¡Cantor Toppled!

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Tiassa, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    It's the only game in town. Besides obstructing through congress.
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  3. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Oh, and what "leftist" policies would those be exactly...paying our bills?
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  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

    No, most primaries are going to the expected moderates. The Cantor primary was news because it was unusual.

    Again, it's not an ideological battle, it's just statistics. The party occupying the White House in the sixth year of a presidential administration almost invariably loses seats in Congress.
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  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

    I'm not - but that's not what the Tea Party is. They want their stuff and want to deny other people other people's stuff, like every other party out there. "Get your government hands off my Medicare!" is their rallying cry.
  8. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    really immigration reform? they shut it down every time. ah yes the evil goverment. you'd much rather have a corporation hold your leash than live in a free society.
  9. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    If by constitutionally you mean according to the current interpretation, well, there are very few limits left on government power. What limits there are hang by the slimmest of margins on a 5-4 supreme court that has to power to say the constitution means whatever the hell they want.
  10. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    you mean like the when the nra lobbyist managed to get the 2nd nmendment to say there was a right to personal gun ownership from an amendment about national security? there are still heavy limits on what government can do though I'm sure you'll keep voting republican and see them eroded away until nothing.
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Wisecracking Safe

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    Sometimes the jokes write themselves. And sometimes people might think you're brilliant for being the only one in the room to see the writing on the wall. And, no, that is not a humble brag; the question occurred to others, and if I harp on an issue long enough it will eventually come up and demonstrate ... er ... ah ... well, something.

    This keeps happening, as in 2012 when the Romney campaign apparently had no clue what was actually happening out in the voting districts.

    Certes, there are times when an electoral flameout is a surprise insofar as a titan falls, but usually there are hints on the front side. To the other, there probably were, and maybe we all should have paid more attention when the House Majority Leader was booed in his own district. But how is it that the people responsible for planning the tactical outlook that preserves and hopefully, for House Republicans, grows the majority, can possibly be surprised this evening? That is to say, how could they not have seen this coming before it happened?

    Surprise, yes, but one wonders at the degree of blindness required if absolutely nobody saw any hint that this was coming. Over the course of the next few days, cooler heads will prevail and everyone will start explaining how they knew it all along.

    When I blogged those paragraphs last night, they were pretty safe in terms of making the point, but the Romney comparison was a little risky, and if there is a hint of petulance about how everyone will claim they knew it all along, well ... yeah.

    Still, though, Shane Goldmacher at National Journal opens his analysis of the primary with a pretty straightforward summary:

    Eric Cantor's pollster whiffed.

    Less than a week before voters dumped the House majority leader, an internal poll for Cantor's campaign, trumpeted to the Washington Post, showed Cantor cruising to a 34-point victory in his primary. Instead, Cantor got crushed, losing by 10 percentage points.

    How did Cantor's pollster, veteran Republican survey-taker John McLaughlin, get the historic race so terribly wrong?

    And just for the dose of Romney:

    This was not McLaughlin's first out-of-whack-with-the-results poll. For instance, a 2013 McLaughlin survey showing Democrat Ed Markey nearly tied in his Massachusetts Senate race inspired California winemaker John Jordan to plunge $1.4 million of his own money into a super PAC backing Markey's opponent. Markey won by 10 percentage points.

    David Nir of Daily Kos Elections compiled a list last year of inaccurate McLaughlin surveys. In October 2012, McLaughlin polls showed Mitt Romney winning in Colorado (by 4 points) and Virginia (by 7 points), even though Romney lost those states by 5 points and 4 points, respectively. In late October 2012, a McLaughlin poll in Rhode Island showed Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse up by only 8 points against his GOP challenger. Whitehouse won by 30.

    Even that poll, though, was more accurate than his last one for Cantor.

    To the other, we have to hop over to WaPo, where Maeta Gold checks in with The Fix:

    David Brat's surprise victory Tuesday over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was quickly embraced by the tea party movement – especially national tea party groups that have been looking to score a big win in their battle against GOP incumbents this cycle.

    And with that setup, you know there's a punch line:

    So how much did their groups spend to help Brat win?


    Of the measly $4,805 in political expenditures against Cantor reported to the Federal Election Commission, none came from the big national tea party groups, according to data compiled by the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation. The bulk was spent by a newly formed super PAC called We Deserve Better PAC on an online ad that attacked Cantor as pro-amnesty ....

    .... It's worth noting that many of the national tea party groups that have been the most pugilistic about this year's intra-party fights have not invested much money into helping the candidates on the ground. As we reported earlier this year, organizations such as Tea Party Patriots and the Madison Project are spending huge sums on fundraising, salaries and consultants, while just putting a tiny fraction of the millions of dollars they have raised into political expenditures.

    The fact that Brat took off without the help of those organizations now makes it harder for them to claim his victory as their own.

    To the one, it does not seem an exceptional talent to wonder about the most obvious questions to arise from such clusterdiddles, but a larger issue remains.

    This keeps happening.

    Remember how Clinton rolled to the center, and part of the reason the Democrats got waxed in midterms was that given a choice between a traditional conservative and a fake traditional conservative lite-edition, people voted for a traditional conservative?


    Number one, that's part of what's happening. The Congressional GOP is trying to pretend that there isn't much difference between the Tea Party and the mainstream GOP. Given a choice between a Tea Party insurgent and a fake Tea Partier, who did the sixty-some thousand Virginia Seven voters choose?

    But at the same time, there is a bigger problem. Part of how the GOP cultivated its Tea Party alliance was by playing within the closed sphere of influence and information sometimes called "The Bubble" or "echo chamber" or "epistemic closure". Pollster McLaughlin would appear to be functioning entirely inside that world in which one must tamper and tinker with the statistics to customize the outcome, but only to unskew the natural distortions of polling.

    Then again, it turns out someone might have seen this coming:

    On Monday, Jack Trammell was a little-known employee of Randolph-Macon College newly minted as the sacrificial-lamb Democratic candidate certain to be trounced by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the heavily Republican 7th District.

    A day later, Trammell's political prospects had transformed with Cantor's loss to David A. Brat. He remained, however, little known ....

    .... John Kent Trammell, 50, assumed the mantle of Democratic nominee Monday only after being nominated by a party committee. No candidates had entered the party's primary.


    What the "Randy Mac" election offers is a rare political gem; two unknown political candidates will compete for the ballot in a Congressional election that suddenly has great significance. And while the general consensus is, indeed, that immigration is the issue that wrecked the outgoing Majority Leader, RNC and Congressional GOP leadership are watching carefully in order to figure out what actually happened and, hopefully, read the tea leaves instead of try to sculpt them. While analysts and pundits figure out what actually happened, it is, of course, inevitable that both sides would about what influence Democratic voters participating in the primary might have had. But what happens if, in November, Brat is defeated by a large shift in crossover moderates, and the seat rolls to Democrats? Republicans cannot afford, at this point, to commit the Party general to the Tea Party immigration outlook.

    VA-7 might have just become the most interesting House race in the country; two political greenhorns are about to get a whirlwind introduction to special interests, superpacs, and all the other niceties of a high profile campaign. There are plenty of establishment Democrats in Virginia today wishing they'd been willing to take the placeholder job.

    Stay tuned. This was nowhere on my radar because, well, even I could buy into the conventional wisdom that the House Majority Leader, a seven-term incumbent, was safe for renomination. And, really, I should know better; I still recall when voters in WA-5 (Spokane and environs) dumped the Speaker of the House in the Republican Revolution of '94. (Rep. George Nethercutt topped Speaker Tom Foley, who was succeeded in 2005 by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, current House Republican Caucus Chair, and, until Cantor's resignation set for the end of July, the fourth-ranked member of the House GOP.)

    What a show.


    Goldmacher, Shane. "Eric Cantor's Pollster Tries to Explain Why His Survey Showed Cantor Up 34 Points". National Journal. June 11, 2014. NationalJournal.com. June 11, 2014. http://www.nationaljournal.com/poli...is-survey-showed-cantor-up-34-points-20140611

    Gold, Maeta. "How national tea party groups missed the David Brat boat". The Fix. June 10, 2014. WashingtonPost.com. June 11, 2014. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...-tea-party-groups-missed-the-david-brat-boat/

    De Bonis, Mike. "Meet Jack Trammell, the Democrat who will face David Brat, the man who beat Eric Cantor". The Washington Post. June 10, 2014. WashingtonPost.com. June 11, 2014. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local...00f972-f10a-11e3-914c-1fbd0614e2d4_story.html
  12. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Well that is a common right wing belief which I encourage folks like you to believe. But the facts are, US growth is very dependent on immigration. We need immigrants and they need us. I just wish they would learn to speak the language. And the few smart people who remain in the Republican Party know that.

    It will be very difficult for Republicans to attain power with people like Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh and company writing your party planks. And if by some miracle (e.g. Supreme Court activism) Republicans do take power, they will never be able to govern effectively. Because what works in the right wing echo chambers of the Republican entertainment industry, doesn't work in the real world. The biggest enemy Republicans face isn't the immigrant, it's the amoral scumbags (i.e. Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham, et al) in the Republican entertainment industry who write their party planks.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
  13. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    No, disagreement doesn't mean people are opposed to constitutional principals or limited government. And just what do you mean by "limited" government? How much government is too much government? How much is too little?

    The founding fathers created a more centralized form of government after experimenting with a very loose confederation which didn't work. Conservatives like you seem to have selective amnesia with respect to the Constitution and our history.
  14. douwd20 Registered Senior Member

    'Moderates'?? To who? Other Republicans? They are not moderates on the national level. They track hard right. I mean they really have no choice lest they flunk some 'purity test'.
  15. Bells Staff Member

    Except if you are gay..

    Given how savagely anti-gay the mainstream Oklahoma Republican party is, it’s no surprise that the state’s Tea Partiers are so rabidly hateful that they come across more as dark satire than as serious bigots. To wit: This week, an Oklahoma magazine discovered that last summer, Tea Party state House candidate Scott Esk endorsed stoning gay people to death: “I think we would be totally in the right to do it,” he said in a Facebook post. Esk went on to add nuance to his position:

    That [stoning gay people to death] goes against some parts of libertarianism, I realize, and I’m largely libertarian, but ignoring as a nation things that are worthy of death is very remiss.
    When a Facebook user messaged Esk to clarify further, he responded:

    I never said I would author legislation to put homosexuals to death, but I didn’t have a problem with it.​

    Understandably unnerved, the magazine called up Esk for clarification. Although Esk claimed he didn’t remember the comments, he fleshed out his views:

    That was done in the Old Testament under a law that came directly from God and in that time there it was totally just. It came directly from God. I have no plans to reinstitute that in Oklahoma law. I do have some very huge moral misgivings about those kinds of sins.​

    Pressed one final time about his position on stoning gay human beings to death, Esk dug in his heels:

    I know what was done in the Old Testament and what was done back then was what’s just. … And I do stand for Biblical morality.

    Then we can move to Texas, where that right firebrand of the Tea Party has so many supporters.. While Rick Perry was saying that homosexuality was like alcoholism, the Tea Party backed GOP in Texas were taking it further..

    The Texas Republican Party now endorses so-called "reparative therapy" for gays, under a new platform given final approval at its annual convention Saturday.

    The new anti-gay language never came up for debate before roughly 7,000 delegates ratified a Texas GOP platform that tea party groups succeeded in pushing further to the right, including winning a harder line on immigration.


    Under the new plank, the Texas GOP recognizes "the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle."

    The American Psychological Association and other major health organizations have condemned such counseling, which generally try to change a person's sexual orientation or to lessen their interest in engaging in same-sex sexual activity. The groups say the practice should not be used on minors because of the danger of serious psychological harm.

    "The platform reflects what the people in the Republican Party have asked for, and that should be no surprise: family values, protection of marriage between one man and one woman and everything that goes along with that," said Jonathan Saenz, president of the conservative group Texas Values and a convention delegate.

    Welcome to the dark ages if the Tea Party does replace all of the GOP.. But hey, it benefits those on the right if they do, right?
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    There is no Tea Party. There has never been a Tea Party. There is a faction of the Republican Party that back a few years (after Katrina and Iraq and economic collapse) wanted to disavow the horrible consequences of Republican governance these past thirty five years or so by claiming to have never supported it - claiming that all the disastrous incompetence and dangerously authoritarian expansion of bureaucracy they repeatedly rewarded with re-election was the fault of some kind "establishment" or "Washington insiders" they had nothing to do with. But because of their voting and funding and public cheering record they were saddled with the name "Republican", which stank to high heaven back then before the amnesia that is America's political deoderant took effect. So they decided to call themselves by a different name than Republican, something new and less offensive - like a little kid pretending to be his imaginary friend.

    And they made up an entire imaginary history for the United States, along with an entirely redefined political vocabulary (so that a Republican government handing private corporate banks run by its good friends and financial supporters billions of dollars in borrowed money on the taxpayer's credit is "socialism" and "leftist" ), to go with their imaginary Party. And now they are feeling a bit defensive, because reality keeps showing up at inconvenient times - another Randite nitwit with a microphone winning one of their primaries, say, to replace the former Randite nitwit that's been embarrassing them. Same agenda - tax cuts and deregulation for rich folk. How to make that look good? Bluster.

