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What Cantor’s loss and Graham’s win mean.

What Cantor’s loss and Graham’s win mean.

I think Trende’s analysis here is the best I’ve seen of this ongoing primary election cycle. These three paragraphs especially pinpoint why things are happening as they are:

We are in a deeply anti-Washington environment, both throughout the country and in the Republican Party in particular. In this environment, representatives who pay insufficient attention to what is going on in their districts are in grave danger of losing. There are two components to this explanation.

First, analysts need to understand that the Republican base is furious with the Republican establishment, especially over the Bush years. From the point of view of conservatives I’ve spoken with, the early- to mid-2000s look like this: Voters gave Republicans control of Congress and the presidency for the longest stretch since the 1920s.

And what do Republicans have to show for it? Temporary tax cuts, No Child Left Behind, the Medicare prescription drug benefit, a new Cabinet department, increased federal spending, TARP, and repeated attempts at immigration reform. Basically, despite a historic opportunity to shrink government, almost everything that the GOP establishment achieved during that time moved the needle leftward on domestic policy. Probably the only unambiguous win for conservatives were the Roberts and Alito appointments to the Supreme Court; the former is viewed with suspicion today while the latter only came about after the base revolted against Harriet Miers.

His second component notes that the politicians who understand this environment win, while those who do not lose. Read the whole thing. It will help clarify not only what has happened but what will happen in the coming months.

Conscious Choice cover

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Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


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All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Don

    Graham had multiple opponents who split the anti-Graham vote; they could never find one voice. It would have been interesting had there been one solid opponent.

    Republicans need to stop allowing the media/Democrat Party complex from defining them and their candidates.

    Before Cantor was defeated one of his guys was thrown out as a party chair, so this did not occur in a vacuum. It wasn’t a one off.

    Also of note is how the loser in Virginia’s gubernatorial primary in 2013 refused to back Cuccinelli. Another guy, close to a Cantor confidante, worked for the Democrat candidate who won in the general election in 2013! The typical insider Republican always demand unity when they win primaries, but that unity is not a two way street. In fact, as in the 2013 Gubernatorial race in Virginia, they work for the opposition or stand aloof.

    We saw this big time in several Senate campaigns in 2012, in states that Romney won they lost the Senate races. In at least two states, in which Romney received 57%+ of the vote, they lost Senate races for lack of real help to those candidates because they were not beltway types.

  • wodun

    TARP sucked but it saved the economy. The recession ended just a few months after it was enacted.It could have been done differently, more people should have gone to jail, and structural changes could have been made that weren’t but it was a success.

  • DK Williams

    Don is on target. Lapdog Graham’s six opponents canceled each other out. Also one of his opponents, Nancy Mace, ran media ads against him for a solid year, which forced him to take the primary seriously. It’s also much harder to knock of an incumbent in a statewide race that a Congressional district.

  • Cotour

    What does winning mean in American politics?

    It means that after you “serve” or should that be self serve then you are rewarded with massive amounts of loot after the fact. Hillary recently claimed the she and her husband, the female abuser in Chief were “broke” after leaving the White House. Then you come to understand that after the fact, just like all Republican and Democrat politicians that have “served” they have been rewarded with massive cash rewards. Even the spawn of these people are obscenely rewarded, a no nothing, do nothing, accomplish nothing child of privilege is paid $600K per year. Now we know how politics in America really works, its not front loaded its back loaded with rewards after the fact, after you have “served”, but served who?

    I suspect its because you have served your masters and not the people, not the country, not the Constitution. Just follow the money.

  • Cotour

    Obama talks incessantly about the Dream Act and the Dreamers and how these dreamers are the key to the future of America (read the eternal empowerment of the Democrat party). Now I share with you my dream:

    I can dream, can’t I?

  • Jake

    Cuccinelli lost the Virginia Governor’s race because Reince Priebus and the RNC refused to really support him. Yes, they gave him a bit of money, but it as a small percentage of what they gave to McDonnell four years earlier. The RNC prefers the liberal McAulffe as Virginia governor over a Conservative like Cuccinelli.

  • Edward

    “The recession ended just a few months after it was enacted.”

    The recession is still going. It has not yet ended, and it is not recovering. Like the Great Depression, the economy still is doing poorly despite the limited growth. This is why the summer of 2010 was going to be the “Summer of Recovery” and why Obama recently proposed another couple of trillion dollars for infrastructure improvements.

    If you use the “generally accepted academic principles” (to coin a phrase) then the Great Depression did not exist, as growth resumed shortly after the start, and the Great Recession ended early in Obama’s first term, as you claim. However, the misery of the Great Depression continued for over a decade, just as the misery continues with the Great Recession.

    TARP, as hijacked after the 2008 election, did not save the economy. Indeed, that is when Bush declared that he had abandoned free market principles in order to save the free market (which *still* hasn’t been saved).

    TARP was originally intended to work like the extremely successful S&L bailouts of the early 1990s. Instead, it was hijacked to work like Japan’s crony capitalism, which has resulted in their economic malaise over the past quarter century. We are on track in following Japan’s footprints into their malaise.

