With all Obama’s manifest incompetence at the national and international level, it’s easy to neglect Texas election news, so here’s a small update to tide you over.
Archive for the ‘Republicans’ Category
That’s the title of the press release the Abbott campaign just sent out. Details from that release:
$35.59 million cash on hand for the fundraising period ending on June 30th – the highest cash on hand amount ever reported by a Texas candidate. Since January 1st of this year, Texans for Greg Abbott has raised $16.6 million. For the current reporting period running from February 23rd-June 30th, Abbott reported raising $11.1 million. Greg Abbott’s fundraising is coming from Texas: 95 percent of Abbott’s contributions came from within the state.
That last line is a direct jab at Wendy Davis’ Hollywood fundraising trips. The farther she goes from Texas, the more they like her…
The fat lady isn’t just warming up, she’s already striding out on stage in full Valkyrie gear…
Pretty much everyone on both sides of the mediasphere/punditocracy was shocked by last night’s defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor by David Brat.
Here’s a quick roundup on thoughts and reactions to Cantor’s defeat:
The media will play up Cantor’s loss by claiming it was about immigration. They will be wrong, but it will be useful for the rest of us. Immigration reform is now DOA in the House of Representatives thanks to David Brat.
But Cantor really did not lose because of immigration alone. Immigration was the surface reason that galvanized the opposition to Cantor, but the opposition could not have been galvanized with this issue had Cantor been a better congressman these past few years.
He and his staff have repeatedly antagonized conservatives. One conservative recently told me that Cantor’s staff were the “biggest bunch of a**holes on the Hill.” An establishment consultant who backed Cantor actually agreed with this assessment. That attitude moved with Cantor staffers to K Street, the NRSC, and elsewhere generating ill will toward them and Cantor. Many of them were perceived to still be assisting Cantor in other capacities. After Cantor’s loss tonight, I got a high volume of emails from excited conservatives, but also more than a handful of emails from those with establishment Republican leanings all expressing variations on “good riddance.”
Cantor’s constituent services moved more toward focusing on running the Republican House majority than his congressional district. K Street, the den of Washington lobbyists, became his chief constituency.
“Cantor lost his race because he was running for Speaker of the House of Representatives while his constituents wanted a congressman.”
The American Conservative Union has long been a mouthpiece of the Republican Establishment and in the past few years has basically been K-Street’s conservatives. Their scorecard reflects the Republican-ness of a member of congress far more than the conservativeness of a member of congress. Just consider that Mitch McConnell was considered more conservative in 2012 than either Jim DeMint or Tom Coburn.
In contrast to the American Conservative Union, Heritage Action for America takes a more comprehensive approach to its scorecard, it does not try to help Republican leadership look good, and is a better barometer of a congressman’s conservativeness. The ACU had Eric Cantor at a 95%. Heritage Action for America has him at 53%.
Republican consultants are really pissed they’ve invested all this time in ass kissing staffers who suddenly aren’t powerful.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) June 11, 2014
Because [Cantor] didn’t have to worry too much about getting re-elected every two years, his political ambition was channeled into rising through the hierarchy of the House leadership. Rise he did, all the way up to the #2 spot, and he was waiting in the wings to become Speaker of the House.
The result was that Cantor’s real constituency wasn’t the folks back home. His constituency was the Republican leadership and the Republican establishment. That’s who he really answered to.
Guess what? Folks in the seventh district figured that out.
That, ladies and gentlemen, was Eric Cantor: the soul of an establishment machine politician, with the “messaging” of the small-government conservatives grafted uneasily on top of it.
So yes, you can now tear up all those articles pronouncing the death of the Tea Party movement, because this is the essence of what the Tea Party is about: letting the establishment know that they have to do more than offer lip service to a small-government agenda, that we expect them to actually mean it. Or as Dave Brat put it in one of his frenzied post-victory interviews, “the problem with the Republican principles is that nobody follows them.”
I would have settled for his challenger, Dave Brat, getting more than 40%. I was all ready to (legitimately) spin that as a warning shot across Cantor’s bow. Instead, Brat went and actually beat Cantor–decisively, by 10 points, 55% to 45%. He and his campaign manager Zachary Werrell obviously ran a very effective race with minimal resources–against Cantor’s millions. Independent anti-Cantor actors like the We Deserve Better group — and various local conspiracies we don’t even know about — probably played a role as well.
