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David Brat, the Libertarian Who Beat Eric Cantor, Doesn't Believe in the "Common" Good
Mother Jones ^ | June 11, 2014 | Molly Redden and David Corn

Posted on 06/12/2014 1:36:43 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

Brat has called for slashing Social Security, Medicare, and education spending and says "rich" nations don't have to fear climate change.

When tea party challenger David Brat sent Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the House majority leader, to the ash heap on Tuesday night, vanquishing the incumbent by more than 10 points in the primary race, the politerati were stunned. Political journalists scrambled to answer a question: who is this guy? The political pros knew that Brat had mounted a campaign largely based on two issues: bashing Cantor on immigration (that is, excoriating the congressman, who was quite hesitant about immigration reform, for not killing the possibility of any immigration legislation) and denouncing Cantor for supporting a debt ceiling deal that averted possible financial crisis. But not much else was widely known about this local professor who dispatched a Washington power broker.

A quick review of his public statements reveals a fellow who is about as tea party as can be. He appears to endorse slashing Social Security payouts to seniors by two-thirds. He wants to dissolve the IRS. And he has called for drastic cuts to education funding, explaining, "My hero Socrates trained in Plato on a rock. How much did that cost? So the greatest minds in history became the greatest minds in history without spending a lot of money."

An economics professor at Randolph-Macon College in central Virginia, Brat frequently has repeated the conservative canard that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae brought down the housing market by handling the vast majority of subprime mortgages. That is, he absolves Big Finance and the banks of responsibility for the financial crisis that triggered the recession, which hammered middle-class and low-income families across the country. (In fact, as the housing bubble grew, Freddie and Fannie shed their subprime holdings, while banks grabbed more.)

In his campaign speeches, Brat has pointed out that he isn't worried about climate change because "rich countries solve their problems":

If you let Americans do their thing, there is no scarcity, right? They said we're going to run out of food 200 years ago, that we're goin' to have a ice age. Now we're heating up…Of course we care for the environment, but we're not mad people. Over time, rich countries solve their problems. We get it right. It's not all perfect, but we get it right.

Update: After Mother Jones published this piece, several videos referenced were set to private.

He did not say what might happen to not-so-rich countries due to climate change and the consequent rise in sea levels, droughts, and extreme weather.

Asked about cuts to Social Security Disability Insurance*, Brat replied that he supported drastic reductions in payouts from social programs for seniors:

I'll give you my general answer. And my general answer is you have to do what's fair. Right. So you put together a graph or a chart and you go out to the American people, you go to the podium, and you say, this is what you put in on average, this is what you get out on average. Currently, seniors are getting about three dollars out of all of the programs for every dollar they put in. So, in general, you've got to go to the American people and just be honest with them and say, "Here's what fairness would look like." Right. So, maybe the next ten years we have to grandfather some folks in, but basically we're going to move them in a direct line toward fairness and we have to live within our means.

He frets about the state of morality in schools and about Beyoncé:

For the first 13 years of your kid's life, we teach them no religion, no philosophy, and no ethics…Who is our great moral teachers these days? Every generation has always had great theologians or philosophers by the century that you can name. Who do we got right now? [Audience: Jay-Z] Right. Right. [Audience: Beyoncé] Right. Beyoncé. When you can't name a serious philosopher, a national name, or a serious theologian, or a serious religious leader, at the national level, your culture's got a major problem. We got a major problem.

Brat railed against Cantor for supporting a path to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants. Brat called this a policy of "amnesty" and accused Cantor of "getting big paychecks" from groups like the Chamber of Commerce for his position:

If I misspoke and said "secretly," he's been pretty out in the open. He's been in favor of the KIDS Act, the DREAM Act, the ENLIST Act [which Cantor blocked in May]…On the amnesty card, it's a matter of motivation. I teach third-world economic development for the past 20 years, I love all people, I went to seminary before I did my economics, and so you look at the motivation. Why is Eric pushing amnesty? It's not a big issue in our district, everyone's opposed to it, and so why is he doing it? And the answer is, 'cause he's got his eye on the speakership. He wants to be speaker, and big business, right? The Business Roundtable and the US Chamber of Commerce wants cheap labor. So he actually is selling out the people in our district. He's not representing the district, the will of the people, and he's getting big paychecks by doing so. So he's very clear on amnesty.

Brat is, not surprisingly, no fan of the United Nations:

"Common-" anything I'm against. United Nations. Common everything. If you say common, by definition you're saying it's top-down. I'm going to force this on you. That's what dictators do.

His view of who deploys a top-down approach, naturally, includes President Barack Obama:

The left does not believe in diversity. They believe in top-down, I'm going to force my way onto you. Obama is forcing un-diversity onto everybody. It's not diversity. It's top down, central planning, on everything.

As Mother Jones's Timothy Murphy noted, Brat, a libertarian but not a full Randian, and he doesn't buy the idea that there's anything dangerous about playing chicken with the debt ceiling. Bring it on, he says.

In November, Brat will face Democrat Jack Trammell, a fellow Randolph-Macon professor, in the general election in this Republican district.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated Brat was answering a question about Medicare. In fact, he was asked about Social Security Disability Insurance.


TOPICS: Politics/Elections; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: amnesty; brat; cantor; climatechange; ericcantor; immigration; lping; motherjones; teaparty; va2014; virginia
I don't know about you, but I like him now more than I did twenty minutes ago.
1 posted on 06/12/2014 1:36:44 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Brat, a “libertarian” ?

not even close. title is purposely misleading


2 posted on 06/12/2014 1:40:53 AM PDT by kingattax (a real American would rather die on his feet than live on his knees.)
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To: kingattax

David Corn and his little gal assistant lie to us?


3 posted on 06/12/2014 1:41:55 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2Million USD for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Dave Brat refers to himself as a solid Republican, a “constitutional conservative”.


4 posted on 06/12/2014 1:43:54 AM PDT by kingattax (a real American would rather die on his feet than live on his knees.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

What does “cuts to seniors” have to do with SSDI?

Typical liberal hit piece. Eeeeeevil Tea Party Republcians hate children and old people. I am shocked they couldn’t add sexist, racist and homophobic to the list as well.


5 posted on 06/12/2014 1:45:43 AM PDT by NYRepublican72
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Brat says he intends to follow the constitution. What else matters but that?


6 posted on 06/12/2014 1:52:59 AM PDT by Irenic (The pencil sharpener and Elmer's glue is put away-- we've lost the red wheelbarrow)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

*SNORT

Mother Jones.


7 posted on 06/12/2014 2:07:35 AM PDT by ScottinVA (Obama is so far in over his head, even his ears are beneath the water level.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Mother jones wouldn’t know the tragedy of the commons if it hit them upside the head.


8 posted on 06/12/2014 2:11:41 AM PDT by GraceG
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To: kingattax

Well, if it’s David Corn writing this, it has to be a libel trying to define a good man as evil in the eyes of the wacko left.

That’s the modus operandi employed by the main stream media. Call names but avoid discussion of the merits.


9 posted on 06/12/2014 2:33:27 AM PDT by plangent
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

...”I don’t know about you, but I like him now more than I did twenty minutes ago.”...

I totally agree.


10 posted on 06/12/2014 3:06:00 AM PDT by jazzlite (esat)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

i agree with 2nddivisionvet. I like him even more now.


11 posted on 06/12/2014 3:14:21 AM PDT by bravo whiskey (We should not fear our government. Our government should fear us.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Libertarian? These authors are displaying their ignorance.

He sounds like a solid old-fashioned conservative; in fact, like any old Republican the way they used to be. He also sounds extremely intelligent, which is probably what’s got them scared.


12 posted on 06/12/2014 3:14:24 AM PDT by livius
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To: kingattax
Brat, a “libertarian” ?

not even close.

I wouldn't be so sure. Brat has written economic papers promoting Ayn Rand, has done research on behalf of the Cato Institute, and Reason Magazine is claiming Brat as one of their own (albeit while opposing Brat's defense and immigration views).

Brat's strong anti-Big Business views are why many choose to call him libertarian rather than a traditional conservative. It is probably more accurate to call Brat a paleoconservative.

13 posted on 06/12/2014 3:15:01 AM PDT by magellan
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Well, if “Mother Jones” says so, it must be true.

/s


14 posted on 06/12/2014 3:23:27 AM PDT by servo1969
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To: livius
He sounds like a solid old-fashioned conservative; in fact, like any old Republican the way they used to be.

That he does. I will be interested to hear what he has to say "exporting democracy" and "nation building."

15 posted on 06/12/2014 3:25:15 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Thanks for posting this. I like to see well written pieces of views I disagree with.


16 posted on 06/12/2014 3:28:10 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever!)
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To: kingattax

Beware the Castle effect. After Christine O’Donnell upset Mike Castle, the GOP-e went full bore trashing and campaigning against her. Castle never endorsed her. The party offered no support in terms of office space, advertisements or media buys. 13% of registered Republicans voted for the self-avowed Marxist Chris Coons in the general election.

Gee, it sure would be nice if Delaware had two Senators, like other states, instead of two puppets for Harry Reid.


17 posted on 06/12/2014 3:41:35 AM PDT by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners. And to the NSA trolls, FU)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I LOVE THE GUY...but even so, if he were as left-wing as Pelosi I’d be happy - the key was GETTING CANTOR OUT!!

That is what sent the FEAR OF GOD into the rest of the Republican Caucus...and like I said Tuesday night, other Republicans will now have to ask TWO QUESTIONS, instead of the usual “How’s the fund raising going”...now they’ll add “How are the phone calls running”.

This was a 9.0 earthquake to Republicans...FINALLY.


18 posted on 06/12/2014 3:44:16 AM PDT by BobL
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To: livius

What has them really scared is that a senior House leader and likely successor to the House Speaker, with millions of dollars in campaign cash to his name, was toppled by some dude who spent less money on his campaign than he would have paid for some luxury cars.


19 posted on 06/12/2014 3:55:35 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("What in the wide, wide world of sports is goin' on here?")
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To: NYRepublican72

Off hand, I’d say that seniors aren’t the major component of SSDI. In fact, isn’t one on SSDI transitioned to SS payments when they reach the correct age?

SSDI is largely a form of welfare that many seek under the guise of having some ‘disability’. You have to jump through a lot of hoops to get it, sometimes apply two - three times. That’s why you see so, so many lawyers on TV that will ‘help’ you get it. Bi-polar disorder is the malady du jour from what I’ve read.

Don’t get me wrong, there are legitimate disabilities and people with them on SSDI, but my impression is that they are few and the scammers are many. The payout for SSDI is larger than SS in most cases.

Last time I checked (a couple of years ago), both SSDI and SSI (SSA administers the welfare SSI) comprise nearly 25% of all SSA payouts. That’s huge.


20 posted on 06/12/2014 3:57:44 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

and so it begins

the democrats are going to “Cuccinelli” this good man and run ads showing women barefoot and pregnant and starving seniors and schoolchildren


21 posted on 06/12/2014 3:58:23 AM PDT by silverleaf (Age takes a toll: Please have exact change)
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To: don-o

:: what he has to say “exporting democracy” ::

The proper “progressive” view would reference “exporting liberty”.
That said, yes, I’d like to read or hear Brat’s views regarding the Monroe Doctrine.


22 posted on 06/12/2014 4:11:33 AM PDT by Cletus.D.Yokel (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Alterations - The Acronym explains the science.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It would be interesting to have a cordial talk with Corn...if that is possible. He always seems to show up with articles about the latest conservative threat to the establishment of a Soviet America. It must be awful for a leftist like Corn to live in such an terrible, capitalist country like the U.S. (snicker)


23 posted on 06/12/2014 4:49:05 AM PDT by driftless2 (For long term happiness, learn how to play the accordion.)
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To: GraceG

They probably think the Common Good and The Tragedy of the Commons are the same thing.


24 posted on 06/12/2014 5:21:30 AM PDT by rlmorel ("A nation, despicable by it"s weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral." A. Hamilton)
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To: magellan

all of us look like libertarians from time to time...just sort of depends on the context of the issue we are discussing at the moment.

this is good news....looks like he is a serious, educated, thoughtful conservative!!!!


25 posted on 06/12/2014 5:24:11 AM PDT by ConservativeDude
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Any resemblance between Mother Jones and the truth is pure coincidence.


26 posted on 06/12/2014 5:27:48 AM PDT by Daveinyork
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Wow.

Very persuasive piece, here. It strongly affected my view of this election.

So much so, that I just made a monetary donation to the David Brat campaign.

Thanks, Ma Jones, ya communistic @%&#!!!

27 posted on 06/12/2014 5:34:39 AM PDT by NorthMountain
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
He sounds like a professor of economics who actually understands economics.

Mother Jones should be confused and enraged.

28 posted on 06/12/2014 5:40:19 AM PDT by wideawake
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To: magellan
I wouldn't be so sure. Brat has written economic papers promoting Ayn Rand, has done research on behalf of the Cato Institute, and Reason Magazine is claiming Brat as one of their own (albeit while opposing Brat's defense and immigration views).

Brat's strong anti-Big Business views are why many choose to call him libertarian rather than a traditional conservative. It is probably more accurate to call Brat a paleoconservative.

All of which means he's probably exactly the kind of Representative we need in the District of Corruption.

29 posted on 06/12/2014 6:01:12 AM PDT by EricT. (Everything not forbidden is compulsory.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Doesn't Believe in the "Common" Good

While it is informative to know what someone doesn't believe it is perhaps more important to know what they do believe.

In this case, Brat believes first in the Constitution. From that, you can readily see the difficulty for supporters to believe in unconstitutional legislation.

Unfortunately, the Constitution does not impress people who seem bent on exchanging freedoms for their perceived notion of security.

I believe these people fear freedom because they fear the responsibility that comes with freedom. One reason is that the centrally planned public school system failed to teach them how to think and instead concentrated on teaching them what to think.

30 posted on 06/12/2014 6:03:03 AM PDT by MosesKnows
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Stunning that Mother Jones thinks they were criticizing Brat.


31 posted on 06/12/2014 6:07:23 AM PDT by Chewbarkah
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To: Gaffer

I don’t pretend to know the statistics, but I know with SSDI, you can delay taking your SS so that you’ll get more of a benefit in the long run.

I think SSDI has been used of late when unemployment runs out in this terrible Obama economy.


32 posted on 06/12/2014 6:09:26 AM PDT by NYRepublican72
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
He appears to endorse slashing Social Security payouts to seniors by two-thirds.

This is not "gravy" to many seniors. It's the bulk of their income. And unlike other "entitlements," they did make contributions to it; albeit, they were squandered by the government and not reserved for SS. But a 2/3 cut is not feasible.

33 posted on 06/12/2014 6:11:53 AM PDT by luvbach1 (We are finished. It will just take a while before everyone realizes it.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I agree. I should send Mother Jones an email thanking them for such a good description of Mr. Brat.


34 posted on 06/12/2014 6:12:36 AM PDT by ops33 (Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired))
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To: NYRepublican72

You get these ‘statements’ from SSA. They detail estimates of your ‘contributions’ over the years and whether you have enough qualifying quarters to get SSA payments.

They tell you what you get at full retirement, and at 62 (which is 3/4ths of that), and they tell you what you get if you become disabled. It is, for me, more than the full retirement age benefit. I don’t get that, but that’s what the ‘statements’ have always said.

The kicker is you can get these max disability payouts for decades before you reach the full retirement age. It is a powerful temptation for fraud.


35 posted on 06/12/2014 6:31:59 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: silverleaf
The good news is that Brat's district is solidly conservative as a result of recent gerrymandering to create a “safer” district for Cantor. And the Dems were so unenthusiastic about running against the presumptive nominee, Cantor, that they almost failed to put forward a candidate to run against him. In any case, the tactics used statewide against Cuccinelli won't find as receptive an audience in VA 7.
36 posted on 06/12/2014 6:55:41 AM PDT by riverdawg
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I call BS on charge he wants to slash SS payouts to seniors by 2/3. No politician would propose that nor should they. It should be privatized going forward and existing benefits levels maintained for the people that played by the rules and paid in.


37 posted on 06/12/2014 7:17:07 AM PDT by plain talk
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To: NorthMountain

[ Wow.

Very persuasive piece, here. It strongly affected my view of this election.

So much so, that I just made a monetary donation to the David Brat campaign.

Thanks, Ma Jones, ya communistic @%&#!!! ]

You should tell mother Jones that before their article that you believed the Eric Cantor ads calling Brat a Liberal, but thanks to the Mother Jones article you will vote for him in the Main election.

You know, just to rub some more salt into their wounds...


38 posted on 06/12/2014 9:20:04 AM PDT by GraceG
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The zealous emphasis on “the common good” is one of many reasons I left the Catholic Church.


39 posted on 06/12/2014 9:26:10 AM PDT by Clemenza (Lurking)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

There is no such thing as “common good”.


40 posted on 06/12/2014 9:27:39 AM PDT by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is it is the only answer.)
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To: NTHockey

Chris O’Donnel’s worst enemy was herself. That dumb broad had as much a chance of winning a statewide race as I have of bedding Scarlett Johanssen.


41 posted on 06/12/2014 9:27:54 AM PDT by Clemenza (Lurking)
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To: GraceG

Not a bad idea ...


42 posted on 06/12/2014 9:38:18 AM PDT by NorthMountain
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To: Clemenza

Bought right into the Carl Rove/LSM line, eh? I’ve met her and worked on the campaign and she is nothing like what she is portrayed as.

Most depressing moment in her campaign: In a debate with self-avowed Marxist Chris Coons, in front of Widener College law students, Christine challenged Coons to name the five freedoms in the 1st Amendment. He wouldn’t answer; but the law students laughed at Christine!

BTW, there ARE five freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and freedom to seek redress of grievances.


43 posted on 06/12/2014 11:40:36 AM PDT by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners. And to the NSA trolls, FU)
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