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Looking Back at the Tea Leaves on Cantor
National Review ^ | 6/10/2014 | John Fund

Posted on 06/11/2014 2:49:04 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross

Eric Cantor’s loss is historic. No sitting House majority leader has lost an election since the office was created in 1899. While Cantor’s loss was a stunning surprise, the warning signals were around for a while:

1. Cantor managed to muddle his message on immigration. His direct-mail pieces claimed he was foursquare against amnesty. But the newspapers covering Washington, D.C., quoted him as saying he was seeking a compromise with President Obama on immigration. Voters resolved the seeming contradiction by deciding to vote out their establishment congressman. Cantor’s loss destroys any chance of a comprehensive immigration bill passing the House this year.

2. The majority leader outspent his opponent, David Brat, by $2.5 million to $40,000. Much of that money went to negative ads against Brat that turned off voters and were so vitriolic as not to be credible.

3. Cantor was also hurt by a subterranean campaign by Democrats to convince their supporters to vote in the Republican primary against Cantor. Apparently, some of them did.

4. Many constituents of Eric Cantor felt he had ignored them for years, rarely returning home and often ignoring them on key issues ranging from expanding Medicare prescription-drug benefits to TARP bank bailouts. The frustration boiled over at a May party meeting in his district, where Cantor was booed and his ally was ousted from his post as local party chair by a tea-party insurgent. “He did one thing in Washington and then tried to confuse us as to what he did when he came back to his district,” one Republican primary voter told me.

And, looking forward:

5. In theory, Cantor could run as a write-in candidate in the November election, but that is highly unlikely. A divided GOP vote could elect a Democrat in a district where President Obama won 43 percent of the vote in 2012.

6. The House Republican Caucus has experienced an earthquake. Regardless of John Boehner’s decision on whether to remaining speaker, there will now be a new majority leader. Early contenders for the post are House Financial Services Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling and House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan. Both men are more conservative at their core than Cantor, who often made colleagues think he was a conservative of convenience rather than conviction.

Primaries are often criticized for low voter turnout. But they are also expressions of the grassroots sentiments of political parties. The lesson tonight is that establishment candidates ignore their most ardent voters at their peril. As political analyst Stuart Rothenberg put it tonight: “The GOP establishment’s problem isn’t with the Tea Party. It’s with Republican voters.”


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: brat; cantor; teaparty
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“The GOP establishment’s problem isn’t with the Tea Party. It’s with Republican voters.”
1 posted on 06/11/2014 2:49:05 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross
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To: Servant of the Cross

It was an open primary and Dems went to the polls.


2 posted on 06/11/2014 2:51:20 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Servant of the Cross

Last night, Brit Hume (who I once had great respect for)got into this Amnesty definition and parsing thing these Republican establishment types are so fond of. “It isn’t ‘amnesty’..definition = pardon....it isn’t...blah blah blah.”

Laura Ingram cut that down to the horse pucky it is with [paraphrasing] “these ‘plans’ are all just euphemisms for allowing criminals who broke our laws to illegally stay in this country.”


3 posted on 06/11/2014 2:57:01 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: C. Edmund Wright; Lakeshark; xzins; nathanbedford
Compare and contrast - Cantor v Brat in VA and Graham v Bright/et al in SC ...

I think the different results had more to do with the respective incumbents than the challenger(s). Cantor is singularly repulsive. Yes, Flimsey Tinkerbelle is too, but obviously not to a lot (>177,000) of South Carolinians.

Cochran is another example where the incumbent is so bad, they'll lose. But, how do we repeat Brat's success against an incumbent who doesn't beat themselves?

4 posted on 06/11/2014 2:58:38 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: Sacajaweau

It was an open primary and Dems went to the polls.


If so, it has just backfired on the Democrats big time.


5 posted on 06/11/2014 2:58:58 AM PDT by rdcbn
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To: Servant of the Cross

That sums it up! I think it was easy for the GOP honchos when they could blame it all on the Tea Party, which is a relatively small group of voters and one that may be somewhat transitory, but the overwhelming results make it very clear that the GOP has got some serious thinking to do.


6 posted on 06/11/2014 3:04:19 AM PDT by livius
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To: Servant of the Cross

Voters see illegal immigration as an existential threat to the nation. The Democrat establishment does , too. But they don’t give a damn, because it is to their short term political advantage.

The Democrats are in danger of becoming The Immigration Party, and trading a handful of legal Hispanic votes for the rest of their coalition. They have a foot in two boats. If they do not get legalization and 20 Million freshly minted citizens voting Democrat, they will lose it all.


7 posted on 06/11/2014 3:07:48 AM PDT by Haiku Guy (Health Care Haiku: If You Have a Right / To the Labor I Provide / I Must Be Your Slave)
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To: Servant of the Cross

Cantor spent $100 for every vote he received.

There ain’t enough lipstick you can put on that pig.


8 posted on 06/11/2014 3:09:22 AM PDT by Haiku Guy (Health Care Haiku: If You Have a Right / To the Labor I Provide / I Must Be Your Slave)
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To: Haiku Guy
Voters see illegal immigration as an existential threat to the nation.

True. However, Lindsey "Grahamnesty" didn't get that nickname for nothing. He even double-downed on 'immigration reform' at the primary debate. Yet he still garnered 56% in more conservative (than VA) South Carolina?

9 posted on 06/11/2014 3:13:51 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: Sacajaweau

Well, then. I guess Cantor should have been a true conservative.

The liar got thrown out.

NEXT!!


10 posted on 06/11/2014 3:14:02 AM PDT by F15Eagle (1Jn4:15;5:4-5,11-13;Mt27:50-54;Mk15:33-34;Jn3:17-18,6:69,11:25,14:6,20:31;Ro10:8-11;1Tm2:5-6;Ti3:4-7)
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From Drudge


11 posted on 06/11/2014 3:17:28 AM PDT by F15Eagle (1Jn4:15;5:4-5,11-13;Mt27:50-54;Mk15:33-34;Jn3:17-18,6:69,11:25,14:6,20:31;Ro10:8-11;1Tm2:5-6;Ti3:4-7)
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To: rdcbn

Don’t bet on it.

Political novice + fractionalized party + Democrat vote “irregularities” = possible Dem pickup in this district.

Tea Party was assisted by Dems voting in our open primary. Seems to be a winning strategy for them.

The tea party has their candidate, now try not to pull an Aiken.


12 posted on 06/11/2014 3:25:00 AM PDT by MDspinboyredux
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To: Servant of the Cross

This is why Indiana got rid of Lugar. We ended up with someone who just pulls the lever for whatever Harry Reid tells him to.


13 posted on 06/11/2014 3:25:15 AM PDT by pas
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To: Servant of the Cross
Compare and contrast - Cantor v Brat in VA and Graham v Bright/et al in SC ...

This [Brat v Cantor] was a race in which conservative media, talk radio and the internet, played a large role. Mark Levin and Laura Ingraham gave powerful support to Brat, while blogger Mickey Kaus was relentless in his coverage of Cantor's flaws.

So why didn't Levin, Ingraham, Palin, others ... also send some love toward Lee Bright?

14 posted on 06/11/2014 3:26:14 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: Servant of the Cross
3. Cantor was also hurt by a subterranean campaign by Democrats to convince their supporters to vote in the Republican primary against Cantor. Apparently, some of them did.

The GOP establishment really ought to learn from that fact...no matter HOW CONCILIATORY one is to liberals, they still hate you.

I am also amazed at the push for "immigration reform" when it is APPARENT that Valerie's puppet will NOT ENFORCE CURRENT LAW.

Team BO just blatantly broke the law with the Taliban-deserter swap....why do they think he would abide by any new laws??????

15 posted on 06/11/2014 3:27:40 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: MDspinboyredux

Don’t bet on it.

Political novice + fractionalized party + Democrat vote “irregularities” = possible Dem pickup in this district.

Tea Party was assisted by Dems voting in our open primary. Seems to be a winning strategy for them.

The tea party has their candidate, now try not to pull an Aiken.


Maybe if it was a Senate Race.

Cantor’s district is so heavily gerrymandered for Republicans that it is all but impossible to elect a Democrat there.

For a Democrat to win Cantor’s old seat, it would be like Tom Delay winning in Sheila Jackson Lee’s district


16 posted on 06/11/2014 3:31:37 AM PDT by rdcbn
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To: Sacajaweau

...”It was an open primary and Dems went to the polls”...

It doesn’t matter..A sleeping giant has awakened.


17 posted on 06/11/2014 3:32:26 AM PDT by jazzlite (esat)
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To: pas
I still can't believe Indiana voters chose Donnelly over Mourdock. Dumb.

I mostly blame Clod Akin and Mourdock secondarily for falling into the media trap. Mourdock was light years better than Lugar.

Bottom line: Indiana ends up with someone who pulls the lever for Harry Reid - whether named Lugar or Donnelly.

18 posted on 06/11/2014 3:32:43 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: SoFloFreeper
The GOP establishment really ought to learn from that fact...no matter HOW CONCILIATORY one is to liberals, they still hate you.

True Dat. The RATS portray even moderate milquetoast squishes like Mitty and McQueeg into far-right extremist Attila the Hun's once they captured the GOP nomination.

The fact that Boehner, McConnell, and Skippy Cantor still try to 'reach across the aisle' is proof they're more concerned about their D.C. 'prestige' than about the country and the conservative principles upon which it was founded.

Don't worry Eric, Valerie will call you tomorrow to come join our immigration strategy team.

19 posted on 06/11/2014 3:42:31 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: rdcbn; C. Edmund Wright
Maybe if it was a Senate Race. Cantor’s district is so heavily gerrymandered for Republicans that it is all but impossible to elect a Democrat there.

Another very good distinction between VA and SC races yesterday. Far easier to win a House seat than a statewide Senatorial one.

For a Democrat to win Cantor’s old seat, it would be like Tom Delay winning in Sheila Jackson Lee’s district

Now that's funny!

20 posted on 06/11/2014 3:45:22 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: MDspinboyredux

The district is a solid GOP one, the Democrats are not going to pick it up.


21 posted on 06/11/2014 3:46:21 AM PDT by fortheDeclaration (Pr 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation:but sin is a reproach to any people)
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To: Sacajaweau

There is no proof whatsoever that dems voted in this primary. The turn out was low and that alone puts that notion to rest.

Steve Forbes was saying this morning that this idea that Brat won because of dems voting is ridiculous and that the GOP ignores this at their peril.


22 posted on 06/11/2014 3:50:26 AM PDT by dforest
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To: MDspinboyredux

Hey get with the program and toe the line. Brat is the Republican candidate. Sit down, shut up, vote for Brat and eat your shit sandwich. Enjoy the peanuts.

After all hasn’t this been the battle cry from the Rino(e) since the Rockefeller wing took over?


23 posted on 06/11/2014 3:51:39 AM PDT by VRWCarea51
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To: Servant of the Cross

Graham got those votes for many reasons...

1) The 17th amendment - outside money
2) Incumbency
3) many primary challengers splitting the vote
4) Open primary - dems help to pick your candidate

Knocking off a sitting Senator in a primary is NEARLY impossible even as awful as Graham is...


24 posted on 06/11/2014 3:53:38 AM PDT by bfh333 ("We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality.")
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To: Servant of the Cross
Turnout was low, with a rainy day depressing normally low primary turnout. But the enthusiasm and commitment of Brat’s supporters, who had been canvassing for him extensively, in the absence of any real financial support.

Nowadays, a political campaign is a long hard slog. You can't underestimate the necessary GOTV activities and having a huge network of supporters "canvassing extensively". A House seat has such a smaller area to canvass than a statewide Senate race.

25 posted on 06/11/2014 3:53:40 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: fortheDeclaration

Obama took 43% of the vote in 2012. Very plausible for Dem pickup.

As far as your prediction (and something Cantor is very aware of right now), I’ll leave you with this:

“pride goeth before the fall”

Don’t be too confident.


26 posted on 06/11/2014 3:54:16 AM PDT by MDspinboyredux
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To: Servant of the Cross

Lesson for Republicans: Stop turning into Democrats when you get to D.C.


27 posted on 06/11/2014 3:54:51 AM PDT by wny
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To: Servant of the Cross
Ronald Reagan was fond of saying, "if they will not see the light make them feel the heat." Many Republicans will now feel the heat. Others, like Senator Orrin Hatch in Utah, cleverly gamed the system by pretending to have seen the light and turned right. He got his reelection and immediately turned left.

Nevertheless, the Cantor defeat is a victory because other would be Rinos are in the position of the Soviets about Star Wars, they could not be sure that it would not work and Rino Republicans cannot be sure they will not be dealt out of the game like Cantor.

The point is to build momentum toward seeing the light.


28 posted on 06/11/2014 4:01:50 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: MDspinboyredux

Obama took 43% in a presidential election. He got out the base vote from Richmond. Different turnout, different demo, different candidate. In an off year election which is mode overwhelmingly Republican, the unknown Dem has no chance.


29 posted on 06/11/2014 4:02:57 AM PDT by nhwingut (This tagline is for lease)
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To: Servant of the Cross
However, Lindsey "Grahamnesty" didn't get that nickname for nothing. He even double-downed on 'immigration reform' at the primary debate. Yet he still garnered 56% in more conservative (than VA) South Carolina?

Or, to look at it another way, a sitting Senator lost 44% of the vote in a primary. The opposition was fractured, but they all voted against Graham.

Graham is a good retail politician. His GOTV effort was a thing to behold. But he needed to pull out all the stops to get just over 50% of the vote in a Republican Primary.

Senator Wins Renomination - Dog Bites Man

House Majority Leader Loses Renomination - Man Bites Dog

We're not going to win them all. But if the Republicans don't get religion on protecting the border and stemming the tide of illegal immigration, we are going to win more than our fair share.

30 posted on 06/11/2014 4:04:02 AM PDT by Haiku Guy (Health Care Haiku: If You Have a Right / To the Labor I Provide / I Must Be Your Slave)
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To: rdcbn
Cantor’s district is so heavily gerrymandered for Republicans that it is all but impossible to elect a Democrat there.

The Democrats are not even going to have a candidate on the ballot.

In November it will be Brat vs. a Green and a Libertarian.

31 posted on 06/11/2014 4:07:40 AM PDT by Haiku Guy (Health Care Haiku: If You Have a Right / To the Labor I Provide / I Must Be Your Slave)
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To: Servant of the Cross

In SC the problem was too many candidates. I think there were something like 9. When it was just Mace or Bright, the prospects looked much better but it ended up with the other 8 trying to marginalize each other rather than focusing on Graham.

They will learn from this and if the Senate goes much stronger to the conservative side, you will see the RINO’s start to tact to which way the wind is blowing.

The one positive thing here is that this defeat will have a definite effect on the rest of the primaries.


32 posted on 06/11/2014 4:08:20 AM PDT by mazda77
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To: Servant of the Cross

Quit trying to please all the people all the time RINOs. Have a spine. Stand up for what is right.


33 posted on 06/11/2014 4:12:01 AM PDT by yldstrk ( My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Servant of the Cross

Well, bye.


34 posted on 06/11/2014 4:12:02 AM PDT by DeWalt (Times are more like they used to be than they are today.)
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To: Servant of the Cross

I guess you could say we have reached a tipping point in American Politics, kind of like the Island of Guam


35 posted on 06/11/2014 4:13:17 AM PDT by rdcbn
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To: dforest

I read there were 20K more voters in this race than last time, that’s not subjectively low voter turnout


36 posted on 06/11/2014 4:15:03 AM PDT by yldstrk ( My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Servant of the Cross

Establishment dribble.

Cantor didn’t “muddle his message” on illegal immigration—he acted straight out for amnesty than ran baldfaced campaign ads claiming the contrary.

All of the current GOPe leadership is compromised on illegal immigration, though Ryan is more so than Hensarling.

And how remote from VA can a man in DC be? Voters weren’t just throwing a hissy fit because they felt ignored by the traitor.


37 posted on 06/11/2014 4:17:50 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: Servant of the Cross

And Graham isn’t repulsive?


38 posted on 06/11/2014 4:18:15 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: Haiku Guy

Wrong....Jack Trammell is the Dem candidate. Carr is the Libertarian and Mike Dickinson is the write in.


39 posted on 06/11/2014 4:20:06 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: 9YearLurker
Yes, Flimsey Tinkerbelle is too, but obviously not to a lot (>177,000) of South Carolinians.

Read on McDuff.

40 posted on 06/11/2014 4:21:05 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: bfh333
Knocking off a sitting Senator in a primary is NEARLY impossible even as awful as Graham is...


Don't worry about Graham, he only cares about one thing - keeping his Senate seat and staying in power.

He blows with the wind and the winds are blowing in a conservative direction.

Expect to see an new and improved Lindsey Ver 10.3 emerge after today.

FWIW, things would have been much different for Ol’ Lindsey if it were not for the release of the 5 Taliban big wigs from Gitmo.

This gave Lindsey a perfect chance to vocally oppose Obama and call for impeachment which played very well in his state.

41 posted on 06/11/2014 4:21:43 AM PDT by rdcbn
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To: rdcbn

Hank Johnson: the 'face' of the intellect of the democRATic party ....

42 posted on 06/11/2014 4:22:13 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: Servant of the Cross
I'm now waiting for Cantor to call for party unity and then open National Republican coffers to Brat.

(Does anyone actually believe that's going to happen?)

43 posted on 06/11/2014 4:23:09 AM PDT by Timber Rattler (Just say NO! to RINOS and the GOP-E)
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To: Timber Rattler
I'm now waiting for Cantor to call for party unity and then open National Republican coffers to Brat.

Hah! Yes, and John Boehner will make a congratulatory call to Brat offering NRCC help and Karl Rove will laud the attributes of Brat and his smart campaign strategy!

And Guam will tip over.

44 posted on 06/11/2014 4:26:34 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: Servant of the Cross
Early contenders for the post are House Financial Services Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling and House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan. Both men are more conservative at their core than Cantor, who often made colleagues think he was a conservative of convenience rather than conviction.

I don't see Ryan giving up his Budget Committee for Majority leader. For Speaker, yes. McCarthy is the whip, he is the traditional 'next in line' for the leaders post. I'd bet he gets it, since the establishment still runs the show.

45 posted on 06/11/2014 4:30:05 AM PDT by DoodleDawg
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To: Gaffer

Laura called BS on hume. That was great.


46 posted on 06/11/2014 4:33:16 AM PDT by HANG THE EXPENSE (Life's tough.It's tougher when you're stupid.)
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To: Servant of the Cross

Don’t forget that when conservatives called his congressional offices with their opposition to amnesty, his office staff was rude and hostile to their concerns. Those “smart” staffers antagonized the voters….a really stupid thing to do.

That should be a valuable lesson to other GOP politicians, who treat TEA Party Republicans as knuckle-dragging know-nothings.


47 posted on 06/11/2014 4:33:38 AM PDT by txrefugee
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To: MDspinboyredux

Whatever. This guy is solid. You are cherry picking. The house senate and statehouses are filled with winning tea partiers.


48 posted on 06/11/2014 4:35:39 AM PDT by ilgipper
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To: F15Eagle
Cantor just lost touch. His folks didn't even bother to show up at my polling place. That was enough to resolve my ambivalence.
49 posted on 06/11/2014 4:35:52 AM PDT by oldsicilian
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To: DoodleDawg
McCarthy is the whip, he is the traditional 'next in line' for the leaders post. I'd bet he gets it, since the establishment still runs the show.

I think this will be the 'test'. I like Hensarling for Speaker and I hope that he has enough House backing and his own Majority Leader in mind to oust McCarthy too.

50 posted on 06/11/2014 4:36:20 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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