Join 3,522 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Majority Leader Eric Cantor defeated by Tea Party challenger Dave Brat
June 10, 2014 6:25 PM   Subscribe

United States Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, Majority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, has lost the Republican primary election in Virginia's 7th Congressional District to Dave Brat, a political newcomer and economics professor at Randolph-Macon College.

Robert Costa, writing for the Washington Post, gathers quotes from GOP observers on the surprising defeat:
"This is an earthquake," said former Minnesota congressman Vin Weber, a friend of Cantor's. "No one thought he'd lose." But Brat, tapping into conservative anger over Cantor's role in supporting efforts to reform federal immigration laws, found a way to combat Cantor's significant financial edge.

"Eric Cantor's loss tonight is an apocalyptic moment for the GOP establishment," said L. Brent Bozell, chairman of ForAmerica, a conservative group that targeted Cantor throughout the primary. "The grassroots is in revolt and marching."

Others had a different take. Longtime Virginia Republican strategist Chris LaCivita said Cantor's work to build the Republican majority had taken him away from his home district. "He spent days, weeks and months traveling the country, raising money to add to the Republican majority. What can be attributed to Eric in doing so is unquestionable. Unfortunately, it had a price."
Slate's Dave Weigel describes the result as "a historic defeat", adding:
Not since the 2004 defeat of Tom Daschle has a party's congressional majority leader lost an election; I'm still struggling to find a case where a majority leader lost a primary. And while I covered David Brat's race [against] Cantor a few times, I joined the vast majority of journalists in assuming Cantor would take this. After all: He seemed to spot the voter unrest early on, and he spent nearly $1 milllion in the final weeks, while Brat struggled to spend six figures.
Weigel goes on to detail several possible reasons for Cantor's loss, including the possibility that a public campaign to persuade Democrats to vote for Cantor's challenger in the open Republican primary may have had some effect.

Politico calls the result "one of the most stunning losses in modern House politics", and one that "completely upends the GOP hierarchy in Virginia and Washington."

Little is known about Brat, but his election will undoubtedly have a lot of people proclaiming that "[T]he demise of the Tea Party has been greatly exaggerated."
posted by tonycpsu (346 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

 
*
posted by The Potate at 6:27 PM on June 10 [6 favorites]


Eponytea-rrible?

Brat? I love when real life people have names that an author wouldn't dream of giving a character unless it was very tongue in cheek.
posted by sio42 at 6:28 PM on June 10 [7 favorites]


Well, this is one of those things that could be very, very good, or very, very bad, with no in-between.
posted by tzikeh at 6:29 PM on June 10 [41 favorites]


Aw, crap, I forgot to include the link to Dave Weigel's Slate piece.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:29 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


Holy crap!
posted by un petit cadeau at 6:29 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


RIP Intrade. This would have been a fun election to bet on.
posted by Slinga at 6:31 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


Couldn't happen to a more deserving asshole. Even among Beltway Republicans Cantor seemed particularly self serving and prone to backstabbing. I'm sure Boehner will be drinking with relish tonight.
posted by vuron at 6:31 PM on June 10 [17 favorites]


Brat? I love when real life people have names that an author wouldn't dream of giving a character unless it was very tongue in cheek.

I've never heard of him, but I like pronouncing it like short for bratwurst, and then picturing him as a large animatronic sausage.
posted by mudpuppie at 6:31 PM on June 10 [17 favorites]


"The Tea Party's been a tremendously positive input, I think... certainly for our party, you see the benefit."

-Eric Cantor

posted by Drinky Die at 6:31 PM on June 10 [20 favorites]


I'd be really interested to see if there actually was a lot of "crossover" voting from Democrats in the race. I've always thought that the relatively low turnout of mid-term primary elections was a perfect environment for that kind of gamesmanship, though I'd never expect it to work on this big a scale.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:31 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


Well, this is one of those things that could be very, very good, or very, very bad, with no in-between.

More like it's either one kind of bad or another and I'm not yet sure which.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:32 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


Via Dave Gilson of Mother Jones: "Brat Upsets Cantor" is the name of my bar mitzvah memoir.
posted by saturday_morning at 6:32 PM on June 10 [127 favorites]


I'm feeling very something.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:32 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure if I should feel dread or elation, so I'll just sum it up like this.
posted by cmfletcher at 6:33 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


Washington Post: "Cantor internal poll claims 34-point lead over primary opponent Brat"
A poll conducted late last month for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) shows him with a wide lead over challenger David Brat heading toward next Tuesday's Republican primary election.

The poll, shared with Post Politics, shows Cantor with a 62 percent to 28 percent lead over Brat, an economics professor running to Cantor's right. Eleven percent say they are undecided.
While it's nice to see a Republican hoist with his own non-reality-based petard, when they apply the same wishful thinking to the challenges facing the country and the world, we all suffer.
posted by grouse at 6:33 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


  • Brat's CV
  • Brat's Research

  • posted by The White Hat at 6:33 PM on June 10 [9 favorites]


    Fun to see what this'll do for immigration reform.
    posted by codswallop at 6:34 PM on June 10


    a public campaign to persuade Democrats to vote for Cantor's challenger in the open Republican primary may have had some effect.

    This is what my money is on.
    posted by Old'n'Busted at 6:34 PM on June 10 [6 favorites]


    Ah, taste the sweet honey of schadenfreude.
    posted by tyllwin at 6:34 PM on June 10


    "Free market capitalism, if not preached directly from the bible, is the end result of the morality of the bible, which I do believe in. Free Market Capitalism"

    My SO's immediate impression of this guy.
    posted by QueerAngel28 at 6:34 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


    Virginia has open primaries, so it's certainly possible. But there is no Dem candidate for the general (the guy being called the candidate didn't file papers), so it wasn't strategic voting. If there was crossover voting, it was more likely people who are Tea Party but not registered Republican. It might explain how the polling was so bad, though, if they were polling "likely Republican voters" and there were a whole lot of Tea Party types registered independent.
    posted by tavella at 6:34 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    Red State: The Great American Miracle

    I literally don’t know what to say and am at a loss of words.

    I’ve spent the past few weeks working with people on the ground in VA-7 to help Dave Brat turn in a strong showing. I originally thought the notion of Eric Cantor being vulnerable was a joke, but Dave Brat, a great American patriot, rose to the occasion. It became clear to me that he would probably crack 45% going into tonight’s election, but the thought of him winning was too tantalizing to even imagine.

    The results speak for themselves. Cantor outspent Brat $993,000 to $76,000 in last seven weeks of the election. Yet, Brat had enough money, with the help of a small Super PAC and Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck, and Mark Levin, to get out his message.

    posted by Drinky Die at 6:35 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


    Apparently the Democratic candidate is also a professor at Randolph-Macon College according to MSNBC...
    posted by jim in austin at 6:35 PM on June 10


    MUST BE ALL THAT VOTER FRAUD
    posted by tzikeh at 6:35 PM on June 10 [99 favorites]


    Cantor's an asshole, but this is really, really bad. The GOP is fucked and by extension we all are - hijacked by the extremists. Ever rightward from here on out. The deciding issue here was immigration. Brat won by taking the hardest line stance possible, his supporters railing against even Cantor's slightest concessions. It's doubtful the GOP will make the same mistake again. The Tea Party didn't just win this battle; it's as apocalyptic as they say. And it'll have an effect we can't really even imagine.
    posted by naju at 6:36 PM on June 10 [65 favorites]


    Do we really need to suspect Democratic crossover shenanigans when "Republicans shoot self in foot." is such a common election day headline these days?
    posted by Drinky Die at 6:37 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    Holy hell these funding numbers are really impressive.
    posted by Ferreous at 6:37 PM on June 10 [4 favorites]


    na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na, hey hey, goodbye.
    posted by bruce at 6:37 PM on June 10


    A reminder that the people who are saying the Tea Party is back in full effect after one upset win are the same people who say "Welp, so much for global warming!" at every cold snap after March.
    posted by Spatch at 6:37 PM on June 10 [19 favorites]


    Digby chimes in, questioning the grass-rootsiness of the result.
    posted by tonycpsu at 6:38 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    What the fuck is up with the GOP's polling?
    posted by brundlefly at 6:38 PM on June 10 [4 favorites]


    I tend to like doomsday scenarios.
    posted by QueerAngel28 at 6:38 PM on June 10


    Dave once lectured me over lunch about Calvinism and free-market capitalism, which in his mind are pretty much the same thing.
    posted by tonycpsu at 6:40 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


    Brat?

    Every pundit and late night talk show writer's room in America is giving heartfelt thanks tonight to all the voters in the great state of Virginia.
    posted by ceribus peribus at 6:40 PM on June 10 [4 favorites]


    Apparently the Democratic candidate is also a professor at Randolph-Macon College...

    Definitely gives new meaning to the old chestnut about academic squabbles and the size of the stakes.
    posted by octobersurprise at 6:40 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    Eric Cantor, No Matter How Old He Gets, Will Always Be a ‘Rising Star’

    April 27, 2014: "Eric Cantor is a rising star in national politics …" —Politico
    posted by Drinky Die at 6:41 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


    This whole thing is so crazy. I'm marathon training, I do not have time to watch MSNBC all night, AAAAAH, lol.
    posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:42 PM on June 10


    This is pretty bad for the country as a whole, since the GOP now has apparently zero incentive to compromise on anything anymore, for any reason.

    Basically, in order to win a Republican primary post-Cantor, you will need to be John-Birch-Society level conservative, which is almost proto-fascist.
    posted by Avenger at 6:42 PM on June 10 [21 favorites]


    Wow those links to his cv and research had my arched eyebrow arching so hard it nearly flew off my face. Advanced Mammon?

    He went to AU? Isn't that a liberal type school?
    posted by sio42 at 6:42 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    It's amazing how on twitter if you search for "Cantor" all the liberals are gloating about how much Cantor sux, and all the conservative Republicans/Tea Partyists are gloating about how much Cantor sux, and every one in a while you get some poor sap saying "but Cantor was one of the good guys!". Politics is weird.
    posted by no regrets, coyote at 6:45 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


    Holy hell these funding numbers are really impressive.

    Wow.
    posted by rtha at 6:45 PM on June 10


    Obviously this is anecdotal, but my DC-area facebook feed indicates that there were no small number of democratic crossover voters.

    I was originally thrilled to see this, but apparently this district went 57-42 for Mitt Romney so it's by no means clear that the Democrat is going to win in the general. And, actually inserting another tea partier into office doesn't really strike me as a victory.

    We shall see in November...
    posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 6:46 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    I am not an economist, but that CV seems a little thin for a department chair. I see a couple of papers in second- or third-tier journals and some conference proceedings. By those metrics, I'm a shoe-in for the Presidency.
    posted by wintermind at 6:46 PM on June 10 [6 favorites]


    Republicans had no desire or incentive to compromise anyway. This however threatens the money interests in the party who have been grooming Cantor for a long time. This Brat guy sounds like a true believer which is great during the election but awful for governance. I'd expect some blood letting as a result.
    posted by vuron at 6:46 PM on June 10 [4 favorites]


    The democratic contender keeps a pretty low profile for his election but this appears to be his personal site
    posted by adamsc at 6:46 PM on June 10


    I share some of naju and Avenger's pessimism, but only in the short term. In the long run, I believe this will help to accelerate the marginalization of the GOP and to further doom their chances of ever wooing the votes of the growing Latino population.
    posted by gimli at 6:48 PM on June 10 [9 favorites]


    Avenger: This is pretty bad for the country as a whole, since the GOP now has apparently zero incentive to compromise on anything anymore, for any reason.

    Sure, but we've seen what happens when these wackadoos have to win general elections in more evenly-split districts, or in statewide Senate seats. They were likely to hold onto the House until at least 2022 before this result, and they're still likely to do so now, but what's their path to winning the Senate or appealing to enough mainstream voters to defeat the inevitable Hillary run in 2016?
    posted by tonycpsu at 6:49 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    Third tier economics departments are more influenced by confirming to heterodox approaches to neoclassical economics and the ability to schmooze donations. Based on that large grant for that Institute he's probably a decent fundraiser.
    posted by vuron at 6:50 PM on June 10


    The possible secondary effects from this are really the more fun part of all of this, I think.

    1. Immigration reform is dead. Not just pining for the fjords with a chance of returning over the summer, but dead. No vulnerable GOP House member (which is most of them) will want to touch the issue with a 10 foot pole now that Cantor lost after a concerted campaign highlighting that he dared advocate that the GOP work with the Democrats on immigration reform.

    2. The GOP is going to lose the Presidential race in 2016, and quite possibly for a lot longer. If VA-6 is even somewhat representative of the sentiment of the GOP base nationwide, no GOP candidate could possibly be nominated unless they oppose immigration reform. Given how the issue polls, any candidate that opposes immigration reform is going to get blown out and badly among swing voters and independents.

    3. As a result of #2, Hillary Clinton is laughing her ass off right now.

    4. The GOP establishment just had a load-bearing wall blown out of it. There are people in DC that have built careers around waiting for Cantor, the heir-apparent, to take over after Boehner retired. Now that he's lost, the GOP power structure in DC is about to get seriously rearranged, and this is not a quick process, nor will it be a pretty one, I suspect.

    5. This might be the beginning of a real all-out political war between the Tea Party/Conservative movement and the US Chamber of Commerce. Cantor was their biggest gun in the House, and was a major supporter of hedge funds and private equity, and they just knocked him out for a dyed-in-the-wool TCOT guy. Many monocles popped out in surprise and fury tonight.

    These next two are more my personal theories, but I think they hold water, especially now.

    6. This is the start of the GOP implosion for 2014. Ever since 2008, the GOP has always found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in some way, always falling short of their ultimate goal, be it a Presidential win or control of Congress. I have been waiting for this moment to come in 2014, and I think this might be the start of it. It'll energize insurgent candidates around the country to start mouthing off about immigration reform stealing America from Real Americans, and that will start the negative media spiral that sank more than a few Congressional races in 2012 for the GOP, and maybe, I think, will save the Senate for the Dems (but that's still a coin flip, I think).

    7. I have held a theory since after the 2010 election went the way it did for the future of the political climate at the state and county level. Places that are blue will stay blue, and maybe shift slightly more blue, depending. Places that are purple, even slightly, will turn more blue, either through genuine change or simply the shifting of the left/right partisan split. Places that are red, however, will sprint further into the conservative end of the spectrum, as the GOP is increasingly taken over by far-right partisans at the base level, driving their politicians to adopt more and more far-right policies or get booted out of office. This will decrease their hold on Congress to some extent (more in the House than in the Senate), and will guarantee that the GOP stays out of the White House for a decade if not more, and I do think eventually things will settle down into the Dems narrowly holding the House and Senate most of the time. However, at the state/county level, it will be a disaster if you're in a GOP-held state or county. Far-right conservatives will run everything, and shit will get really interesting, really fast. I see this as one more piece of evidence for this theory, but hey, I might be wrong.
    posted by Punkey at 6:50 PM on June 10 [177 favorites]


    Punkey, I get your point, but I hardly find the fact that we're not going to get immigration reform "fun."
    posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:52 PM on June 10 [7 favorites]


    Basically, in order to win a Republican primary post-Cantor, you will need to be John-Birch-Society level conservative, which is almost proto-fascist.

    Already true in a lot of Red States. I'm not convinced that it's true even now for swing states.
    posted by tyllwin at 6:52 PM on June 10


    For me, the "big story" of late 20th century American politics is the ongoing evolution of the Republican Party.

    The GOP, circa 1950 was a broad national party. You had secular Californian suburbanites and celebrities, religious Midwesterners, moderate north eastern Methodists and Episcopalians, Rust belt progressive Republicans (think Geroge Romney) and even some southern blacks.

    By 2014, the GOP is essentially the party of white male Baptist militants and their wives.

    Somewhere along the way, the GOP began to narrow to the point where it became the political expression of a single demographic, with a single vision for the future of America. I have no idea how this happened.
    posted by Avenger at 6:53 PM on June 10 [7 favorites]


    As a (nearly) lifelong Virginian, this outcome feels like getting to postpone my colonoscopy in order to make it in time to my IRS audit.
    posted by 4ster at 6:54 PM on June 10 [61 favorites]


    Yeah, my definition of "fun" when it comes to politics is purposefully detached from the "shit I want to have happen" part of what I think about politics.
    posted by Punkey at 6:54 PM on June 10 [17 favorites]


    "Do not call up any which ye can not put down"

    Yes I am comparing the Tea Party to hungry ghouls raised from the dead by the hubris and madness of evil sorcerers, why?
    posted by Grimgrin at 6:54 PM on June 10 [38 favorites]


    Maybe the president can just do an Executive Order tomorrow, then.
    posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:55 PM on June 10


    Onto the general election, the VA 7th hasn't sent a D to the Capitol since 1971. Margins were
    2012: +17% vs Wayne Powell
    2010: +25% vs Rick Waugh & Green Party Floyd Bayne
    2008: +26% vs Anita Hartke
    2006: +30% vs James Nachman & Indep W Brad Blanton
    2004: +52% vs Indep W Brad Blanton
    2002: +39% vs Ben Jones (COOTER FROM THE DUKES OF HAZZARD)
    2000: +34% vs Warren Stewart 
    So this Austrian school econ prof is going to Washington unless he implodes or they can dig up someone better than Cooter.
    posted by The White Hat at 6:55 PM on June 10 [6 favorites]


    I work with economists and I can say his CV is quite thin.
    posted by borges at 6:57 PM on June 10


    I wish that the Democrats had their act together and had a strong candidate in place for the Fall election. What ever happened to Howard Dean's 50 state strategy?
    posted by octothorpe at 6:58 PM on June 10 [16 favorites]


    Vox covers several angles:

    Ezra Klein: 11 political lessons from Eric Cantor’s loss

    Dara Lind: Eric Cantor has been great for immigration hardliners

    Timothy B. Lee: Eric Cantor's loss is bad news for the NSA

    (I think that last one might be overstating the impact of one guy winning a low-turnout mid-term primary election, but whatever.)
    posted by tonycpsu at 6:58 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


    White people going crazy up in here.

    This is bad, as others have noted, because there's zero reason for Republicans to be try and be sensible now. That's just terrible governance wise, as we're going to be stuck fighting over really stupid shit, while real problems continue to fester.

    I suppose every Democrat up for election is going to bring up immigration reform now.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:01 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


    The democratic contender keeps a pretty low profile for his election but this appears to be his personal site

    Close. Try this one instead: About Jack Trammell.
    posted by scalefree at 7:02 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    A recounting of Ben Jones (aka Cooter) when he ran against Newt twenty years ago.
    posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:03 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    It's not like they were sensible and compromising before. Eric Cantor was not some bi-partisan saint.
    posted by Ferreous at 7:03 PM on June 10 [7 favorites]


    And the world keeps on turning...

    I never understood how people stopped caring about politics but now I can't phantom caring about it either. Regardless of how you vote, your issues, or what you care about - the system doesn't care about you and will continue to function the same way it has for the past 50 years.
    posted by lpcxa0 at 7:04 PM on June 10 [4 favorites]


    Avenger, I think that it's actually more craven than you think - which actually makes it more charitable to humanity as a whole than you think.

    I have a suspicion that the Tea Party would not be the national power it is today if the GOP wasn't so scared shitless about the fact that it was annihilated in the 2006 and 2008 elections. The spectacular implosion of GWB's second term cause so much collateral damage to the GOP that they were looking at being a minority party for the whole of Obama's presidency if they couldn't find some way to pump up their voting numbers. And then, like a phoenix draped with the Gadsden Flag, the Tea Party sprung up. Here were huge numbers of motivated GOP base voters, already afraid of literally anything Obama and the Democrats might pass. All the GOP had to do was sing the right tune, and they'd be lead right along behind them. All they had to do was not look too hard at what these newly motivated GOP voters were saying and thinking, and they'd coast to electoral victory, and that's pretty much what happened.

    I think this theory holds water, because the GOP did the exact same thing in 1968. Faced with a Democratic party that had held the South since Reconstruction, was well-established in the Plains, and was finally making serious progress in the Northeast and West, the Nixon campaign, lead by Lee Atwater, turned to the only readily available bunch of voters disgruntled with the Democratic party - white Southern racists. The Nixon campaign worked hard to swing Southern voters opposed to the Civil Rights Act towards their side, and were incredibly successful at it. Did Nixon or Atwater believe that the Civil Rights Act was bad? Atwater, maybe, but Nixon probably didn't care. The whole point was to drive a whole new segment of voters to their side, and they didn't really care where they came from or what they believed, as long as they voted for them.

    So, yes, the Tea Party are powerful now, but I have a sneaking suspicion that without the GOP establishment signal-boosting them in 2008 and especially in 2010, they wouldn't be nearly the force they are now.
    posted by Punkey at 7:05 PM on June 10 [27 favorites]


    House of Cards Season 3 sure is heating up
    posted by hellojed at 7:05 PM on June 10 [29 favorites]


    As much as I'm happy to wave goodbye to Eric Cantor, if you are to the right of Eric Cantor, especially in a racist sort of way, I don't even want to know you.

    This may be good for the Dems in general the sense that the Republicans have lost one of their golden children and once again are being made to look irrationally extreme. But it's terrible for people in that district who would like to see, you know, sane and competent representation of their local interests on the national stage.
    posted by BlueJae at 7:07 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


    Well, there's a Democrat there for them to vote for.
    posted by Drinky Die at 7:08 PM on June 10 [8 favorites]


    In most red states/districts it seems to me that in a 3-way race a GOPer still comes out on top over a Tea Partier who has to run on their own ticket and the D candidate. After all, it's well known that the crazies come out to vote in primaries but the normals drown them out in the general, that's why candidates are more extreme at first and then dial it back later.

    So I wonder if/when the GOP just expels Tea Party types and says "you're on your own".
    posted by mrbigmuscles at 7:09 PM on June 10


    From another thread. Momentum seems to be building!
    posted by tonycpsu at 7:10 PM on June 10


    I wish that the Democrats had their act together and had a strong candidate in place for the Fall election. What ever happened to Howard Dean's 50 state strategy?
    There's no way that the Democrats have given up on Virginia. They can win Virginia at the statewide level. It would be stupid, though, to try to win every congressional district, because a lot of districts are gerrymandered to such an extreme that it would be stupid to waste resources on them. In this election, they really need to spend their money in the places where they've got a shot of winning.

    Anyway, this sure does change the narrative about the 2014 primaries, because yesterday it was all about the triumph of the establishment over the Tea Party. Guess we won't be hearing that so much after today!
    posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:12 PM on June 10 [4 favorites]


    I wonder how the Democrat's vampire novel is going.
    posted by Small Dollar at 7:13 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    almost proto-fascist.

    Ignoring Eric Blair on fascist and instead assuming that 'old Benito was right when he talked about the the blending of State and Corporate power at what point do things move from "proto" to just straight up fascist?

    Citizens United is just "proto"? The 2008 banking blow up is not quite there yet? Having BP fill out forms in pencil and given to Government regulators of BP was what.....being helpful?
    posted by rough ashlar at 7:13 PM on June 10 [15 favorites]


    Welp, time to start buying stock in popcorn...
    posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:15 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


    Is it also something interesting that an American political candidate outspent their opponent something like 20 to 1 and lost?
    posted by jjderooy at 7:17 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


    So, yes, the Tea Party are powerful now, but I have a sneaking suspicion that without the GOP establishment signal-boosting them in 2008 and especially in 2010, they wouldn't be nearly the force they are now.

    Considering the roots of 9/11 truth and the Ron Paul revolution and how "powerful" those 2 items are on the national political stage, the GOP signal boost made 'em into what they are.
    posted by rough ashlar at 7:17 PM on June 10


    Here's a taste of what's to come from Fox News host Todd Starnes. "Here's the message from Virginia: You either stand with Americans or you stand with the invaders."

    Oh, and one more thing I forgot:

    8. The GOP is becoming even more Christian than before. Eric Cantor was the last Jewish GOP member in Congress. Don't think that means a ton, but it's worth noting.
    posted by Punkey at 7:18 PM on June 10 [21 favorites]


    fyi gerrymandering isn't usually to make extreme districts for the people doing gerrymandering, it's to make one extreme district for your opponent and lots of reasonably safe ones for yourself.
    posted by Ferreous at 7:19 PM on June 10 [4 favorites]


    mouthing off about immigration reform stealing America from Real Americans, and that will start the negative media spiral

    And if we can just encourage a few of them to let loose with their own personal opinions on legitimate rape and related topics, it could turn into something of a perfect storm . . .
    posted by flug at 7:19 PM on June 10


    So I wonder if/when the GOP just expels Tea Party types and says "you're on your own".

    The GOP will never expel them, unless the party is feeling suicidal. The frothing teabaggers are their base now. Sure there's still some Main Street Republicans left, and the Country Club Republicans have always been with us, but in terms of a fired up set of voters, large enough in number to make an impact, who are guaranteed to show up for even the most boring midterm dog catcher primary, the tea party is all they've got. The Religious Right is out there too, but they're essentially indistinguishable from tea products these days.
    posted by honestcoyote at 7:21 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


    The timeframe of this is really pretty incredible. I was on the phone with a friend who grew up in Ashland, who likes politics, and who was in Ashland very recently and they had no idea this kind of showdown was even happening. Apparently Cantor's camp didn't either.
    posted by jetlagaddict at 7:22 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


    It's becoming clear that immigration is the hill that the GOP has picked to die on. I agree with the poster up-thread who said that it's becoming increasingly impossible to win the Presidential elections without supporting it, but would add that because of gerrymandering it's impossible to win certain house and senate seats without opposing it.

    I think this leads to an increasing divide between the Legislative and Executive branches, with even less being done in Washington as presidents increase their power and elected representatives become more truculent. Overall it's a pretty major defeat for the idea of representative democracy.
    posted by codacorolla at 7:23 PM on June 10 [14 favorites]


    Except when the chips are down, honestcoyote. The Tea Party has proven more than willing to throw gay marriage and abortion restrictions under the bus in service of cutting government programs and taxes. The religious right is actually more than a bit pissed off at the Tea Party about this.
    posted by Punkey at 7:23 PM on June 10


    Cantor is already putting out feelers for a new position.
    posted by tzikeh at 7:23 PM on June 10 [11 favorites]


    I think the GOP is making a major mistake if they think that they can solve their tea party problem by avoiding compromise with Obama. If they got something done, they'd have something to run on. Instead all they have is a litmus test that no politician can pass because the legislative process requires compromise.
    posted by humanfont at 7:23 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


    Brat really needs to start flying the Tea Party's Gadsen flag.
    posted by octobersurprise at 7:24 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


    +34??? How did Cantor get this so wrong? Was anyone even doing real polling (independent of the campaigns)?
    posted by dilaudid at 7:24 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    Couldn't he just do a Virginia for Cantor run and win that way?
    posted by Apocryphon at 7:28 PM on June 10


    The good news is that the GOP is imploding. The bad news is that the GOP is imploding.
    posted by naju at 7:28 PM on June 10 [16 favorites]


    They probably unskewed the polls, y'know.
    posted by localroger at 7:29 PM on June 10 [6 favorites]


    Chaos erupts at Cantor election night headquarters after his departure (WaPo)

    Pro-immigration reform protesters stormed Cantor's headquarters, apparently, and a scuffle ensued. Good job creating good will with GOP and VA voters, guys.
    posted by Punkey at 7:30 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    It's becoming clear that immigration is the hill that the GOP has picked to die on. I agree with the poster up-thread who said that it's becoming increasingly impossible to win the Presidential elections without supporting it, but would add that because of gerrymandering it's impossible to win certain house and senate seats without opposing it.

    It's not that the party leadership picked immigration as the bridge too far, they've narrowed their base to such that the only core supporters left are the Minutemen, Cliven Bundy's, and hate radio listeners. Those voters simply CANNOT accept any policy that gives an iota on immigration, as it goes against their entire hateful framework. We're seeing the results of the Republican Party's wholesale adoption of the hate radio platform, none of the elected officials can cross Ingraham/Rush/Beck, the real powerbrokers who don't have to worry about workable policy, only maintaining complete "purity" of hatred for the ever-growing definition of the Liberal Other.
    posted by T.D. Strange at 7:30 PM on June 10 [13 favorites]


    +34??? How did Cantor get this so wrong? Was anyone even doing real polling (independent of the campaigns)?

    This is a good question.

    Ezra Klein: "The Republican Party has a serious data problem. in 2012, Mitt Romney's internal polls were garbage. This year, Eric Cantor's internal polls showed him up by more than 30 points. Something is deeply wrong with the GOP's campaign infrastructure if the party's presidential nominee and the party's House majority leader can't rely on their pollsters."
    posted by lalex at 7:31 PM on June 10 [20 favorites]


    I don't get why democrats are gloating here - we don't have anyone to run against the guy.
    posted by empath at 7:32 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    Couldn't he just do a Virginia for Cantor run and win that way?


    Virginia has a sore loser law, so no.
    posted by snickerdoodle at 7:32 PM on June 10 [8 favorites]


    Not to burst anyone's bubbles or anything, but the idea that this is a canary in the coal mine (oh, how apropos for SW Virginia) is pretty ludicrous for 2014, let alone 2016. There are a million different things that could happen between now and then. My money is neither a 2012-style Akin/Mourdock/etc meltdown ending in a bare hold on either or both houses, nor a 2010-style wave for either side. I'd guess the House still stays in GOP hands and there's still a 50/50 chance the Senate turns GOP. The Dems have a baked-in advantage for 2016 in both the Presidential and Senate races, but next-to-no chance at reclaiming the House until 2022. And that's if the Dems can manage to get their collective heads out of their asses when it comes to state and local activism before the census, a prospect that has thus far not come to pass in at least three of the last 5 decades.

    Does this show the GOP is turning ever crazier and demographically irrelevant? Sure. But it's important to remember they still have control over more than half of Congress, most state legislatures and/or governors, and depending on which side of the bed Anthony Kennedy wakes up on, SCOTUS. They are now a party (and honestly, a political philosophy) built on denying entire demographics the ability to participate in electoral politics. They've weaponized that ability to an extent that they don't even need to actually win anything, and they are very nearly within reach of the capability to steal much of it if they want.
    posted by zombieflanders at 7:34 PM on June 10 [46 favorites]


    +34??? How did Cantor get this so wrong? Was anyone even doing real polling (independent of the campaigns)?

    An excellent question, and the only answer I can think of is the Democrat crossover trick.

    And speaking of Machiavellian Democratic strategy, right now, I'd say it's unambiguously in the interests of the Democrats to lose this race in the general. If they win, GOP moderates (which, amazingly, Cantor is now the poster boy for) will have a very prominent example of Tea Party activism continuing to lose them seats (the 2012 Senate races were another good example, and the GOP Senate primaries seem to have faced much less of an insurgency this time as a result).
    posted by gsteff at 7:34 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    The Rachel Maddow show audio podcast is up now, if you like that sort of thing.
    posted by benito.strauss at 7:35 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    I think he might be able to run as a write-in, which would be delicious.
    posted by lalex at 7:36 PM on June 10


    I don't get why democrats are gloating here - we don't have anyone to run against the guy.

    Because we were never going to win that seat and Cantor losing is a true bolt from the blue (err... red) that destabilizes their party and could potentially wreak havoc and internal squabbles that keep them out of the White House for a generation (at least).
    posted by graphnerd at 7:36 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


    Here's an ad from the Brat campaign official Twitter account on immigration reform.
    posted by Punkey at 7:39 PM on June 10


    Looks like Cantor let go of the tiger tail and it ate him.


    I don't get why democrats are gloating here - we don't have anyone to run against the guy.

    probably not before this primary, but I bet the race just got competitive even if they put a no name in. And, frankly, that would be the only way the race would be competitive. Still a heck of a long shot for the D's to pick it up, but it's at least on the horizon now.

    More to the point it throws the whole Republican thing in stark relief, they have to do something now. The night of the long knives may be in sight.
    posted by edgeways at 7:39 PM on June 10


    FUCK.


    This was the election where wasn't going to get all wrapped up in the details.
    posted by edgeways at 7:40 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


    Ah, taste the sweet honey of schadenfreude.

    They're all brownshirts, at the end of the day, once all the votes are counted. A pox on Cantor's house and that of his replacement.
    posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:40 PM on June 10 [9 favorites]


    fyi gerrymandering isn't usually to make extreme districts for the people doing gerrymandering, it's to make one extreme district for your opponent and lots of reasonably safe ones for yourself.
    That might be how it's supposed to work, but it's not how it's working right now. GOP state legislatures have gerrymandered safe districts for themselves where it's pretty much impossible to be too conservative to win. It's pulling their whole party rightward and making them potentially unelectable in national and sometimes statewide elections. This isn't exactly a novel observation on my part: it's basically conventional wisdom at this point.
    I don't get why democrats are gloating here - we don't have anyone to run against the guy.
    I'm not gloating. I have no idea how this is all going to shake out. But it makes things very, very complicated for the Republicans, and it means that they're going to be distracted by some big internal power struggles right at the time when they should be focusing on the upcoming elections. And that's not a bad thing from my point of view, even if I don't think there's a snowball's chance in hell that a Democrat will win Cantor's seat.
    posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:42 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


    538 theorizes that the +34 poll number may not have been taken as seriously by Cantor as they let on: "Despite Cantor’s McLaughlin poll, it was clear in the final weeks that he thought he was in trouble. He spent a lot of money on negative advertising against a little-known opponent. Compared with the polling he put out, he knew something we didn’t. Sometimes it’s better to follow the money and watch what the campaigns are doing than to listen to what their pollsters say."
    posted by Punkey at 7:44 PM on June 10 [4 favorites]


    The Democrats canceled their primary when it was clear Cantor was in trouble because the candidate who had been on the ballot was horrible. They have picked Jack Trammell . Apparently he teaches at the same college. Battle of the professors.
    posted by humanfont at 7:46 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    The seat is safely Republican. This is about the Republican party losing one of its leading figures from within. That is massive. It should show the money that backs up the party that using fear based identity politics to fuel GOTV has the potential to bite people in the ass. So instead of investing money into someone that will eventually be Speaker you have a true believer that seems like a dilettante. If I had just spent time money and effort getting Cantor to his former position I'd be passed and I'd make sure people paid the price. Keep in mind Cantor was seen as one if the few people capable of actually bridging the gap between tea party and the leadership. Boehner is probably happy because now he doesn't have to worry about Cantor selling him out but who's the next emissary to the unruly inmates?
    posted by vuron at 7:50 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    Anecdotally, I do know at least one died-in-the-wool Democrat who voted tactically for Brat. Actually, I'm not sure tactically is exactly the right word - I don't think he was motivated by some overarching master electoral plan so much as just really, really hating Cantor.

    Ironically, even though I live within walking distance from the border with Cantor's (soon-to-be-former) district, my congressman, Bobby Scott, has one of the more reliably liberal voting records in the House. Gotta love gerrymandering.
    posted by strangely stunted trees at 7:51 PM on June 10


    So what happens with Cantor's status as majority leader for the next six months? He won't have any effective power now since he's losing his seat in January but can the republicans take his leadership post away before then?
    posted by octothorpe at 7:53 PM on June 10


    Apparently no sitting House Majority Leader has lost a primary since 1899.
    posted by Skorgu at 7:56 PM on June 10 [9 favorites]


    The seat is safely Republican. This is about the Republican party losing one of its leading figures from within

    It's seems like it's about replacing someone who is a little crazy with someone who is a LOT crazy.
    posted by empath at 7:58 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    This is my district, and as posted up thread, has gone Republican consistently for decades. It is quite conservative. Brat is definitely going to DC next January, for better or (more likely) for worse.
    posted by armage at 7:58 PM on June 10


    Meet the new douchebag. Same as the old douchebag.
    posted by wabbittwax at 7:59 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


    He might step down, or he might not. A good deal of his whipping power as Majority Leader is derived from the fact that he is People You Don't Fuck With, which no longer being in Congress next year will certainly ruin, but he also ostensibly speaks for the Republican Party when he tells those in his caucus to get in line on something. So, while his personal clout has evaporated, he still has a good amount of power simply being Majority Leader. I could see him serving out the rest of his term in his current position.
    posted by Punkey at 8:00 PM on June 10


    It's seems like it's about replacing someone who is a little crazy with someone who is a LOT crazy.
    That assumes that all representatives are equally powerful, and they're not. It's replacing someone who is a little crazy and was extremely powerful with someone who is a lot crazy and will have next to no power at all. The most junior guy in the House is not the same as the House Majority Leader.
    posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:00 PM on June 10 [29 favorites]


    Whether or not he wants to do the job, given what the GOP has started to turn into, is something else entirely. Also on a related note, I feel preemptively sorry for whatever poor dope takes his place. I wouldn't want to be a member of the GOP leadership for anything right now.
    posted by Punkey at 8:01 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


    The wave of stomach flu and diarrhea in the US Chamber HQ tonight has to be overwhelming. When bad things happen to bad people...
    posted by Ber at 8:01 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


    He might step down, or he might not. A good deal of his whipping power as Majority Leader is derived from the fact that he is People You Don't Fuck With

    This is a tangent from main news, but I don't think that's really the case anymore. My understanding is that earmarks are largely gone and the House GOPers don't really care about passing bills, certainly not with a Democratic Senate and President. So the leadership no longer has much leverage over its caucus, which is part of why Boeher gets publicly frustrated with them.

    Other implications of this: major damage to the presidential campaigns of immigration reform supporters Marco Rubio and Rand Paul.
    posted by gsteff at 8:05 PM on June 10


    vuron: "Couldn't happen to a more deserving asshole. Even among Beltway Republicans Cantor seemed particularly self serving and prone to backstabbing. I'm sure Boehner will be drinking with relish tonight."

    Well, certainly, Megajohn will.
    posted by symbioid at 8:07 PM on June 10


    Cantors power came from his rolodex of big money donors who he could direct your way. The man raises a ton of money for state candidates in Virginia and for members of the House and Senate nationally.
    posted by humanfont at 8:07 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


    What is the GOP leadership even going to say about this, in the immediate future? (Like tomorrow?) They need to have some spin on it being positive or negative, right? And either way they spin it is going to cost them huge points from different kinds of people.
    posted by naju at 8:08 PM on June 10


    Cantor can still demand trial by combat, right?
    posted by Rangeboy at 8:11 PM on June 10 [29 favorites]


    Cantor can still demand trial by combat, right?

    He might be up against a Mountain, and who would be his champion?
    posted by localroger at 8:12 PM on June 10


    I bet that somehow the GOP leadership blames this on Benghazi.
    posted by TwoStride at 8:12 PM on June 10 [11 favorites]


    gsteff: Well, yeah. That's the reality of the situation, and why I hedged with "ostensibly". :) Part of why I feel sorry for whoever takes his place. And you can add Jeb Bush, who is basically running as the immigration reform candidate for 2016, and Chris Christie, who also supports immigration reform, and in fact signed a state-level version of the DREAM Act into law.

    naju: I don't know, but Robert Costa is all over DC tonight, and he says the GOP establishment are running scared. No one's talking, even off-the-record, and lights are on all over the Capitol and Congressional office buildings. If you want the inside skinny on the GOP in Congress, @costareports is a must-follow.
    posted by Punkey at 8:14 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    I think people are far too charitable in drawing a bright red line between the Tea Party and "establishment" Republicans. The idea that Tea Party successes are a warning sign for some new kind of avalanche of hatred and backwardness strikes me as silly-- because the establishment is already there anyway. At this point any disruption in the Republican power structure seems like a positive development to me, if it leaves them shuffling.
    posted by threeants at 8:17 PM on June 10 [16 favorites]


    Apparently no sitting House Majority Leader has lost a primary since 1899.

    And that's when the office was invented. No sitting House Majority Leader had ever lost a primary.
    posted by Etrigan at 8:17 PM on June 10 [38 favorites]


    Serious question:

    The funding and spending discrepancy is really amazing.

    The common wisdom I've always seen is that money buys elections, which is why Citizens United is such bad news ... so now I'm really curious - what percentage of the time do election returns NOT reflect spending?

    I've been wondering about this ever since Michael Huffington ran the most expensive non-presidential campaign in US history and still lost to Dianne Feinstein.

    Also, does anyone have good recommendations for informed, rational speculation on who will be the next majority leader?
    posted by kristi at 8:19 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


    what percentage of the time do election returns NOT reflect spending?

    This is a really interesting question and is a straight-up Moneyball line of inquiry. Has Nate Silver done anything on this? Seeing what kind of money works and when, and when it doesn't? A quick Googling doesn't reveal anything specific that he's written.

    Any ideas out there?
    posted by wemayfreeze at 8:23 PM on June 10


    Presumably Kevin McCarthy will probably be the next Majority Leader since he's the current Whip but I'm not sure if there will be a revolt in the caucus.
    posted by vuron at 8:23 PM on June 10


    Also, does anyone have good recommendations for informed, rational speculation on who will be the next majority leader?

    This is just coming from me, but I'd say that the current whip, Kevin McCarthy, is the most obvious choice. As others have said, this is a position that won't endear you to the rank and file right now, so I doubt that Paul Ryan is interested.
    posted by gsteff at 8:23 PM on June 10


    (And it's not hard for me to see how even a comparatively progressive Republican voter might come to choose the racist, misogynistic, homophobic populist guy over the racist, misogynistic, homophobic corporatist neoliberal guy.)
    posted by threeants at 8:24 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    (reads)

    "What?"

    (reads again)

    "Uh... what?"

    (reads a third time)

    "Haha... hahaha... ha?"

    (reads a fourth time)

    "Hahahahahahahahahaha!"
    posted by Flunkie at 8:24 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    Ryan's already said "No", and I believe him despite how solid most denials about seeking higher office usually are. Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy is next in line, but Robert Costa suggested that Congressman Hensarling of Texas (who was formerly the chairman of the House Republican Conference and is the head of the House Financial Services Committee - and therefore equally buddy-buddy with the US CoC) might be being encouraged to take a run at it.
    posted by Punkey at 8:24 PM on June 10


    I don't get why democrats are gloating here - we don't have anyone to run against the guy.

    I beg to differ. Every Democrat across the country is going to run against Brat.
    posted by Ironmouth at 8:25 PM on June 10 [21 favorites]


    "The grassroots is in revolt and marching."

    Study Confirms Tea Party Was Created by Big Tobacco and Billionaire Koch Brothers.

    Right.
    posted by whyareyouatriangle at 8:27 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


    What the fuck is up with the GOP's polling?
    Mathematics is a liberal myth.
    posted by Flunkie at 8:28 PM on June 10 [10 favorites]


    Poor Eric Cantor. How ever shall he make a living?
    posted by spitbull at 8:29 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


    Also, the House is going to get glacial on legislation. nothing will move and there will be a lot of pressure and creaking noises.

    Brat's already trying to claim he's not hard right.

    The Dems would be wise to put enough money in this race to force Brat to say crazy shit to keep his base going. Then they poster boy him for the national GOP, paint the party as slaves to a crazy right wing.

    I've long been saying this fall will not turn out as a lot of the CW says.

    Also Cantor was in trouble and he knew it. Deep shit. He went negative against Brat. You only do that when you think you have to. Eric Cantor thought he had to.
    posted by Ironmouth at 8:29 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


    And cue the Washington Post Editorial Page types wringing hands over excess partisanship on both sides of the aisle. Because you wouldn't want Rush Limbaugh and his minions calling you liberal.
    posted by professor plum with a rope at 8:32 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


    This is bad, as others have noted, because there's zero reason for Republicans to be try and be sensible now.
    Right, right, because that was actually a possibility.
    posted by Flunkie at 8:32 PM on June 10 [22 favorites]


    I've really been enjoying this read: American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, which tracks the growth of the original colonies of the USA, Mexico, and Canada--how they were founded for very different reasons and had completely different views.

    We're seeing the GOP become a regional party before our eyes and really becoming the party of just a few of these nations. Unfortunately, I fear the damage they're going to do to the rest of us in the process.
    posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:33 PM on June 10 [12 favorites]


    So apparently Brat's campaign manager just turned 23 in May. (I know it's not fair, but I just can't help but picture Jonah in my mind's eye.)
    posted by longdaysjourney at 8:33 PM on June 10 [15 favorites]


    The problem for the Republicans is that they started the Tea Party as a way of bringing in the disaffected conservatives back into the party but they've largely lost control of it especially at the local and state level where it is fueled in large part by talk radio and Fox News basically spewing propaganda along the lines of "White People are Doomed - Obama is personally going to have sex with your wife and daughters".

    You can't play around with extreme racism and nativism as a technique to bring election success and then get surprised when that same extremism bites you in the ass. Fire and pitchforks are cool if you can control the mob but let the mob start looking for internal enemies and it's amazing how quickly it can pick apart any deviation.

    I'd be shocked if Anti-semitism isn't a factor as the narrative of a Jewish stab in the back seems to be increasingly popular in the extreme right birthing grounds like /pol/.
    posted by vuron at 8:36 PM on June 10 [16 favorites]


    Ingraham Warns GOP That Passing Immigration Reform Will Cost Them 2016 Presidential Race
    posted by T.D. Strange at 8:39 PM on June 10


    The Democrats canceled their primary when it was clear Cantor was in trouble because the candidate who had been on the ballot was horrible.

    Wait, what? Canceled? How?

    Also, the handpicked contender's campaign page says "Page Title Here." Not promising.
    posted by psoas at 8:45 PM on June 10


    So now I'm really curious to see if Rush declares this a Democratic dirty trick or a grassroots revolution. I think that'll determine how the party jumps.
    posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 8:46 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    fifteen schnitzengruben: Kevin Phillips has some similar stuff in *American Theocracy*
    posted by professor plum with a rope at 8:47 PM on June 10


    It's disappointing to see Brat running (and winning) on an anti-immigration-reform platform, especially when other libertarian/free-market economists like Bryan Caplan have been vocal supporters of immigration and open borders.
    posted by mbrubeck at 8:47 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


    David Axelrod: " '....those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.' John F. Kennedy. #EricCantor"
    posted by lalex at 8:49 PM on June 10 [10 favorites]


    Also, the House is going to get glacial on legislation.

    Hey now - glaciers are actually moving along into the ocean at a pretty decent clip these days.
    posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 8:53 PM on June 10 [56 favorites]


    this is win-win all the way around. eric cantor down, i didn't care for him.

    david brat's ascendance will result in one of two things. he's another justin amash, opposed to government surveillance, less friendly toward big banks and the chamber of commerce, less likely to support american hegemony in the middle east, or...

    he's another whacko, talking about "legitimate rape" and "evolution is a lie from the pit of hell" and people all across the country get to see what mainstream republicanism looks like now.

    i look forward to the ensuing controversy and bloodletting.
    posted by bruce at 9:07 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    Here's where Brat really comes in handy. He attacked the deal ending the government shutdown. Dems would love to have the election narrative include that and this opens that door. "Shutdown Dave" is now the man's name. Gonna mention it to my neighbor, a super senior Dem comms guy . . .
    posted by Ironmouth at 9:13 PM on June 10 [8 favorites]


    Virginia has a sore loser law, so no.

    Hopefully someone can enlighten me: aren't the political parties technically private organizations? Why does state law regulate private conduct?
    posted by Gyan at 9:16 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    Hopefully someone can enlighten me: aren't the political parties technically private organizations? Why does state law regulate private conduct?

    Why wouldn't they be able to?
    posted by empath at 9:20 PM on June 10


    Cantor out. Sweet. Not to derail, but when can I expect the same of Mitch "The Tortoise" McConnell? (Yes, I know he's a senator.)
    posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 9:20 PM on June 10


    He attacked the deal ending the government shutdown.

