Wednesday Open Thread [6.11.14]

Filed in National by on June 11, 2014

Well, it’s reaction day. Cantor Day. Brat Upsets Cantor. Sounds like a headline out of a failed Bar Mitzvah. Anywho, our dear friend Unstable Isotope asked last night on Twitter if the Cantor defeat was bigger than the Castle defeat. I answered Cantor is bigger because we all saw Christine O’Donnell coming, Palin endorsed her, the Tea Party Express got involved in the campaign, Castle got very nervous and went negative, and a poll from PPP five days before the election showed Christine in the lead. You can’t say that about this Brat guy.

Here is some reaction from the punditry….

Jonathan Chait notes Cantor (R-VA) “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.”

Jonathan Cohn: “There’s a certain poetic irony to Cantor, who exploited Tea Party frustrations in order to undermine Boehner, falling to a Tea Party challenger himself. And as my colleague Danny Vinik points out, this probably isn’t good news for the Republican Party’s political prospects in national elections, given how out of sync the Tea Party is with the rest of the country. But there’s a long way to go before 2016.”


In the aftermath of Eric Cantor’s epic, shocking 11-point primary loss to an underfunded xenophobic college professor, Hillary Clinton bestrides the globe like a colossus. There is literally no hope now that the Republican Party can do one thing to improve their performance with the Asian or Latino communities. In fact, since it is now evident that it is not sufficient to do nothing about immigration reform, but one must spend all day bellowing about the brown hordes crossing our border, Republican politicians are powerfully incentivized to loudly advertise their disgust with the changing demographics of the country. And they will. The GOP is guaranteed to do much worse with Asians and Latinos in 2016 than they did in 2008 or 2012.

Think about this. Wall Street and the Chamber of Commerce and Agribusiness and the evangelical community all lobbied the House Republicans to pass immigration reform and they got nowhere. That is how incredibly racist the people are in these gerrymandered districts. When has the Republican Party ever before told those powerful conservative interests to go fuck themselves? Normally, when those groups speak, the GOP jumps to do their bidding.

Molly Ball: “Cantor’s loss will prompt the reexamination of some other pieces of conventional wisdom: One, that the Tea Party is dead–clearly, at least in one restive precinct, anti-Washington anger is alive and well. And two, that supporting immigration reform doesn’t necessarily hurt Republicans in primaries–Cantor’s supposed support for “amnesty” was Brat’s chief line of attack.”

Ben Jacobs:

One Virginia Republican familiar with the race suggested that Cantor’s loss was due to “a perfect storm” brought about by the fact that Cantor seemed to be schooled in “the George Armstrong Custer school of tactics as opposed to Sung Tzu school.” The Republican suggested that while immigration was a factor, the bigger issues were internal party politics. As opposed to other Virginia Republicans in Congress, Cantor didn’t show the most basic respect to Tea Partiers in his district. It wasn’t about Cantor’s votes but rather that he didn’t even show up to explain himself and get yelled at. If the Majority Leader, who was the only Jewish Republican on Capitol Hill, had paid more attention to the words of Woody Allen, who said “80 percent of life is showing up,” he would be in much better political shape. But Cantor also exacerbated things by failing at attempts to play internal politics within the Republican Party of Virginia.

Nate Cohn: “Regardless of the exact reason for Mr. Cantor’s defeat, the news media’s focus on immigration is likely to deter Republicans from supporting comprehensive immigration reform. It could even discourage Republican presidential candidates in 2016, when the party will need to broaden its appeal to Hispanic voters in states like Florida.”

Robert Costa and David Farenhold:

“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.”

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  1. Jason330 says:

    Great round up. And this…

    Brat Upsets Cantor. Sounds like a headline out of a failed Bar Mitzvah.


  2. jason330 says:

    From NY Magazine: “A fact that keeps popping up in stories about the shocking defeat of Eric Cantor is that, apparently, everybody hated him.”

    Please take note Republicans, it is hard to win when everyone hates you.

  3. SussexAnon says:

    Some press reports are calling Brat a libertarian.

    Is this true?

  4. Delaware Dem says:

    Does a libertarian believe that Protestantism, the religion, is the biggest factor driving our economy? Because that is what Brat believes.

    He is not a libertarian. He is a Theocratic Xenophobe.

  5. cassandra m says:

    They heard he’s a fan of Ayn Rand and a libertarian label is launched by your trusty media.

  6. cassandra m says:

    Ezra Klein crunches the numbers and finds that Cantor’s loss came at the hands of less than 5% of his constituents. He points out that the Tea Party didn’t unseat Cantor, Cantor never got his own voters out.

  7. fightingbluehen says:

    Hillary claims that they were broke when the Clintons left the White House.

    They weren’t that broke. They had the antique furniture that they stole from the White House attic. That had to be worth something.

    And just think, only a few years later they threw their daughter a multi million dollar wedding. Nice.

  8. AQC says:

    I’m in Leg Hall listening to the insanity on this “voucher” bill. We are supposed to believe it’s meant to help the poor.

  9. bamboozer says:

    Cantor was easy to hate, no doubt of it, and while this was not as obvious as Castle’s defeat it’s partly due to Cantor launching bogus polls to cloud the issue. Interesting that immigration was a big draw for Brat, it will remain a gigantic head ache for the GOP as these forces will no doubt be emboldened. Total enjoyment on my part and more fun to come.

  10. TRUTH teller says:

    12Million dollars in debt sounds broke to me Fighting blue hen

  11. fightingbluehen says:

    Yeah, I’m sure that they suffered immensely.
    Only , seriously low information, in the tank, die hard partisan types, would buy that they were broke because Hillary carried campaign debt.

  12. Geezer says:

    She was talking about 2000. She had no campaign debt. The debts were Bill’s legal bills.

    You apparently don’t understand the country’s bankruptcy laws. When your liabilities are greater than your assets, you meet the legal definition of bankruptcy.

    I though you people believed in the rule of law? Oh, wait, you referenced “die-hard partisan types.” Like you, I suppose.

  13. Geezer says:

    Brat is a Paul Ryan clone: He wants to drape himself simultaneously in Ayn Rand and the Bible. Oxymoronic thinking is the underpinning of conservatism.

  14. fightingbluehen says:

    Well, that’s completely different. I feel their pain now.

  15. Geezer says:

    Who asked you to feel their pain? We just want you to masturbate somewhere else.

  16. Jason330 says:

    “They (The Clinton) weren’t that broke. They had the antique furniture that they stole from the White House attic.”

    And don’t forget Vince Foster’s gold fillings.

  17. fightingbluehen says:

    That’s a good one jason, but they really did steal furniture, and other items that were eventually recovered.

    Yeah, they stole stuff, and their staff basically ransacked the place, and damaged property on the way out…… Your property jason, and Geezer’s property.

    Who the fuck does that?

    Do you really want these people back in the White House?

  18. pandora says:

    You do know you’re wrong, right? That these claims were debunked years ago, right?

  19. fightingbluehen says:

    So why did they have to give the stuff back?

    And remember. The Clintons don’t get the benefit of the doubt. After all, they are the Clintons.

  20. Geezer says:

    Yes, they’re the Clintons. And as bad as they are, there’s not a Republican out there who isn’t in thrall to a combination of Wall Street and shit-kicking stump-jumpers and their invisible friend Jesus, so about 57% of the electorate is going to vote for her because there’s no other choice.

  21. LeBay says:


    I’ll vote for HRC if she chooses to run. I can’t stand her, but I’ll vote for her because she’s a better candidate than *any* candidate the crazy Rs will nominate.

    Please be honest about the Wall Street thing. The Democratic Party has been licking Wall Street’s/Corporate America’s bung hole since 1992, perhaps longer.

    Enjoy the bung hole:,d.cWc

    FWIW, a “bung hole” is an aperture through which a cask can be filled or emptied,or an anus/rectum/asshole.