    You can tell who they are, these Imaginary Party folk, because every couple of weeks they will once again be talking about how this latest thing one of their crowd said or did wasn't really racist, or misogynist, or duped by some rich guy's agitprop, or as unbelievably ignorant and chuckleheaded as it appeared when quoted accurately and in full. And you can tell when their chosen representatives have once again screwed a pooch, because the media will be using the words "both sides" a lot.

    That's to avoid giving the impression that said media folks are negatively disposed toward Tea Republicans - which is the impression one would get if all they did was report the news straight.
  17. Bells Staff Member


    Brat struggled in an interview on MSNBC Wednesday morning when asked about his views on the minimum wage, free trade and Syria.

    Brat's thoughts about another Hitler came in a 2011 essay entitled "God and Advanced Mammon -- Can Theological Types Handle Usury and Capitalism?" and dug up by the Wall Street Journal. From his piece:

    Capitalism is here to stay, and we need a church model that corresponds to that reality. Read Nietzsche. Nietzsche’s diagnosis of the weak modern Christian democratic man was spot on. Jesus was a great man. Jesus said he was the Son of God. Jesus made things happen. Jesus had faith. Jesus actually made people better. Then came the Christians. What happened? What went wrong? We appear to be a bit passive. Hitler came along, and he did not meet with unified resistance. I have the sinking feeling that it could all happen again, quite easily. The church should rise up higher than Nietzsche could see and prove him wrong. We should love our neighbor so much that we actually believe in right and wrong, and do something about it. If we all did the right thing and had the guts to spread the word, we would not need the government to backstop every action we take.

    A few lines later, he adds, "I think the main point is that we need to synthesize Christianity and capitalism."


    According to Jack Jenkins at ThinkProgress, "Brat’s CV lists him as a graduate of Hope College, a Christian school in Michigan, and Princeton Theological Seminary, a Presbyterian Church U.S.A. seminary in New Jersey. He claims to be a 'fairly orthodox Calvinist,' but several of his published writings expose a unsettling core theology that is centered around lifting up unregulated, free-market capitalism as a morally righteous system that churches should embrace -- or else."

    Because politics and religion work so well when mixed together....

    Christian capitalism.. The laughs to be had in the coming months...
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

    They are a lot more moderate (and a lot more electable) than the farther right Tea Partyers.
    You could say the same for democrats. Both parties are quick to ostracize someone who does not hew to their core principals.
  19. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Well given the decisions of the Republican/Roberts Court, I have to agree. The Republican Roberts Court has had almost total disregard for the Constitution and 225 years of judicial constitutional intrepretation, repeatedly letting political ideology triump over rule of law.
  20. Grumpy Curmudgeon of Lucidity Valued Senior Member

    Paul Krugman's opinion piece in the New York Times June 12, 2014

    "How big a deal is the surprise primary defeat of Representative Eric Cantor, the House majority leader? Very. Movement conservatism, which dominated American politics from the election of Ronald Reagan to the election of Barack Obama — and which many pundits thought could make a comeback this year — is unraveling before our eyes.

    I don’t mean that conservatism in general is dying. But what I and others mean by “movement conservatism,” a term I think I learned from the historian Rick Perlstein, is something more specific: an interlocking set of institutions and alliances that won elections by stoking cultural and racial anxiety but used these victories mainly to push an elitist economic agenda, meanwhile providing a support network for political and ideological loyalists.

    By rejecting Mr. Cantor, the Republican base showed that it has gotten wise to the electoral bait and switch, and, by his fall, Mr. Cantor showed that the support network can no longer guarantee job security. For around three decades, the conservative fix was in; but no more.

    To see what I mean by bait and switch, think about what happened in 2004. George W. Bush won re-election by posing as a champion of national security and traditional values — as I like to say, he ran as America’s defender against gay married terrorists — then turned immediately to his real priority: privatizing Social Security. It was the perfect illustration of the strategy famously described in Thomas Frank’s book “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” in which Republicans would mobilize voters with social issues, but invariably turn post election to serving the interests of corporations and the 1 percent.

    In return for this service, businesses and the wealthy provided both lavish financial support for right-minded (in both senses) politicians and a safety net — “wing-nut welfare” — for loyalists. In particular, there were always comfortable berths waiting for those who left office, voluntarily or otherwise. There were lobbying jobs; there were commentator spots at Fox News and elsewhere (two former Bush speechwriters are now Washington Post columnists); there were “research” positions (after losing his Senate seat, Rick Santorum became director of the “America’s Enemies” program at a think tank supported by the Koch brothers, among others).

