The Washington political establishment took a whupping last night when Virginian voters staunchly defeated Eric Cantor in the Republican congressional primary. Cantor’s defeat is one of the biggest upsets in congressional races in a generation.
The obituaries on the Tea Party were premature. Washington pundits will have to stop touting Cantor as the future Speaker of the House & presidential timber.
There were numerous policy issues aside from Cantor’s perceived arrogance:
* Cantor had championed the National Security Agency’s illegal wiretaps on Americans. His opponent, David Brat, had criticized these abusive searches.
* Cantor had championed waterboarding and “enhanced interrogation.” So Cantor was in favor of freedom – or at least free enterprise – except that the government should be allowed to torture people it suspected?
* Cantor scorned any Republicans who did not favor perpetual war. Cantor was a leader in threatening war against Iran.
* Brat signed a pledge to repeal ObamaCare, which Cantor refused to sign.
* Cantor’s campaign against Brat was widely seen as dishonest. This epitomized how Cantor had done so much to undermine his credibility with Virginians.
Cantor’s defeat is one of the most encouraging political developments in 2014. Perhaps it is optimistic to see his thrashing as a sign that voters are contemptuous of politicians who get too cozy with Leviathan. We’ll see.
It’s early in the morning, so I’ll allow myself to indulge in a moment of A New Hope that this has some ominous portent for the November elections…. But we have to survive the Empire Strikes Back phase of the operation….
Washington Post just announced that Cantor will not run as a write-in candidate, so…. Perhaps the “Empire Strikes Back” will find some other surprise.
I don’t know what this will portend in November but it is fun to see the shock and fear among mainstream politicians today.
fortunately for him, he gets paid for life.
But he will no longer have the satisfaction of being in the Vanguard of History.
Plenty of other federal troughs to dip his trotters in, though, and Congress isn’t the ONLY place one can be part of the Vanguard of History. Just ask Louis XVI or Charles I.
Re: the Empire striking back, that’ll just be a push to get the mainstream D into the seat instead, for starters.
That district is heavily gerrymandered. I doubt the Dems will have a serious chance.
Great quip on Louis XVI & Charles I. I’ll add in Robespierre and we’ll have a Trifecta.
True – but the MSM just needs to make sure to portray Brat as a Total Flake, while painting the rosiest picture possible of the opposition. Did you see the CNBC article tying the market loss today to “dysfunctional Congress” and how this may mean that not only do the Rs not win the Senate, but may even lose the House?
Damn! If the House Republicans have lost the support of CNBC, they are really up the creek without a paddle.
Of course, there are alternative thoughts worth thinking: http://www.redstate.com/2014/06/10/why-eric-cantor-lost/
The 7th and 3rd Districts in Virginia run through the City of Richmond with the gerrymandered 7th containing the wealthy westend of the city and the heavily Republican burbs of Henrico and Chesterfield Counties – Chesterfield being a hotbed of talk-radio tea party bloviation. If it’s got an “R” next to the name, they will vote for whoever it is to prevent an evil Muslim-loving Marxist Democrat from destroying our great nation.
The 3rd District was gerrymandered for African-Americans and less affluent whites. It runs from the eastern part of Richmond, snaking its way down to the Atlantic Ocean. It is so heavily Democratic that the GOP never bothers to run serious candidates in the 3rd. Bobby Scott reps the 3rd in the House. Compared to Cantor, he is actually pretty good on many issues.
From what I’ve been reading about Brat, he may also be pretty good compared to Cantor. It also seems that there is more to him than the the media is spinning about immigration and the tea party. Already he has the GOP squirming and Cantor is going to quit being majority leader. Even the Democrats are getting nervous worrying about the evil tea party taking over. I’m hoping Cantor will have a tantrum that spirals out of control into complete madness – all on camera. Maybe he’ll really flip out and demand a recount, unable to accept his opponent’s 12 point margin.
He ran non-stop ads about Brat being a “liberal college professor” tipping off his GOP base that, among other things, he is a liar. Brat never even got around to bringing up how a bank that Cantor’s wife ran restructured itself to qualify for a fat bailout.
Maybe Cantor will go move in with Netanyahu, join the Likud Party and run for a Knesset seat where lobbying for war can be a full-time endeavor.
Tom, thanks for your analysis from the Belly of the Beast. The Wash. Post had a breakdown of the primary results by county; I was surprised to see Cantor losing by a 2 to 1 margin in one county and almost that much in a second county.
Cantor will be having a press conference at 4:30 pm today – maybe it will be televised by CSPAN or Fox News or the White House channel.
The ONLY reason the tea party is in existence is GERRYMANDERED districts. The counter to them is for progressives and liberals and minorities and women to come out in the numbers they have and VOTE. The right has accurately sized them up as LAZY, APATHETIC and UNCONCERNED…so…the right rules when they shouldn’t.
Eric Cantor got bit by the Monster he created. Now the right and the country have to endure these nitwits until 2020.
What the working class whites of the tea party refuse to understand is the 1% have always had the crosshairs on them. Minorities and gays and latinas are just the red meat that is dangled in front to get their vote. The reason the whites dont have jobs is the 1% have shipped them all over to the chinese. And yet they continue to vote for them against their own economic self interest. Progressives and liberals and minorities and women did not do this. If the 1% can engineer this collapse they so desparately want the 1% will glide in the buy everything the middle class use to own at $.10 cents on the dollar and the population be under their control. Oh, you will have freedom just no money to exercise it.
“And yet they continue to vote for them against their own economic self interest. Progressives and liberals and minorities and women did not do this.”
Actually, they routinely do this. For example, they voted for the darling of Wall Street, Obama. Then, once it was apparent that Obama was a lying shill for the 0.1%, the progressives and liberals and minorities and women voted for him again. If the ruling elite dangle Hillary in front of them in 2016, the vast majority of progressives and liberals and minorities and women will vote for Hillary as they pretend she isn’t all about big bucks and bombs. Maybe she’ll get to run against Ted Cruz!
At this stage in the Imperial Empire’s life-cycle, the idiots on the “right” and the idiots on the “left” are pretty much interchangeable so far as the 0.1% are concerned.
But what about the latent wisdom of the majority? I learned about that in Va. civics class in 4th grade.
Characterizing Hillary as “all about big bucks & bombs” is an excellent line.
Jim, I have a theory that the latent wisdom of the majority doesn’t begin to approach infallibility until voter turnout reaches 100%. There is also something that political scientists discovered called “the miracle of compounded special interest” where voter turnout exceeds 100%. When this happens, the latent wisdom fully manifests into absolute wisdom.
As armour1955 alluded to above, spectacular political miracles occur on an occult level and terms of House members morph from 2 years to 6 years whenever there are large turnouts in districts gerrymandered 20 years ago specifically for tea party creation. If there were to be 110-125% voter turnout in these special tea party districts, all white people would lose their jobs to Chinese people and progressives would be forced to sell all their furniture to Koch Brothers, Inc. for pennies on the dollar. This may be what Brat’s secret tea party agenda is all about – putting second-hand IKEA furniture into the vaults of the Kochs.
Tom, if the only way to get that infallibility is with higher turnout, I guess we have no alternative but to make voting compulsory.
I like your theory better than the theories I have seen from political scientists. Here’s an outtake from Attention Deficit Democracy (2006):
Other defenders of ill-informed citizens rely on what Professor Philip Converse derisively labeled in 1964 as “the miracle of aggregation.”36 Under this sanguine view, random errors by ignorant voters will cancel themselves out, thus permitting informed voters to decide the election.37 …The only reason to assume that ignorant voters balance out in an election is so political scientists can avoid recognizing this gaping flaw in contemporary democracy.”
Perhaps the main difference between you and some of the political scientists is that you still have some sense of shame – at least as far as not proffering utter nonsense.
Isn’t democracy – voting – simply decision-making by one big committee? And isn’t a committee’s IQ determined by taking the highest IQ in the group, then dividing by the number of members in the group?
There’s a reason that the vote was originally not universal, but that voters were required to have demonstrated some level of intelligence. Maybe there’s a better system than “income and/or land ownership,” but those certainly aren’t a bad start.
How about this: you get one vote, but its value is multiplied by the tax dollars you paid. With a cap of, say, 10,000.
Lawhobbit, there are plenty of problems with the current system —
but it is hard to think of how any reform could be carried out as long as it could be vetoed by politicians who are exploiting the prevailing defects
Governance rests on four boxes….