Posts Tagged ‘Media Watch’

Aftershocks From Eric Cantor’s Defeat

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

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:

  • If David Dewhurst’s flailing campaigns hadn’t already destroyed consensus wisdom that money is everything in a political race, Brat’s vitory provides further confirmation. “As of mid-May, Brat had raised only about $200,000, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. Cantor raised more than $5.4 million for this election cycle.”
  • Indeed, Cantor’s campaign spent almost as much on steakhouses as Brat spent on his entire campaign.
  • Erick Erickson:

    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.”

  • Erickson also says the race is a good indication of why conservatives should forget about the American Conservative Union congressional rankings:

    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%.

  • And as long as I’m quoting Erickson:

  • Constituent: Why we fired Eric Cantor:

    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.

    Snip.

    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.”

  • Mickey Kaus, who probably did more than any other pundit to defeat Cantor, points to the importance of illegal alien amnesty as the decisive issue in the race:

    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.

  • What does it mean for House leadership?

    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.”

  • Cantor’s internal polling (conducting by the McLaughlin Group) showed him up by 34%, when he actually lost by 10 points. I guess McLaughlin failed to note the results were +/-44 points. That’s some mighty fine polling methodology you have going on there, John…
  • Debunking myths about Cantor’s defeat. It wasn’t a low-turnout election, and Democrats didn’t provide the margin of victory.
  • Brat on his victory: “Dollars do not vote. You do!”

  • Brat offers Washington insiders a lesson in humility. Bonus: “The 10th Amendment is the big one; the Constitution has enumerated powers belonging to the federal government. All the rest of the powers belong to the states and the people.”
  • A look at David Brat’s theological writings, which cover Christian Libertarian ground. Warning: Hitler (but not in a Godwin’s Law sense).
  • More Bergdahl Swap Fallout

    Saturday, June 7th, 2014

    I was queuing up a LinkSwarm for Monday when it occurred to me that I have more than enough links on the fallout from the Bergdahl swap to put up a separate post, so here it is:

  • The entire Obama Administration seems shocked at the fact that those bitter, gun-clinging freaks from Jesusland who make our military actually have values. “The bitter criticism of Kerry in 2004 and Bergdahl today would carry no force if it came from mere ‘right-wingers.’ It comes, instead, from servicemen and veterans who see the two men as having behaved dishonorably. Once again the left is being undone by its failure to comprehend the centrality of honor to military culture.”
  • “Instead of just bringing Bergdahl back, they had to do the full kissy-huggy announcement with mom and dad figuring this good news would push the VA mess off the front page.”
  • For many in the military, the stupidity of thinking behind the Bergdahl swap (and how it was accomplished) was the last straw. “They have lost all respect for their commander in chief.”
  • “Perhaps President Obama stumbled into an announcement of the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl that was ignorant and insulting to those who serve our country in uniform, but his subsequent reaction to the criticism it has provoked is a disgrace.”
  • “Millions for defense, but not one red cent in tribute…except for paying off the Taliban for hostages.”
  • Taliban commander released in the Bergdahl swap says of course he’ll go back to fighting Americans.
  • What role did Pakistan play in the Bergdahl swap? Never forget that the Taliban are a creation of the Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence.
  • The eight stupidest things being said about the Bergdahl swap.
  • For a dissenting opinion on the right, Charles Krauthammer says he would have done the Bergdahl deal. Though I doubt he would have had the Rose Garden photo op, or been as sanctimonious about his own unerring judgment.”
  • How Tina Brown Lost $100 Million Trying To Nail Newsweek Back To The Perch

    Monday, May 5th, 2014

    If you’ve been following the story of Newsweek‘s demise (click those two links if you haven’t), then this Politico piece on Tina Brown’s ill-fated editorship is required reading, both for what it says, and for what it doesn’t say.

    What it says is that Brown was a creative, involved editor who hired good writers and worked long and hard to make the magazine a success. It also says that she was a spendthrift perfectionist who called people at 3 AM, expensively redid things at the last moment and never had a solid business plan for putting the magazine back in the black. She also had sensibilities that only rarely aligned with the world of news, and readily fell back on stale tabloid topics that were only slightly more hip than disco (Regis Philbin, Jerry Seinfeld, Zombie Princess Diana).

    Because Politico is part of the Democratic media complex, one thing they barely even allude to is Newsweek‘s decision to change itself into a liberal opinion magazine, in essence alienating (at least) half its readers. Brown did nothing to change the magazine’s disasterous, naked liberalism, and indeed abetted the trend (like her desire to make Michelle Bachmann look crazy on the cover). Newsweek had a choice between being profitable and being liberal, and they chose liberal. The course may have been laid in before she climbed into the cockpit, but Brown never veered from it. In plane crash parlance, this was “controlled flight into ground.”

    Saving a declining newsweekly was always going to be a difficult job in the Internet age; the relentless liberal slant and Brown’s feckless ways just made it an impossible one.

    Weekend Roundup for April 28, 2014

    Monday, April 28th, 2014

    Not so much a #LinkSwarm per se, as a roundup of news you might have missed over the weekend:

  • NBA owner Donald Sterling, under the spotlight for a bizarre racist rant captured on tape, is a Democrat.
  • Catholic Church canonizes Popes John Paul II and John XXIII as Saints.
  • 3,000 Florida voters are registered at a single UPS store.
  • “The Europeans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz.”
  • John Kerry still pursuing the mirage of Middle East peace.
  • Obama Administration watchdog actually a lapdog.
  • Man up, Nancy Boy.
  • CNN analyst welches on Zimmerman bet.
  • William Friedkin’s brilliant movie Sorcerer is finally out on Blu Ray.
  • Dan Patrick Debates Julian Castro Tonight

    Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

    Dan Patrick will debate Julian Castro on immigration and border controls in San Antonio tonight at 6 PM. Those who wish to watch can find the livestream here.

    LinkSwarm for April 14, 2014

    Monday, April 14th, 2014

    Time for another LinkSwarm:

  • By the standards of signing up the previously uninsured, “Obamacare may be headed for an epic failure.”
  • Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius resigns, leaving behind a legacy of incompetence and deception. “Rarely has any single public official done more to undermine the public’s confidence in the ability of government to function than Kathleen Sebelius.”
  • This just in: People still think ObamaCare sucks the farts out of dead wildebeests.
  • “Democrats face this reality: [ObamaCare]’s a political loser, and there’s no easy fix.”
  • New Jersey children lose health insurance thanks to ObamaCare.
  • The real reason for the Bundy Ranch standoff: Harry Reid’s son is in the pay of a Chinese solar power company that wants the land.
  • How Harry Reid’s insider trading and crony deals have made him a wealthy man.
  • Speaking of Harry Reid (via Iowahawk’s Twitter feed):

  • It turns out that the Overland Park Jewish Center shooter shared two fraternal organizations with late Sen. Robert Byrd.
  • Left out of all the left-wing Cesar Chavez hagiography: “Chavez had a very strong dislike for illegal immigrants.”
  • Indeed, we can best honor Cesar Chavez by making his birthday National Border Controls Day.
  • Backers of illegal alien amnesty may think it’s now or never.
  • It must have been a sad day for John Edwards, being barred from his sugar momma’s funeral.
  • Jay Carney is so use to lying, he can’t even resist PhotoShopping his own house. Badly. (Or maybe The Washingtonian is simply desperate to glamorize all Democrats profiled they won’t let little things like “competence” stand in the way…)
  • Is it just me, or did Hillary Clinton choose a singularly unflattering outfit for ducking shoes in?
  • The ideological slap-fight between radical lesbian feminists and tranny activists. “But all crazies are not created equal and, as crazy as the radical man-hating lesbians may be, they at least have valid science on their side in saying that ‘female’ is a biological category — genetically determined, rather than being a ‘social construct.’”
  • Vermonters just aren’t sure they want eyeball-bleeding tax rates just to satisfy the left-wing fantasy of single-payer health care.
  • France’s ruling socialists get their collective (ha!) asses kicked in municipal elections.
  • Property prices collapse in China. (Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)
  • Puerto Rico: 1.2 million workers, $70 billion in debt.
  • DC Power couple divorcing. Hilarity to ensue for, oh, probably a year or so.
  • Cowardly Brandeis University withdraws planned honorary degree for Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
  • Who is killing the bankers of Europe?
  • Ex-Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wants to “fix” the Second Amendment so its easier to disarm citizens.
  • Alec Baldwin forgets yet again that Twitter is not his friend.
  • Round Rock incumbent City Councilman Carlos Salinas appears to be benefiting from his position in a way that violates both city and state codes. How nice to pass a city-funded, interest-free loan for a building to a crony, then lease the same building back at below-market rates…
  • Well, this is disturbing: Kobe Bryant dispensing actual wisdom: “If we’ve progressed as a society, then you don’t jump to somebody’s defense just because they’re African-American. You sit and you listen to the facts just like you would in any other situation, right?” (From a New Yorker piece behind a paywall.) And naturally a firestorm erupted…
  • Speaking of the NBA: How two brothers owning a failing ABA franchise managed to earn a cool$1 billion from the NBA. The advantages of foresight,,,
  • PAX coming to San Antonio in 2014.
  • And remember that your taxes are due tomorrow…

    Leland Yee/Shrimp Boy Chow Update for April 7, 2014

    Monday, April 7th, 2014

    Here are some updates to the story of California Democratic State Senator Leland Yee and Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow’s federal weapons trafficking charges, via Dwight and Instapundit (among others):

  • “State Sen. Leland Yee spent campaign donations in recent years to travel to the Philippines, the country from which federal authorities accuse him of arranging to smuggle hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of military-style weapons.” (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • How did Yee escape terrorism charges? The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is not among the “56 foreign terrorist organizations designated by the U.S. State Department.”
  • Both Yee and Chow hire new lawyers.
  • Problem: California Democratic State Senator is illegally trafficking arms to international terrorist groups. Solution: California Democrats ask Obama to ban the import of “assault weapons.” It’s like Al Capone’s fellow mobsters making an impassioned plea for stricter laws on bootlegging. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Yee wasn’t just a gun control fanatic, he was an anti-corruption crusader as well. (Insta again.)
  • It took more than a week for MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow to finally mention that Yee was indicted for arms trafficking…and she still failed to mention he was a staunch advocate for gun control.
  • The guns of the Leland Yee scandal. I’d like to fire a Tavor Assault Rifle, but they seem to garner a hefty premium over AR-pattern rifles. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Last time I checked, CNN still hasn’t covered the Leland Yee gun trafficking story. But thank God they covered his opposition to banning shark fin soup!
  • And speaking of CNN, maybe it’s not a coincidence that their ratings are near an all-time low.

  • San Francisco journalist spends a thousand or so words not explaining why San Francisco’s numerous professional journalists didn’t even catch a whiff of the the scandal. Hey, I think my tweet above just may have a clue…
  • Though he wasn’t in custody during the initial arraignment, sports agent co-conspirator Marlon Sullivan was taken into custody in Princeton, New Jersey.
  • The Real Reason Democrats Hate the Koch Brothers: They’re Getting Their Asses Kicked

    Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

    You may have noticed that all the usual media outlets and liberal extensions of the Democratic Party (but I repeat myself) falling in line to attack the Koch brothers, as I’m sure has been decreed by either the DNC or whatever passes for the resurrected JournoList

    Never mind that the George Soros-funded Tides Foundation outspends the Koch Brothers by a good margin. The real reason Democrats hate the Koch Brothers is that their network is kicking Democrats’ collective asses.

    Take some of their most recent ads, for example. Here’s one against Michigan Representative Gary Peters:

    And here’s one against Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu:

    And don’t forget the video that has Julie Boonstra receiving death threats:

    (Hat tip: Moe Lane, I think, though damned if I can find the link just now…)

    LinkSwarm for March 31, 2014

    Monday, March 31st, 2014

    Before the LinKSwarm itself, an observation: On the drive home from Houston to Austin this weekend, I saw a Prius with a “Repeal ObamaCare” sticker. Truly the tide has turned…

  • So today is the latest drop dead day to sign up for ObamaCare. Guess what website is down?
  • How AP frames questions: “Do you want your Reps to make ObamaCare work, or to let children die?”
  • Court case to determine whether Obama can rewrite laws at his whim or not.
  • “A core competency of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is issuing false assurances.”
  • ObamaCare wastes wastes $2 trillion over 10 years to fail to insure the uninsured.
  • How Obama’s pro-illegal alien policies released 68,000 criminals onto the street.
  • CNN decides that California’s third-ranking Democratic state Senator and gun control advocate being busted on federal arms trafficking charges just isn’t news.
  • Obama’s foreign policy: Neither Hawkish nor Dovish, but rather manifestly incompetent.
  • Top Ten Things Putin Said to Obama about Ukraine.
  • One reason for the liberal contempt on guns: They’re losing and they know it.
  • And when liberals want to have a “conversation” on gun control, what they really mean is “let us shame you into rolling over and giving up your rights.” Then they wonder why they keep losing. “After Newtown, many gun-control advocates tried to shame rather than persuade, as if the ‘correct’ position was obvious to everyone save retrograde idiots. On guns, that strategy has never worked.”
  • Malcolm Gladwell’s discussion of the Branch Davidian siege makes the ATF sound even more clueless and incompetent.
  • There are some majors and colleges that bring negative financial returns.
  • This just in: Jeffrey Toobin is a lying tool. (Related.)
  • Scott Walker is crushing Mary Burke in fundraising.
  • How the Washington Post and Robert Reich lie about the Koch Brothers.
  • But despite all the liberal talking points, Harry Reid is still less popular than the Koch brothers.
  • Global Warming alarmists push for greater dialog with skeptics. Ha, just kidding! They want them arrested.
  • How an editor at Ebony picks fights with black conservatives to help prop up the magazine’s ambulatory corpse.
  • Erick Erickson reviews Noah. I think the movie the movie may have strayed a little from its Biblical source, especially in the light-saber fight in the strip club after the car chase…
  • Proof that Kayne West is a vampire.
  • LinkSwarm for March 21, 2014

    Friday, March 21st, 2014

    Enjoy your complimentary Friday LinkSwarm, and be sure to tip your waitress!

  • Fourteen different ways you can you can avoid the ObamaCare tax.
  • Joaquin Castro to boycott Buc-ees? He should have almost as much luck in Texas boycotting air conditioning and football. Hey, when Castro can offer outstanding fudge and the largest, cleanest restrooms in the state, let me know…
  • Democratic Senators decide they’d like to avoid committing political suicide by voting for Obama’s gun-grabbing Surgeon general nominee.
  • Colorado Democratic Senator Mark Udall proves once again that taxes are for the little people.
  • Democrats recruit the perfect candidate for congress: an 86-year old ex-felon.
  • Rich liberal environmentalist Tom Steyer is 100% opposed to Keystone pipeline. Well, except when endangered Democratic Senators are involved.
  • What liberals are leaving out of their hagiography of Cesar Chavez: he opposed illegal aliens and would have hated amnesty.
  • Liberals hate the Koch brothers so much they freak out even when they’re donating money to a hospital.
  • How dare some racist Americans call some Muslims pedophiles just because they want to marry 8-year olds?
  • America could hurt Russia by lifting natural gas export restrictions.
  • Swell story of resurrecting a badly damaged B-2. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • It’s gotten to the point I can no longer tell liberal ranting from parody of same.
  • More Yelp hilarity for the Backstreet Pub and Grill owner who went out of his way to insult gun owners.
  • Supporting Neil Young and Scarlet Johansson against the Israel haters.
  • “Set in a futuristic dystopia where society is divided into five factions that each represent a different virtue….” Yeah, that’s pretty much where I stopped reading.
  • Solider adopts dog. Dusty room ensues.