Byron York writes: Yes, the House Republican conference is stunned and confused after the withdrawal of Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., from the speaker’s race. But is it any more stunned and confused than it was exactly two years ago, when the government was partially shut down amid bitter House GOP infighting over Obamacare? Or a year ago, when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor suffered a mind-blowing defeat in a GOP primary election?
“Things could get worse. There’s certainly no reason to believe they will get better anytime soon.”
The fact is, the chaos plaguing Republicans in the House has been building for a long time. It’s no wonder some GOP lawmakers are reportedly weeping in the Capitol.
Not long after announcing his withdrawal, McCarthy was asked by National Review Online whether House Republicans are, at the moment, ungovernable. “I don’t know,” he said. “Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom.” Read the rest of this entry »
Eric Cantor delivered his final remarks as the House majority leader in front of a full chamber on Tuesday, thanking his colleagues for their service and urging them not to take their positions for granted.
Although “too many are left wondering if we can be an America that works, an America that leads,” Cantor remained confident that Congress and the nation as a whole would continue to be a shining light in the world, pointing to some of his legislative accomplishments as examples…(read more)
[Below is a video of Cantor’s speech, before he put on the costume and performed the sentimental farewell song.]
Politico concluded that “Zuckerberg’s immigration reform push had all the capital, connections and star power to merit success,” but “not even Silicon Valley could make this investment — and the Facebook founder’s first foray into national politics — pay off.”
Zuckerberg’s FWD.us reportedly “surpassed its $50 million fundraising goal Zuckerberg set and has almost $25 million still squirreled away.” According to Politico, “much of the money went to media buys,” including a deceptive $150,000 ad buy in North Carolina that declared pro-amnesty Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) was against amnesty to ensure that she would win her primary. But despite some small wins, the group, Politico notes, learned some “sobering lessons” of Washington.
One big lesson is that the record number of Americans who hate Congress also despise the bipartisan “Boomtown” elites Zuckerberg courted to pass amnesty legislation. Read the rest of this entry »
The hidden message of Thad Cochran’s big win is that politicians can always get reelected by bringing home the bacon. This must end.
By 2010, that had jacked up further still to $2.47. That same year, the Tax Foundation calculates that fully 49 percent of Mississippi’s state general revenue comes from federal taxpayers who will never step foot in Morgan Freeman’s and William Faulkner’s beloved stamping grounds. Read the rest of this entry »
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R. Calif.), fresh off his election to House majority leader this week following Eric Cantor’s unexpected loss to David Brat, defended his conservative bona fides in an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday.
Wallace asked him how he’d respond to tea-party supporters who see him as a Washington insider who’s in politics to go along and get along. “I’m a conservative. I believe in the idea of freedom and liberty, but more importantly look at my voting background,” McCarthy said, citing his opposition to bailing out Wall Street and tax increases. “I come from the grassroots.”
“You’re generally seen as less conservative than the man you’re replacing,” Wallace pushed back, citing the fact that the Club for Growth rated Cantor as more conservative….(read more) National Review Online
“The government holds a monopoly on violence. Any law that we vote for is ultimately backed by the full force of our government and military.”
For The National Interest, John Allen Gay writes: There was a minor kerfuffle in the press last week when reporters began picking through the academic writings of David Brat, the Virginian economics professor who bested House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a Republican primary. Brat had written that “If you refuse to pay your taxes, you will lose. You will go to jail, and if you fight, you will lose. The government holds a monopoly on violence. Any law that we vote for is ultimately backed by the full force of our government and military.” That sentence, “The government holds a monopoly on violence,” was held up by a number of publications—the Wall Street Journal and the New York Daily News among them—as a sign that Brat was some sort of extremist. Of course, that phrase is actually a rather standard definition of a successful government: that there are no forces in the polity other than the government that use force in an organized manner. Governments without a monopoly on the use of force have trouble providing the basic social goods of government—security, order, some semblance of justice—or protecting their citizens’ rights.
A MONOPOLY ON IGNORANCE
French writer and entrepreneur Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry was dismayed by the media misread of Brat’s remark, seeing the failure of professional political reporters to recognize a basic political-science concept as symptomatic of a broad and dangerous trend. He writes:
In the understanding of both the great Ancient philosophers and, taking after them, of the thinkers who gave us the Enlightenment and the intellectual scaffolding for our prosperous liberal-democratic society, including the Founding Fathers, democracy did not simply happen. Democracy depended on a robust citizenship, and this citizenship, in turn, was a struggle of all the men (and, now, women) of the polity; it conferred rights as well as responsibilities. In particular, two of the most fundamental requirements of citizenship were virtue and a liberal education.
Liberal education, he says, “helps make us free” by showing us “not only the empirical scaffolding of our Universe–a.k.a. science–but also its conceptual scaffolding, a.k.a. the ideas, concepts and history which shape the world we live in.” Erode that education and you’re eroding freedom, citizenship and ultimately democracy itself. When the political elite doesn’t know politics, that’s a sign that liberal education is indeed being eroded. And Gobry suggests that the erosion is only going to continue as America retools its education system to produce more science and technology degrees: “Nobody stops to ask what education is for, because the answer is implicitly accepted by all: an education is for getting a job. It is, in other words, for being a cog in the giant machine of post-industrial capitalism. It is, in other words, for the opposite thing that our forefathers wanted for us.”
Gobry’s remark that “democracy did not simply happen” is an understatement. Read the rest of this entry »
REFORMICONS REJOICE! The Pork Stops Here: Eric Cantor Loss Gives Republicans Chance to Become People’s PartyPosted: June 16, 2014
Brat’s stunning landslide win over Cantor in the June 10 primary gives Republicans the opportunity to change from being the party of Blackstone to the party of Baugh.
“Cantor’s closeness to Wall Street was supposed to be a strength. It proved a liability. This is true for the GOP as a whole.”
Brat beat Cantor, despite being outspent $5.5 million to $250,000, by running against corporate welfare. “I will fight to end crony capitalist programs that benefit the rich and powerful,” Brat said in his victory speech Tuesday night.
“Cantor’s defeat is the opportunity for the Republican Party to declare independence from Wall Street. Let the bankers flock to Hillary Clinton and Schumer.”
Brat explained on the trail that he’s pro-business, but “I’m against Big Business in bed with Big Government.”
“Juggernauts are only juggernauts as long as they stay looking like juggernauts…”
Hillary Clinton supporters should take note of defeats such as House majority leader Eric Cantor’s and realize no candidate is inevitable, particularly following her less-than-stellar book tour thus far, said Ken Cuccinelli. Cuccinelli, the 2013 Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate and recently announced Senate Conservatives Fund president, said presumed candidates have struggled as of late as voters look for a change…(read more)
[VIDEO] George Will: The Anti-Cronyism Movement Played as Much of a Role in Eric Cantor’s Primary Loss as Immigration DidPosted: June 15, 2014
Cantor’s Nexus Between Congress and Wall Street Led to Loss
Cantor’s relationship with the financial industry and his support of institutions such as the Export-Import Bank became a “symbol of crony capitalism” for his challenger Dave Brat and his constituents, Will said on Fox News Sunday…
“Cantor is the nexus between the Republicans in the House and Wall Street and the financial community…this man is an insider not paying attention to normal people.”
…As a result, voters wanted Cantor out….(read more)
“One measure of the extraordinary defeat could be seen in the candidate’s finances. 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.”
— New York Times – JUNE 10, 2014
Eric Cantor was a noxious, cookie-cutter, U.S. Chamber, GOP hypocrite. We need legislators who don’t just talk limited government but do it.
“On spending and economic issues, he was atrocious and hypocritical in all the ways that a Republican can be.”
Cantor was what passes for a small-government conservative. Which is to say that Cantor was in favor of shrinking the size and scope of government…except for the endless list of exceptions that allowed him to help grow federal spending by more than 50 percent in real terms, and regulatory spending by even more, during the Bush years.
You know the drill: As a “conservative,” Cantor wanted the government out of people’s lives because FREEDOM-FOUNDING FATHERS-CONSTITUTION. Yet Cantor was anti-gay marriage and anti-abortion (he even wanted to prohibit adults from transporting minors across state lines if they were getting abortions). Because the federal government really should dictate all that, right? He endorsed a constitutional amendment against flag burning because free expression doesn’t mean you can actually express what you mean. He was pro-gun or, more specifically, pro-National Rifle Association. He was pro-drug war. Nothing unique or interesting there. Read the rest of this entry »
- Cantor Spent $168637 on Steak Houses – Town Hall–
- Rare feat: Cantor spent more at steakhouses than opponent did on … – PolitiFact
- Putting a Cap on Cantor – New York Times
- Why Eric Cantor chose Bobby Van’s – Politico
- Cantor spent nearly as much at steakhouses as Brat did on his … – MarketWatch
- HUFFPOST HILL – Sad Congressman’s Only Consolation Is Easier … – Huffington Post
- ‘Stat of the night’: Eric Cantor’s campaign spent $168,637 on what? (twitchy.com)
- 7 things Eric Cantor spent more on than David Brat spent on his entire campaign (washingtonpost.com)
- Cantor Outspent Opponent 25-to-1 (drudge.com)
- The Amount Of Money Eric Cantor’s Campaign Spent On Steakhouses Says It All (businessinsider.com)
- Cantor Loses (politico.com)
- Shock win a massive scalp for Tea Party (nzherald.co.nz)
- Why Did GOP House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Lose His Primary? (reason.com)
It’s amusing to watch the strange new respect Democrats are mustering for Eric Cantor. Xavier Becerra was on Morning Joe lamenting how Eric was just the sort of responsible Republican who wanted to get things done. I think Hugh Hewitt is right that Dems like Becerra don’t want to fix immigration so much as have the issue. But I do think the White House really does want a big immigration bill as part of their effort to pad his legacy. That’s why they are in overdrive to claim that, in Dan Pfeiffer’s words, “Cantor’s problem wasn’t his position on immigration reform, it was his lack of a position.”
A White House aide notes that Lindsey Graham won his race running away and he’s far more associated with immigration reform than Cantor was. This of course leaves out the fact that Graham is a much better retail politician than Cantor. It leaves out that Graham saw the threat coming years ago and wisely panicked early about a tea-party challenge. And it leaves out that Graham was in a seven-way race. If he’d had a single opponent, like Cantor (or Cochran), who knows how differently things would have played out.
“If there’s one takeaway on the immigration issue from Cantor’s defeat it’s that sweeping comprehensive legislation is not going to happen any time soon. I would say 2017 is the earliest it would be considered. That’s good news.”
Now, I actually think there’s a grain of truth to Pfeiffer’s point. As John Fund notes below, Cantor’s biggest problem was that he seemed insincere, elitist, aloof, and concerned about agendas not connected to his district or his base. He held a fundraising meeting at D.C. Starbucks on primary day. Some of this was driven by his personality. Read the rest of this entry »
In today’s The Daily Caller: Ann Coulter writes: Economics professor Dave Brat crushed House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Republican primary Tuesday night, in a campaign that was mostly about Cantor’s supporting amnesty for 11 million illegal aliens.
“As I have been warning you, the big, national tea party groups are mostly shysters and con-men raising money for their own self-aggrandizement.”
This marks the first time a U.S. House majority leader has ever lost a primary election.
His crushing defeat reinforces a central point: Whenever the voters know an election is about immigration, they will always vote against more immigration — especially amnesty.
Cantor spent more than $5 million on his campaign. Brat spent less than $150,000. But Brat made the election about Cantor’s support for amnesty, so he won.
As Eric Hoffer said, “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”
The pro-amnesty crowd — i.e., everyone except the American people — promptly lost its collective mind. The amnesty shills went on the attack, insisting that Cantor’s historic defeat had nothing to do amnesty. Brat’s triumph was touted as simply a victory for the “tea party.”
Of course, these are the same people who also try to persuade us that amnesty isn’t “amnesty,” illegal aliens aren’t “illegal aliens” (they’re “undocumented workers”!), and that there are 30 million jobs Americans won’t do at any price.
In fact, however, the tea party had nothing to do with Brat’s victory. Only the small, local tea party groups stand for anything anymore, but they’re as different from the media-recognized “tea party” as lay Catholics are from the Catholic bishops.
National tea party groups did not contribute dime one to Brat. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] George Will on Cantor’s Primary Loss: ‘Being in Washington Leadership Not a Good Thing to Be These Days’Posted: June 11, 2014
George Will‘s commentary on Wednesday’s Special Report
“Mr. Cantor’s great advantage was money, and I think it hurt him. He spent an awful lot of money advertising Mr. Brat’s name, to which a lot of people said, ‘Well, we actually have a choice here.’”
Cantor’s loss likely had little to do with his district’s sentiments to his stance on immigration reform, but rather that
“…he is a member of the Washington leadership, and that is just not a good thing to be these days.”
Note Jonah’s sly, crooked smile at the opening. This is a good clip, good commentary by Jonah Goldberg.
BREAKING: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Loses GOP Primary to Tea Party Challenger Economics Professor Dave BratPosted: June 10, 2014
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — House Majority Leader Eric Cantor loses GOP primary to tea party challenger Dave Brat in Va.
— Julie Pace (@jpaceDC) June 11, 2014
ABC News/AP reports: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was defeated Tuesday by a little-known economics professor in Virginia’s Republican primary, a stunning upset and major victory for the tea party.
Cantor is the second-most powerful member of the U.S. House and was seen by some as a possible successor to the House speaker.
His loss to Dave Brat, a political novice with little money marks a huge victory for the tea party movement, which supported Cantor just a few years ago.
Brat had been a thorn in Cantor’s side on the campaign, casting the congressman as a Washington insider who isn’t conservative enough. Last month, a feisty crowd of Brat supporters booed Cantor in front of his family at a local party convention.
His message apparently scored well with voters in the 7th District. Read the rest of this entry »
“This obfuscation and refusal to come clean to Congress has left us as well as the people of this country wondering what else is the White House hiding?”
— House majority leader Eric Cantor
Lawmakers in the House passed a bill on Thursday to establish the new committee to investigate the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya that left four Americans dead, including Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya.
Last week, Speaker of the House John Boehner ordered the establishment of the committee to investigate the attacks. On Monday, Boehner announced that he is tapping South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy to serve as chairman of the select committee hearings. Read the rest of this entry »
For The Washington Post, Josh Hicks writes: The House majority leader on Friday called for Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint special counsel to investigate the Internal Revenue Service’s controversial treatment of certain advocacy groups during the past two election cycles.
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in a statement on Friday that an independent prosecutor should “bring the appropriate charges against those responsible” for the IRS’s targeting of tax-exemption applicants for extra scrutiny based on their names and policy positions.
“This is far too serious a matter to leave to the discretion of partisan political appointees, no matter who is in the White House,” Cantor said. Read the rest of this entry »
For NRO, Andrew Johnson writes: As tensions rise between China and Japan, the latter is growing less and less confident in American diplomatic support in the event of a conflict, according to one Republican congressman who recently visited Japan.
“Those are a bit unprecedented, and it’s because of the uncertainty they feel about America’s commitment to the treaty and to ultimately defend them if and when they were to get into military conflict. I think that’s why the president was asked that same question following later in the week when he visited.”
How to Constitutionally Fund the Government
It’s the House’s prerogative to supply funds, or not, for Obamacare.
Matt Drudge, founder and editor of the conservative website the Drudge Report, took to Twitter Tuesday to voice his displeasure with the Republican Party.
Tuesday morning, Drudge tweeted:
Allegedly Educated People Don’t Know: A Higher Percentage of Republicans Than Democrats Voted for Civil Rights ActPosted: August 30, 2013
L.A. Times Mangles History: Democrats ‘Led the Passage of Civil Rights Legislation’ in the Sixties?
By Tim Graham
Memo to the Corrections Department at the Los Angeles Times: The following sentence is utterly unhistorical. “Since Democrats led the passage of civil rights legislation that marchers pushed for in 1963, Republicans have struggled to recover with black voters”.
Civil rights legislation of the 1960s was favored more by Republicans than by Democrats, so how did Democrats “lead the passage”? With three reporters contributing to the story – Kathleen Hennessey, Richard Simon, and Alexei Koseff – none of them could locate the actual Sixties voting record as they labored to make the GOP look bad for the Democratic unanimity of the event: