J.D. Vance For Ohio Senate?

I’m familiar with J.D. Vance.

J.D. Vance is the Hillbilly Elegy guy.

J.D. Vance is or was more of a mainstream conservative.

J.D. Vance has ties to Yoram Hazony’s “National Conservatism” clique.

For all of these reasons, I am suspicious of J.D. Vance although it appears that the alternative in the upcoming Ohio Senate race is Josh Mandel – who is Jewish and who ran and lost before in 2018 – or some woman who isn’t really known outside of Ohio.


“In June 2015, Donald Trump rode down the infamous escalator at Trump Tower to announce his presidential bid. Like a lot of people, I didn’t know what to think. From the start, I appreciated his populist instincts on trade and immigration, as well as his hard-line approach to China. But he was a former Democrat and his style seemed too abrasive, and I said as much. Surely, I thought, we can fix our broken politics with a more traditional Republican.

After he won, I rethought my opposition. As I watched the constant stream of venom from Democratic Party “resisters” and their allies in the corporate media, it dawned on me that President Trump’s aggressive style was a feature, not a bug.

What separated Donald Trump from other Republicans in my lifetime wasn’t just his populist-inspired policy agenda—it was his fearlessness. When he nominated my friend (and my wife’s former boss) Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the Left threw every reprehensible slander imaginable in Kavanaugh’s direction. I assumed Trump would fold and withdraw the nomination. But he didn’t. He stood his ground, and Kavanaugh was eventually confirmed successfully. …”

The Never Trumper Mona Charen who used to be a regular at National Review rightly brings up Vance’s background at The Bulwark.

The Bulwark:

“Whatever the future of the Republican party will be, the shape-shifting J.D. Vance sheds light on the dynamics of how we got here and where the Republican party is headed. This week, billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel announced that he is donating $10 million to a super PAC supporting Vance’s potential run for the Senate seat from Ohio. Vance hasn’t yet declared his candidacy, but Thiel has been boosting him for a while and it’s a safe assumption that he isn’t prone to throwing away his money.

Vance today is a fixture of the Trumpist right, but that isn’t the way he debuted. Not at all.

Rarely does a nonfiction book make the kind of splash Hillbilly Elegy did in 2016. I was part of the cheering section. At a moment when a thousand voices on the right were proclaiming that a failure to address the problems of the white working class was the root of Trump’s rise, and conservative pundits were lining up to agree that the government had failed these people, Vance emerged as an authentic voice of the working class—a self-styled “hillbilly” no less—to declare that the problems of many working-class people were largely self-inflicted. …”


“Lee Drutman: “Reaganism in America is dead. … It has outlived its usefulness as a policy solution if it ever had usefulness and neither party supports it. The Republican Party has basically given up on that. The Republican Party is no longer the party of Reagan. It’s the party of Trump now. And Republican voters overwhelmingly supported the stimulus plan. Republican voters are much more supportive of taxing the rich and spending on social welfare. Republicans are no longer the party of free trade, and there’s no more anticommunism.” …

On the future of Reaganomics in America

Lee Drutman: “I think that that era is coming to an end as well. I mean, these things move in broad cycles and there’s been 40 years of the idea that less government, limited government, lower taxes is what gets the economy moving. And we’re at a level of inequality that is [un]sustainable.

“Taxes on the rich are going to have to increase at some point. … I think that’s just inevitable. The public supports it. I think even many Republicans would support it. I mean, the hold of the Koch brothers on the Republican Party at this point is loosening. And there is a new populism that’s emerging in the likes of Josh Hawley and Tom Cotton. That is a very different type of Republican Party.” …”

Vance is getting massive Thiel bucks.

For those who are unfamiliar with Hillbilly Elegy, it is the book and movie that launched Vance onto the national political stage. It was the kind of bootstraps story that mainstream conservatives in the pre-Trump era wanted to hear about the White working class. It was catnip to them.

In fairness, J.D. Vance isn’t the only Republican who has been reprogrammed in light of shifting political winds as of late. Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney have also been reprogrammed. Josh Hawley has rebranded since he was elected as Missouri’s AG although in Hawley’s case it is more real because he has been thinking through these issues since childhood. He wrote a book about Theodore Roosevelt before Trump was elected president in 2016. The ground underneath the GOP has shifted so radically in the last five years that it has gotten to the point where Lindsey Graham had to be reprogrammed.

All of the Republican politicians are going to have to be reprogrammed because the voters have changed. True Cons in the suburbs who used to be Republicans are now Democrats while Democrats and Independents in other areas like Ohio’s Mahoning Valley are now Republicans.

Ohio was one of the states where Trump lost suburban voters and made up for it by replacing them with new working class voters. The same thing happened in North Carolina where Trump found new voters in eastern North Carolina while losing suburban voters.

I’m not really excited about J.D. Vance although I kind of understand why he had to be reprogrammed given the shifting grounds of Ohio politics. The only question that really matters is how he would vote in Congress. In that respect, I expect he would have to be better than Sen. Rob Portman.

Note: I’m content to just monitor the situation for now. This is my initial thoughts though on J.D. Vance running for Ohio Senate.

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  1. Here’s a whitepill:

    Americans Still Favor Israel While Warming to Palestinians

    While Republicans side with the Israelis over the Palestinians 80% to 10%, the Democrats only side with them 43% to 38%. Additionally, Democrats 53/29 want to pressure the Israelis more, not the Palestinians. (Republicans want to pressure the Palestinians more 65/17.)

    The GOP booted Sessions, Kobach, and King from its ranks. I’m not buying their “reprogramming” until I see votes that count that back it up. The GOP is only a tease and is happily married to a very wealthy and powerful husband.

  2. There are usually about a dozen or so candidates in the Ohio Primaries.

    Jane Timken, the wife of “Tim” Timken, is the recently retired Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party. The Timken family, of Timken Steel, and Timken Bearings have been Republican Party players as long as anyone alive can remember. The Timken’s are old money, old, old money. She’s well known!

    It maybe that Jane Timken is a placeholder for Jim Jordan—I wouldn’t rule that out.

    Dave Yost, the Ohio AG is a really solid and estimable guy. But, he’s given no indication of being interested in Congress. My guess is he’s a future Governor of Ohio.

    Mandel is a three time loser for the Senate, and I doubt the Jews will support him. Mandel was divorced by his super-rich Jewish wife.

    J.D. Who? The used car dealer? Not the Italian used car dealer?

  3. > Yoram Hazony

    A name like “Yoram Hazony” is just what I think of when I think of “American nationalist.” Of course someone named “Yoram Hazony” would be leading the American nationalist movement. Not just any Tom, Dick or Harry!

  4. I get a sense of continued hostility & contempt for his family & racial/class origin thinly veiled with smiling concern. This is reinforced by his choice of woman to breed with.

    He’s got the feel of a smart social climber, very carefully calculating his words to suit the moment & audience he thinks he needs to please to advance.

    Maybe he’s right if he hates or at least deeply resents his mother & father. They did indeed choose to imbibe the booze & drugs that ruined them & gave their traumatized children miserable upbringings. But that doesn’t mean that the demoralizing role of economic exploitation by outside corporations (coal companies especially in Appalachia) doesn’t play a huge part in the social dysfunction, along with innate factors like isolation & bad cultural habits.

    And any idea that the bootstrapping that worked for him would work for all of them is unrealistic, since only a few will have the brains to make it to & through Ivy League universities, especially now that they’re controlled almost exclusively by nepotistic kikes deeply hostile to “white trash”.

  5. Don’t be naive. Vance is a hardcore globalist. He has ridiculed people who want less immigration and less free trade as losers blaming foreigners for their problems. He is a product of the National Review/cuckservative sphere. He has the same politics as Kevin Williamson and David French. He is married to a goddamned Indian hindu woman.

    Do not be fooled by his recent rhetoric or posturing.

    • Definitely not fooled.

      It is like Marco Rubio. We did the Gang of Eight back in 2014 and identified himself with amnesty. Now, he can’t run away from it fast enough. He is shifting with the winds. This has really always been true though

  6. I have been to different parts of Appalachia many times and had many friends from there. I am not from Appalachia nor do I have family there. The people from Appalachia are some of the best people this country produces, most of them are rock solid, good people.

    Anyone who has been in the military will meet many people from Appalachia because of the high numbers of people from there who enlist in the military. Without those people and people from the South in general the U.S. wouldn’t have a military at all.

    As the military goes woke those people will leave the military and the efficiency of the military will plummet. This will become evident as the U.S. Government foolishly gets involved in an unwinnable war over Taiwan.

  7. They’re all just whores. Sure, they’ll pretend to be border-closing populists, anything short of White nationalists if they think the political moment requires it to con the hicks, but their johns & pimps remain the rich & organized kikery.

  8. I looked up “Why Right wing populism will fail” and I saw a picture of this guy.

    If you want to understand this dude’s loyalties, do an internet search to see who he had kids with.

    When Marco Rubio and this dude are adopting your talking points, then it is a sign that the establishment has figured out how to co-opt those talking points and use them to its advantage. And of course, Trump already demonstrated how to co-opt Trumpism and turn it into force that is functionally pro-establishment. Just do what Trump did between 2016 and 2020.

    Giving energy to these people is a recipe for decades of the same old same old; talk big, conserve nothing, advance the regime’s agenda, stifle authentic opposition.

    The best thing that could possibly happen would be if left overreached and shut down false opposition like this.

    But at this point the false opposition is so obviously false and pro-establishment that this probably won’t happen.

    The only remaining alternative is to build something, however small, that is totally, completely, 100% independent of these people.

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