    The combination of a successful electoral strategy and the safety net made being a conservative loyalist a seemingly low-risk professional path. The cause was radical, but the people it recruited tended increasingly to be apparatchiks, motivated more by careerism than by conviction.

    That’s certainly the impression Mr. Cantor conveyed. I’ve never heard him described as inspiring. His political rhetoric was nasty but low-energy, and often amazingly tone-deaf. You may recall, for example, that in 2012 he chose to celebrate Labor Day with a Twitter post honoring business owners. But he was evidently very good at playing the inside game.

    And while Mr. Cantor won’t go hungry — he’ll surely find a comfortable niche on K Street — the humiliation of his fall is a warning that becoming a conservative apparatchik isn’t the safe career choice it once seemed.

    So whither movement conservatism? Before the Virginia upset, there was a widespread media narrative to the effect that the Republican establishment was regaining control from the Tea Party, which was really a claim that good old-fashioned movement conservatism was on its way back. In reality, however, establishment figures who won primaries did so only by reinventing themselves as extremists. And Mr. Cantor’s defeat shows that lip service to extremism isn’t enough; the base needs to believe that you really mean it.

    In the long run — which probably begins in 2016 — this will be bad news for the G.O.P., because the party is moving right on social issues at a time when the country at large is moving left. (Think about how quickly the ground has shifted on gay marriage.) Meanwhile, however, what we’re looking at is a party that will be even more extreme, even less interested in participating in normal governance, than it has been since 2008. An ugly political scene is about to get even uglier."

    I made a prediction in 2012 about Obama winning the election and called 322 EV but am frankly too lazy to look it up in the sciforum vaults, nor am I tech savvy enough to do a successful search. But I will make another one now. Mitch McConnel will not win in 2014. That's an easy one. The uninsured rate in Kentucky has been reduced by 50% by Obamacare and Turtleman was caught bald faced lying about it. Plus he just ticked off Elizabeth Warren(over the student debt bill)and she will now be campaigning with Grimes. Turtleman is toast.

    And Brat is a loon, a bomb with a lit fuse, he makes Louie Gohmert look sane. But I have seen or heard nothing from his Democratic opponent. I think that may be a winning strategy, keep your head down until Brat explodes and you might be the last man standing(with your name on the ballot)who anyone sane would vote for, those that bother to show up, maybe. We'll see.

    Thad Cochran will also lose his runoff, but even he already knows that.


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  21. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Krugman is spot-on again. And yeah, Brat is either an idiot or an ammoral scumbag or some combination thereof. I mean what economist worth his salt doesn't know recent productivity and wage data? As evidenced by his recent comments, Brat doesn't.

    And I am always amazed at how fast, frequently, and easily these self proclaimed men of God lie and deceive. Where I grew up, in the heartland of Kansas, religious leaders were usually the poorest in the hood. Religion wasn't a get rich and powerful quick scheme.
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    You'd be wrong.

    For example: There's an entire Democratic faction of Congress - the Blue Dogs - that flunk many Dem purity tests.
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Looking Forward Back

    Meanwhile, for the Time Being ....

    With recently-defeated Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA7) stepping down from his leadership post, House Republicans have elected former Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA23) as their new Majority Leader. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA1) will succeed McCarthy as House Majority Whip.

    And as the questions continue, the postulations piling up about just how and why the sitting House Majority Leader got toppled in a primary, some pundits and analysts are looking to the future. Bob Cusack of The Hill considers the two house promotions, and what they signify. To wit, of McCarthy:

    The Speaker was officially neutral in McCarthy’s race against Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho). But make no mistake: Boehner wanted McCarthy to win. Labrador was among the dozen Republicans who didn’t vote for Boehner as Speaker at the beginning of the Congress. And had he won, the Idaho Republican would have been a thorn in Boehner’s side at the leadership table.

    Or Scalise:

    Conservatives in the House have long complained they don't have a top leader who hails from a red state. That dynamic helped Scalise, who will be the only Southern Republican in leadership. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) vowed to pick deputy whip from a red state if he won, but that didn't sway members.

    For word count, it's not much of an article, but in terms of substance, one can certainly glean hints about what's going on inside the GOP caucus. Those who follow Beltway doings on a regular basis will recognize some familiar dynamics.


    Cusack, Bob. "Why McCarthy and Scalise Won". The Hill. June 19, 2014. TheHill.com. June 22, 2014. http://thehill.com/homenews/house/209983-why-mccarthy-and-scalise-won

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