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What Can We Say About Eric Cantor's Loss?

by: DocJess

Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 05:33:47 AM EDT

First and foremost, this is historic. The first time in history that a member of House leadership of either party was ousted by his own party in a primary. You might think this was because Cantor was a bad rep for his people, but that's not it. He actually was a bad rep: in 2011 the epicenter of the East Coast earthquake was in his district, causing a lot of damage, and he voted against money for his area. He brought home little in the way of pork over his career. He consistently showed hubris in his dealings with his constituency.

But this is a ruby red portion of Virginia, and so, they're getting what they elected.

Over the next few days, we'll find out if he lost on Republican votes, or on Democratic and Independent votes. It was an open primary, and Ben Jones, a former Congressman also known as "Cooter" from the Dukes of Hazzard,  penned an open letter telling everyone to vote for Brat against Cantor. By way of history, while Jones represented a Georgia CD, he later moved to Virginia and lost to Cantor back in 2002. Turnout for a primary was actually high, comparatively.

The real question is whether Cantor's loss changes things in DC. Will it make the elected GOP more intransigent? Is that even possible? Could it make them more reasonable in terms of actually passing a piece of legislation that is NOT the repeal of the ACA?

It's unlikely that Brat's win will lead to the Democrats taking the seat in November, but you never know. The two candidates are not only unknown non-politicians, but they're both professors at the same local college. Another historical first.

Onward and upward. Next up of interest are the run-offs in Georgia and Mississippi in their respective Senate races. In both of those cases, if the crazier Republican wins, the Democrats have a decent shot of winning. It always warms the cockles of my heart when the Teabaggers screw over the somewhat less loonier Republicans. Think "I am not a witch". Think "When a woman is raped the body has a way of shutting the whole thing down". The list is seemingly endless.

And yes kids, we hold the Senate. I've been saying it for years. Perhaps Cantor's loss will put us on a path to retaking the House.  

DocJess :: What Can We Say About Eric Cantor's Loss?

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Rest of the World (0.00 / 0)

I wonder (to the extent that this is news elsewhere), how papers are explaining this result. 

It is pretty rare globally that somebody in a leadership position in a party loses a general election (as they tend to represent safe seats by the time that they reach that level).  It's a little bit more common in the smaller legislatures (e.g. Australia with only 150 seats), but even there your party almost has to lose nationally before any of the leadership goes.

Likewise, for any sitting legislator, one almost has to be an out-there maverick before the national party puts pressure on the local party to "deselect" a sitting member.  If the national party is actually supporting the sitting member, for the local party to toss over a member -- much less one of the leaders -- is unheard of.

Given the much tighter control that national parties in the rest of the world have over the nominating process, how are major international news services explaining a local party throwing out a national leader -- especially one that was expected to become Speaker of the House either in 2015 or 2017? 

About the same as here... (0.00 / 0)
They have the same "shock and awe" that the pundits here have. Remember that in most places, they have a parliamentary system where the whole party gets ousted at once. Not to mention the places that have coups, also a full replacement.

People around the world often look at the US (especially before 2008) as a place where elected officials have the ability to vote their conscience instead of being required to vote along party lines.

Think about the UK, which ousted Churchill and his whole party right after the war. Or France, which vacillates between being a socialist country and "something else". Or Greece. Not to mention the Ukraine where they had regular elections, and then the Russians walked in and carved out a piece of their country.

To all these folks, this is likely viewed as an American aberration, but nothing like what they see on a regular basis.

[ Parent ]
interesting. (0.00 / 0)
also, wonder who will be speaker next term, assuming the tea cakers don't screw it up so bad we dems get it back, and even then, one wonders. also, is there any chance that Bonehead might reach a deal to get a few dems to vote for him to hold his speakership? if so, what kind of deal? or do the parties caucus together and then the caucuses vote? just wondering what will happen, and given the early experience, is Brat going to implode and let a Dem take a dark red district?

Wait a few weeks... (0.00 / 0)
See if McDaniel can take Cochoran. See which wing-nut gets to take on Michelle Nunn in Georgia.

To the best of my knowledge, there hasn't really been a contested Speaker race since back in the 20's or 30's....a long time. Normally, the majority party gets to pick. Since it's a 50% plus 1 vote, they can usually hold.

What's of most interest to me relative to Brat winning is that on primary day, PPP surveyed the district and found that the overwhelming majority (70-something percent) favoured immigration reform, especially the Senate version of the legislation. Some pundits are saying Brat won because of his opposition to Cantor's support of that, although I don't think that's true. First, I believe most voters don't know where candidates stand on most things. Second, I think in the end, it will be more a protest vote against Cantor for being a BAD REP for more than a decade. I haven't yet found the stats on who voted, but turnout was about 50% higher than 2 years ago.

I think that if the candidates debate, that may well cause Trammel to take Brat. On MSNBC yesterday morning, Brat seemed to lack basic knowledge of issues. He even blew a question on minimum wage. Odd, since he's ostensibly an economics professor. It may well be that Trammel is smarter and that may end up resonating with the constituency of voters.

[ Parent ]
If only the Dems capitilize on this. (0.00 / 0)
I think the Dems are missing loads of opportunities to get the message out that the tea party is the republican party now, and if you're an independent they're not for you. It looks like it is totally possible to win the district because I don't think Obama lost by more than 10 points there, and only about 10% of the district actually voted for Brat and there is a good chance that at least 5% to 10% of that might have been Dems foiling Cantor, the turnout was high but I don't think that many extra disgruntled voters turned out against Cantor.

The message the Dems have to get out there is They are the Independent party, because if you vote for a republican, they will vote party priorities over local priorities, what's best for the big special interests that the republicans always side with over what's going to help the average American. When ever the republicans try to call Dems socialist, the Dems need to respond by saying Yes their against socialism like social security and government programs like medicaid.

I have a friend from college who is libertarian and I used to agree with much of what he believed, but I now see the republicans more clearly as using libertarian rhetoric to undermine the social agreement not strengthen it. So now he calls me a Marxist {as if that's a bad thing} and asks why I don't like the tea party, I tried to explain I always was for the government safety net, didn't mind investment in advanced military technology, and as the grandson of an immigrant have nothing against them. After months of him not being satisfied with any of these reasons It dawned on me that the difference between the republicans of the 90s and today is that the Gingrichian republicans actually had a Populist message, even though they were duplicitous and their policies have turned out to royally fuck the average guy.

They need to reclaim the new deal, follow Sanders and Warren and point out just how destructive to America the republicans have been for the little guy.

Most importantly the the California solution to redraw districts asap, ballot initiatives that redraw districts for 2016 and 2020, there is far too much damage being done by the obstructionists to wait for the 2020 census and redraw for 2022.




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