    Finally, we have an example of a Republican who doesn't want to bargain with Obama. Checkmate!
    posted by Drinky Die at 9:21 PM on June 10 [9 favorites]


    Man, I just no longer have any faith that intramural chaos and extremism in the GOP will ever pay off in progressive policy victories. Just more complacent ClintonBama status quo.

    Jack Trammell looks like he'd probably be a cool guy to go canoeing with.
    posted by batfish at 9:28 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    Politico headline: Cantor Now Leads Pack For '16 Nom
    posted by crank at 9:41 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


    There's a certain line of liberal thinking that goes: "this will force the GOP to shift extreme right, thus dooming them among reasonable-minded Americans."

    Often the reality ends up being: "this will force the GOP to shift extreme right, and they end up convincing lots of Americans to shift extreme right with them."
    posted by naju at 9:43 PM on June 10 [49 favorites]


    "The grassroots is in revolt and marching."

    Study Confirms Tea Party Was Created by Big Tobacco and Billionaire Koch Brothers.

    Right.


    Christ, this line of thinking annoys me. How a movement begins only has a very limited influence on what it becomes. Real political movements can easily be built on myths, misinterpretations or outright lies.
    posted by AdamCSnider at 10:04 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


    empath: Why wouldn't they be able to?

    It effectively means that if you participate in the election of a private organization, you cannot participate in the public election unless that private org supports you. Why does the eligibility criteria for a public election include conduct within a private entity's internal affairs?
    posted by Gyan at 10:09 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    § 24.2-520. Declaration of candidacy required.

    A candidate for nomination by primary for any office shall be required to file a written declaration of candidacy on a form prescribed by the State Board. The declaration shall include the name of the political party of which the candidate is a member, a designation of the office for which he is a candidate, and a statement that, if defeated in the primary, his name is not to be printed on the ballots for that office in the succeeding general election. The declaration shall be acknowledged before some officer who has the authority to take acknowledgments to deeds, or attested by two witnesses who are qualified voters of the election district.
    ****

    make of that what you will.
    posted by Justinian at 10:14 PM on June 10


    It's all fun & laughs until these fuckers get sworn in.
    posted by Pudhoho at 10:15 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


    Democratic crossover voters almost certainly didn't affect the race:
    Brat's margin of victory came almost entirely from Hanover County, which is one of the most heavily Republican counties in Virginia. Richmond City, the only part of the district that is majority Democratic, voted for Cantor.
    posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:15 PM on June 10 [10 favorites]


    The GOP has now fully completed it's slow evolution, begun under Nixon in '68, into the Party of Protecting White Male Privilege. Everything, everything the current breed of Republicans does can be easily understood under this rubric.

    Oh man, you thought the last Debt Ceiling battle was ugly...
    posted by dry white toast at 10:15 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


    It effectively means that if you participate in the election of a private organization, you cannot participate in the public election unless that private org supports you. Why does the eligibility criteria for a public election include conduct within a private entity's internal affairs?

    You're perfectly within your rights to run in the general without participating in a primary election. And also, party primaries are not entirely private affairs, there are all kinds of rules regulating them.
    posted by empath at 10:31 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


    Virginia is like a microcosm of the US at this point. The blue parts of VA are very blue, and the red parts are very red. The blue parts are growing faster than the red parts though. I have a feeling as state government gets more and more democratic, the people out in the countryside are going to get more and more radical, and probably violent.
    posted by empath at 10:34 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


    "[T]he demise of the Tea Party has been greatly exaggerated."

    Folks in NC already knew that; we laughed at the idiocy when outlets like NPR held up Thom Tillis - Speaker of the NC House and a clear Tea Party radical - as an establishment GOP figure who had TRIUMPHED OVER THE TEA PARTY when he held off a few poorly funded, completely inexperienced and ever-so-slightly more fringe primary challengers.

    It was hilarious, and deeply sad, to see that moronic narrative take hold.

    Now, of course, the narrative in places like the Wall Street Journal is that Cantor's loss is "overturning the building narrative that Republican Party leaders...had trampled the GOP's tea-party wing."

    Both narratives are, of course, bullshit. The "DEMISE OF THE TEA PARTY" narrative of just a few weeks ago was a ridiculous over-simplification that denied the dominance of Tea Party ideology in "establishment" figures like Tillis in places like North Carolina. Today's "TEA PARTY NEWLY TRIUMPHANT" narrative denies the specificity of the Cantor loss - i.e., the complacency, stupidity and last-minute, blowback-sparking negativity of the folks running the Cantor campaign.

    Be wary of all of the generalizing garbage statements the talking heads will be spewing this week. These are very specific cases in very specific campaigns in very specific districts, and the rush to make GRAND PRONOUNCEMENTS ABOUT THE FUTURE OF X" based on little more than a desire to create a readable story does everyone on all sides a disservice.
    posted by mediareport at 11:11 PM on June 10 [17 favorites]


    Metafilter: Many monocles popped out in surprise and fury tonight.
    posted by salishsea at 11:18 PM on June 10 [29 favorites]


    Also, it seems that instead of updating its story from earlier today, 'Eric Cantor Faces Tea Party Challenge Tuesday," which included this paragraph:

    A conservative challenger is expected to fall far short of defeating House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in Tuesday's congressional primary. Disorganization and poor funding have stymied the campaign of tea party activist David Brat, even as he tapped into conservative resentment toward a party leader who has been courting the Republican right for years...

    the Washington Post simply dumped that story at that URL down the memory hole and replaced it with this one: Eric Cantor succumbs to tea party challenger Tuesday.

    If that's indeed what the WaPo editors chose to do, it goes way beyond "oh, but we update our news stories constantly, you see!" into some other territory, far beyond The Land of Honest Online Journalism.
    posted by mediareport at 11:22 PM on June 10 [10 favorites]


    It effectively means that if you participate in the election of a private organization, you cannot participate in the public election unless that private org supports you. Why does the eligibility criteria for a public election include conduct within a private entity's internal affairs?

    To prevent exactly that kind of double-dipping.
    posted by kafziel at 11:35 PM on June 10


    Is it possible that Brat might be worse for the country? Tea Party people are usually rigid and doctrinaire. But I am not sorry to see Cantor defeated. Perhaps Bart can share that fate in the general election.
    posted by Cranberry at 12:33 AM on June 11


    The borderline and not-so-borderline right wing sites have been going absolutely banana-boats about immigration in the past few days. I wondered why. Looks like the theme for the election has been chosen. Great, I don't need to watch any of it, already know all the memes.
    posted by telstar at 12:41 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    So the GOP majority leader for the worst sessions of congress in history gets primaried out by his own party. And people thought Cantor was actually good at this politics thing?
    posted by PenDevil at 1:33 AM on June 11 [6 favorites]


    What armage said. I moved to the district in 2012, and I'd be surprised to see it go blue. I've seen almost zero liberal plumage, and the tone of discussions I pass in the supermarket, etc., tends conservative, even in the organic-sprouts-and-tofu aisle. As to the Tea Party fading, well, I don't follow politics all that closely, but I do like my drives in the Virginia countryside, and Tea Party signs are pretty much ubiquitous here.
    posted by cupcakeninja at 3:53 AM on June 11


    It effectively means that if you participate in the election of a private organization, you cannot participate in the public election unless that private org supports you. Why does the eligibility criteria for a public election include conduct within a private entity's internal affairs?

    The private entity uses public funds and infrastructure to conduct primary elections. Part of the bargain (in Virginia) that allows this is that candidates agree not to waste those public funds and infrastructure by ignoring those primary elections.
    posted by Etrigan at 4:34 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    ...and Cantor losing is a true bolt from the blue (err... red) that destabilizes their party and could potentially wreak havoc and internal squabbles that keep them out of the White House for a generation (at least).

    While winning the White House is a pretty feather in the cap, it becomes a meaningless trophy if a party can control both the House and the Senate, which the Republicans are in a very real position to do after this year's midterms.
    posted by Thorzdad at 4:54 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


    A reminder that the people who are saying the Tea Party is back in full effect after one upset win are the same people who say "Welp, so much for global warming!" at every cold snap after March.

    Exactly. I'm reading other bloggers that are saying this is proof that "The Tea Party is here to stay" etc. etc. and it's the exact opposite.

    As I've said before to much disagreement but continue to defend, the Tea Party is the primal scream of the conservative white male slowly losing power, fueled to the highest flames possible by the election of a black Democratic president. There's going to be this resentment in the future, but it's dying, because of demographics and because of public opinion.

    Cantor lost because of less than a 15% turnout in a state notorious for low voter turnout and an enormous disparity of motivated and unmotivated constituents. This was, significant as it was, the equivalent of a town council being taken over because a very large family brought all its members to one usually-unattended meeting and demanded a vote for their uncle to be the new chairman. Cantor won re-election last cycle with over 200,000 votes. He lost last night with nearly 10% of that turnout. Angry, angry right-wingers came out for Brat and no one else came out. That's the primal scream right there.

    The problem for the Teabaggers is that this just can't, and won't, work on a national level, and only gets harder demographically with each year. Hating the gays is gone, done, bye-bye. ObamaCare isn't going anywhere. Republicans have maybe 8-10 years left of hating Mexicans before that simply doesn't fly in Texas anymore. 2014 is going to be a rout for Democrats, likely losing them 7 seats and the Senate, and then it flips to 2016, where Republicans have twice as many seats to defend as Democrats, many in blue states, in an election year where the GOP has absolutely no one feasible on the bench against, very likely, the 90's-movie-asteriod of corporatist centrism and new-wave electoral demographics barreling at them with literally all the money, ever backing her.

    If the Tea Party was a coke lord movie, 2014 is basically the awesome montage scene in the middle of the film before it all starts going to shit.
    posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:07 AM on June 11 [80 favorites]


    The good news for Cantor is that he will now have more time to spend collecting spores, molds, and fungus.
    posted by COBRA! at 5:14 AM on June 11 [6 favorites]


    Brat is an incisive critic of the Surveillance State. On his campaign web site, he went after Cantor for voting for the NDAA and against Rep. Justin Amash’s legislation that would have reined in the NSA. As the Brat campaign put it:

    "Dave believes that the Constitution does not need to be compromised for matters of national security. He supports the end of bulk phone and email data collection by the NSA, IRS, or any other branch of government."

    posted by bukvich at 5:15 AM on June 11 [3 favorites]


    There goes immigration reform.
    posted by cherrybounce at 5:23 AM on June 11


    Gyan, Lawrence Lessig recently wrote an essay that, in part, describes at length why it's legal to regulate the activities of 'private' organizations such as major political parties. One part of the relevant portion is this:
    [The] distinction between private activities, not subject to constitutional norms, and public, is important and continues to this day. If your extended family had a rule that you will decide before an election which candidate your clan will vote for, and everyone in your family promises to vote according to that decision, the process by which your family comes to that decision would not be an “election” for purposes of federal law. Even if the person counting the ballots brazenly lied about the results and thereby changed the votes of the five or ten members of your clan, that fraud would not be regulated by the federal government. Even today, there is such a thing as purely private behavior, which, if it is to be policed at all, is policed by private actors only.

    But in United States v. Classic, the Supreme Court concluded that a “primary” was not a merely private activity. It was instead an “election” for purposes of the Constitution. That meant that Congress could set the rules for primaries (if it so chose); it meant it could regulate fraud and other bad behavior occurring in a primary...
    Essentially, primaries are regulated because they affect the well-being of the republic, and unregulated political parties provably engaged (and would arguably still engage) in shenanigans that need to be shut down. For instance, "Hey, let's not let blacks vote in our primary! And guess what: the primary is effectively the general election in this district! Woohoo!"
    posted by daveliepmann at 5:44 AM on June 11 [6 favorites]


    On the one hand, this means Cantor is out: thank god, that's one lying, hate-filled backstabbing power-mad wackjob gone back to his lair. Good.
    On the other hand, this means a different hate-filled wackjob is going to Congress..... well, the bright side of this is that at least he won't have Cantor's level of visibility and power.
    posted by easily confused at 5:46 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    WaPo: The lights in the Capitol Hill suite of GOP House Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) stayed on past midnight as more than half a dozen aides shuffled between his offices and those of other GOP house members.

    From outside the building, they could be seen conversing as cable news coverage of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's shocking defeat in a Republican primary in Virginia played on at least one television screen behind them.

    McCarthy -- who aides insisted had left the Capitol Building earlier in the night -- is widely expected to mount a run for House majority leader.

    posted by Drinky Die at 5:46 AM on June 11


    NY Times: Since the beginning of last year, Mr. Cantor’s campaign had spent about $168,637 at steakhouses compared with the $200,000 his challenger, David Brat, had spent on his entire campaign.
    posted by Drinky Die at 5:52 AM on June 11 [6 favorites]


    Metafilter: the awesome montage in the coke lord movie before it all starts going to shit
    posted by jonp72 at 5:56 AM on June 11 [9 favorites]


    A clear rebuke to the common wisdom on the all-importance of the steakhouse demographic.
    posted by Flunkie at 6:02 AM on June 11 [5 favorites]


    Apparently no sitting House Majority Leader has lost a primary since 1899.

    And before 1899, the office of House Majority Leader didn't exist. This is definitely unprecedented.
    posted by jonp72 at 6:03 AM on June 11 [5 favorites]


    I've kind of had this idea for a while that getting rid of earmarks is actually causing these primary challenges to gain traction and is causing a lot of the partisan rancor in congress. When your representative can't 'bring home the bacon', then the only basis for voting for him is ideology. So everyone is driven to be louder and more ideologically pure.
    posted by empath at 6:04 AM on June 11 [13 favorites]


    Often the reality ends up being: "this will force the GOP to shift extreme right, and they end up convincing lots of Americans to shift extreme right with them."

    In my part of the country, there is a growing bloc of "I'm staying home" midrange voters, who are unlikely to vote for a Democrat (DFL), but are increasingly disappointed and embarrassed by the Republicans, who become more extremist every year. It's been going on, and slowing growing, for 20 years or more now.

    The problem is that the two-party system has the Republicans so entrenched as an institution that they can't die. There will be some kind of Republican, no matter how whackadoodle, on the ballot in just about every race. The threshold for losing automatic ballot access in Minnesota is 5%, a pretty low number.

    Some years, it works out pretty well. Right now, Democrats (DFL) hold both houses of the legislature, the governor's office, all the constitutional statewide offices, both U.S. Senate seats and most of the congressional seats. But if you get a silly scandal, or an economic collapse, or something that upsets casual voters to where they want "some alternative", and where do those disaffected voters go? If you're lucky, they go to a Jesse Ventura style outsider. If you're not, they go to the Republicans, who will always be there, because they've got that institutional lock-in and inertia. Next thing you know, the gun nuts and bible bangers and fluoridated water kooks are in power, deconstructing civilization as we know it--even though their actual power base is a pretty small minority.

    We got lucky, because the Republicans took the legislature during the Tea Party high water mark in 2010, immediately hit overreach and got knocked out immediately in the next round. But they're still there, like a zombie caterpillar that's been taken over by a parasitic fungus, waiting to come back.

    I guess the point is, they don't have to convince a lot of voters to swing right, and I don't think that they really will. All they have to do is take over the institutionalized Republican apparatus, and wait for the swing to swing their way.
    posted by gimonca at 6:09 AM on June 11 [9 favorites]


    I know a lot of the Beltway media is expecting Republicans to win the senate in the fall but let's be honest that pretty much requires a clean sweep of competitive races and no losses of their own. Yeah it's possible but the more likely scenario especially as people actually start liking Obamacare is some seat losses in the Senate for Democrats and virtual stasis just like it's been for the last four years or so.

    Neither side is anywhere close to being dominant in the legislative arena, Obama can play defense in the White House against endless witch-hunts and basically play out the clock.

    2016 is going to be a horror show for Republicans. Hillary has a massive head start over any of the Republican challengers, a fuck ton of money and experience and OFA campaign gurus backing her up. Oh and let's not forget that she's got a major demographic advantage as long as Republicans continue with the "We hate Brown People" rhetoric.

    Between 2 more years of Obama and likely 4-8 years of Hillary I'm not sure even the bitter heart of Scalia can hold out especially if judges keep trolling him. Kennedy I figure will see out Obama's term but retire in Hillary's term if she's elected so that could be a 2 seat shift for liberals which would be massive.

    That's the core problem for Republicans they have been waiting ages to roll back as much of the great society and new deal as possible and increasingly that opportunity is getting away from them.
    posted by vuron at 6:27 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


    Two recent publications stand out in their titles:

    God and Advanced Mammon – Can Theological Types Handle Usury and Capitalism?
    By David Brat for Interpretation, April 2011.
    “An Analysis of the Moral Foundations in Ayn Rand” by Katy Holland and David Brat,
    presented and published in the proceedings of Southeast Informs, Myrtle Beach,
    SC, October 6, 2010.

    Has someone read these (so I don't have to)? Is he pro-Ayn Rand? And what is this thing about Advanced Mammon and Usury? (Sounds a bit close to railing against Illuminati)
    posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:33 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


    I guess the point is, they don't have to convince a lot of voters to swing right, and I don't think that they really will. All they have to do is take over the institutionalized Republican apparatus, and wait for the swing to swing their way.

    And once they do, a priority is to disenfranchise those who may vote for the opposition, through gerrymandering, voter ID rules designed to suppress minority and urban turnout, deliberate mismanagement of voting locations for same (a five hour wait to vote in a major city? Really?) etc.
    posted by Slap*Happy at 6:35 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    Brat is an incisive critic of the Surveillance State.

    Maybe his constituency is happy enough to believe they can have the safety they demand without the surveillance they fear and maybe Brat is smart enough to promise them that, but I see a lot of attempts to square the circle in his future.

    ... God and Advanced Mammon – Can Theological Types Handle Usury and Capitalism? By David Brat for Interpretation, April 2011 ... “An Analysis of the Moral Foundations in Ayn Rand” by Katy Holland and David Brat ...

    Oh, he's that guy.
    posted by octobersurprise at 6:39 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    I did find this.

    According to reporting by Woodruff, Brat and Allison share an affinity for Ayn Rand: Allison is a major supporter of the Ayn Rand Institute, and Brat co-authored a paper titled “An Analysis of the Moral Foundations in Ayn Rand.” Brat says that while he isn’t a Randian, he has been influenced by Atlas Shrugged and appreciates Rand’s case for human freedom and free markets.
    posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:43 AM on June 11


    ...someone better than Cooter.

    As if!
    posted by Mister_A at 7:02 AM on June 11


    He's paid by a bank to spread Ayn Rand to college students.
    posted by Brian B. at 7:03 AM on June 11 [5 favorites]


    Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck all came out in support of him[Brat] leading up to the primary.

    ... It's hard to imagine a better place to advertise for primary voters.
    posted by Orb2069 at 7:11 AM on June 11


    "While everyone is focused on Brat's critique of Cantor's immigration stance, that attack came in the broader context of the increasingly potent 'crony capitalism' theme."
    posted by daveliepmann at 7:11 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


    Maybe teaching econometrics to students is too hard and prosletyzing about the moral justice of free-market capitalism and objectivism is more his speed after all he does have a Divinity degree.
    posted by vuron at 7:13 AM on June 11


    And what is this thing about Advanced Mammon and Usury? (Sounds a bit close to railing against Illuminati)

    There's a strain of economic heterodoxy, particularly common among Austrians (the economic philosophers, not the people), which is closely allied with Calvinism or Christian Reconstructionism. Shawn Ritenour's written Foundations of Economics : A Christian View, for example. Glenn Moots' "One Protestant Tradition's Interface with Austrian Economics: Christian Reconstruction as Critic and Ally" is another approach, and Tim Terrell's contribution to David Hall's Calvin and Culture: Exploring a Worldview is "Calvin’s Contributions to Economic Theory and Policy," just to name a few. It's an explicitly religious approach to economics (brought to you by many of the same people who are so terrified of Sharia law) and I wish it were as fringe as belief in the Illuminati. I'm guessing Brat's thoroughly steeped in this tradition and furthermore, I'm guessing that had not a little to do with his victory.
    posted by octobersurprise at 7:14 AM on June 11 [15 favorites]


    NYT: “I met with all of them,” Mr. Brat said in a February interview with The New York Times. “But it’s tough. Everybody just wants to see the polls, how much money you’ve raised. But they do not know what’s going on on the ground.”
    posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:20 AM on June 11


    I wish that I had an institutional subscription that would let me read any of his articles, but the abstract to "Advanced Mammon and Usury" makes me wince: "The author stresses the need to synthesize Christianity and capitalism."
    posted by Jeanne at 7:22 AM on June 11 [3 favorites]


    I believe there is a strain of Christianity that believes that "usury" (charging interest) is un-Biblical. Here is one dude's take on it; he seems to think it only applies to charity. While this guy says it's all evil.
    posted by emjaybee at 7:24 AM on June 11


    The Robert Costa Twitter feed posted here earlier has been very entertaining this morning. LOTS of Republicans seem to be trying to figure out where they fit in now, or where they might be able to fit in.
    posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:28 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    Robert Costa's Twitter feed. He's invaluable whenever something crazy is going on behind the GOP scenes in DC. He's the one who blew up during the shutdown last year because of his good reporting. Also on twitter this morning, Brat caught some heat for being unprepared for his press conference.
    posted by DynamiteToast at 7:31 AM on June 11 [3 favorites]


    Here's the take on this that I've been waiting for.
    posted by TedW at 7:34 AM on June 11 [4 favorites]


    Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck all came out in support of him[Brat] leading up to the primary.

    Can someone explain why these people would deliberately sabotage the GOP pecking order? I mean, besides the obvious (um, batshitinsane)?
    posted by valkane at 7:34 AM on June 11


    Well, the good news for Cantor is that -- despite 50-something futile attempts to kill it -- Obamacare is still around, so when COBRA runs out, he can still get health insurance.
    posted by dirigibleman at 7:35 AM on June 11 [28 favorites]


    While this guy says it's all evil.

    This guy didn't like usura much either.
    posted by octobersurprise at 7:38 AM on June 11


    Obamacare is still around, so when COBRA runs out, he can still get health insurance.

    These colors don't run, man.

    posted by COBRA! at 7:40 AM on June 11 [15 favorites]


    Well, the good news for Cantor is that -- despite 50-something futile attempts to kill it -- Obamacare is still around

    One of the best jokes I saw on Twitter today was something along the lines of:
    So, is it fair to say that Cantor was
    (•_•)
    ( •_•)>⌐■-■
    (⌐■_■)
    repealed and replaced?
    posted by zombieflanders at 7:41 AM on June 11 [21 favorites]


    Doesn't Fox News provide health benefits?
    posted by valkane at 7:42 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


    Can someone explain why these people would deliberately sabotage the GOP pecking order?

    Partly because they don't care any more about actual governance than Brat does and partly because they make their money by whipping teabaggers into a froth over stuff like immigration so they will hoard gold and ammo (conveniently supplied by their sponsors). I bet they were just as surprised as anybody that Brat won, but will claim publicly that they saw it coming all along.
    posted by TedW at 7:43 AM on June 11 [10 favorites]


    Ah, thanks, TedW.
    posted by valkane at 7:44 AM on June 11


    Can someone explain why these people would deliberately sabotage the GOP pecking order?

    They don't have to care about who's on top of the GOP unless it's a person they completely control and who will follow whatever insane demands are the talk-ralk cause of the week. Cantor folded on the shutdown and debt ceiling, and combined with the immigration softening, that was enough to mark him as no longer their guy.
    posted by T.D. Strange at 7:45 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


    Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck all came out in support of him[Brat] leading up to the primary.

    Can someone explain why these people would deliberately sabotage the GOP pecking order?


    Aside from TedW's excellent point, they (and the Tea Partiers generally) just toppled one of the top three Republicans in the country. Every other Republican has heard that shot very clear.
    posted by Etrigan at 7:46 AM on June 11 [4 favorites]


    Brat on Chuck Todd's show this morning: "I just wanted to talk about the victory."
    posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:51 AM on June 11


    These colors don't run, man.

    SORRY i realize this is a derail but i still don't understand what this means. do they mean if you put the flag in the laundry it won't turn your white shirts pink? i really hope so because i want the most doggedly irritating nonsense phrase of national pride to be about correctly doing your washing.

    posted by elizardbits at 7:52 AM on June 11 [12 favorites]


    Any chance that such a public shaming like this will tarnish Cantor's prospects in the lobbying or punditry spaces?
    posted by I Havent Killed Anybody Since 1984 at 7:52 AM on June 11


    Yeah now is the time for major arm twisting, with access to pork products somewhat limited I suspect people will be jockeying for plum committee assignments and such. With the heir apparent to the Speaker effectively dead in the water the sharks are circling and I'm not really surprised that Hensarling and Sessions are making their presence felt at the leadership level.

    I think we can safely assume that the Republican Caucus in the house will be even more batshitinsane moving forward and that the establishment guys are going to be considering what if any payback they can extract from the Tea Party types.
    posted by vuron at 7:52 AM on June 11


    Any chance that such a public shaming like this will tarnish Cantor's prospects in the lobbying or punditry spaces?

    Lobbying and punditry spaces have no space for people who feel shame.
    posted by Drastic at 7:54 AM on June 11 [5 favorites]


    If I was in the Republican party's Congressional leadership, I would wait until the primary challenges were over and then totally ignore the Tea Party members. Act as if they didn't exist, walk over to the other side of the aisle and make moderate deals with the Democrats. The tea party may fume, but they don't have a future in 2016 when turnout is higher due to primaries coinciding with selecting the presidential candidate.

    The other reason to do this is that you can't work the Tea Party members. They don't want a budget, they don't want to pay the debt they helped run up, they think no government and no legislation is good government.
    posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:55 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    So now that he's got a national stage, any bets on how long it will be before Brat says something horribly and offensively stupid?
    posted by octothorpe at 7:56 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


    the abstract to "Advanced Mammon and Usury" makes me wince:

    I'm reading it now. So far it sounds like a competently-written metafilter comment. Or a campaign speech.
    "The definition of usury has varied and changed drastically over time and across regions. An entire essay could be spent on these distinctions, and many of these distinctions are covered by other authors in this issue of Interpretation."
    "Since the beginning of time, man has yearned to destroy the Sun ..."
    posted by octobersurprise at 7:57 AM on June 11 [6 favorites]


    "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." - from Brat's "Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology"
    posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:57 AM on June 11 [11 favorites]


    So now that he's got a national stage, any bets on how long it will be before Brat says something horribly and offensively stupid?

    If his 23-year-old campaign manager knows anything, it's that the only way Brat loses that district right now is to fuck up. He needs to tell his candidate "I will kick you in the groin for every sentence you say that has not been scripted out by me ahead of time, and I reserve the right to change that to every word if I need to."

    I suspect this will not happen, though.
    posted by Etrigan at 8:01 AM on June 11 [7 favorites]


    Hitler came along, and he did not meet with unified resistance.

    Well, except for The Allies, sure.
    posted by valkane at 8:01 AM on June 11 [6 favorites]


    So far, judged solely on "Advanced Mammon and Usury," Brat sounds like every other free-associating libertarian with an over-fondness for rhetorical questions.
    posted by octobersurprise at 8:13 AM on June 11 [3 favorites]


    So...all of them?
    posted by zombieflanders at 8:15 AM on June 11 [3 favorites]


    elizardbits: "if you put the flag in the laundry it won't turn your white shirts pink"

    No, it will. One of the numerous successes of the Homosexual Agenda.
    posted by tivalasvegas at 8:22 AM on June 11 [14 favorites]


    Brat sounds like every other free-associating libertarian with an over-fondness for rhetorical questions.

    That certainly explains the Glenn Beck love.
    posted by valkane at 8:25 AM on June 11


    Via Electoral-Vote

    Cantor Was Cantor'd --Jonathan Chait in Political Wire
    [Cantor] went out the way he carried himself throughout his career: making comically disingenuous attacks. His television commercials assailed Brat as a tax-loving Democrat -- he served on a non-partisan state revenue-estimating commission -- and actually ran ads calling him a 'liberal college professor.'

    "It is conceivable that, by preposterously describing a Rand-loving right-wing crank as a liberal, Cantor actually managed to underestimate the intellectual discernment of his voters. In any case, he had ceded all the premises of the argument to his opponent even in the course of smearing him. Cantor was, finally, Cantor'd. He will not be missed.

    Statistic of the Day NYT via Political Wire
    "Cantor's campaign spent about $168,637 at steakhouses compared with the $200,000 Brat spent on his entire campaign."
    For Barack Obama, Eric Cantor loss comes with a price -- Edward-Isaac Dovere in Politico
    President Barack Obama is finally rid of Eric Cantor, the man who aggravated him most in Washington. But the price may be immigration reform . . . which, through Tuesday afternoon, he and his aides believed still had a remote chance to get done.

    David Axelrod: “It is easy as a Democrat to smile. But to the degree that this gives the anti-everything crowd a lift, and dooms solutions to problems like immigration reform, it is a loss for the country.”

    Cantor was seen by the White House and advocates as being the one holding back negotiations, yet Cantor’s loss was partly due to his not being sufficiently anti-immigration reform for many GOP primary voters. The expectation is that Republicans will interpret his loss as a warning to stay further away from the White House on that and other issues. That would put the brakes on what little action there was in Congress . . .

    To the Obama circle, Cantor was the embodiment of what was wrong with Washington, with the House Republicans, with the Republican Party overall. . . . aides would describe Cantor as an opportunist . . . devoid of substance . . . out to antagonize the president and whip up tea party support for his own gain.

    Bill Burton (former deputy press secretary):“His absence makes Congress a better place."

    The proof, they said, was in comparing Cantor’s loss to the huge primary win clocked by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham on Tuesday night.

    Dan Pfeiffer (Obama senior adviser): “Cantor’s problem wasn’t his position on immigration reform, it was his lack of a position. Graham wrote and passed a bill and is winning big.”

    Senator Lindsay Graham: "Eric Cantor takes both sides, loses.”

    David Plouffe: “If the GOP has any hopes of winning the White House in the next generation they need to be a partner in immigration reform passing. If they want to be a congressional party of McDaniel and Brat puppeteered by [Rush] Limbaugh and the like . . . the White House and a generation of judges will be controlled by the Democrats.”

    Until Tuesday night, Obama aides and allies were prepared to step up their efforts to make Cantor the focal point to jump start immigration reform [and had planned] a coordinated effort to pressure and publicly humiliate Cantor with moderates and big donors ahead of an expected speaker run. Cantor was to be the face of an obstructionist Republican Party that’s stopping reform and, if he didn’t let a vote come to the floor, set the stage for Obama to announce executive actions to limit deportations in August.

    At his home, at his offices, at his public events, they were planning half-flash mob, half-guerrilla protests . . . . They were going to chase Cantor around his district and Washington and to New York donor meetings using actions ranging from marches of immigrant children to prayer vigils that single him out.

    “What we really want to do is shame him in front of the other constituency that’s important to him — the business interests, Wall Street and high-dollar donors who are either more moderate on this issue or more thoughtful and want it removed as an issue,” said one person involved in the effort.

    Those comments do nothing to acknowledge just how much personal animosity had built up between the president and the House majority leader over the years, going back to a meeting with congressional leadership during Obama’s transition when he dismissed some of the then-minority whip’s income tax proposal by responding: “I won.”

    Right after the inauguration, Cantor — an architect of the no-to-Obama-on-everything strategy — set up a strike force of aides to run rapid response on everything the new White House did. . . .

    They’ve been sniping, one-upping and bating each other directly and indirectly ever since.

    "Will no one rid me fo this troublesome priest pol?"
     
    posted by Herodios at 8:29 AM on June 11 [6 favorites]


    Heh. I kind of expect a large bouquet of flowers to show up on Brat's doorstep, return address "1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW".
    posted by tivalasvegas at 8:32 AM on June 11


    Though historic, it doesn't seem to really change the agenda for the next several years: win the Senate; spend the next two years impeaching Obama; win the presidency; dismantle the government. Alternatively, if Hilary wins, assassination and then dismantle the government. Cantor is gone, but the plan leading up to the next civil war stays the same.
    posted by happyroach at 8:33 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    At his home, at his offices, at his public events, they were planning half-flash mob, half-guerrilla protests . . . .

    Heh, now I'm imagining the protestors that stormed his HQ after the concession were only there because nobody told them he lost.
    posted by Drinky Die at 8:38 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


    I used to think that stuff like this and this was firmly in the past, and was laughably ridiculous to a modern reader. Not anymore.
    posted by showbiz_liz at 8:38 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    Cantor's loss is one of those things that looks earth-shaking on the ground at the time, but I suspect that in terms of overall political trends, it's going to be a footnote.

    Also, I'm boggled that a Moral Foundations of Capitalism program even exists. I suppose I shouldn't be, but morals and capitalism are not words I associate closely with each other.
    posted by immlass at 8:39 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


    My relationship with the 2014 GOP in a nutshell: A very bad thing happens to homophobic, misogynistic corporate-shill who was a leader in maybe the worst Congress ever and I still have to go to bed last night worrying about it.

    I don't think this means there is some sort of victory for the Tea Party. I think that it is proof that the Republican Party's greatest trick these last 10 years is convincing people, and most importantly media people, that there has ever been any significant difference between those that refer to themselves as the Tea Party and the GOP.
    posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:44 AM on June 11 [6 favorites]


    From the Post liveblog: Brat didn't attend Princeton University.

    One of his “About Dave” selling points: “that he tested his rural values against the intellectual elite while at Princeton.” But Brat never attended Princeton University, home to just the type of elites – we’re looking at you, Paul Krugman – some conservatives love to bash. “We have no record under that name,” said Princeton University spokesman Martin Mbugua. Alas, Brat’s full 17-page CV lays out the facts: His Master of Divinity, Brat writes, came from Princeton Theological Seminary – a well-regarded institution, but far from the hotbed of Krugman-like liberal excess some conservatives may have imagined.
    posted by troika at 8:57 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


    Gyan: "It effectively means that if you participate in the election of a private organization, you cannot participate in the public election unless that private org supports you. Why does the eligibility criteria for a public election include conduct within a private entity's internal affairs?"

    Generally the purpose of these laws is to prevent frivolous candidates and endless runoffs. The way it works in most states is that "established" political parties have a lower threshhold to cross to declare a candidate. In my state, if you run as a candidate in an "established" party, you only have to collected X signatures; if you run as a candidate in a small party or as an independent, you have to collect 1.5X signatures. Parties agree to only put up one candidate for each office (here we use primaries but you could also use caucuses or some other method, I suppose), thus doing some of the pre-sort of the lunatic candidates, and in exchange get the slightly lower threshhold for running. It's perfectly possible to run as an independent or small-party candidate and skip the primaries, you just have to put in a little more work.

    (To become an "established" party in my state, you have to have reached a 5% threshhold of voters in certain statewide races in the last election cycle; the Green Party was an "established" part from 2006 to 2010, but dropped back below 5% in 2010.)

    The party primary system has a lot of flaws, but stunt candidates are a real thing and over time they do a lot of damage to the political process by drawing focus away from real issues, boring voters who stop reading about the election or attending voter forums, making it difficult for voters to adequately assess the "real" candidates, etc. Maybe less of an issue in races for federal Congress, but in local races, which tend to be more issue-driven and less party-politics driven, kook sucking up all the air can do a lot of damage to a town's ability to govern itself by ensuring it's impossible to have a robust discussion about actual local issues. So any democracy has to have a pre-sort system that puts up barriers so that people running for office are committed to actually running for office and aren't just doing it to be funny. You want to make that barrier high enough to discourage people doing it for a laugh, but low enough to allow serious-but-outsider candidates to have a shot. Most countries use some method of allowing political parties to perform at least part of the pre-sort.

    "Sore loser" laws just say you can't keep throwing yourself back into the race after being booted out ... you can choose by which path you get on the ballot, but you can't change your mind if you lose in the primary and have already been rejected by the voters. Many of them also prevent candidates from winning a party primary and then changing party affiliations once on the ballot. (I can certainly imagine situations in which sore loser laws are problematic, but I think by and large they promote fairness and help focus the race, after the primary, on the candidates and issues instead of the process of choosing candidates.)
    posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:05 AM on June 11 [5 favorites]


    As a resident of the 7th district whose social circle seemingly includes every single Democratic activist in town, I dispute the contention that Democrats had anything to do with the result. No one I know was called or voted and the grassroots organizing core of Dems in town is pretty small, so I'm fairly confident I'd have heard if there was any kind of organized effort to unseat Cantor.

    In order to better understand the mood of the local electorate, I've gone through the list of distant family and friends whom I block on Facebook due to their rapid right-wing rantings and read through their semi-coherent ramblings to see if I can discern any pattern. There were a number of them who have beating the drum for Brat for weeks or months and many of them celebrating today. The central theme seems to be the conviction that the mainstream Republican party is completely beholden to the rich and powerful and that despite their efforts to pay lipservice to the interests of the many, they feel abandoned by their leaders and deperately are looking for an alternative voice who represents a break from the staus quo and will look out for the "middle class" and stop exclusively representing the interests of big business.

    I think in a less polarized time these people might be attracted to switch sides, but they have been so inculcated in the worldview that Democrats are evil Socialists out to destroy all that they hold dear that there is no other option for them than Tea Party candidates. To be honest, the anti-business anti-NSA strain of their candidates isn't that far removed from many Democrats. The xenophobia and racist hatred, not so much.

    Frankly, this has always been the Achille's Heel of the modern Republican party -- they rely on a very uneasy alliance between their blue-blood traditional base and a more numerous mob of working folks. They long ago learned that stoking the flames of fear and distrust of minorities and the powerful is a powerful motivator for those folks, but that kind of anger is hard to control.
    posted by Lame_username at 9:07 AM on June 11 [24 favorites]


    LOL, terrible Cantor pollster blames those meddling Democrats for his epic failure.
    posted by lalex at 9:16 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    Brat wrote in 2005 paper that Protestantism prevents economic failures

    “Give me a country in 1600 that had a Protestant led contest for religious and political power and I will show you a country that is rich today.”
    posted by Punkey at 9:24 AM on June 11


    valkane: "Can someone explain why these people would deliberately sabotage the GOP pecking order? I mean, besides the obvious (um, batshitinsane)?"

    This question came up during some of the midterms during W's presidency, and part of the answer is, ratings for right-wing talk radio and television go down when the GOP does well. Right-wing talk radio and TV do much, much better when there's a Democrat in the White House and a Democratic Congress.

    We talk a lot about how right-wing talk is good for the GOP in getting their message out, but it's important to also remember that the goals of right-wing talk and of right-wing politicians are NOT THE SAME. Right-wing politicians want to win elections and enact policies; right-wing talk wants to complain about how much things suck.

    (The most egregious example of this is how FOX runs things like The Simpsons and MILF Island on the FOX Network, and then turns around and complains bitterly about how liberals are destroying culture with things like The Simpsons and MILF Island on FOX News. If they don't have something to rail against, they will LITERALLY CREATE SOMETHING. FOX Network has led the race-to-the-bottom in reality TV programming, and then double-dipped by complaining bitterly on FOX News about that same race to the bottom.)
    posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:27 AM on June 11 [13 favorites]


    “Give me a country in 1600 that had a Protestant led contest for religious and political power and I will show you a country that is rich today.”

    That's some rigorous social science!
    posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:30 AM on June 11 [6 favorites]


    The most egregious example of this is how FOX runs things like The Simpsons and MILF Island on the FOX Network,

    MILF Island was never a real show.
    posted by Ironmouth at 9:39 AM on June 11 [5 favorites]


    LOL, terrible Cantor pollster blames those meddling Democrats for his epic failure.

    One of their other clients is the Kentucky GOP, which I imagine has Mitch McTurtle sweating a little bit today.
    posted by zombieflanders at 9:39 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    They will LITERALLY CREATE SOMETHING.

    "You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war."

    Now I totally get it, thanks.
    posted by valkane at 9:39 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


    “Give me a country in 1600 that had a Protestant led contest for religious and political power and I will show you a country that is rich today.”


    Bohemia?

    Transylvania?
    posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:41 AM on June 11 [6 favorites]


    Actually, "Advanced Mammon and Usury," or "God and Advanced Mammon—Can Theological Types Handle Usury and Capitalism?" as it's called, is so vapid as to be practically innocuous. Written to a Christian audience, it's a mish-mash of libertarian banalities. "Yes, God, yadda yadda, but capitalism is here to stay, yadda yadda, Christians must be wary of coercing others except when they must, yadda yadda, but of course God, except capitalism! And coercion! Which is bad! And Federal!"

    Since a sample of his prose isn't readily available to many people, I'll quote his conclusions, sans footnotes. (If the mods are uncomfortable with a quote of this length, feel free to delete.)
    First, it seems to me as a Calvinist, that history is moving on, whether we like it or not.We live in a modern and complex world that no single person can presume to understand. It seems to me, also, that this must have been and is in the mind of God. I do not think our current existence is some fluke. Technology and global markets and business are with us for good or ill. At times, religious folk tend to recoil from this overwhelming reality. The first century was certainly much simpler. But we are no longer there.We must all confront reality as it exists and manage it as best we can. The task has been and always will be a moral task. I think God moves history and conditions so that we are always challenged in new ways. I like the world that God has made, and I like Richard Niebuhr’s depiction of the Calvinist “type” in his famous book Christ and Culture. Calvinists believe in Christ the Transformer of Culture. We are called to make it better, in history.

    Second, church folk and my liberal pals are always preaching about inclusiveness and diversity. Great. I think Jesus reached out to all people and this certainly makes sense. However, a real test for liberal Christian types is whether they will reach out to capitalists! Now, there is a test for the faith. Did Jesus reach out to folks and say, “Come on in here, brother, but boy, are you wrong about everything you believe?” Or did he just say, “Come on in, and follow me?” If we are ever going to be transformers of culture, we need to get our story straight on capitalism and faith. The two can go together and they had better go together, or we will not transform anything.

    Third, the macro economy is hard to budge. We must choose our battles carefully. Rome was hard to budge. Jesus did not go after Rome, but a few hundred years later, Rome was a Christian empire. How did that happen?

    Fourth, weigh the benefits against the costs of action. Add up all church action on politics, newsletters, and action alerts, and we might be able to feed the poor instead. Perhaps, we can make the low interest loan that we prefer. What is the role of the church? We are the church.

    Fifth, preach the gospel and change hearts and souls. If we make all of the people good, markets will be good. Markets are made up of people. Supply and Demand are curves, but they are also people. Nothing else. If markets are bad, which they are, that means people are bad, which they are. Want good markets? Change the people. If there are not nervous twitches in the pews when we preach, then we are not doing our jobs.

    Sixth, preach the hard stuff. Do not wimp out on lectionary choices. Preach what God says. I left seminary because I was not gutsy enough to give Jonah’s sermon. I ran away to economics. Seminary people are supposed to be leading the way. Tell us what to do.

    Seventh, 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.

    Finally, I have no magic bullet when it comes to usury. It is not the major problem.We need to understand the world we live in, and then have the faith and the courage to do something about it. For starters, we could tell our folks to work hard and stay out of debt in the first place. We could also follow the micro loan experience of those in poverty around the world. The peer pressure they put on each other in the form of moral suasion results in very high repayment rates. But that would involve judgment, and I’m not sure if that is allowed in church any more. We can also begin to educate others in the community about economics, finance, and banking. Finally, I think Jesus told us to help our neighbor when they get in a bind. But that comes last in my little story here, not first.

    ... I think the main point is that we need to synthesize Christianity and capitalism. Augustine synthesized Plato and Christianity. Thomas Aquinas synthesized Aristotle and Christianity. Calvin synthesized all the rest, but capitalism was still coming. There is a book in here somewhere for the next Calvin. Go. God Bless.
    posted by octobersurprise at 9:42 AM on June 11 [11 favorites]


    FOX Network has led the race-to-the-bottom in reality TV programming, and then double-dipped by complaining bitterly on FOX News about that same race to the bottom

    FWIW, Fox Television (and, for that matter, 20th Century Fox studios) and Fox News were completely different corporate entities even before the fragmentation of News Corp, so it's not some sort of prudery feedback loop.
    posted by zombieflanders at 9:43 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    In conclusion, Usury is a land of contrast.
    posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:45 AM on June 11 [19 favorites]


    This result stands in stark contrast to the result in South Carolina, where Tea Party whipping boy Lindsey Graham put a beatdown on his opponents. Sure, the anti-Graham vote was split five ways, which helped him avoid a run-off, but he still would have grabbed a respectable majority of votes.

    The only other contest where the Tea Party surprised an incumbent was my home state of Mississippi, where aging, addled Thad Cochran was dragged into a run-off he'll probably lose.

    What else aside from Democratic cross-voting could account for such a lopsided victory in Virginia?
    posted by echocollate at 9:49 AM on June 11


    The GOP is becoming even more Christian than before. Eric Cantor was the last Jewish GOP member in Congress.

    That really is amazing, and (according to Politico) he was on track to be "the highest-ranking Jewish official in American history." Him!
    posted by psoas at 9:50 AM on June 11


    “Give me a country in 1600 that had a Protestant led contest for religious and political power and I will show you a country that is rich today.”

    I don't know if it's worse to have an openly anti-intellectual populist who slags on academia, or an academic without a basic conception of causality (who probably also slags on academia despite being paid handsomely by it).
    posted by codacorolla at 9:50 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


    Hey octobersurprise, any way you could send me the full .pdf of that article to further the academic discussion we are having here? I'd love to take a look at it given that I was educated in some pretty similar, Calvinist-inflected schools to this guy and also I need something to read since feedly is currently down due to a DOS attack

    also, paging valkyrn, the neo-calvinist-signal is aloft....
    posted by tivalasvegas at 9:50 AM on June 11 [3 favorites]


    Cantor spending more on steak dinners for his campaign than Brat spent on his whole campaign, rarely actually being in his district and having a reputation for being standoffish and insular when he was, not really bringing any benefits for his district (people say they hate pork until it goes away), and the GOP base really, really not liking immigration reform.
    posted by Punkey at 9:51 AM on June 11


    who probably also slags on academia despite being paid handsomely by it

    I haven't checked, but would be surprised if Randy Mac pays handsomely.
    posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:56 AM on June 11


    Cantor to step down as Majority Leader by end of July, according to close associates
    posted by Punkey at 10:05 AM on June 11


    > Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck all came out in support of him[Brat] leading up to the primary. Can someone explain why these people would deliberately sabotage the GOP pecking order?


    Conservative radio hosts have the same relationship with Republican politicians that Ducks Unlimited has with ducks. They are in favor of many of the same things, but for very different reasons.
    posted by benito.strauss at 10:15 AM on June 11 [11 favorites]


    The American right wing populist strain was perfectly realized in David Brat's campaign: "Cantor lost for any number of individual reasons, not the least of which is that he was just plain unlikable --- his lugubrious style is truly unpleasant. But I think it's probably a good idea for progressives to be very clear-eyed about the "populist" message from this upset. Yes, Brat ran against the moneyed elites. And that's an encouraging sign for potential reform. But it's a mistake to discount the other side of that coin: Nativism.

    Brat's campaign is the perfect picture of the traditional right wing populist strain in America: you can't have one without the other."
    posted by T.D. Strange at 10:19 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    SORRY i realize this is a derail but i still don't understand what this means. do they mean if you put the flag in the laundry it won't turn your white shirts pink?

    I believe the phrase is using "colors" in the sense of the flag. e.g. "the embassy is flying the colors of the United States".

    posted by fontophilic at 10:26 AM on June 11


    i know i just like imagining wild-eyed mouthfrothing republicans shouting about how their manties will never be pink
    posted by elizardbits at 10:29 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    Cantor spending more on steak dinners for his campaign than Brat spent on his whole campaign, rarely actually being in his district and having a reputation for being standoffish and insular when he was, not really bringing any benefits for his district (people say they hate pork until it goes away), and the GOP base really, really not liking immigration reform.

    Yeah, but how would this be different from any other election in which Cantor crushed his opponent? The guy has been in Congress for more than a decade.
    posted by leopard at 10:40 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    The rise of the Tea Party in the GOP has stoked a lot of anti-incumbent and anti-establishment anger. Him being a standoffish dick was fine when they just cared about getting that (R) re-elected, but that's changed. Obviously, that's been coming for a few years now, so that's not all of the answer (but I'd bet that anti-establishment attitudes were a lot higher this year than in previous years). That's where his support for immigration reform comes in, which also ties into his establishment status.
    posted by Punkey at 10:43 AM on June 11


    Interesting viewpoint I just heard on On Point on NPR is that perhaps this isn't really about the Tea Party's strength at all, but poor voter turnout, because polls showing Cantor so far ahead before the vote kept the moderate voters at home, assured that Cantor didn't need their vote.
    posted by cherrybounce at 10:50 AM on June 11


    but poor voter turnout,

    But poor voter turnout from what population? I believe I heard on TV last night that there was actually a very large turnout, considering this was a primary
    posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:51 AM on June 11 [3 favorites]


    It seems that Cantor did not spend enough time doing constituency work.
    posted by KokuRyu at 10:54 AM on June 11


    Honestly, this result just seems random to me, and the explanations for it seem about as convincing to me as the rationalizations for whatever the stock market does any day. I mean, when some other Tea Party nut beats Brat in some future primary, it will be because he's an out-of-touch college professor who couldn't raise money and he revealed his establishment status when he bumped into a Democrat in the hallway.
    posted by leopard at 10:56 AM on June 11 [3 favorites]


    The nit-picking over Princeton University vs. Princeton Seminary is dumb. Princeton Theological Seminary is one of the top Protestant seminaries in the world, the second oldest Seminary in the United States, and has a theological library second only to the Vatican. It's Presbyterian, which leans socially progressive in recent decades - so, yeah, he did argue social conservative positions with some of the top thinkers on the topic in that field of academia.

    I would warn against writing this guy off as a garden variety Teahadist kook. American University doesn't hand out PhD's to dummies.
    posted by Slap*Happy at 11:11 AM on June 11 [5 favorites]


    I would warn against writing this guy off as a garden variety Teahadist kook. American University doesn't hand out PhD's to dummies.

    You can be smart at some things and still dumb at others. And based on that first press conference, he is at the very least unprepared for the national spotlight as of today. Maybe he'll rise to the occasion and maybe he won't, but his intelligence alone won't save him if he can't also be a good politician.
    posted by showbiz_liz at 11:16 AM on June 11


    "the Nixon campaign, lead by Lee Atwater, turned to the only readily available bunch of voters disgruntled with the Democratic party - white Southern racists. The Nixon campaign worked hard to swing Southern voters opposed to the Civil Rights Act towards their side, and were incredibly successful at it. Did Nixon or Atwater believe that the Civil Rights Act was bad? Atwater, maybe, but Nixon probably didn't care. "

    Lee Atwater was 17 in 1968. The Nixon campaign definitely had a Southern Strategy, but the influence of high school junior Lee Atwater on any Nixon campaign strategy would generally be agreed to be not significant.
    posted by dglynn at 11:23 AM on June 11 [4 favorites]


    Damn, always heard it as Atwater's idea. Google reveals that it was Kevin Phillips. Now to go unlearn that bad fact!
    posted by Punkey at 11:24 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    Goldwater, perhaps? I find a lot of ppl mix them up, just bc of the names.
    posted by gaspode at 11:24 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    "Yes, Brat ran against the moneyed elites. And that's an encouraging sign for potential reform. But it's a mistake to discount the other side of that coin: Nativism.

    Brat's campaign is the perfect picture of the traditional right wing populist strain in America: you can't have one without the other."


    Well, yeah.

    Anti-elitism (Wall Street and Hollywood types) + nativism = right-wing populism.

    Just like:

    Anti-elitism (Wall Street) + multiracism (for lack of a better phrase, "rainbow coalitionism") = left-wing populism.

    The trick is to demonstrate to right-wing populists that (a) the right-wing populist leaders du jour are always going to be tomorrow's RINOs because libertarianism is fundamentally destructive of communities and can only be opposed to what David Cameron, David Brooks et al. call "the big society" or Burkean conservative ethos; and that (b) they have common cause with African-Americans and with immigrants.

    It can be done. The other option for disillusioned Tea Partiers is, of course, Protestant neo-fascism. SO THERE'S THAT.
    posted by tivalasvegas at 11:25 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    Atwater definately didn't care either way. Watch Boogie Man on netflix!
    posted by MisantropicPainforest at 11:26 AM on June 11


    Actually, I guess there is also a decent amount of weird right-wing Catholic proto-neo-fascism emanating from the asses of such luminaries as Rick Santorum and Paul Ryan as well. We Prots can't hog all the crazy I guess.
    posted by tivalasvegas at 11:28 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    I would warn against writing this guy off as a garden variety Teahadist kook. American University doesn't hand out PhD's to dummies.

    He's earned a PhD and sat through faculty meetings, probably, so he's already more prepared for the futility and drudgery of American politics than some, I'll give him that.
    posted by octobersurprise at 11:29 AM on June 11 [6 favorites]


    “Give me a country in 1600 that had a Protestant led contest for religious and political power and I will show you a country that is rich today.”

    China.
    posted by vibrotronica at 11:29 AM on June 11 [5 favorites]


    Maybe he'll rise to the occasion and maybe he won't, but his intelligence alone won't save him if he can't also be a good politician.

    Being a good politician (and presumably having at least an adequate level of intelligence) didn't help Cantor.

    At this point, it's just id-riding from here on out to irrelevance for the Republican Party, the only question is how much damage the wild Freudian anger-beast will do as it dies. Probably a lot.
    posted by tivalasvegas at 11:31 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    Interesting to see other MeFites here who are also residents of VA-07. My family moved to Henrico County in 2008.

    As has been said elsewhere, in 2012 the district went 56/41 for Obama, but I don't think that tells the whole story.

    cupcakeninja said, "I've seen almost zero liberal plumage" -- I think that's very precinct-dependent. There are some very heavily Dem urban precincts in VA-07 -- for instance, precinct 213 cast 196 votes for Romney and 902 votes for Obama (and, curiously, cast 87 votes for Brat and 26 votes for Cantor). But yeah, my own precinct was 73% Romey, 25% Obama. Overall in 2012, Henrico County went 89k Obama, 70k Romney -- which I recall was seen as a bellwether for a lot of suburban purple states.

    My oldest will attend a middle school named in honor of Harry F. Byrd, who is infamous for organizing the "Massive Resistance" movement to school integration following Brown v. Board of Education. It warms my heart to know that the diversity of my kid's class would probably send Byrd into fits.

    I could see how a well-funded candidate could mobilize GOTV efforts -- especially from immigrant communities in the District. And judging from some of the early coverage, it seems that Brat's extreme positions may push away more mainstream conservative voters, especially in the suburban parts of the district.

    Jack Trammell's campaign presence has been lacking. I found it interesting that since last night, my email inbox has been hit with multiple solicitation requests from the DNC, DCCC, Virginia Dems. All reference Eric Cantor's defeat, but none mention his challenger.

    PS. When's the next Richmond meetup? ;)
    posted by QuantumMeruit at 11:32 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    Quantum, the district went 57-43 to Romney over Obama.
    posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:56 AM on June 11


    Well past edit window, oops. I was editing the post and flubbed it. Stupid late-lunch distractions.
    posted by QuantumMeruit at 12:08 PM on June 11


    The Tea Party pushing a college professor? There's got to be a joke in there, somewhere.
    posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:10 PM on June 11 [4 favorites]


    It is entirely possible to be well-educated and to be a fool. (Or to be a wise person with a GED.)
    posted by tivalasvegas at 12:22 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    It is entirely possible to be well-educated and to be a fool. (Or to be a wise person with a GED.)

    Doesn't like the entire House Science committee believe that evolution is fake?
    posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:25 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    Getting a phd proves you're stubborn, not that you're any smarter than the average box of hammers.
    posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:27 PM on June 11 [13 favorites]


    Probably. In that situation, however, we have encountered Group III, people who are both poorly educated (albeit possibly credentialed) AND foolish. Also well represented on the Hill.
    posted by tivalasvegas at 12:28 PM on June 11


    If his 23-year-old campaign manager knows anything,

    It's that when your guy wins, you better clean up your damn facebook account!
    posted by rtha at 12:35 PM on June 11 [7 favorites]


    Hey, I'm pretty damn stubborn! Where's my PhD?
    posted by tivalasvegas at 12:35 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    Did Jesus reach out to folks and say, “Come on in here, brother, but boy, are you wrong about everything you believe?”

    Not exactly, Dave, but he did say some things about whether or not it's possible to serve God and money at the same time.
    posted by weston at 12:35 PM on June 11 [4 favorites]


    I thought that was actually a pretty good colloquial translation of the phrase "Repent and believe in the gospel".
    posted by tivalasvegas at 12:40 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    Metafilter: You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war.
    posted by quillbreaker at 12:48 PM on June 11


    Not exactly, Dave, but he did say some things about whether or not it's possible to serve God and money at the same time.

    Mark 13 also had some good stuff in there for "pay your god damn taxes" too.
    posted by Talez at 12:48 PM on June 11 [2 favorites]


    The Atwater-Nixon connection is probably due to the former's infamous quote on the Southern Strategy:
    You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger" — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."
    But it was just an after-the-fact explanation -- he wasn't involved in creating the strategy.
    posted by Rhaomi at 12:50 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    If his 23-year-old campaign manager knows anything ... It's that when your guy wins, you better clean up your damn facebook account!
    "On Oct. 25, 2013, he called for an end to the regulation of prescription drugs, citing a story from the Ludwig von Mises Institute. “Abolish the FDA!” he wrote.
    I give the TA a month before he's out on his ass.
    posted by octobersurprise at 1:04 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    If his 23-year-old campaign manager knows anything ... It's that when your guy wins, you better clean up your damn facebook account!
    On Oct. 29 of that year, it was a piece by Fred Reed from Lew Rockwell’s website on “The Wussification of Boys” that set him off. “There is a war on boys!” Werrell wrote. “Rough housing, playing soldier, etc, are all punished or medicated away. And we wonder why there is gender inequality in the classroom and in college/attendance/graduation rates.”

    The Reed piece called for the end of women teachers in co-ed or boys' schools. “It is time to get women out of the schooling of boys,” wrote Fred Reed. “It is way past time. Women in our feminized classrooms are consigning generations of our sons to years of misery and diminished future.” The piece further argued that “women should not be allowed within fifty feet of a school where boys are taught” and that “Women are totalitarian. Men are happy to let boys be boys and girls be girls. Women want all children to be girls.”
    Yeah...good luck with that.
    posted by sallybrown at 1:27 PM on June 11 [5 favorites]


    Conservatives: Why aren't people protecting my privilege! Your demands for equal rights are threatening to me!
    posted by vuron at 1:33 PM on June 11 [5 favorites]


    Cantor Conquerer Caught Off Guard By Policy Questions In Interview
    posted by naoko at 1:40 PM on June 11 [3 favorites]


    “women should not be allowed within fifty feet of a school where boys are taught” and that “Women are totalitarian.

    welp
    posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:41 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    "Um, I don't have a well-crafted response on that one," Brat finally conceded. "All I know is if you take the long-run graph over 200 years of the wage rate, it cannot differ from your nation's productivity. Right? So you can't make up wage rates."

    Jesus Tap Dancing Christ. This fucker is an economics professor? Minimum and average wages have been decoupled from the nation's productivity for DECADES. Are you kidding me?
    posted by Talez at 1:43 PM on June 11 [18 favorites]


    If you ever wanted to know how a selfish republican self justifies their "fuck you got mine" attitude with their "Christian" beliefs this Brat fellow has written an introduction with God and advanced Mammon. Essentially Brat feels that it is morally wrong to force some to pay for the benefit of Others because the some are good hard working Christians who have earned their just rewards, which are entirely independent of society and Others, who appear to barely be human and deserve nothing. Over all it seems to be a bit of a mash of Calvinism and the usual asshole entitlement found in the libertarians, and not particularly strongly argued.

    Let's delve into his arguments.
    The central question Brat asks is how can a Christian support usury? Bart eventually finds his way to religious text noting that "the Bible is clear that usury should not be practiced in small religious communities where loans involving the deep familial bond of brothers and sisters occur, especially poor brothers and sisters" so to get a great deal on a loan just join a church. His church would probably be best. Brat also pulls out from his Bible that Christians should "love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great." His emphasis indicates that a Christian shouldn't expect to even get the principle back - which is pretty generous terms. So that really leaves good usury as lending money to foreigners, a group Bart wants to keep out of the US. At this point there seems to be some evidence that Bart is fundamentally against usury as it's currently practiced, if Christianity as he's depicted it was his only compass.

    But that isn't the whole of his morality, in addition to the biblical text Brat leans heavily and extensively on the faith of old economics. Of course Brat also claims economists do not "do ethics" but only deal with the cold hard facts. Which makes his though experiment worth quoting in full:
    If a person with poor credit (high risk) wants to take out a loan, the bank has two options for that person. Say “no.” Or charge a high interest rate to cover the added risk involved. Is it more just to deny the loan, or to charge a higher rate and give the poor person a loan? Or should we simply force the banker to make the loan at a lower rate? But then we are asking the banker to pay for the risk of the riskier borrower. That borrower may not like work and may sleep all day and eat snacks while watching television. Can we in good conscience make the banker, who in this case is a good hard-working person, pay for the faults of the sleeper with bad credit? Is that the knee-jerk Christian position? Let us just force people to be ethical. Let us force an ethical outcome. Let us force justice.
    Perhaps he's saying society should let these "good" (my emphasis above) upstanding bankers have permission to be unethical? In addition to the morality of money, Brat's economic Eden features people that are truly (radically) free and completely rational (near omnipotence) as Brat regurgitates that "it should be noted that in economics, all voluntary trades are beneficial to both parties and the easiest way to see this is by noting that if one were not better off, one would not take part in such a trade. Right? Right."

    So Brat finds himself left with the following conclusion: "can I charge interest and be okay with God? Well, as a Calvinist, the answer would be found by asking God. God is the source of morality and ethics. In brief, I think that God tells us that if we intend to love and help our neighbor by such an action, then the answer is “yes”; to harm, “no.” Really his answer is that Calvinism is the one true way. That rest of your life student loan is loving you. That debt is really your spouse, your life's commitment, your dear helping companion. Your father's gift to you forever, a life it's own you cannot hope to repay, but only give others. You should tell your children to raise their hands in praise and anticipation for it will certainly only be greater and more loving for them. Amen. Ahem. Let’s continue beating the Brat shall we?

    So how would Brat's society decide what to do about harmful usury? Through regulation, which he is also completely against, and at another point Bart bitterly derides that "everything is regulated". The solution is the problem remains an issue for the Tea Party types.

    You'll find he's a big fan of bankers and again a full quote is worth your time:
    recent economic unpleasantness called the “Global Financial Crisis” was set off by weaknesses in the housing market. Basically, we wanted to force low-interest loans on the banks so that the poor could magically afford houses. Sounds good. Banks made loans to anyone. Liar loans. They then immediately sold those loans to the government, who then took on the risk as well, and the rest is history. The sub-prime loans are still being sorted out on Wall Street Well-intentioned policy became a nightmare. Wall Street played its role and is equally to blame, but without the “coercion” in the housing market, there would have been much less crisis. This is my view.
    It was rather unpleasant wasn't it? And who was the magician that wanted an "ownership society" built on easy money and lax regulation? And to be clear, the great decider, GW Bush, only organized the match, it was the banks who developed and rigged the whole sub prime game- but in Brat's view it was the poor coerced banks into giving them lots of loans. This is certainly a problem only a Tea Party republican can fix....

    He also answers a number of other questions - including is it right for Christians to force their morality on others? Good news! Bart recognizes that there is a " tremendous gulf between biblical statements made to faith communities and their direct application to secular law today". He also answers they should not because that would immediately lead to the government using its monopoly on violence to force others to conform to religious rules, and extending the power of government is worse then anything. He rejects the separation of church and state arguments because he finds that "when economic justice is involved, or when entitlements like health care are at stake, modern liberals seem to have no problem pushing their morality on others". Which isn't even wrong.

    Brat also delves into US history, where he puts slavery as a secondary cause of the civil war arguing that it happened when "the agrarian interests of the South clashed with the manufacturing of the North, and the issue of slavery simultaneously came to a head".

    Finally Brat also lists a few “positive rights” that should be eliminated including health care, welfare programs, retirement benefits, thirteen years of education, and unemployment benefits. He does recognize that Americans continually vote for it but they are just wrong and it should all be reversed because "they force some to pay for the benefit of others". Bart highlights this argument as "the key issue" which is certainly the actual fundament of his narrow worldview.
    posted by zenon at 1:43 PM on June 11 [24 favorites]


    Finally Brat also lists a few “positive rights” that should be eliminated including health care,

    Perhaps someone will ask him to turn square corners on that position and the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights the US of A signed.

    "they force some to pay for the benefit of others"

    Say, hows that Military working out?
    posted by rough ashlar at 2:47 PM on June 11 [2 favorites]


    "tremendous gulf between biblical statements made to faith communities and their direct application to secular law today"

    Can you post that whole paragraph? As a citizen of the land that the gentleman from Virginia will likely be helping to govern in a couple months, I'd like to know precisely what he thinks about how biblical statements should be applied to secular law, directly or otherwise.
    posted by tivalasvegas at 3:05 PM on June 11


    Rhetorical questions are more fun when you can answer them!
    However, a real test for liberal Christian types is whether they will reach out to capitalists! Now, there is a test for the faith. Did Jesus reach out to folks and say, “Come on in here, brother, but boy, are you wrong about everything you believe?” Or did he just say, “Come on in, and follow me?” - Dave Brat
    And the response from Jesus?
    The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. - Matthew 19:20-22 (ESV)
    Yup. Gotta love those rhetorical questions.
    posted by graymouser at 3:17 PM on June 11 [20 favorites]


    Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, a candidate in a Republican state House primary race gets called out for making statements on Facebook in favor of stoning gay people to death. And how does he walk that back?

    "What I will tell you right now is that was done in the old testament under a law that came directly from God. And in that time, it was totally just, it came directly from God. I have no plans to, you know, reinstitute that in Oklahoma law."

    Is it, like, National Fascist Coming-Out Day or something?
    posted by tivalasvegas at 3:19 PM on June 11 [3 favorites]


    So many times I have wondered how the flawed-to-me-but-on most-things-that-mattered-pretty-chill Christianity attempted to pass on to me righted itself with the version that many in the GOP currently espouse, whether or not they twist themselves into pretzels or just plain ignore it.

    I always expected it was they ignore it which I thought was pretty awful. Who would have ever imagined that the pretzels would be so much more horrifying? Thanks zenon for sharing... I guess.
    posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:22 PM on June 11


    I dunno, MCMike. I also grew up in a fairly-conservative-but-reasonably-chill Christianity. And then a thing happened somewhere between 2004 and 2008 where, anecdote alert, about half of the people from my hometown (high school friends, relatives and so on) gradually became more open to different ways of looking at the world, different political positions, etc. and the other half went batshit crazy.

    I don't think my experience is alone.

    Like, it's not people that were always batshit / redneck / dittoheads... they CHANGED. IT GOT WORSE.
    posted by tivalasvegas at 3:29 PM on June 11 [5 favorites]


    Soooooo... Advanced Mammon... is that like Mammon 301? Or is it graduate level Mammon?
    The author stresses the need to synthesize Christianity and capitalism.
    And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a lucky ducky welfare queen to enter into the kingdom of God.
    posted by Flunkie at 3:40 PM on June 11 [3 favorites]


    Is it, like, National Fascist Coming-Out Day or something?

    Unless you are just using fascist as a word to say "I don't like this" you do understand how the US government works VS the words on paper about how it is supposed to work are 2 different things right?

    Why does any of this behaviour shock anyone? The US of A has a $20 bill dedicated to a guy who attitude about Worcester VS Georgia was 'meh, I've got guns, the Supreme Court does not. So lets see who's will is enforced'.
    posted by rough ashlar at 3:46 PM on June 11


    "In a district that’s 20 percent black, if they played their cards right, Democrats could turn Rep. Cantor’s primary loss into a general election win."
    posted by iviken at 3:52 PM on June 11


    Free market capitalism, if preached directly from the bible specifically excludes the entire banking industry and any sort of moneylending.
    posted by Monkey0nCrack at 4:07 PM on June 11


    Charles Pierce: A Stunning Victory for the Tea Party, and What It Means

    Pop Goes The Weasel
    posted by homunculus at 4:19 PM on June 11 [2 favorites]


    Also, the old economists (I'm assuming he means political economy here) didn't "do" ethics?

    He's not just a terrible economist and theologian- he's a terrible philosopher as well!
    posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:26 PM on June 11 [2 favorites]


    Thankfully Calvinism doesn't lend itself to strong theocratic impulses - for example most Calvinists love Adam Smiths "invisible hand" which they read as divinely inspired, and see things like protestantism or the wisdom of neo-liberal capitalism as God's divine path/reward for his select and choosen people. This explains why Brat was inspired to write about the amazing/divine economic track record of protestant states. Calvinists see their role as shaping history towards their goals - so he's certainly going to have some ideas - but not particularly imposing relative to his tea party peers. Calvinists think people should be free to decide to sin on their own.

    To directly answer tivalasvegas request in context:
    One of Brat's claims is that it is a category error to judge usury in society generally by Christian values.
    To get right to the heart of the issue, the Jews have over 600 laws on the books, and Jesus said that one might sink in the ocean if one messed with those laws. Should we move to pass all of those laws through Congress? The liberally educated gasp can be heard from afar.

    There is obviously a tremendous gulf between biblical statements made to faith communities and their direct application to secular law today. Seminaries go out of their way to show the complexities of exegesis, but when it comes to hot-button issues such as usury, rationality often flies out the window. Can Christians force others to follow their ethical teachings on social issues? Note that consistency is lacking on all sides of this issue. The political Right likes to champion individual rights and individual liberty, but it has also worked to enforce morality in relation to abortion, gambling, and homosexuality. The Left likes to think of itself as the bulwark of progressive liberal individualism, and yet it seeks to progressively coerce others to fund every social program under the sun via majority rule. Houston, we
    have a problem. Coercion is on the rise. What is the root word for liberalism? (Answer: Liberty)
    "The Jews." Sigh. For me it's the economic policies held with the convictions of religious fervor that will hold him blind to reality and keep him from reaching any sort of compromise
    posted by zenon at 4:29 PM on June 11


    The Economic Position on Usury or Interest Rate Charges. For the economist, there is no unjust charge. There is no exploitation.Why? Because economists do not do ethics, by definition.We do social science. The good news here is that if you ever hear an economist giving ethical advice, you should not give that advice much attention. Economists are here to describe the world as it is, not as it should be.
    From Page 177. Italic in original, bold emphasis mine. This paragraph immediatly precedes the section I quoted earlier about the good banker loaning money to the bad snack eater. I highlighted the bold bit because he also includes in his final paragraph "Some of what I say is tongue-in-cheek, but some is not" so perhaps it is all a giant laugh.
    posted by zenon at 4:36 PM on June 11 [2 favorites]


    ... I think the main point is that we need to synthesize Christianity and capitalism.

    He's only about thirty years behind on that effort. Which makes him practically a progressive in Teabagistan.
    posted by Rykey at 4:56 PM on June 11


    "That borrower may not like work and may sleep all day and eat snacks while watching television. Can we in good conscience make the banker, who in this case is a good hard-working person, pay for the faults of the sleeper with bad credit?"
    Luke 10:38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
    41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

    Luke 15:28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
    31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
    So ... Imma go with "yes."
    posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:00 PM on June 11 [15 favorites]


    It would appear there is someone involved with the Brat campaign in the building. I heard him and the CEO having an energetic conversation in the break area.

    By far the (paraphrased) highlight for me:

    CEO: Now that you've won one you can get some serious money coming in.

    Person: We've already heard from a few groups. We think we'll get a lot of Cantor's.

    CEO: That'll be a change for you guys.

    Person: What's been interesting is watching how the $20 or $50 donations soared after the win. They don't matter, but it's been really interesting watching them.
    posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:34 PM on June 11 [8 favorites]


    The New Yorker's Andy Borowitz, "Morning After Tea Party Win, House G.O.P. Proposes End to Social Security, Return to Child Labor, Gun Rights for Pets:"
    WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—The morning after Tuesday’s stunning Tea Party victory in Virginia, House Republicans unveiled a sweeping new legislative agenda, proposing an end to Social Security, a return to child labor, and unprecedented gun rights for pets.

    “The Republican Party is the party of common sense,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). “And such common-sense proposals as electronic ankle bracelets for immigrant babies and a barbed-wire fence with Canada are long overdue.”
    posted by grouse at 6:35 PM on June 11 [2 favorites]


    Because economists do not do ethics, by definition.We do social science. The good news here is that if you ever hear an economist giving ethical advice, you should not give that advice much attention.


    Adam Smith, Jeremy Bentham, and John Stuart Mill say "Fuck you, too."
    posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:41 PM on June 11 [4 favorites]


    The good news here is that if you ever hear an economist giving ethical advice, you should not give that advice much attention. Economists are here to describe the world as it is, not as it should be.

    I had a sociology professor who warned us that structural-functionalism is the last refuge of petty people interested in defending the status quo for their own ends.

    I guess she was right.
    posted by RonButNotStupid at 6:56 PM on June 11 [3 favorites]


    Which is funny, considering it was mostly invented by A.R. "Anarchy" Radcliffe-Brown.
    posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:02 PM on June 11


    “The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
    An evil soul producing holy witness
    Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
    A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
    O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!”
    —— Shakespere
    posted by SPrintF at 7:05 PM on June 11 [2 favorites]


    Charles Pierce is a fucking national treasure.
    posted by spitbull at 7:16 PM on June 11 [2 favorites]


    I was listening to this guy's acceptance speech, and it seems pretty likely that this guy was running on at least a smidge of antisemitism. He definitely mentioned 'the faith of our forefathers' and other similar things a lot.
    posted by empath at 7:25 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    Can you clarify why 'The Faith of Our Forefathers' is particularly antisemitic and not just pro "The US was founded as a Christian nation"?
    posted by Going To Maine at 9:27 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    I mean when you're running against the only Jewish Republican in congress in a district that is heavily conservative christian, and running on an explicitly christian platform, it's hard not to read between the lines a bit.
    posted by empath at 9:46 PM on June 11 [4 favorites]


    MetaFilter: They don't matter, but it's been really interesting watching them.
    posted by scalefree at 11:47 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]


    Yeah, I agree that the Christian stuff is meant to be a dogwhistle. In other news:

    For the first 13 years of your kid's life, we teach them no religion, no philosophy, and no ethics…Who is our great moral teachers these days? Every generation has always had great theologians or philosophers by the century that you can name. Who do we got right now? [Audience: Jay-Z] Right. Right. [Audience: Beyoncé] Right. Beyoncé. When you can't name a serious philosopher, a national name, or a serious theologian, or a serious religious leader, at the national level, your culture's got a major problem.
    posted by naoko at 4:47 AM on June 12


    From Naoko's article:
    And he has called for drastic cuts to education funding, explaining, "My hero Socrates trained in Plato on a rock. How much did that cost? So the greatest minds in history became the greatest minds in history without spending a lot of money."
    This is hilarious because I now have to assume he takes no salary from his place of employment, a private college that charges tuition and accepts student loans, and that he also has forsaken a classroom and an office to peddle his economics teachings... on a rock. Ashland has some nice rocks and the weather's not bad, so, you know, props to him for striking such a bold stance for his political leanings!
    posted by jetlagaddict at 6:36 AM on June 12 [10 favorites]


    We need a new superhero. Mild-mannered Adam Smith fell into a bank vault filled with radioactive money. He became Advanced Mammon-Man! (Not to be confused with Advanced MammonMan without a dash.) He has a hand that can turn invisible. He rescues people from the evil Dr. Poverty by giving them payroll loans.
    posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:46 AM on June 12 [1 favorite]


    Can you clarify why 'The Faith of Our Forefathers' is particularly antisemitic and not just pro "The US was founded as a Christian nation"?

    tl;dr answer: They saw the jews as Christians yet to be enlightened and devoted to ritual rather than virtue.
    posted by Talez at 7:05 AM on June 12


    WaPo Monkey Cage: An expert on congressional primaries weighs in on Cantor’s loss
    What stands out to you about Cantor’s loss, in light of your book’s findings?

    Cantor’s defeat is interesting because there was so little activity by outside groups. Most of the strongest ideological challenges over the past decade involved organizations like the Club for Growth, Citizens United and the Tea Party Express (on the right) and MoveOn.org and labor unions (on the left). These groups typically concentrate their efforts on one or two primaries, often in small states or states with unusual primary laws, like Utah. In other words, groups have used a small and select number of primaries to show that they can take down incumbents.

    Cantor’s defeat does not fit this pattern. During the 2014 primaries, I have been working with the Campaign Finance Institute to track independent expenditures. Although outside groups have spent substantial money in this year’s primaries, Cantor’s opponent, David Brat, had received almost nothing. Less than $5,000 was spent by outside groups on his behalf. There are a few instances over the past decade where incumbents were defeated by opponents who spent very little, but there are none where an incumbent was defeated by an ideological opponent who spent so little and had so little outside support.
    posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:58 AM on June 12 [1 favorite]


    With Röhm's loss, that can only mean good things for the Social Democrats!
    posted by klangklangston at 11:31 AM on June 12


    Resigning House Leader Cantor Reflects On All The Accomplishments He Thwarted
    posted by Rhaomi at 1:55 PM on June 12 [7 favorites]


    Krugman: The Fix Isn’t In Eric Cantor and the Death of a Movement - "Mr. Cantor’s defeat shows that lip service to extremism isn’t enough; the base needs to believe that you really mean it."
    posted by T.D. Strange at 7:36 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


    This all seems like it comes from some bizarro universe that's almost the same as ours but the rules are very slightly different and I can't understand them.

    On the other hand, beheading one of the most powerful Republicans in your country is probably not a bad thing, eh?
    posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:08 PM on June 13


    Years from now we're going to find out that this whole thing was just Diebold flexing it's muscles.
    posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:08 AM on June 14 [5 favorites]


    On the other hand, beheading one of the most powerful Republicans in your country is probably not a bad thing, eh?

    Until his replacement actually carries out his campaign promises.
    posted by Pudhoho at 7:47 AM on June 15


    The revolution will be localized - Eric Cantor, David Brat, and covering the tea party
    To be sure, that’s just one guy in one interview, and a single two-year-old anecdote is no prophecy of Cantor’s impending political doom. But a recent blog post in which Blum recalled that interview made an important point: A driving force behind the election result that stunned the political world, and that accounts for the tea party’s energy and staying power, is local activists.
    posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:19 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]


    That's an excellent article, MoTaT. It actually tries to investigate what's happening in the Republican party, as opposed to writers who state as fact what they wish to be true.
    posted by benito.strauss at 11:41 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]


    « Older "Why I'm sending 200 copies of Little Brother to a...  |  Inge Morath... Newer »


    This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments