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House Majority Leader Defeated In Primary 932

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the first-time-for-everything dept.
An anonymous reader writes "For the first time in United States political history, the House Majority Leader has been defeated in his primary election. Long time Republican congressman and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was defeated by 10 percentage points in the Virginia primary by Republican Tea Party challenger Dave Brat. This shocking defeat is likely to upset the political balance of power in the United States for years to come."
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House Majority Leader Defeated In Primary

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @01:21PM (#47213949)

    This government is ineffective, and seems to be more about getting things for themselves than their constituents. They use the taxes we give them to spy on us and arm our police forces with tanks rather than give us nationalized healthcare. They take bribes from special interest groups. We need new blood in politics.

    • We need new blood in politics.

      At the risk of Godwinizing the discussion... that's probably what those who voted for the NSDAP party thought too, out with the Old Guard and in with the New Blood.

      This guy may be "new blood", but he's still running on the ticket and with the approval of the Tea Party. Read his biography [wikipedia.org] on Wikipedia, and be careful what you wish for.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @01:24PM (#47213991)

    The Tea Party may be taking all the credit for this, but the reality is is far more grim than any political insider is willing to admit: this has been the most unpopular Congress since the Do-Nothing Congress of 1947-49. [wikipedia.org]

    And if anyone paid attention to history, what happened then is what will happen this time, too. The incumbents are in the crosshairs.

  • Tea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @01:26PM (#47214015) Journal

    Reports of the Tea Party's death are greatly exaggerated.

    My only qualm is it's been hijacked well beyond its initial namesake cause of shrinking the bloated spending into almost every old Republican grievance.

  • Can't he still win (Score:5, Interesting)

    by twistedcubic (577194) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @01:28PM (#47214053)
    I don't know the rules in Virginia, but can't he run as a third-party candidate in the general election, just like Lieberman did?
    • by bareman (60518) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @01:35PM (#47214143) Homepage Journal

      No, he can't appear on the ballot after losing the primary. He'd have to be a write-in.

      • by bareman (60518) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @01:42PM (#47214255) Homepage Journal

        Oops, should have hit paste before posting:

        "Mr. Cantor can't run as a third-party candidate. Virginia law forbids candidates who lose primary elections from appearing on the general election ballot. It is not immediately clear if he will mount a write-in campaign , as did Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) after losing a 2010 GOP Senate primary." — The Wall Street Journal

      • by asmkm22 (1902712)
        Even that isn't entirely remote, if he plays his cards right. We had something similar happen in Alaska back in 2010 when the incumbent Lisa Murkowski lost the primary to the Tea Party favorite Joe Miller. She went on to win as a write-in candidate with something like a 40% margin, because it didn't take long for the more crazy extreme side of Joe Miller to show up and public opinion of him quickly flipped.
        • Even that isn't entirely remote, if he plays his cards right. We had something similar happen in Alaska back in 2010 when the incumbent Lisa Murkowski lost the primary to the Tea Party favorite Joe Miller. She went on to win as a write-in candidate with something like a 40% margin, because it didn't take long for the more crazy extreme side of Joe Miller to show up and public opinion of him quickly flipped.

          I'm not an American so just out of curiosity: What is a write-in candidate? ....and: Why is somebody who looses a primary election held by a political party banned by law from running as an independent? What ever ones opinion of sore losers may be, passing laws against them running as independents seems a bit anti-democratic to me. In my country we occasionally get a splinter candidate running as an independent. Usually this is after a disagreement in one of the mainstream parties where somebody is dissatis

  • Redistricting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dorianny (1847922) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @01:41PM (#47214251) Journal
    Republicans are falling victim to their own success redistricting. The result is safe districts where the nominee has no need for independent voters to win in the general election. The party nomination effectively becomes the election and in these, candidates are much more vulnerable to small groups of highly motivated, very vocal and very involved fringe groups, then they would be in general elections. Democrats engage in this behavior as well but for better of for worst, they are not as good at gerrymandering when they get the chance.
    • Re:Redistricting (Score:4, Interesting)

      by gurps_npc (621217) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @01:56PM (#47214503) Homepage
      Actually, the real problem is not the skill in gerrymandering, but their political decisions..

      Republicans have ceased to be a 'conservative' party and instead become a RURAL party. In large part because government works much better in cities (easier to provide government services there), but also because of minority concentration.

      This leaves the cities full (80%+) of liberals.

      When it comes to gerrymandering, your best bet is to concentrate all your enemey in one district - anything over 60% is worthless to the party that has the majority - those 61+ % voters could have been moved to a district where you are in doubt.

      It is a lot harder to justify gerrymandering a combination district that contains some of those inner city votes and also the outer rural votes - in part because the city voters can easily change districts without having to change jobs as well as home.

  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @01:50PM (#47214391) Homepage Journal
    You can be positive that K Street and its myriad of lobbying firms will be more than happy to employ him.
  • by Krishnoid (984597) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @02:08PM (#47214679) Journal

    This looks like a secondary effect coming from an order-of-magnitude increase in interpersonal communication speed. Where in the past you might have to call an in-person meeting or conference call with many people, an individual can now communicate in a richer, distributed, asynchronous way with anyone who's marginally interested in considering your message.

    With the communication landscape changed and resource access barrier lower, unless an incumbent uses their greater political and financial resources to improve their leverage in the new communication landscape, that area will be a more level playing field, and if you don't accommodate for that, the odds significantly change.

    It seems like established institutions and scenarios that have a large part of their foundation on communication -- e.g., publishers, politicians, market pricing -- are going to see a lot more of these sorts of never-before-in-history kinds of disruptions. Things that don't depend on human-speed communication so much, such as hard sciences, construction, farming, will see changes, but maybe not quite as rug-pulled-out-from-under-you disruptively.

  • by tverbeek (457094) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @02:14PM (#47214769) Homepage

    Dear God.

    I used to know this guy. It took me a little while for it to register, but the goofy grin confirms it: this is the same doofus I went to college with. The college is a haven for Republican Calvinism (i.e. God chooses certain people to be successful), steeped in the worship of capitalism (God's invisible hand rewarding hard work). (The Amway/Blackwater dynasty are major donors.) I didn't know Dave well (sorry, no damaging stories to tell), but he was active in student government, and struck me as a classic empty suit: superficially charming with an upper-middle-class sense of entitlement. Not stupid, but not a deep thinker, the sort who doesn't question the values he was taught as a child... because they've always worked for him. (One of the key ways I differ from him.) I should've known he'd run for Congress someday.

    I'm sorry.

  • by QuantumPion (805098) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @02:16PM (#47214799)

    I'm glad Cantor lost, just out of spite. He ran the meanist, ugliest, lyingest, dirty campaign I've ever seen. Running attack ads left and right which were outright lying, just because he could because Bratt didn't have the money to run opposing ads. Cantor was known for not appearing at town halls, snubbing the VCDL and other local conservative groups, and generally treating his own constituents and elections as a nuisance - like a ruling class elite. Apparently, on the day of the election, Cantor was in Washington bragging about how he out-spend Bratt 50-1 in order to crush him to prevent future primary contestants.

  • by ankhank (756164) * on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @02:42PM (#47215209) Journal

    .... a review with praise in Common Dreams, a self-identified "Progressive" website, about the surprise winner in Virginia's Republican primary:
    http://www.commondreams.org/vi... [commondreams.org]

    "... Republican Dave Brat, a college economics professors who spoke about GOP hypocrisy and railed against Wall Street greed, unseated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a primary challenge.

    âoeAll of the investment banks, up in New York and D.C., they should have gone to jail.â ... Thatâ(TM)s a common campaign slogan repeated by Dave Brat, the Virginia college professor ....

    The national media is buzzing about Bratâ(TM)s victory, but for all of the wrong reasons...."

    -----
    The media will talk about anything except the real problem

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