But the main issue in the race was immigration. It’s what Brat emphasized, and what his supporters in the right wing media (Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, Mark Levin) emphasized. It’s the charge Cantor defended against—by conceding the issue and posing as a staunch amnesty opponent. But Cantor had signed onto the GOP’s pro-amnesty “principles” and endorsed a poll-tested but irresponsibly sweeping amnesty for children (a “founding principle” of the country, he said). Brat opposed all this, even as illegal immigrant children were surging across the border in search of a Cantor-style deal.
Brat won this immigration debate. Cantor lost. It’s basically that simple.
Kaus also notes that it puts a stake in the heart of MSM “Republicans are really OK with amnesty” BS.
Those conservatives, suddenly smelling blood in the water, might now be emboldened to push for a wholesale change in leadership—ousting Boehner and McCarthy in this November’s conference elections, and entering the next Congress with a new top three.
“It should frighten everyone in leadership,” one conservative House Republican, who exchanged text messages on condition of anonymity, said shortly after Cantor’s defeat was official. “They haven’t been conservative enough. We’ve told them that for 3 years. They wouldn’t listen.”
The GOP lawmaker added: “Maybe they will listen now.”
Tonight is primary night in Virginia, and in Virginia’s 7th congressional district, and with 75% of districts reporting, House Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor is losing to underfunded tea Party challenger David Brat by about 56% to 44%.
Cantor used to be a reliable conservative, but the overwhelming issue in this race was Cantor’s support for the thin “Dream Act” wedge of illegal alien amnesty. Republican voters, blue collar workers and Americans in general have stated over and over again they’re opposed to illegal alien amnesty, but Democrats, big business lobbyists, certain Hispanic groups and squishy establishment GOP moderates keep pushing it.
Attention all Republican office holders everywhere: Supporting illegal alien amnesty is a career-ending move.
Also, it appears that reports of the Tea Party’s death have been greatly exaggerated…
— BattleSwarm (@BattleSwarmBlog) June 10, 2014
The Tea Party is dead. Oh, sorry, I meant Eric Cantor's campaign.
— Aaron Gardner (@Aaron_RS) June 10, 2014
Ted Cruz spoke to the Texas Republican Convention yesterday. Since I suspect most of you didn’t have a chance to catch the livestream, here it is in handy YouTube form. Includes considerable criticism of Obama’s foreign policy (or lack thereof).
Consider this a “Hey, it’s the weekend, here’s something vaguely resembling content” post.
I keep looking for some insightful pieces on the Texas election results, but mostly what I’m finding is the usual MSMN “those extreme extremist Republicans have sure gotten extremely extreme” blather (see just about any Paul Burka piece for an example of the form), but I did find a few links of interest
“‘Some Democrats have said they want me to be the nominee,’ Patrick said during his victory speech. ‘Well, they’ve got me, and I’m coming.’”
And what does the party that hasn’t won a statewide election this century think of developments?
“Democratic Party spokesman Emmanuel Garcia added, ‘The days of a pragmatic Texas Republican Party are over.’”
Why yes, I’m sure we all remember how much Democrats praised George W. Bush and Rick Perry for their “pragmatism.”
Democrats also might find it hard to win the Agriculture Commissioner’s race with a candidate who refuses to campaign.
Empower Texas on what the media are calling the “Tea Party Takeover”: “You can’t have a takeover of something that was already dominated by those who are claimed to be taking it over.” The Tea Party is essentially conservative voters who insist that Republicans who run as conservatives actually govern as Republicans. Imagine that.
Both Dan Patrick and Ken Paxton were hovering around 64-65% of the vote, which is pretty decisive.
Ryan Sitton is currently winning with 58% to Wayne Christian’s 42% for Railroad Commissioner. That’s a mild surprise to me, but down ballot races are harder to predict, and I did notice a late direct mail push from Sitton.
Sid Miller is currently leading Tommy Merritt 54-46% for Agriculture Commissioner, but they haven’t called the race yet.
On the Democrat’s side, David Alameel beat Larouchite Keisha Rogers fairly handily, 72% to 28%, for the chance to be slaughtered by John Cornyn in the Senate race. And Kinky Friedman appears to have lost to non-campaigning candidate Jim Hogan 55%-45% for Agriculture Commissioner. As to why, maybe Texas Democrats hate one or more of: Marijuana, Jews, country music singers, mystery writers, guys who smoke cigars, or guys named Kinky. Or they still hate him for running as an independent in 2006. Or they like guys with nice Anglo names. Take your pick.
More tomorrow (maybe).
Tomorrow is the Texas primary runoff, so now would be a good time to find your voting card and confirm your polling place.
A final roundup of runoff tidbits:
Here is who I will be voting for tomorrow (all of whom I expect to win):
Pretty much every week brings the same set of stories over and over again:
This week’s example of the first comes from Pennsylvania congressman Lou Barletta (who I donated to in the 2010 election cycle, when he retired Stupac-block flipper Paul Kanjorski) has an editorial stating that immigration reform is dead for now due to the news that “the Obama administration had released more than 36,000 illegal immigrants who had been convicted of other crimes.”
The thousands of illegal immigrants released from custody had been found guilty of a total of almost 88,000 crimes, including 116 homicides, 43 counts of voluntary manslaughter and one classified as “homicide-willful kill-public official-gun.” Throw in thousands of drunken driving convictions and other crimes, and the picture is clear that these inmates were not simply in custody for their most basic crime: being illegally present in this country. Yet they were released into the neighborhoods of America, supposedly having paid their debt to our society and sent along their way. This should be appalling to anyone who cares about the rule of law or public safety.
This week’s example of the second comes in the form of Obama Administration capo Valerie Jarrett claiming that she has a “commitment” from House Republican Speaker John Boehner to pass “comprehensive immigration reform” (that is to say illegal alien amnesty) after the elections.
Could she be lying? Of course. She is, after all, an Obama Administration official; it seems to be part of their job description. But given that Boehner has previously told his own donors he’s “hellbent” on getting it done this year, and since Majority Leader Eric Cantor still remains vocal in supporting amnesty, I think it’s a lot more likely she’s telling the truth.
Remember, as Mickey Kaus continues to observe, the trick is to get any piece of immigration reform passed in the House so the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill (including amnesty) can be tacked on in the joint committee and rammed through the House with Democratic votes.
Amnesty is opposed not only by the majority of Americans, but by the overwhelming majority of blue collar workers, conservatives, and Republicans. Zombie amnesty refuses to die because Republican business supporters have an insatiable hunger for cheap labor and 2012 spooked the establishment into full blown hispanicing.
As the Barletta piece shows, the Obama Administration refuses to deport convicted murders and rapists when they have an excuse not to. Does anyone even remotely believe they would actually enforce any immigration agreement, much less one promising “amnesty now, enforcement later”? Trusting the Obama Administration to obey an inconvenient law is like trusting Vladamir Putin to obey an inconvenient treaty.
Everyone should call your U.S. congressional representative to remind them that there can be no immigration reform until we have an Presidential Administration who is actually willing to obey they law, which won’t occur until 2017. And Republicans should never sign off on another “amnesty now, enforcement later” bill ever again.
Conservatives should refuse to donate a dime to establishment outfits like the NRCC until Boehner and Cantor publicly give up on passing any immigration bill until Obama leaves office.
Finally, every Democratic “War on Women” ad should be met with one asking “Why is Obama furloughing illegal alien rapists?” This is ready-made attack ad fodder for anyone willing to ignore the tut-tuting and name-calling of MSM liberals, who will inevitably denounce such ads as racist because they know they work. (Just ask Michael Dukakis.)
Take the fight to the enemy.
More fallout from Jerry Patterson’s release of Dan Patrick’s mental health information from the 1980s to aid David Dewhurst.
David Jennings of Big Jolly Politics, who was notable for being perhaps the only conservative blogger in Texas to back David Dewhurst over Ted Cruz in 2012, has declared that “the despicable attacks on Sen. Dan Patrick make me sick.”
I’m sickened by the type of attacks that the guy I support, David Dewhurst, has put out in the last two months. The worst possible thing he could have done was take on Jerry Patterson and let him have control of his campaign, which is why I coined the term “Dewtterson”…. You don’t have to support Dan or vote for him to know that what the Dewtterson campaign, along with one compliant media outlet, has done to Dan is just plain wrong.
(Hat tip: Push Junction.)
The Dallas Morning News, also not Dan Patrick fans, have said that Patterson and Dewhurst say the latest developments “scrape moral bottom.”
The Houston Chronicle joins in: “Dewhurst should be ashamed. This pathetic attempt at attacking a political opponent scrapes the bottom of the barrel.”
Lynn Woolery is moderating a Dewhurst/Patrick debate in Salado tonight, and has a list of questions that (thankfully) focus entirely on current events, rather than things that happened in the 1980s.
In other Lt. Governor’s race news: