How democracy works now

For anyone interested in understanding how they might personally wield some influence in politics, the stories emerging from Cantor’s loss are a rich trove of insights. Particularly interesting is this piece in the Washington Post published by a young Democratic political volunteer. He helped organize a left-right collaboration between Democrats and Tea Party Republicans in Cantor’s district that gave Cantor’s challenger access to badly needed tactical resources.

The truth is that Cantor’s electoral demise did not occur overnight. It was the culmination of more than four years of grass-roots organizing, from both the right and the left, to unseat him. Behind the scenes, Cantor opponents who otherwise had little ideological common ground cooperated in his demise. I know, because I helped engineer it.

So how did fire-eyed Tea Partiers and East Coast leftists manage to meet and find common ground? It wasn’t easy.

After Cantor’s 2010 victory, a group of anti-Cantor activists from both left and right met in person to discuss campaigning against the man who would soon be majority leader. We met several times over two weeks at coffee shops and pubs in strip malls throughout the Richmond suburbs. At first, we were suspicious that one side was trying manipulate the other, but soon we developed a sense of trust over our shared frustrations with Cantor.

How did their alliance influence the course of the 2014 campaign:

We shared data-science techniques for voter targeting and for evaluating the relative cost of earning the votes of different types of voters.

There was a problem: the-easiest-to-use political data is owned by the two major political parties. The Democratic campaign was over, so how could we ethically share information that we thought would serve the greater good? Stevens used his statistical knowledge and near-photographic memory to work from crude, publicly available State Board of Elections data, then manipulate those data into targeted sets of voters more like those that would be available to a large campaign from one of the two parties. He created tidy data sets of voter information and preferences of a sort typically unavailable to independent or insurgent campaigns opposed by a party establishment (like Mr. Brat’s this year).

It’s an interesting look at how the sausage is made. It’s also a very insightful peek at the way American politics is coming to resemble the coalition politics of Western Europe even without a parliamentary system.

 

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Political Theory
236 comments on “How democracy works now
  1. […] interesting look at how the sausage is made. How democracy works now I'll try again 'cause I've been told I'm tenacious. (Or was that contentious?) Anyway, the third […]

  2. Tuttabella says:

    Test with dolphin browser.

  3. kabuzz61 says:

    Well, polls now indicate that Obama has lost the majority of Americans in all areas. Even Obama’s water boy Chuck Todd says this indicates that the Obama presidency is over.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/about-that-wall-street-journal-poll-is-the-public-saying-obamas-presidency-is-over/article/2549878

    Thank God. Most corrupt, most corrupt Justice Department, most corrupt IRS, most corrupt EPA most corrupt BATF. Let him golf for the next year and one half. Michelle can go on many of her expensive shopping trips. Just leave American’s alone.

    • desperado says:

      Bad news, dumbass. Obama is president until January 20, 2017. He’ll be signing executive orders and pissing off you idiots right up until the last minute. No matter what you and the clowns at the Washington Examiner (whatever the hell that is) think.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Reading comprehension has always been the problem of the failed hate filled blogger. The poll is WSJ AND executive orders can be turned around easily enough.

    • rucasdad says:

      Oh my….I hope this doesn’t hurt his shot at winning the Presidential election in 2016….

    • John Galt says:

      If only there were a word to describe a term-limited politician in the last few years in office. Oh, wait, there is, “Lame duck,” and it has been used in politics for two centuries.

      Nothing about the messes Obama has on his hands is unique except the details.

      • flypusher says:

        It seems we have tradition, going back to at least Ike, that 2nd terms are full of blunders, scandals, blame, bad feelings, and/or broken dreams. Makes me wonder if the one term of 6 years model might be better.

  4. Owl of Bellaire says:

    So, Anse, it turns out that *today* (June 18) is the 85th anniversary of passage of the Reapportionment Act of 1929: the legislation which locked us into a 435-member House of Representatives. Not constitutionally, mind you, as kabuzz ignorantly claimed the other day: only legislatively, in a way which could be changed by any future Congress.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reapportionment_Act_of_1929

    I rather like this bit: “from 1890 through 1910, the increasing membership of the House was calculated in such a way as to ensure that no state lost a seat due to shifts in apportionment population.” Several squalls would have been avoided in recent decades if we’d kept to such arrangements.

    The 1929 act, pushed by rural interests opposed to the large immigrant populations swelling the cities, also did away with some of the language present in the earlier apportionment act, from 1911, most notably for “districts composed of a contiguous and compact territory, and containing as nearly as practicable an equal number of inhabitants.” If compactness were still a requirement, Republican gerrymandering in Texas would be much more difficult.

    By the way, the Apportionment Act of 1941 made the apportionment process self-executing, so the 435-member cap is not the result of continued malevolence: it’s purely institutional inertia and the fast-accumulating cloud of “tradition”, also known as, “We’ve always [sic] done it that way.”

  5. Craig says:

    Uh oh.

    “What he did in the period just before the attack has remained unclear. But Mr. Abu Khattala told other Libyans in private conversations during the night of the attack that he was moved to attack the diplomatic mission to take revenge for an insult to Islam in an American-made online video.

    An earlier demonstration venting anger over the video outside the American Embassy in Cairo had culminated in a breach of its walls, and it dominated Arab news coverage. Mr. Abu Khattala told both fellow Islamist fighters and others that the attack in Benghazi was retaliation for the same insulting video, according to people who heard him.”

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/06/18/world/middleeast/apprehension-of-ahmed-abu-khattala-may-begin-to-answer-questions-on-assault.html?hp&_r=1&referrer=

    • CaptSternn says:

      So he has his marching orders from Obama and Clinton.

      Or maybe you thought people with darker skin than yours are stupid? That would be no suprise coming from the left.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        So now the Benghazi attackers are *working* for the administration?

        Wow, conservative conspiracy-theory thick-headedness knows no bounds.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        “What does it matter” Hillary shrieked stamping her feet like a petulant child.

        Now it matter??? Why did it take almost two years to catch a guy who has been giving public interviews 8 times? This empty suit is incredibly dumb.

      • desperado says:

        It must be painful to be that damn stupid.

      • rucasdad says:

        “So he has his marching orders from Obama and Clinton.”

        The pride of being willfully ignorant is strong with this one. Capt, like I’ve said before, no matter how absurd your claim is and how fast sinking it may be…you’ll always go down with it to the very end. Its what good captains do and I admire you for it.

        (P.S. This is also why it’s impossible to have serious and productive conversations with people like this.)

      • Crogged says:

        Owl, they don’t give a f__k about what really happened at Benghazi or how one builds a case against someone (have the police ever released the guilty, of course they have, one must evidence) unless it can score partisan points. Every time, every day until the day before the next inauguration the usual suspects here will decide after (and prior) to the facts to put partisan spin ahead of the truth. We caught one of the bad guys, let’s try to find the black lining to the silver cloud. Partisanship doesn’t make one a bad person, but does make for a poor way to look at the world and awesomely immune to common sense.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        I thought they arrested this guy two years ago? The maker of the video right? That’s what Obama and the pants suit claims.

        You liberals are so, so gullible. Obama says blue is now gray and you guys say “yes sir.” Blind fools.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Ask him. I agree. Obama must be hurting.

    • DanMan says:

      bwahahahahaha

      you’re as stupid as ever despo, that there is hilarious

      • desperado says:

        I understand the need to lash out. It must be rough when all your best laid conspiracy theories fall apart. You have my sympathy. Nah, not really.

  6. Anse says:

    We also need to increase the size of the House to lower the population of each House district. Might help with the accountability thing, at least a little bit. Might also mitigate some of the laughably gerrymandered districts snaking through the states these days. From a system standpoint I don’t see many other reforms that would perform some kind of magic that would make our government better; so much of it just comes down to electing quality people and then letting those people do their jobs. I’m one of those small number of Americans who don’t pin the blame for dysfunction entirely on Washington. We own this thing, we ought to own at least some of the problems. I think our government is a reflection of us, moreso than we’d like to admit. People who don’t believe this are too arrogant to perceive their own faults or too ignorant to bother with.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      That would require an amendment to the constitution and the smaller states will not ratify it.

      • Anse says:

        Maybe, maybe not. States who’ve lost population would probably oppose it. I’m just throwing it out there. We’re a lot bigger country now than we were in 1800. The number of House reps should grow with the population.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Nonsense, kabuzz. The size of the House was fixed by statute in 1929, not enshrined in the Constitution. It can be changed at any time — and, once upon a time, regularly was, after each Census and apportionment.

        And who locked us in at 435? The rural interests, frightened of all those Italians and Irish thronging into the cities, and the political influence those groups might wield. They started cheating on apportionment, too, until the Supreme Court, in a series of 1960s-era decisions, insisted that Congressional districts be of equal population.

      • DanMan says:

        this is where die hard libs expose themselves as being so out of touch they shouldn’t be allowed to breed, fortunately with all the gays and abortions y’all have that pretty well covered already

        The bigger the bureaucracy the more removed it is from the people. Anse is being provocative in an ignorant kind of way by “just throwing it out there” to increase the size of g’ment to make things better and of course someone with a birdbrain would agree,

        Look at today’s example. The IRS was increased by 16,000 people to enforce Obummercare. That same agency is now declaring they lost their director’s e-mails over the period of her scrutiny to deny her political opponents the same access George Soros gets. And lo and behold, they are claiming 6 of her highest associates lost theirs too.

        You libs are a strange bunch. Embracing the destructive economic policies of a Carter with a criminal Nixon bent on steroids with Obama. And we all know Obama is hiding behind his black half to do it unimpeded because the repubs are too skeered to counter him.

        It’s easier to handle once you realize the damage is permanent.

      • rucasdad says:

        “this is where die hard libs expose themselves as being so out of touch they shouldn’t be allowed to breed, fortunately with all the gays and abortions y’all have that pretty well covered already…” Blah, blah blah.

        For you, Dan:

      • John Galt says:

        Dan’s inconsistency rears its ugly head again. We are constantly bombarded by the conservative canard that local government is more responsive and more representative. Increasing the number of Congress seats decreases the number of constituents, reduces the size of districts, and should allow the reps to be more, well, representative. The corollary to your fear of increasing government is that decreasing the representation would be preferable. To how many? If 435 is too many, then what? 200? 12? Or perhaps we can just go all the way to 1 and see how well that works out for us.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Increasing the size of the House would also magnify the difference in representation between sparse rural and dense urban districts, and between the slenderly populated states which tend to vote Republican and the dense urban seaboards which favor Democrats.

        It might be *more representative* of the *actual* population of our country — but that’s exactly why Republicans *won’t* go for it. The current system allows them to pretend to a popular mandate they don’t actually enjoy.

      • DanMan says:

        “The corollary to your fear of increasing government is that decreasing the representation would be preferable.”

        Yeah right poofter. And your corollary is to build a strawman to burn. I knew that would happen, I just didn’t know which one of you liberals would advance it first. Up your game will you Cuffy?

        and Ms Owl, y’all take a 1 point margin as a mandate so you need to sharpen your argument as well. It took your side lies, bribes and threats to pass obamacare and Obama has changed it at will over 30 times since it passed. Why do you think you need representation of the people when you don’t appreciate legislation anyway?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Dan, you witless wonder, you offer nothing but complaints. And Kabuzz, for all that he’s worth almost nothing, at least offers just as much useless curmudgeonliness without wasting as much breath as you.

      • DanMan says:

        yak up a casing and you’ll be able think more clearly Ms Owl

      • John Galt says:

        Mortally wounded here. Dan called me a poofter and Cuffy in the same comment. I just have no idea how I’ll ever recover.

        Seriously, Dan, my 7 year old is more clever than that. Plus he occasionally has a good point to make. Talk about needing to up one’s game.

      • DanMan says:

        Cuffy everybody thinks their kid is smarter than all the others. You tell the little cherub you’ve bankrupted his future yet?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Okay, while I’m beginning to strongly support the Amish practice of “shunning” as regards our own Dimwitted Dan, I do have to ask one question.

        What the heck is this “Cuffy” moniker that he keeps throwing about?

        A quick resort to the urban dictionary reveals this page: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=cuffy

        But I’m rather doubtful that Dan comes from Staffordshire. Is it a media reference that I’m missing, or just further proof of Dan’s separation from reality?

      • John Galt says:

        Dan thinks this is a clever riposte (look it up, Dan) to my “John Galt” nom de plume. Cuffy Meigs was an obsequious bureaucrat in Atlas Shrugged. He imagines that it gets under my skin.

      • DanMan says:

        JG knows as a character from the reviled master piece Atlas Shrugged Cuffy Meigs describes him much better than John Galt. JG is the polar opposite of John Galt. I was going to go with the Wet Nurse character that watched Hank Reardon’s empire crumble when he quit but he had redeeming value as one who recognized the destructive consequences of his bosses demands to maintain the bureaucracy.

        Cuffy, I care less than a little bit how you feel about anything. You endorse liars. My contempt for you starts and ends with your dishonesty, a character flaw you and the rucas posse can’t comprehend.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Amen to that, Anse. Increase the size of the House from 435, and reduce the number of committees each representative serves on.

      However, if you reduce the size of districts, you’ll start carving up urban areas even more. And there’s nearly no way to split up a city into districts which doesn’t end up either accidentally or purposefully splitting an obvious community of interest. Cities are far larger now than the Founding Fathers ever imagined.

      We need multi-member urban districts — and not with specific “seats” to run for, that allow the majority to always push through their own candidates all across the board, but with a more modern electoral system that allows fairer representation: something like cumulative voting, where minorities (whether racial or political) can “lump” their support toward getting a favored candidate into one of the positions, even if the majority takes the other seats.

      • flypusher says:

        Hey Owl, I’m trying to imagine how the multi-rep urban districts would work. So if for example, the newly drawn up greater metro Houston super-district was entitled to 12 reps, and it had 30 candidates vying for the seats. If you had something like instant runoff voting,

        http://www.fairvote.org/reforms/instant-runoff-voting:

        where voters would rank all the candidates in order of preference, think that might give a good chance to get all the various groups proportional representation?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Instant-runoff voting is one way to do it, and a great way to avoid the “spoiler effect” which eliminates most third-party candidates. If I know I can vote for, say, Ross Perot without “wasting” my vote, since I can always rank Bill Clinton or George H.W. Bush in second place, that frees me to express my preferences much better through the electoral process. And aren’t elections *supposed* to express voter preferences? So why are we stuck with such a clumsy, limited system as the “first-past-the-post” single-ballot method we use now?

        My own preference for a large, urban, multi-member district would probably be “cumulative voting.”

        http://archive.fairvote.org/index.php?page=226

        Say there are 12 seats available. Each citizen has her vote split into twelve pieces; you can “lump” all of them together to throw a lot of support to one candidate, “split” them among the twelve candidates you feel are the best choices among the thirty, assign them in a 6-3-2-1 pattern among four candidates you like in decreasing order, or any other number of variations.

        Cumulative voting has been found very successful in allowing minorities the chance to elect candidates of choice in a proportion roughly resembling their share of the population. Basically, if the Zoroastrian community in Houston really, really liked a Zoroastrian candidate, then they could accumulate their votes toward that candidate, and stand a greater chance of pushing her or him over the threshold to election than if they’d spread them among all the other, majoritarian candidates.

      • flypusher says:

        Interesting system Owl. I can picture a touch screen interface for that too- the screen has the names of all the candidates with 12 blank circles under each name. Touch a circle and it goes red, light up 12 of the circles (where ever you wish) on that page, then you are done and go to the next race.

      • DanMan says:

        don’t forget to wish for a basic income too lightweights

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Go drown in your own dyspepsia, Dan.

      • DanMan says:

        c’mon, yak it up

  7. Tuttabella says:

    This article by David Brooks about learning and skill acquisition might be of interest to BOBO, OWL, and FLY:

    http://nyti.ms/1kI9d71

    • flypusher says:

      Thanks for that link Tutta. A few comments on that. First both logarithmic and exponential learning curves have their plateau places (the curves are not smooth). I can also see a mix of both types of curves in some of the skills I’ve worked on. Also sometime you break out and up from a plateau not because you change something in your approach, but because you’re finally got the reps in to get those necessary neural connections strengthened enough.

      As for so many kids wanting to be sports stars or rock stars, there’s also the potential big $ payoff, in addition to the payoff of learning the skill. We need craftmen and statesmen even more, but don’t offer pay in line with that need. We have an imbalance yet to be corrected.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      Thanks, Tutt. There is a mysterious quality to learning and muscle memory and flow. I recently started tap-dancing lessons. When the teacher called out a sequence I had last performed more DECADES ago than I want to mention, my body just did it, no hesitation. When I played soccer, I was a miserable ball handler in practice sessions.but in games I was an accurate passer and seemed able to feel my contribution to the team’s movement toward the goal. Can’t say I know what it all means, though 🙂

      • flypusher says:

        You can also have that oddity with two musical passages of equal difficultly where the fingers just fall into place for one and the other is a struggle.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I grew up speaking Spanish at home, and when I went away to college I rarely had the opportunity to speak Spanish. However, I was surrounded by brilliant speakers of English, and as a result, I became especially eloquent in SPANISH during that period. The language part of my brain was stimulated, so it didn’t really matter what language I was using. I became more eloquent in all of them.

        I can go for years without speaking French or Italian, and for the first few minutes I’ll be rusty, but within 15 minutes or so, it all comes rushing back, not necessarily the words themselves, but the mindset of being in French or Italian mode.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Language is particularly interesting, neurally and synapse-wise. I once produced videos for HCC’s ESL program.

        The teachers there said the students who had the most difficult time were those who did not read or write in any language. It was as if those students didn’t have the neural networks for any symbolic reasoning of any language, so learning the language called English was very difficult.

        It could be done, though, but it took a lot of patience on the part of the student.

    • DanMan says:

      you nailed it Tutts, I want that 3 minutes back. David Brooks is incapable of teaching me anything worthwhile.

      I wonder if his fascination with the crease of Obama’s pants was logarithmic, exponential or merely another case of him dividing by zero.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Dan, 3 minutes for you, 5 for me (I’m a slow reader). Actually, I like reading David Brooks. He writes about a lot of subjects that interest me, although on TV (PBS News Hour) he comes across as overly sentimental and a bit creepy.

        I will stick to the printed word where he is concerned.

    • objv says:

      “If you go into politics, you have to make the transition from campaigning, which is an instantly gratifying activity, to governing, which is an exponential activity, requiring experience, patience and hard-earned wisdom.” David Brooks
      ————————————————————————-
      Here in a nutshell, is Obama’s problem.

      Campaigning: A+
      Governing: D-

      What do you expect when you put a community organizer who has zero experience running a government or business in charge of the largest (for now) economy in the world?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Never mind Obama’s experience as director of the Developing Communities Project, a church-based community organization on Chicago’s South Side, where he helped set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants’ rights organization. That’s probably more like running the government than, say, directing a venture capital firm or owning a baseball team.

        Never mind Obama’s experience, say, editing the *Harvard Law Review* at the end of his first year in law school, or serving as its president during his second. Or directing Illinois’ Project Vote, or being an attorney of counsel for Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, or serving on the boards of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, the Joyce Foundation, and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.

        Never mind Obama’s experience as an Illinois state senator, or U.S. senator.

        You’re such a sad case, objv.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        OV, I thought of that, too, while reading the article. I actually think that winning the election was the main goal, the whole point — for Mr. Obama, and for the nation, to be able to prove a Black man could be elected president. Maybe he never seriously thought he would win, and so he was unprepared for what being president entailed, and the nation didn’t quite know what to expect from him, either, especially since he had little experience in governing.

      • flypusher says:

        Unless you’re coming into the job of President after a term or two as Vice-President, I’m betting you’re going to find many aspects of that job that will surprise you in how complicated/difficult they are. Being Governor of a large state like CA or NY would also help you in terms being prepared more than most other positions, but even then you’re still going up a few orders of magnitude in difficulty/ complexity/ responsibility.

        My personal opinion about Obama running in ’08 is that all the political stars were aligned just right for him then, so he seized that opportunity.

      • DanMan says:

        Hey Cuffy, you’re citing his affirmative action badges, not accomplishments of any kind normal people recognize

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Meh. I found Brooks’ article to be rather fluffy, actually. It sounded like something he had sitting in the back of a file drawer for when he needed to meet deadline but didn’t have anything else ready.

      That said, I have enjoyed several other examples of his written work, and agree with Tutt that he’s better in print than in person on the *PBS News Hour*. (But Mark Shields rocks!)

  8. Anse says:

    I sure wish the campaigns would get more sophisticated than the dooshy ads they splatter all over television. These idiots swaggering across cow pastures with shotguns slung over one arm and Old Glory billowing in the background…I can’t believe that crap sells. They’re like the cartoon character versions of a Texan. They’re every stupid stereotype of a Texan.

    • flypusher says:

      Remember Clayton Williams back in ’90?? That was the guy’s whole message, and he might have been the Guv to this day if he had kept his mouth shut.

      • Anse says:

        I wonder how many Texans these days have ever set foot in a cow pasture?

      • CaptSternn says:

        I am sure a lot of Texans have, Anse. Might help people if they would get out of the city and drive around the state, and I don’t mean driving around on the interstate highways.

      • Anse says:

        Stern, 80% of the Texas population lives in suburbs or cities. I learned how to drive a tractor when I was 13 years old. I’m not gonna go around in a cowboy hat and boots and act like I’m some kind of country farm boy. Most of us aren’t. Those tax moochers in rural counties need to drive into a city and see how most of us actually live these days.

      • Anse says:

        P.S. I grew up in a county with a total population of about 30,000, for what it’s worth. My pop grew up in a town with less than 400 people in it. I know how country people think, and most of what they think about politics is bull.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Anse, not every Texan is a cowboy or cowgirl, but cattle ranching IS big business in Texas. Haven’t you “herd?” Seriously, you sound like someone new to the state, or a Texan who needs to get out more.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Anse, i see your replies now. What I do think is silly is city people trying to act like country folks, for political purposes. But you can’t deny cattle ranchers are a very important segment of the population. They are not caricatures.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Cool with the puns, Anse and Tutt. “Bull” and “herd”. 😀

        Boots and hats are functional, as are long coats (yes, my duster is a little over the top, but I still like it occasionally). That’s how I have dressed all my life, form follows function. I am always in the shade and never need an umbrella.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Anyway, what moochers are you referring to?

      • Anse says:

        The cattle business in Texas is not close to what it once was. Most of the people back in my hometown who still run cattle have little weekend ranchettes with 15 or 20 head that they keep for the ag exemption on their taxes. The people involved in the truly large operations represent probably 5% of the population. That’s just a guess, of course. Oil and gas is a much bigger deal but I guess oil-stained coveralls don’t sell the political bullcrap as well as a Stetson and granddad’s over-and-under. I swear to god, they all look like they walked straight out of the Colbert Report…but they’re entirely serious. Amazing. What a bunch of idiots.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I have uncles and cousins who are cattle ranchers in the Rio Grande Valley, and their preferred form of dress is jeans, boots, and straw cowboy hats, both for work and for social occasions. They would not be caught dead in wimpy dress shoes or sneakers.

      • DanMan says:

        we can’t all be spornosexuals like you Anse

      • rucasdad says:

        I’m not afraid to admit that I had to look up the meaning of “spornosexual” and I was a bit hesitant to input it into Google as I’m at work…especially knowing Dan.

      • objv says:

        Tutta, my husband bought a cowboy hat after moving to New Mexico. I’ll admit that if he was walking around in Houston, he’d look a bit weird, but out here, he fits right in … and, dare I say it? Quite sexy! 🙂

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Rucas, I did my own Google search and came up with topless photos of football/soccer stars, which is ok, because i’m at home.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        OV, cowboy hats don’t look weird in Texas. Just ask tthor!

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Anyway, I prefer ’em rough around the edges — the hairier, sweatier, and ruddier the better, in my opinion. 🙂

      • objv says:

        Sorry, Tutt, I should have qualified that by specifying metro areas. I doubt tthor wears his hat to the office — although he may, for all I know. In any case, as a geologist, he is “rocking” the look out wherever he is.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Why would a man not wear his hat to the office? It is like AmEx used to say, don’t leave home without it.

      • objv says:

        Tutt: Sweaty? Ewwww! Fortunately, there is no shortage of sweaty guys in Houston due to the delightful summer weather.

      • rucasdad says:

        IT: Hi Rucas, we’d like to discuss your recent Google searches. More specifically, your search of the word “spornosexual” and the images that come with.

        Me: It’s all Bush’s fault….

      • objv says:

        Cap, My husband and I went to a place that makes specialty cowboy hats. Interestingly, the owner said that people stopped wearing hats due to the lowered ceilings in automobiles. Getting in and out of a car is almost impossible without knocking the hat askew, so people stopped wearing them – except for beanies and ball caps.

        So, if you like wearing a hat to work … go for it! You might start a trend! In any case, I love the old movies and TV shows where people wore hats.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Cap, what happened to your avatar?

      • A good straw cowboy hat is just plain survival gear from Brackettville to Yuma in the spring and summer months. My dad’s been gone for years, but when he visits in dreams, he’s wearing his straw hat. Although I don’t wear hats or boots to the office (except for Go Texan day), Dad’s standard office uniform included his hat, obsidian bolo tie and cowboy boots. That was back in the ’60’s in AZ – not exactly Mad Men country, if you catch my drift. 🙂

        Objv, it’s no so much the low roof lines in autos, it’s the dang high headrests. To add insult to injury, most truck makers don’t design the dash so you can set your hat on it. I drive a Nissan Titan, so maybe it’s just the Japanese, but the darn dashboard *slopes* towards the passenger compartment – set a hat up there and it just slides off into your lap. Grrr.

      • CaptSternn says:

        OV, I get custom made hats from The Hat Store on Richmond, no off the shelf stuff for my felt hat. Got a band for the latest version, cost more than the hat itself. Very similar to Lifer’s old avatar on the Chron.

        My understanding is that JFK started the no-hat trend in the ’60s. And TThor is right, head rests in newer vehicles are not hat friendly. Turning down the back gets around that issue.

      • Anse says:

        Nothing advertises small genitalia like a cowboy hat and a side arm. I am fully aware that this is still the ubiquitous costume of small-town Texas.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Feeling insecure, Anse?

      • Anse says:

        Stern, I have so much confidence, I have lived the last 20 of my 40 years in large urban areas and not once have I ever felt it necessary to possess a firearm. That’s not a brag because it ought to be the norm.

      • objv says:

        Tracy, Thanks for the explanation and the story about your dad. My husband, a couple of other people and I took a road trip to Santa Fe on Sunday. I can relate to the hat issue. There was no other place to put my husband’s hat while he was driving except in my lap or pushed to the side between my leg and the door.

        Cap, cool that you have a custom made hat! My husband and I went to a place in Mancos, CO. I was thinking of getting a hat made for myself, but the price they quoted was $500 – $600 for the style I liked. I passed for the time being. My husband found a nice, off the shelf hat here in Farmington. It also looks like lifer’s and has held up well considering my husband wears it while doing work outside and it takes quite a beating.

      • CaptSternn says:

        To each their own, Anse. I watched videos of husband and wife run down by the theif trying to steal their car, among other things. The likelyhood that I will ever actually need it is very small, but I would rather have and never need, and I hope I never need it, than to need and not have.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Anse, that’s the beauty of the second amendment. The right to bear arms is just that — a right, a freedom — and not mandatory. You choose not to bear arms, and that is also your right.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Conservatives still represent the threatened rural yahoo, and liberals the ever-growing urban dwellers. It’s obvious when you look at the districts Republicans have to draw.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Like the district lines that keep SJL in office?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        SJG’s district lines are horrid, absolutely. And they were drawn by Republicans to rope in all her urban African-American voters, so they’d be concentrated in one era and allow a bunch of white conservatives to be elected elsewhere.

        “Lumping and splitting” is basic electoral chicanery, Sternn.

      • CaptSternn says:

        That district had to have federal approval until just recently, Owl.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Uh-huh. Redistricting in many states was allowed to get grotesquely out of hand, in order to create racially gerrymandered districts and virtually ensure minority office-holders. There are better ways, but that was the lazy solution. I never favored it.

    • rucasdad says:

      I met Bill Clinton the first year I moved here to Chicago. At the Blues festival of all places. I’ll never forget the suede, bright blue loafers he was wearing that day (to give you an idea – http://www.sahars.com/sitevizenterprise/website/cgi-bin/file.pl/sahars/media/products/blue_suede_men_shoes_827152C979E46.jpg?dimensions=450×600). In fact, it was surprisingly these shoes that drew my attention to him and not the 7-8 secret service men around him. Other than swanky, douchey European guys I’ve seen on Mag Mile, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone else wear these….. Other than Bill. It’s a HUGE understatement to say that his shoes were offensive to the eye but style is subjective and like they say, “it’s not the clothes that make the man but rather it’s blah blah blah…”.

      • rucasdad says:

        “Other than swanky, douchey European guys I’ve seen on Mag Mile, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone else wear these….. Other than Bill.”

        And ELVIS! I forgot Elvis…

      • CaptSternn says:
      • rucasdad says:

        You got it, Capt! I wonder if Bill was channeling his inter-Elvis??? Hmmm….the important questions of the universe…

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Rucas, I read that ELVIS was the media’s internal code name for Clinton back when he first ran for office. I assumed it was because of the accent, but this shoe story might also have had something to do with it.

      • rucasdad says:

        That’s interesting, I didn’t know that. I’m sure it has something to do with it.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I always did prefer the Carl Perkins version of Blue Suede Shoes.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Remember Dukakis riding in the tank?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        As a child of a military family, I had no problem with Dukakis in the tank.

        But Bush’s dishonest P.R. cabal certainly made hay of it, particularly among people happy to lap up whatever propaganda they spewed as long as it made fun of a Democrat. Lee Atwater and others started the slide toward the muck-raking horrors of today’s Republican Party.

        I’d have taken Dukakis over George H.W. Bush in a heartbeat. As he said in a 2008 interview, “If I had beaten the old man, we never would have heard of the kid, and we wouldn’t be in this mess.”

      • CaptSternn says:

        If Dukakis had won, there would be no Kuwait and Saudi Arabia would be questionable.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        ‘Cause them rag-haids cain’t defend themselves no-how without us’n doin’ everthang for ’em, huh, Sternn?

        It might have gone differently. But that’s no reason for your usual moronic aversion to reality.

      • CaptSternn says:

        I’m sure they appreciate your label for them, Owl. But I doubt democrats would have done much to help. Obama is a great example of how democrats deal with foriegn policy.

      • Well, Cap, perhaps recent U.S. aircraft carrier naming conventions offer an insight into the military’s take on the modern presidents hailing from the Democratic party. Let’s see, we have the:

        USS Harold S. Truman
        USS Ronald Reagan
        USS George H.W. Bush
        USS Gerald R. Ford
        USS John F. Kennedy

        OK, Truman nuked Japan; JFK faced down the USSR during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Gee, where is the USS Jimmy Carter? Think we’ll ever see a USS Barack Obama? LMAO.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Interesting point on that, TThor. We could include Clinton as an example of how democrats deal with foriegn policy. While better than Obama, as he did keep the war with Iraq at status quo, and he did discover the ties between Iraq and al Qaeda, and he did order strikes while the blue dress was an issue, and he did make regime change in Iraq U.S. policy, he didn;t really do much more than drop a few bombs and launch missiles.

        I have read that Saddam Hussein didn’t believe the U.S. would actually invade to remove his regime because Bush41 left him in power and Clinton just dropped a few ineffective bombs. That seems to be a trend since at least Carter, we are weak with democrats in the oval office and the world sees us as a paper tiger, then a republican wins and must reassert U.S. power to regain respect, then a democrat comes along and al Qaeda takes over Iraq.

        The world would have more peace if the U.S. was consistent in foriegn policy, as in consistent in exerting force when and where called for without hesitation and without trying to be politically correct in the process.

        But, still, I do support term limits for some offices, especially the Office of the President of These United States. It has a price, but we also paid a price from having FDR basically be president for life.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Sigh. Carter was a U.S. Naval officer on submarines, and was in fact part of Admiral Rickover’s famous team that developed our nuclear submarine fleet. So, it should be no surprise that Carter is the namesake, not for an aircraft carrier, but for a *Seawolf*-class submarine.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Jimmy_Carter_(SSN-23)

        Tracy, you often put on an intelligent show, but your blind partisanship is making you look stupid. Don’t fall into the same vacuous state as Sternn and Kabuzz.

  9. lomamonster says:

    American democracy could actually reinvent itself if Cantor’s loss is adequately portrayed and explained to the citizenry. The evidence is plain and overwhelming that the real power for significant political change resides in the primary elections process and that the only real barrier to the renewal of Congress is the ability of local contenders to arouse enough voting power to negate outside influence and monies. That is a lot to ask of the people considering that they do not continuously campaign for anything and need a break from politics from time to time just to work (good grief!), run families and businesses, and otherwise get on with life pursuits outside of grandstanding for perceived leaders.

    So there it is – Power is there for the taking if people can stomach the commitment, and it remains to be seen what kind of bait can be chummed to the masses to generate such a groundswell of interest.

    • Tuttabella says:

      “Power is there for the taking” – Excellent! Very well put.

      Who’s going to spread the word? Therein lies another problem (aside from the main problem, which is voter apathy). That very important message, that power is there for the taking, is often withheld, or geared only to a select audience, selected by the messenger, who usually has an agenda.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      The only local control someone can have is the precinct level. The precinct chair has the ability to control the after election caucus or convention. When it comes to congressional runs’ it rises to a level of campaign managers and money. That is what is significant about Cantor’s loss, Cantor spent more on a campaign meeting held in a steakhouse then Brat used for his entire campaign. So what turned the message around? Immigration. Brat simply put forward that Cantor was working very hard for reform including amnesty.

      What is amazing is the GOP establishment and the democrat’s do not want to focus on that truth. The American citizens for the most part are not for any reform package unless they can seal the border and Obama shot himself in the foot by opening the borders for children. Bad play. The second most powerful GOP congressman lost his seat. I am very sure the rest of the GOP congress got the message, even though no one is saying it.

      • John Galt says:

        And the primary voters bought into a nonsense that a real problem (our dysfunctional immigration system) could be solved with impossible platitudes delivered in sound bite format. Not reassuring.

        Cantor’s “sin” was supporting the DREAM act, a revolutionarily bit of anti-Americanism based on the idea that children are not responsible for the crimes of their parents.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Believe what you will. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig. Nice to see you fell for the act. Did you in 86 also?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I don’t see the border ever being sealed. Illegal immigrants are too much a part of our economy. But they will continue to be used as political pawns by both sides.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        If you can’t seal the border then there will be no reform. They are a part of our economy now, but they also drive wages down.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Nor will there be mass deportation, either. Therefore, it will be “business” as usual. Nothing will change, except that the subject will continue to be brought up every now and then, for political convenience.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Sealing the border is the call of every xenophobe that claims they would be willing to do immigration reform as long as the borders are sealed. The American border is thousands of miles long so unless there is a giant wall with armed guards every few feet it is not going to happen. They rather keep these people underground and benefit from their near slave labor and use them as a scapegoat for this nation’s problems.

      • John Galt says:

        Sealing the border is an impossibility. It is, frankly, stupid to even suggest. The U.S.-Mexico border is nearly 2,000 miles long. Building a fence is hugely expensive (I mean hundreds of billions of dollars), poses environmental issues, and is opposed by many landowners whose properties will be confiscated to built it. Most importantly, it won’t work: a large number of those here illegally entered the country legally, by walking across the border and then staying. How does a fence stop that?

        The amnesty act of 1986 has not had any long term negative effect on this country. None. Recognizing that most of those here illegally now are hard-working people who want a better life for their kids and whose only crime is to be on the wrong side of an immigration law that was designed to create exactly this situation will not have any negative effects either.

      • flypusher says:

        If you could update the legal immigration system so that it’s not so hard for people who want to come here to work at jobs that need to be done, then you don’t even need so much extra border security. For the vantage point of a criminal or terrorist, the ways things are done right now is just perfect- what better way to sneak in than with the cover of so many others who are looking for jobs. If we have the job seekers out in the open, coming in by legal means (be it a guest worker program or something else), the border patrol has more time and resources to bust actual bad guys.

      • flypusher says:

        JG, I’m betting that in your position, you know all about the literal alphabet soup of the different sorts of visas. I never had to directly deal with any of them, but in my last job, I did have to get to the meetings that would inform people about the different types, which ones to use/ not use for students and postdocs, etc. What a bloody complicated mess that system is! I have a fair number of friends in the research field from other countries who’ve had some stories to tell…….

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Who said deport them. I say give them work permits but they can’t become citizens. Mainly because of their illegal activity. Not only entering the country on the sly, but using false SS and DL’s. Both felonies.

        Also, without a work permit, you don’t get CHP, Food Stamps, free schools, etc.

        I am amazed that the liberals don’t see this as a huge problem. I guess you don’t believe it until it explodes.

        Fly, before you get your panties in a bunch, fine the hell out of employers that hire illegals. Not only corporations, but housekeeping, landscaping, construction, etc. Fine them until it hurts. We must stop attracting the influx.

      • John Galt says:

        Fly – fortunately I leave the visa issue to the experts in our international office who know all about it. But it is a mess and I had a situation recently in which we ended up going for the less ideal category because CIS didn’t process the more appropriate visa application in 6 months. Time was ticking, so we did opted for expedience. We’re not talking about an itinerant laborer here, it was a person with a Ph.D. from a German university.

      • John Galt says:

        Buzz, this suggestion is where things break down. The employers who most benefit from illegal labor give a lot to pro-business (GOP) candidates who then make a lot of noise about illegal immigration but do everything they can to maintain the status quo.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Identity theft is definitely a problem. I don’t know how prevalent it is, but I’ve known of several cases of it — IDs stolen outright, or borrowed from relatives. There’s a very cavalier attitude about it — just something that has to be done in order to work — but there are few things worse than having to deal with someone stealing your identity.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        JG, to try to put the immigration problem on just one side of the aisle is the status quo. I say the pox belongs to both of them equally. I think exploiting Hispanics for votes is reprehensible also. But we still need to let the illegals know they can work, pay taxes but if they want to become citizens get out and get to the back of the line. It is the only fair thing to do.

        Fine the hell out of business, all business that hire illegals.

        Cut off benefits for those who do not have a permit.

        We will then see business stop hiring and immigrants quit coming.

        It won’t happen though. Both parties get good political capital with the status quo.

      • John Galt says:

        I wasn’t trying to put it on one party or the other. The Democrats absolutely use this issue to pander to Hispanic voters. But recent GOP rhetoric takes an increasingly hard line against immigrants of all sorts and the opposition to treating children who were brought here and raised here humanely is one sign of this. My comment was to illustrate that, despite this angry rhetoric, the GOP bears a sizable portion of the blame for the current status quo.

      • DanMan says:

        48,500 unaccompanied illegal immigrants 18 and under from October 2013 to May 2014 according to border patrol

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Kabuzz, I guess I understand your view. You’re willing to accept illegals and to craft a workable plan for them, as long as it doesn’t involve giving them special rewards or benefits, considering that they have done something illegal, after all. While one side likes to villfy them, as if they were hardened criminals, for the other side they are media darlings, heroes, and gloss over their illegal activities, and they are more likely somewhere in between.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Tutt, for illegals to work in this country they have to steal a SS# and DL. Both felonies. That is not small change. You use someone’s SS# and see what happens.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Kabuzz, I agree with you there. What I have a problem with is the obsession that many people have with illegals, with all their rage focused upon them, and the politicians who pander to these people.

    • flypusher says:

      loma, I did some volunteer work for a Congressional campaign 10 years ago. Before I did that I had doubts that I would ever want to run for public office. Afterwards I had no doubts- I have no desire to ever run. It was not a bad experience for me, but all the demands that are put upon candidates can get crazy, and the skill set that makes one good at campaigning isn’t the same one needed for the actual governing.

      • DanMan says:

        our government sucks, why do we want these kind of career criminals running it? you still think they’re going to give you stuff for free?

  10. Tuttabella says:

    Interesting article from the NY Times about minorities and their exercise of gun rights and membership in the NRA:

    http://nyti.ms/1pvy0Ts

  11. John Galt says:

    The interesting thing about the Cantor loss is that the voters of that district voted against their own local self interests, at least as politics has usually been run. As majority leader, Cantor had a lot of power in Congress, and that has generally been seen to be beneficial to the district (read: pork). Whether the D or R wins now, this district will be represented by a powerless freshman.

    • glennkoks says:

      So the people of that district voted to cut of their noses to spite their faces?

    • CaptSternn says:

      So they put the good of the nation ahead of their own self interests. The horror.

      • John Galt says:

        Yes, they voted out a respected member of Congress and will replace him with one of two unknowns, based on Cantor’s willingness to try to solve a real and pressing problem through practical means. Makes perfect sense to me.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Congress’ respect by the American people is at an all time low. But you think he is a respected member of congress. Seems you are out of step with the will of the people JG>

      • glennkoks says:

        I can’t see voting for Brat as being for the “good of the nation”. But we will see.

      • John Galt says:

        In 2012, the re-election rate for incumbents in Congress was 90%. People say they disapprove of Congress, mostly except for their guy, whose doing a great job for the district. Perhaps Cantor’s loss presages a change to this, but I doubt it.

      • CaptSternn says:

        We do what we can, John. I cannot oust the spoiled brats like Pelosi or Reid or even SJL, but i could help send Cruz to the senate. I support Ted Poe, not because I get government pork, but because of things like his position and speech on the incandescant light bulb.

        I approved the house growing a spine when it came to spending, then the democrats shut down the government while they and the media pointed fingers at house republicans. The GOP establishment caved and I did not approve of that.

      • DanMan says:

        Ted Poe cast a bizarre vote last week but I’ve already forgotten what it was. he was the only Texas repub that joined another 29 repubs to do so.

  12. CaptSternn says:

    “But the tea party is a movement – not an organization with structure like the Republican Party. So it has no control over who claims its name, and political observers think dueling tea parties could be the future battleground between traditional Republicans and anti-establishment outsiders.”

    http://www.houstonchronicle.com/neighborhood/woodlands/news/article/Montgomery-County-groups-spar-over-tea-party-label-5550677.php

    HoustonChronicle.com is a subscriber site, so those that have not bought the subscription won;t be able to read the article.

    But it is an interesting article, explaining that some are trying to hi-jack the movement. Some that support the GOP establishment are starting to claim the title and support establishment picks like Dewhurst. It would be like having Lifer suddenly take on the title and claim that myself, TThor, Kabuzz and others are not with the tea party movement, we are imposters. Imposters calling the originals the imposters.

    At least the author, Cindy Horswell, does seem to grasp the concept that the tea party movement is just that, a grass roots movement and not anything official. That point escapes the left in general. They cannot seem to comprehend the concept of free and individual thought, that we, the people, are acting on our own to bring the government into accountability. They need to have someone to follow and be told what to do, which is why they support things like the PPACA and even a “single payer” system where the federal government has absolute control. Then they blame republicans when it doesn;t create the utopia they imagined.

    This isn’t the first such attack on the movement. There have been imposters, liberals, showing up with racist or otherwise hateful signs and pretending to be part of the movement, and they have othen been exposed. But this time seems to be different and more organized, coming not from the far left extremists, but the leftists of the GOP establishment.

    Reminds me of the old Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.”

  13. glennkoks says:

    I would much prefer two political polar opposites uniting to support a candidate over uniting to defeat one.

    Isn’t that kind of what Reagan did?

  14. DanMan says:

    Man the hits keep coming for Hillarity Clinton don’t they? Today’s news is breaking about her State Dept. losing $6 billion (that’s with a b folks) under her watch and an audit of 6 of the most dangerous embassies after the Benghazi incident she doesn’t want to talk about went 6 for 6 in failing to properly audit the security details. Those IG audits did reveal the missing $6 bil though.

    Smart Power!!!

    Y’all better start looking at Sacawaliar after all. She of high cheekbones dontcha know.

  15. tuttabellamia says:

    This reminds me of an orchestration attributed to Papa Joe Kennedy, about how he paid a man to join a race between JFK and another gentleman, and this Third Man had a name so similar to the name of JFK’s opponent that people confused the two, and so the vote was split between them, ensuring a win for JFK.

    • DanMan says:

      Ma Parker runs decoy candidates here too and Lindsey Graham funded two of the 6 opponents that ran against him as well. Claire McKaskle was reported to have supported Todd Akin through surrogates. Common tactic to split votes for run-off reasons.

  16. DanMan says:

    I think we know why they don’t want to talk about Benghazi now.

    Prediction: The weapons that were supposed to be rounded up in Libya ended up in Syria and are being used in the advance on Iraq.

    • Crogged says:

      Suppose they gave a war and we didn’t go, couldn’t we say we won?

    • Turtles Run says:

      What about those WMDs in Iraq that were sent to Syria? What happened to that conspiracy theory? Couldn’t those just go back to Iraq.

      Crogged – We could just dispense with the war and hang up the “Mission Accomplished” banner. Of course all the neo-cons here will not get to start another war.

      • Bart-1 says:

        Thank you Turtles, evidence once again of the liberals inability to address the current situation and retreat to “live in the past” while whining that the conservatives need to stop what they themselves do.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Bart – so we are supposed to forget these WMDs that we were told were so dangerous that we must immediately start another war in the ME? Talk about short sighted.

        So what happened to those WNDs? Are they coming back to Iraq, if they ever existed then I would think this would be a valise question.

    • CaptSternn says:

      The U.S. hasn’t started a war since Vietnam, Turtles.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Sorry I forgot when the Afghan military attempted to invade our nation. Same with Iraq.

      • CaptSternn says:

        So you forgot about the invasion of Kuwait and September 11, 2001. No suprise there. But I am suprised that you are a supporter of Ron Paul.

  17. Interesting follow on to Chris’ prior topic. Although there was no doubt some political expediency to the Dem contribution to the Brat election effort, I imagine there is also a significant component of “a plague o’ both your houses.”

    I believe three significant Brat quotes provide an insight into the seeds of his victory:

    “”We need to take free markets seriously. That means we have to put an end to all these tax credits and tax deductions and loopholes.”

    “The issue is the Republican Party has been paying way too much attention to Wall Street and not enough attention to Main Street.”

    “I do not want the federal government trying to make my life work.”

    These three statements are the Tea Party manifesto in a nutshell. Apparently this message still has some resonance.

    Q.E.D.

    • DanMan says:

      yep, it is my understanding the only support he received from any tea partiers was their vote. He brazenly bribed them with common sense.

    • Crogged says:

      From the American Conservative

      “Scott Galupo may be right that Brat is going to be “another useless crank,” but we can always hope that he will be a useful crank, the kind who demands a wildly against-the-consensus look at this or that particular issue, as opposed to someone willing to destroy the institution if he doesn’t get his way. The House of Representatives is pretty big; there’s for those who make the sausage and room for those who want to change the recipe – even radically. We’ve just had enough of folks whose idea of changing the recipe is adding e coli.

      If Brat becomes a table-pounder on immigration, or NSA spying, or corporate welfare – he may make a useful contribution to shaping the debate, even if I don’t always agree with the direction. If he refuses to vote for any budget that doesn’t repeal Obamacare – not so much.”

    • flypusher says:

      “These three statements are the Tea Party manifesto in a nutshell. Apparently this message still has some resonance.”

      That’s just more of the usual vague sound byte stuff politicos stir up the base with. Specifics are what’s going to matter when people get into office and actually have to work on what’s in the budget and what isn’t.

  18. flypusher says:

    For entertainment purposes, a self-classified political scale:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/entire-gop-could-cantor-d-094500941–politics.html

  19. Tuttabella says:

    I did read a comment in the NY Times (I think it was a letter to the editor) in which the writer said he was a Democrat who voted for Brat just to defeat Cantor.

    • flypusher says:

      Back in 2012 one of my lab mates said (only semi-jokingly) that I should vote in the GOP primary for Santorum. I replied that while I understood that strategy, my head would explode if my finger touched that button. Also, that’s not how I roll. My primary strategy is to vote for the one I like the best (or hate the least) and the decision on which primary to vote in depends a lot on which one offers the fewest odious choices.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Well, I don’t like underhandedness in politics, which means I don’t like politics. The two go hand in hand.

    • “…a Democrat who voted for Brat just to defeat Cantor.”

      Now, there’s a Pyrrhic victory. Cantor will be replaced in the GOP power structure by someone just like him, and the GOP gains a well educated, well spoken champion of Reagan-esque values. Were I a committed Dem, I’m not sure that’s something I’d hope for…

      • DanMan says:

        Cantor appeared to be working with the dems for the last year. He was all in for amnesty, celebrated the effort to kill sequestration and dropped opposition to Obamacare. If the dems helped take him out good on ’em.

      • Turtles Run says:

        “…..the GOP gains a well educated, well spoken champion of Reagan-esque values…..”

        Or they end up with another tea party clown that keeps the tradition of spewing derp alive, ala David Brat.

      • DanMan says:

        turtlehead likes the communist manifesto

  20. flypusher says:

    ” It’s also a very insightful peak at the way American politics is coming to resemble the coalition politics of Western Europe even without a parliamentary system.”

    meh. That’s a poor substitute for having viable 3rd, 4th, even 5th party choices, as opposed to the current Coke vs. Pepsi flavor of American politics.

  21. fiftyohm says:

    “…the stories emerging from Cantor’s lose…” loss

    Editor, Fifty.

  22. kabuzz61 says:

    You liberals are a funny, weird breed. First you say constantly that the TEA Party is faltering and ending. Now you say we need to be front and center.

    The TEA Party makes up much more that 5%. Try 38% easily. That is more of a voting block then blacks and gays combined.

    But whatever makes you feel good to prepare yourself for this November. It is very amusing that the left is starting to take credit for conservative wins. It doesn’t get much crazier then that.

    Green skies, marshmallow clouds and unicorns running all over the liberals special place.

  23. desperado says:

    The Three Stooges have added a fourth.

  24. geoff1968 says:

    So, the Democrats are subverting the GOP by enabling TEA Party Republicans to win in primary elections?

    I don’t think the Democrats are really that interested in eliminating mainstream Republicans. What they are interested in is bringing out the worst in the party.

    I have to agree, good on ’em. They only way we can destroy the TEA Party is by putting it front and center. It’s just like chemotherapy. You kill the cancer cells by making them sick.

    The TEA Party represents 3-5% of the total electorate. A tiny, vocal, faction should not dictate the way the rest of us live, and they should not be allowed to ruin conservatism as a viable method of governance.

    • DanMan says:

      what’s the big deal? Gays comprise about the same percentage and drive legislation don’t they?

    • geoff1968 says:

      One day I’ll tell you about my ’94 and ’96 campaigns which I refer to as “Tormenting Timmy,” and “Smear the Q”er” respectively. Outing my favorite Gay State Senator actually did him good.

  25. kabuzz61 says:

    Well, self aggrandizing at it’s finest.

    Cantor, the main man that was putting together the votes for the immigration reform package that the left wants so very bad, but according to this guy, they would rather the immigration package fails so a TEA Party candidate would win.

    Chris, this defies logic. I hope you aren’t falling for this BS. After all, I get my orders from the Koch brothers.

    • Bart-1 says:

      So Democrats crossing part lines to vote in a GOP primary is worse than reputed GOP “lifers” voting for incompetent, dishonest Democrat incumbents for president? Really?

      • DanMan says:

        meh, nice point

      • tuttabellamia says:

        That Bart sure is a smart guy.

      • Bart-1 says:

        thanks, Tutt. But I am nowhere near as smart as the conservative commenters like yourself and others who aren’t hoodwinked (known here as “rucas’ posse”) by the blog’s claims. It is ironic that they have so little to say to defend the administration’s actions I have proposed today (other than resort to the low IQ strategy of “ad hominem attacks” of course).

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Well, Bart . . . DanMan did accuse me of getting hoodwinked by that Mr. Coates, with his article about reparations.

      • DanMan says:

        hoodwinked? persuaded is the word you are looking for, you still persuaded?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Well, I did begin to see things from a different perspective — more concrete, with clear examples of stolen wealth and property, which are more easily understood and easier to identify with, versus vague, abstract descriptions of psychological damage, which often just result in calls to “get over it.”

        Our society doesn’t have much patience or sympathy for psychological baggage, but it does get angry over outright, clear-cut theft.

      • Bart-1 says:

        And those talking about “slavery and the need for reparations” are NOT chastised as being liberals “living in the past”? Hmmm, Guess it’s OK when done by some only.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Bart, there were examples that had nothing to do with slavery, in fact happened decades after slavery was abolished. Actual theft of property.

        It didn’t convince me that reparations were needed from all people through the government because a crime committed by one person against another is between those people. Government works to bring justice to the criminals, not generalized by punishing all. If a person robs a bank, we don’t have the federal government give reparations to all banks through taking money from all citizens.

      • DanMan says:

        ah for the good ol days Capt. The Pigford trio of reparations identifies no wrongdoing on any individual yet pays billions out of our treasury to people that can imagine they were wronged. All based on institutional discrimination charges with no evidence needed to collect.

    • Kabuzz, I respectfully submit that in this case you may be a little unclear on the concept. The only interests of the left are advancing their political power and furthering Marxist policy. The left has no bona fide interest in helping illegals; the left only does so to the extent it furthers their political ends. As with all things Democrat, it’s a matter of appearances, not performance.

      In this particular case the Dems feel they win either way. If an immigration package is passed, they get more Dem voters. If passage of an immigration package fails, they get to blame the GOP, which energizes the base. And if they get to sow a little discord in GOP ranks along the way, all to the better. For our leftist friends, it’s a no-lose, win-win scenario.

      All this goes to point of illustrating how incredibly bone-headed the GOP leadership is. But hey, after ’08 and ’12, we kinda already knew that…

  26. CaptSternn says:

    Some far left guy writes an article claiming he is responsible for Brat’s victory? Um, yeah, right. The only thing I see as cedible there is that he thinks more tea party backed politicians will be good for democrats. Well, I once thought having democrats win and have absolute control would be good for conservatives, but people on the left still blame republicans and conservatives, even for Obamacare when not a single republican voted for it. They blindly follow and remain deliberately ignorant.

    But some people are watching, listening and learning. Maybe we can give the far left extremists and neo-conservatives some credit for people waking up, starting and joining the grass roots tea party movement. After all, it was the behavior of Bush43 and republicans under him in congress that finally got some people motivated to start the movement, and others that had been frustrated with the mess found a movement to join to make a difference after decades of national apathy and individual frustration.

    • Bart-1 says:

      2 years after claiming “credit” for ending the Iraq war and leaving it a “safe and secure fledgling democracy” (Ft Bragg Speech Dec 2011) that Biden chimes in with being so proud of what has been accomplished he viewed it as ,”President Obama’s greatest achievement” (VP debate Oct 2012) now that the entire thing has cratered and all gains are being lost, it is because George Bush started the war in the first place. Do they wear neck braces to prevent whiplash in DC now?

      • desperado says:

        “now that the entire thing has cratered and all gains are being lost, it is because George Bush started the war in the first place.”

        Yes.

      • DanMan says:

        He reiterated his Iraq talking points and added Afghanistan a couple of weeks at West Point when he yakked up that commencement speech.

      • DanMan says:

        Recall Colin Powell warning if we break it we own it? How many democrats voted for the war in Iraq despo?

      • DanMan says:

        Including the one you destroyed in the spring of 2008 with your Axelrod talking points and will vote for in 2016. Enjoy the irony.

      • desperado says:

        Dan, you’re never going to have any success overcoming your mental health issues until you stop living in the past. Just trying to help.

      • Bart-1 says:

        focus despo, (and he complains about people who refuse to stop living in the past), the point was on his and Tough guy Joe Biden claiming it as a resounding SUCCESS just before the election.

      • DanMan says:

        notice I tied it to your 2016 vote despo, try to keep up

    • DanMan says:

      yep, I noted he opens declaring himself a democrat but later states he gave up partisan politics. That and the WaPo source told me to qualify it with the “if true” part of my comment.

      I still like Cantor getting the kibosh.

  27. DanMan says:

    whatever it takes, good on ’em if true

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Goodreads

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 472 other followers

%d bloggers like this: