Tag: Eric Cantor

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud Republicans for backing Attorney General Jeff Session even in the midst of President’s Trumps invective against him, including the warning from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley that there is no time left in 2017 to consider another person as attorney general. They express their continuing disgust as six Senate Republicans who voted to repeal Obamacare in 2015 refused to do so now. And they fume as former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor admits Republicans never believed they could repeal Obamacare if they took back control of Congress but used voter anger and expectations to win elections. Finally, rumors are swirling that former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer might join the cast of the ABC reality show, Dancing With the Stars.

Paul Ryan, the Scam PACs, and a Failure of Conservative Journalism

 

Paul RyanPaul Ryan will convincingly win his primary election tomorrow. This has never really been in question: Ryan was never going to be “Cantored.”  Not only are the two men different — Ryan is a more skillful politician, more popular, more grounded in the district he represents — but their challengers are different, and the political terrain is strikingly different. It doesn’t take a detailed knowledge of Virginia or Wisconsin to understand these things, only a basic familiarity with each states’ politics that any remotely serious journalist or politico can figure out. Any news source or influential figure who has been selling the idea that Ryan is likely to lose, treating Paul Nehlen as more credible than Ryan’s last primary challenger, or drawing a shallow comparison to Eric Cantor’s defeat should be considered less than reliable. They’ve done nothing to defeat Ryan. They have simply enabled a scam.

Cantor’s defeat was a surprise but not a mystery, and serious analysis would put it in context of the confusing, frustrating mess that is Virginia Republican politics. The last disastrous year of the McDonnell administration and the Cuccinelli-Bolling primary left a bitter taste. A new citizen trying to learn the ropes discovers the typical unhelpful mainstream-media coverage, a semi-conservative paper or two, and a few feuding blogs run mostly by political operative types, all claiming the “conservative” mantle and tearing the others down. I learned much about arcane feuds over party procedure, not very much about actual policy debates, and ended thoroughly disenchanted with both the “establishment” and “tea party” sides.  There are some solid conservative leaders in Virginia, but the conservative political environment is muddled, divisive, and distrustful. It is a perfect environment for a revolt against an out-of-touch DC insider. Dave Brat was a local credible candidate seizing on widespread local frustrations. If the same causes led to Trump’s Virginia win, local results do not quite match up: on March 1, Marco Rubio won 35 percent to Trump’s 32 percent in the 7th congressional district. Brat’s home turf doesn’t fit any simplistic narrative.

In Wisconsin the conservatives have taken over the establishment, and the result is a serious, practical conservatism. The political debate is shaped by a powerful talk radio presence creating an electorate reasonably informed on the issues in the state. Nothing I’ve found in Virginia matches this level of analysis of state budget issues or court cases or primary elections; you can usually know if your legislator is up to something, and you can make an informed decision. Conservatives fought tough, bitter battles to elect a governor, legislature, and supreme court — and they do not believe those efforts were wasted, because they have seen meaningful results. They are proud of what they’ve achieved, and they’ve seen how hard it is to truly fight. They know that Scott Walker and Paul Ryan have extremely difficult jobs, and activists such as the Racine Tea Party founder consider Ryan one of their own and don’t appreciate someone coming from outside calling him a globalist sell-out traitor:

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Happy Halloween, Ricochet, America, soon to be former Speaker Boehner! Speaker Boehner has announced he will step down just before Halloween This is the right thing to do & the timing is no doubt intended to suggest all hell is breaking loose. Maybe you can have the pope back to anoint the next one, just […]

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Jeb Boasts of His Endorsement by… Eric Cantor?

 

Bush CantorA few days ago I recommended that Jeb Bush drop out of the primary. After sitting out the Obama years, Jeb’s political instincts are rusty, he’s far out of step with GOP voters, and he’s making the whole party look bad with his constant mistakes.

Little did I know Jeb was just warming up:

Eric Cantor, former House majority leader, will endorse Jeb Bush on Thursday evening and will be named a Virginia state co-chair of his presidential campaign, Republican sources tell POLITICO.

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D. J. Spiker at Bearing Drift commits what may be the single best act of local political journalism in the history of the world. Follow the money has an important corrolary, follow the consultants. Since I started doing the TEA Party thing, one theme persisted when discussing political consultants with Henrico County, Virginia residents. They […]

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Welcome to my semi-annual contemplation of life after Boehner, a habit of rumination so successful that there was an actual ruckus in 2012 as rumors of a Republican revolt against Boehner in the House, played up ominously until the day of the vote when it fizzled like a bottle rocket in a tidal wave from […]

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