duplex printer – always spitting out both sides.

    2. “As opposed to the small govt Biden admin, you lying sack of shit?”
      ^THIS +1000000

      Reason really has become a lefty-propaganda piece 90% of time.
      Gotta get those Biden Subsidies for lefty-indoctrination I guess.

  4. Wow, even the interns suck at Reason.

    1. Give them a few years, they’ll soon suck just as bad as the commentariat.

      1. You, Mike, jeff, et al are free to leave. Youre not libertarians anyways. Just leftists in deep blue states doing cosplay.

      2. We’re not all Tony.

      3. Hey, Brandyasshole! Tell us about mean tweets again, TDS-addled piece of shit!

      4. they’ll soon suck just as bad as the commentariat
        ^well you for sure.

    2. Every Reason writer has to establish their TDS bona fides. No diversity of thought is allowed. He’s got a bright future here.

      1. Sure thing. That is why Nick Gillespie repeatedly said he would prefer a Trump win over a Biden win.

        1. “I will cast my ballot for Joe Biden in Michigan, a swing state, because there is no bigger libertarian cause right now”

          “Who do you plan to vote for this year? Joe Biden. The nationalists said the libertarian-conservative consensus is dead, and I take them at their word. Also, Stephen Miller is a white nationalist.”

          “I will vote strategically… for Biden.”

          “I will cast my first ever vote for president for Joe Biden in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.”

          “I’ve been vacillating between sitting out this election, as I did in 2016, or voting for Joe Biden. The strongest argument for the latter choice is that it’s an opportunity to support the repudiation of both Trumpism and AOC” (lol)

          “I’ll be voting for Joe Biden, primarily for three reasons: (1) A feeble president Biden seems like an opportunity to erode the power and glamour of the dangerous cult of the presidency and also push socialists, nationalists, and identitarians back to the margins, creating space for a more libertarian-friendly coalition to emerge.” (Oh wow! lol)

          “If it was going to be close in my state, I might have considered holding my nose and voting for the person most likely to supplant the eminently fireable incumbent.”

          https://reason.com/2020/10/12/how-will-reason-staffers-vote-in-2020

          1. Trump was the only incumbent to vote out.

  5. My hope is that they’re both cosplaying as retarded Trumpkins and will proceed to ignore the stupid things they’re echoing from them if elected.

    Of course, their general election is far, far less likely on this footing than it would be as Not Asshole (R). So I’m likely just dreaming.

    1. My hope is that TDS-addled assholes like you fuck off and die.

      1. I don’t have to hope for retarded Trumpkins to die, just that you shut up and let people capable of strategic thinking make plans.

        Again, I’m just dreaming though.

        1. Strategic thinking like the colossal botch Biden made when stumbling out of Afghanistan?

        2. “I don’t have to hope for retarded Trumpkins to die, just that you shut up and let people capable of strategic thinking make plans.”

          Fine. Given that you’re a TDS-addled asshole, please fuck off and die.

  6. Trump won Ohio pretty handily both times, so it makes sense to be as Trumpian as possible if you’re a GOP candidate. It’s not Virginia, where the GOP still doesn’t realize that they lost by 10 points but act like we’re still a solidly red state. I do hold out hope that McAsshole and the dems gets their butt kicked in November though, but am not optimistic.

    1. Counterpoint: Sherrod Brown (D)

    2. Ohio is not a solidly red state. It’s deep purple. That Trump won doesn’t mean they like Trump, they just disliked Biden more. That they didn’t vote for the turd sandwich doesn’t mean they love the douche.

      Most people in Ohio would have voted for a dead moose, but he wasn’t on the ballot.

      1. Obama won Ohio twice.

        So did Dubya.

        So did the Big Dawg.

        so did Reagan.

        They do have a history of picking the winner regardless of party.

        1. Ohioan being polled: “Who do I prefer? Tell me who’s winning.”

      2. Ohio is not a solidly red state. It’s deep purple.

        Like that time in Cleveland when there was smoke on the water of Lake Erie.

        1. I see what you did there.

        2. I’m an Ohio voter. Traditionally I have always voted for independent candidates without party affiliation, or those whom I research and determine that best align with my own principles. However, after the last 18 months, I can emphatically say that I will never, ever, ever again EVER vote for ANYONE who affiliates with the democratic party. I know many people in my state who feel the same way. Our state legislature has passed several bills limiting the RINO governor’s authority. The legislature even overrode his veto. Ohio being “deep purple” is hopefully a microcosm of the rest of the country, illustrating that the tide is turning. Also, Cat Scratch Fever and Smoke on the Water are the same f**king song.

          1. Good to see you at least have no party orthodoxy and that you are sick of the Democratic Party.

            However while the guitar refrain of “Smoke On The Water” and “Cat Scratch Fever” share notes, they are at a different pace and, of course, the lyrics of The two songs are very different.

        3. Ah, but was your city gone, except as a music bumper to intro for Rush Limbaugh?

  7. “…One thing the two candidates have in common is the utter shamelessness with which they stumble over themselves trying to appeal to former President Donald Trump’s voting base…”

    One thing the writer doesn’t have is the embarrassment of admitting to be a TDS-addled asshole.

    1. <b<Politicians Appeal to Very Large Group of Motivated Voters, HorrifiedLibertarians Shit Pants

      Film at eleven.

  8. While Trump himself never waxed endlessly about limiting the size and scope of the federal government, he may have been one of the most libertarian presidents of the last 3 decades. The way he handled the pandemic was… for the most part right out of the libertarian playbook. While the left side of the aisle was screeching for a national lockdown, Trump successfully resisted those efforts, leaving the boots-on-the-ground policy to the states.

    No one would try to argue that everything he did was pure as the driven libertarian, but when dealing with politicians in national office (of which exactly zero are libertarian) you have to take things on balance. He was skeptical of foreign entanglements of the military type. If you compare him to:

    Biden
    Obama 2x
    George W Bush 2x
    Clinton 2x
    George HW Bush

    He was, on balance, probably more libertarian than any of them.

    This screeching about Trump “authoritarianism” has become almost laughable when facing down the downright scary jackboot authoritarianism of the left.

    1. Quit excusing Republican authoritarianism just because Democrats suck too.

      1. Says the guy who cheers on a national party that uses prison terminology when describing how they’ll deal with the non-compliant American population, while whinging about a tariff.

        1. I haven’t seen Buttplug “cheering on” the Democrats. Cite?

          1. It’s one of their lies.

            I openly pull for gridlock. DC is at its most dangerous when one party controls it.

            So it will be for the best if the House goes GOP in 2022.

            Likewise the Cheney/Dubya team showed us it is best when a GOP Congress has a Dem POTUS.

            1. You’ve been a Demfag as long as you’ve been posting on this website you moronic fuckstick.

            2. “I openly pull for gridlock.”

              That makes sense. It is a slight relief that the Democratic Party seems to have some internal gridlock of its own.

          2. He is an open member of the Open Society Foundation half wit. He is still claiming Biden is a moderate and inflation is fake. But you align with him so have to maintain he is a centrist so you can claim it as well.

            1. Open Society is-

              Democracy, Freedom of Speech, immigration, legal drugs, freedom from police and state brutality, Individualism and Freedom from religious tyranny.

              You and ML hate all that stuff.

              1. Buttplug told a lie (as is his wont).

                His organization is antidemocratic, racist, anti-speech, pro-illegal immigration only, pro-super state and extremely authoritarian.
                Judge them by their funding portfolio, not lip service on the website.

                OSF is racist, they fund and actively promote execrable Critical Race Theory

                OSF promotes economic fascism and socialism. Their initial push for Keynesian doctrine in the 90’s has since morphed into funding socialist economists and publishing their materials.

                They’re sponsoring attacks on the working class by funding BLM and paying the travel costs of Antifa rioters. Replacing “police state” brutality with their own.

                Furthermore they illegally worked with the actual police state, the FBI, the NSA and the CIA by paying for phony investigators and providing fraudulent documents as part of a coup attempt.

                They supported Google and Facebook turning massive customer data over to the FBI as part of a fishing operation.

                They have publicly supported the military ideological purge by Milley.

                They are a fascist force for evil. Just like Shrike.

              2. Oh yeah, sure. Because “funded by George Soros” is the hallmark of libertarianism.

                https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/

          3. You don’t realize you’re not a libertarian, so that’s no surprise.

    2. If he were “the most libertarian President of the last 3 decades”, he blew all standing when he lied like a rug, and pressured his Vice President and Georgia officials, to try to overthrow the results of a fair and open Presidential election.

      1. Again, white Mike the lying libertarian care more about appearances than policy.

      2. The most libertarian president in modern times was no doubt Jimmy Carter but the conservatives here won’t admit it.

        They claim without evidence that Trump deregulated lots of stuff but Carter actually deregulated entire swaths of industry like airlines, banking, energy, and even beer production.

        They blame Carter for the Department of Education but all he did was move it from a the Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare.

        By separating he made it easier to kill if someone like Reagan had the balls to do so. But no.

        Carter, no wars, no income tax hikes, DeReg King. Easily most libertarian POTUS.

        And nominated Volcker who killed inflation.

        1. I’ll say it.
          Carter was an effectively libertarian president relative to the rest.

          He wasn’t the most libertarian president in modern times though. You only claim that because you’re a paid shill.

          Carter was the third most libertarian president after Coolidge and Trump. Because even though none of them talked like libertarians, they governed like them.
          Deeds are far more important than words.

          1. Carter created 2 federal departments. He isnt libertarian no matter the leftist lies.

            1. But, but home brewing!

              Carter also got out of the way of Congress delegating a bunch of the ICC’s powers away or to other agencies. No idea whether Carter or Reagan was better on overall Federal deregulation of business.

            2. Neither is Trump tbqh, but they did more libertarian things relative to all the others. Trump did far more than Carter, but Carter did more than the Bushes, Nixon, JFK, Obama, Clinton or Ford.

        2. An underpublicized fact I learned from a Reason Foundation book was that the deregulations that passed Congress under Carter were all pursuant to reports of commissions that were initiated…[drumroll]…by the Nixon administration. The only major one that didn’t get adopted was the one to deregulate marijuana; that was because its commission got its report out too soon: while Nixon was still in office.

          This was all back when Congress wasn’t afraid to legislate things other than spending. And when they’d actually take commission reports seriously. Those two things are related — they weren’t afraid to adopt changes that they could lay responsibility for to a commission.

  9. >>the American right, whose members want to use state power to bend society to their will

    lolwut?

    1. There’s a very visible and blatant movie in the country that is trying to bend the country to fit their ideals. They admit what they’re doing, and they elect representatives who are talking about how the country needs to change and become more like what they want. They want to mandate the most basic decisions you can make about your own body. And they want to silence voices that disagree with them.

      But man, those people on the other side, man, they’re really bad.

        1. Yes, both major parties are awful and neither is worthy of support or votes.

          1. Yes. We know. You want democrats to win. So enough with the gaslighting.

          2. “BOWF SIDEZ!”

  10. authoritarian nationalist wing of the American right,

    You could have just said “fascist” of which ‘Mothers Lament’ is a proud member but I know – it is a flame bait term.

    1. Sorry, no matter how many times you say otherwise, fascism is a child of the left.

      1. More succinctly, turd lies. It’s what turd does. If it’s not a lie from turd, it’s an accident.
        turd lies.

      2. Technically speaking, once you ignore the flowery justifications and just look at the way it works, fascism is a return to absolute monarchy underpinned with modern economic and bureaucratic structures, ostensibly minus the hereditary aspect. Thus, to the Europeans it is properly classified as being on the ‘right’ of the political spectrum. However in the American political spectrum it properly aligns itself on the ‘left’. Both Woodrow Wilson and FDR aimed for a government model that would have been effectively fascist. This cross-classification comes from trying to define politics on a single axis.

  11. If there’s one thing that we should have learned over the last five years, it’s that Republicans who are this beholden to Trump have absolutely no appetite for limiting the size and scope of federal power.

    Excellent conclusion.

    Keep this one please.

    1. DEMOCRATS WANT TO HAVE ARMED GUARDS LOCK YOU IN YOUR HOMEZ AND KILL ANYONE THAT LEAVES WITHOUT PROPER PAPERS, BUT REPUBLANS ONLY WANT TO SLOW THE SPENDINGZ AND DON’T HAVE THE STONEZ TO CUT IT!

      BOWF SIDEZ!

      1. Grading your attempt at mocking wingnut CT.

        Form B+
        Content D

        1. But she?he? (I’m never sure what to make of her?his? handle) spelled it “BOWF SIDEZ”, and used all capitals. That’s pretty powerful refutation there.

          1. It’s mockery, Mike. Something that you two dishonest clowns should be used to by now.

          2. Paul is a he. Long time poster like me.

            ‘Diane Reynolds’ was the non de plume of Hillary Clinton IIRC.

        2. Content D? Ahhh. No pedo material.

      2. Evil party, stupid party.

    2. So, which federal powers did Trump expand?
      Now, which federal powers has Biden expanded, or is threatening to expand?

      Seems like one side wants to enforce existing laws, while the other side is dreaming up lots of new laws to enforce. One of these seems more like expanding the scope of federal power than the other.

  12. “Last month, for example, he declared that nonprofits like the Ford Foundation are “fundamentally cancers on society” and called for the government to “seize…their assets” and redistribute the proceeds.”

    This is, to put it mildly, an uncharitable quoting of JD Vance’s position. He is arguing that these NGOs be taxed. That is what he means by “Seize their assets”- he means tax them. I don’t agree with this, but it is no more authoritarian than those wishing to tax wealth, setup a global minimum tax, or various other ways to shave off dollars from some class that they don’t like.

    I don’t get this attempt to paint the GOP as somehow ideologically different than any other Big Government asshat in congress. Whether it is Elizabeth Warren launching her Pickety Crusade against Wealth, AOC wanting to tax Amazon, or Vance wanting to tax NGOs like the Clinton Foundation that use tax-free status to pay their benefactors exorbitant salaries while advancing socialism- all of these are peas in the same pod.

    1. The most centrist or critical of the left reason gets is both sides argumentation.

    2. I always thought part of the joy of being libertarian is that we can engage in the most good-faith interpretation of positions of the mainstream parties. Because, in the end, we don’t have to spin their positions in order to disagree with them, we can take them directly for what they’re advocating and explain exactly why have a problem with it.

      But this recent spiral toward the left has pulled so many libertarians into a left versus right debate that it makes them do this bad faith argumentation all the time. Everyone feels the need to justify why the side they’re more sympathetic to is not the worst of the two. It only makes me more convinced that we need to somehow break up the political binary of the country and find ways to get more libertarians into office.

      1. It’s not possible. Breaking up the political binary, I mean. The two party system is an emergent property of the U.S. Constitution. If you want a/the Libertarian party to be one of those two parties, it involves at minimum destroying one of the existing political parties and fending off enough rival interest groups to steer the coalition that forms to counter the surviving political party. That’s a much, much taller order than making gains within one (or both, but I don’t hold my breath for the Democrats being a vehicle for smaller government in any dimension) party.

      2. As PJ O’Rourke correctly noted, libertarianism will never be a national political force, because it’s not a political movement, it’s an anti-political movement.

        1. But it’s really not, unless you think liberty and politics are inherently at odds. To some degree any existing government will slide toward authoritarian over time but there’s always ways to force a course-correction.

          1. Liberty and politics are fundamentally at odds. Politics will always be used to curtail and block liberty.

            1. Not true. As a stark example, East Germany legislated itself out of existence, at the behest of East German voters.

          2. I don’t disagree. JUst some of the tools to do so are disliked. Government HAS to shrink. And to avoid undue influence, we need to break up large companies so they lack the MONEY to influence anything, either. Do away with both temptation to do bad things and the ability to actually do them.

        2. And thats the problem woth the big L, besides moving to the left such as preaching antiracism under Jo. Most of the country has personal politics. Libertarians would be more effective effusing political stances locally to show the benefit of freedom instead of just bitching about it and admitting defeat. The latter is a no win solution good for academics and those that want to exert zero effort.

      3. It’s pretty obvious which side is worse if you’re paying attention lately. (see spending, vaccine mandates, lockdowns, free speech restrictions, etc.) That doesn’t mean the other side is good, and knuckleheads from both sides still deserve to be criticized fairly.

        But 12 trillion is a lot more than 6 trillion, even if I’d rather they were only spending 4 trillion.

    3. And yet… he still said “seize their assets”.

      1. And yet.. Biden just pushed forward plans to have the IRS monitor all assets.

        1. Hey if you’ve got 600 bucks to throw around park it in an off shore account.

      2. Again- if you actually watch the clip- he is talking about taxing them, not some sort of draconian “We will march in and seize the assets of the enemy.”

        Again, I don’t support increasing taxes on anybody, but if taxing these NGOs is authoritarian, then everyone calling for tax increases is authoritarian, and the word loses all meaning.

        1. This quote is pulled from a lengthy back and forth between him and Carlson where they are talking about the assets of Conservatives being seized and other assaults (as he sees it) on Conservative institutions. So he says, “why shouldn’t we do the same with these liberal institutions.” But he specifically calls for removing their tax-exempt status- the rest was just metaphorical flourish, along the lines of Obama’s “punch back harder” stuff.

  13. “Since then, he has moved deeper and deeper into the authoritarian nationalist wing of the American right, whose members want to use state power to bend society to their will. ”
    Hmm. Continuing an eviction moratorium after SCOTU found it to be illegal. Weaponizing the FBI to investigate parents protesting school boards as domestic terrorists. Demanding that employers fire millions of people if they don’t get an emergency use experimental vaccine. Yeah those right wing Trumpians sure are authoritarian. Oh Wait…

    1. Quit excusing Republican authoritarianism just because Democrats suck too.

      1. There you are, you retarded Nazi troll.
        What the hell happened to your promise that you were going to triple-up on your shilling here? You made me that promise and then ghosted the comments.

        Not nice to go back on your word, Shrike.

        1. He has a new sock if you didn’t notice.

          1. Bullshit.

            1. Oh fuck, it’s beyond obvious that “rreally” is another one of your sockpuppets. Who the hell do you think that you’re kidding?

            2. What happened to SPB the original?

              1. Banned for posting kiddie porn links.

  14. My hope is that they’re both cosplaying as retarded Trumpkins and will proceed to ignore the stupid things they’re echoing from them if elected. https://filmywap.one/

    Of course, their general election is far, far less likely on this footing than it would be as Not Asshole (R). So I’m likely just dreaming.

    1. Lol, the advertising bots are copying Shrike’s shillbot.

  15. In his first run against Brown in 2012, Mandel backed Mitt Romney

    And that’s the Ohio Republican Party in a nutshell. Ohio is not a particularly large state geographically, but it is a populous state. With Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Toledo, Akron, and Dayton, it’s a surprisingly urbanized state. Which means there’s little difference between the (D)’s and the (R)’s. Remember John Kasich, the mailman’s son? The one who stuck in the 2016 Republican primary as long as he could to prevent that radical Ted Cruz from getting a shot at bumping off Donald Trump and then immediately ran off to address the Democratic National Convention to much applause? Yeah, that’s the Ohio Republican Party.

    1. I’m old enough to remember when John Kasich was considered a far right extremist (in Congress) by the Left because he was a fiscal conservative. He was so far right he worked with Ralph Nader to close loopholes (i.e. remaining freedoms) in the tax code.

  16. ““…One thing the two candidates have in common is the utter shamelessness with which they stumble over themselves trying to appeal to former President Donald Trump’s voting base…””

    And let’s talk about this fun piece of rhetorical vomit.

    Ohio, and specifically its Republican Primary, is full of people who want Trumpian politics, which in general seems to be 1) Protectionist economic policies, 2) Patriotism, and 3) Dishing back the insults and opprobrium that the Left has constantly flung their way for the past 20 years.

    Perhaps Mr Lancaster should stop criticizing (prospective) leaders for trying to deliver what their voters want, and maybe try to understand why the voters want that.

    It wasn’t Trump who described blue collar workers as gun clinging worshipers of a scary sky god- that was Obama. It wasn’t trump talking about “deplorables”- that was Hillary. And those deplorables are looking for someone who will stop ignoring or even excusing these insults and maybe give some insults back. It’s crude and vulgar, but here we are.

    I don’t LIKE this populist revolt in the GOP. I hate it, because (as we can see by the election of Amash, Paul, and others), they used to be the closest place we would find libertarian common grounds. But to continue obsessing over Trump is just pointless, because it is the voters who have become more Populist.

    Elites on both sides of the aisle caused the Populist Fracture of the GOP. This included the increasingly detached and elitist media institutions who either ignored the plight of the middle class, or worse, painted them as uncultured hicks who got what they deserved. Elites like Bush and Romney seemed only to care for private businesses and banking institutions than workers who were scolded for being racist as their mine or fraccing operation was shut down by some white-collar in a DC office building.

    You can bitch and moan about JD Vance all you want, but there are going to be more just like him if you don’t wake up to the fact that you are just part of a media institution that overwhelmingly pisses on half the country every day. Until you actually talk to these people instead of caricature their leaders, they will see your attacks as nothing more than proof that they have picked the right guys.

    1. Dishing back the insults and opprobrium that the Left has constantly flung their way for the past 20 years.

      You must be young.

    2. That’s great for the media institution. They keep shitting on “the people” and “the people” keep picking less-electable Trumpy Republicans to lose to the media’s preferred Democrat candidates.

      They’re not going to change. Maybe you should.

      1. “Maybe you should.”

        How should I change, Jeff? Should I stop telling libertarians that they ought to try and understand why a significant cohort of the population- the cohort that elected some of the most libertarian politicians in recent history- has turned populist?

        There is nothing good about Democrats and the Media electing preferred Democrat candidates, because that is the way forth into Totalitarianism. I am sure, blinded as you are by tribalism, you would love nothing more than to see any credible pushback to the Democrats eliminated- that way they can implement the same high-minded social order they have been pushing since the time of the Civil War. They love nothing more than their caste system, after all.

        1. I’m not Jeff. I’ve lurked long enough to know who that is, and to be dismayed that you’re joining the hard-stupid Trumpkins in accusing people of being a sock instead of recognizing that randoms are likely to oppose the narrative you’re pushing (which is indicative of how it’s a doomed political exercise that you need to rethink).

          As to how “the cohort” should change, well, it’s pretty obvious they shouldn’t let their political enemies in the media goad them into making strategic mistakes like pushing, nay demanding, the embarrassing spectacle that is the subject of this article. If you think “stop the steal” has more general election cachet in Ohio than Generic Candidate (R) you’re a fool.

          As to change, you can start by answering my demand after your last Trump-shielding tirade against (apparently all of) the prominent non-Trump Republicans who failed to deliver the policy changes you claim to want. Because of course, Trump failed too. Your silence on him was deafening. (I don’t know how to link to a particular comment: https://reason.com/2021/09/23/blame-both-parties-if-the-federal-government-shuts-down-in-december/#comments )

          I’m still going to need you to identify one fucking thing Paul Ryan did in office to enrich himself – or do anything,* really – instead of pursue the goals you claim to wish he had furthered.

          You’re either lying (about resenting the populist turn among the stupids) or gravely mistaken in your thinking, given the narratives you’re peddling lately. Your aims are unambiguously to help Trump and hurt not-Trump Republicans. And that’s a path to Democrats in power. And even if it wasn’t, it’s a path to a Republican party less likely to enact the policies you claim to want. So something doesn’t add up. Ready to share?

    3. What’s wrong with being populist? AFAICT populists in the USA are more libertarian than the average person is.

      1. Yeah. THe elite GOP does not much mind never ending wars. It’s the populists who aren’t terribly fond of those idiotic things…since they are the ones forced to fight the stupid things.

    4. “It wasn’t Trump who described blue collar workers as gun clinging worshipers of a scary sky god”

      No, it was Trump. And then they started calling themselves deplorables at his urging.

      They are all of these things. They are proud of it. They just prefer to have their balls fondled over it instead of criticized.

      You know who’s been mean to whom in politics? Republicans to progressives. I can’t remember the last time they had a kind word to say.

      Do we get to burn the country down too?

  17. DEMOCRATZ WANT TO FORCE YOU INTO AN UNWANTED MEDICAL PRODECURE ADMINISTERED BY AN AGENT OF THE STATE WEARING HUGO BOSS, REPUBLICANS LIKE TRUMPZ!

    BOWF SIDEZ!

    1. Yes, it’s the third time you’ve spelled, “Both sides!”, as “BOWF SIDEZ!”. It doesn’t get any more profound with repetition.

      1. White Mike, the Reason commentariat’s noted slang-spellchecker and parody policeman is on the job.

        You can tell that your mockery struck a chord, Paul, because look at Mike prattle.

        1. Mike wants spelling cawrrection.

  18. The Ohio GOP Senate Primary Is an Embarrassing Spectacle

    Something Reason Magazine has in common with the Ohio GOP Senate Primary!

  19. Since then, he has moved deeper and deeper into the authoritarian nationalist wing of the American right

    And that’s where I quit reading.
    If I want to meditate on twitter informed DNC-agitprop, Sullum or ENB are more inadvertently hilarious.

  20. Politicians chasing votes, shocker.
    Why do you think Trump campaigned strongly against illegal immigration in 2016? Polls showed it was the number one issue when voters were asked what their top issue was without a specific prompt (climate change came in below 50th), and most other candidates wouldn’t touch it.

  21. Reason ought to be truly embarrassed by this content-free bullshit.

    Remember this thing called policy, Reason? It was the thing you used to care about before you became Middle School Mean Girls pointing at people hanging out with the wrong crowd and using the wrong words.

  22. As I and others here have posted here, there are no fully FDA approved covid vaccines available in the U.S. There had been a complete media blackout of this fact, including here at Reason until Sen. Ron Johnson explained it on Fox News.
    https://www.foxnews.com/media/ron-johnson-no-fda-approved-covid-vaccine
    FDA regulations, that have the force of law, specify that no one can be forced to take a medication approved under Emergency Use Authorization. And yet the Biden administration is using an, as yet not released, OSHA rule to not only force individuals to get these injections but also fine employers who do not fire them if they resist. We have entered bizzaro world. I would call this the biggest scam of the century if I had not lived through the last two years.
    To date OSHA has not promulgated the regulation Biden is demanding. It has not been litigated. We do not know if it will withstand legal scrutiny. And the FDA has not changed their regulation prohibiting forced use of EUA medications. Based apparently only on Biden’s authoritarian pronouncements, thousands and potentially millions of people have already been deprived of their livelihood. This on top of the thousands or millions of small businesses already destroyed by mandates and lockdowns. The rule of law is dead and liberty is a distant memory. But the “libertarians” at Reason have determined that JD Vance is the real threat.

  23. We used to have these people called journalists. They would do research and fact check and ask tough questions.

    Why is nobody addressing the root issue here? In a state with a population of 11.5 million, the 2 top candidates to oppose the slide of the Senate towards a democratic supermajority are both supposedly Trump puppets.

    Trump is a loser. By his own standard that means he is no longer qualified to lead any party. It would be incredibly easy to talk these two buttfucks right into the ground while still cultivating the entire audience that voted for Trump.

    Why are their no journalists investigating the Republican effort to marginalize Trump’s influence and get the party back some semblance of legitimacy? I refuse to believe it does not exist.

    1. That effort is dead. Trump has like 91% approval from the Republican voting base. Chuck Grassley, at age 88, no Trumpian, groveled for Trump’s endorsement. They simply have no choice if they want to survive in the party.

      The defectors are doing the responsible thing: joining in a coalition with Democrats to deal with this threat. It’s not pretty, I expect, but nobody promised this kind of thing would be pretty for the sane Republicans.

      But it is the best way to build enough strength to defeat Trumpism and is also a pretty good way to moderate the Democratic party, don’t you think?

  24. Is HyR ever going to stop concern-trolling libertarians?

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