  • Pzatchok

    The Dreamers are the only way to keep Social Security solvent for another 10 years.

    The Baby Boomers didn’t have enough children to pay for their own retirements and those children are having even less children.

    Unless we have a large influx of young people that will pay into the Social Security system for the next 30 to 40 years it will go tits up and run at a severe deficit for at least 20 years. Until the majority of the Baby Boomers die off and that large population bubble starts to shrink and the population level stabilizes back to a reasonable and sustainable level.

    But if we let to many illegals in and grant them citizenship to save Social Security their small population bubble will cause its own trouble when they retire.
    Hopefully we have returned SS to a solvent and stable system by them and paid off the debt that the Boomers will cause.

    What the exact number we need is I don’t know but it does exist.

    The Dems know and have always known that SS will go broke unless their is an ever increasing number of children to pay for their parents retirements. There was never meant to be a savings account. It was never set up that way. And keeping cash in an interest free savings account doesn’t take into account inflation which in effect makes cash in a pile like a savings account loose value over time.
    This is because the Government is not and never was allowed to invest in private ventures like the stock market for fear that they would eventually take over the free market.

    If the Dems told the truth about the SS system it would mean the republicans were correct all along.

  • Cotour

    So what you are basically saying is that because there are problems with Social Security we surrender our entire country to become a third world Mexico?

    Sorry, that’s not how I solve problems. The “Dreamers” are the children of people who came to America illegally, granted they were given plenty of incentive to make the trip. There may be a separate solution to that particular situation, but you do not allow the government because of a Democratic strategic agenda to never give up the White House to flood the boarders with every kind of criminal, gang member, potential terrorist (and I just received some interesting information about the increased numbers of other nationalities funneling through Mexico) in order to fix a fundamental problem with Social Security. That’s BS.

    The White House has truly become lawless (and I don’t mean Lucy), impeachment has to be being talked about much more seriously, the “fundamental transformation of America” is almost complete.

  • Pzatchok

    No I am not saying that at all.

    But what I am saying is that the Dems have several interlocking reasons for wanting so many illegals in the country.

    And no we do not have to give up our sovereignty to let some immigrants into this nation. But we can change some of the laws we have to better protect that sovereignty.
    We can start with reducing the Spanish usage in all aspects of our government. Increase the requirement to learn English to gain citizenship. ALL other nations around the world require that you learn their language first, why not the US?

    Second we can change the antiquated law that is used to make all children born in the US legal citizens. Some nations do not have any law for this and just go with the parents citizenship, others grant the child the choice at 18 of what nation they want to be a citizen off. In both cases the child returns to its parents country of citizen ship with them when their permitted stay is over.

    Third we can severely prosecute ANYONE who hires an illegal whether they know it or not. Watch how fast every employer starts enforcing the photo ID and Social Security check system for all of its employees.

    Outlaw the use of utility bills as proof of residency or ID. Require Photo IDs. If your here legally you have a passport with your photo in it.

    No longer jail illegal criminals but send then back home.

    Require anyone who wants a citizenship appeal and or application to wait back in their home nation and go through their local US consulate for the paper work. Even if they file from inside the US first. The ONLY exceptions are those who will be executed if they return home. If they are just going to be tried and possibly jailed then they can finish their paperwork from inside their cell. Hunger is not the same as execution. Hunger does not count.

    Not one of these changes would require the increase of boarder security, but they would remove almost all reasons for even thinking about coming here illegally.

    You can either have a strong hand boarder with every square inch watched 24 hours a day and declare you have sovereignty over your nation, then fall asleep each night wondering if someone made it in that day, or remove the reason so many come here illegally and declare sovereignty and know that even if they get here they will not stay.

    And remove the non legal resident option to a social security number. Their is a way for an illegal to get a SS type number issued to them by SS and to use that for working instead of an official SS number. And then after 10 years of paying in they get to receive SS just like anyone else when they retire. Even if they move back or are sent back to their homeland.
    By law the SS records and numbers can not be used by law enforcement to prosecute someone for not being a citizen or even for declaring themselves an illicit drug dealer for that matter. The IRS and SS only cares that you paid your proper taxes in full and on time.

    We will never have sovereignty as long as we are the give away nation of the world. The global patsies.

  • Pzatchok

    Take on each issue separately and bring your full force to bear on each one individually one at a time and you will be far more successful.

    It will take time but it will work.

    Its how the left made all their gains and its how we must make all the corrections to counter those gains.

  • Cotour

    Our current problem is that this current administration is creating its own policy / law / ignoring established law and are apparently actively flooding the boarders to accomplish their ultimate goal, over load the system in order to crash it, as per Saul Alyinski ( you know, the original community organizer. His acolyte Obama learned well )

    Your solutions are in the long term, as long as Obama and his enforcer Holder are in power non of what you promote is of much relevance.

  • Pzatchok

    And they will be gone in a few very short years. nothing they can even do about.

    Start working on Hillary she is the new chosen one. Find some that you don’t think will make things worse and is electable and back them against her.

    Anything other than that and your whistling up the wrong tree. Shouting into the wind.

    No candidate is perfect and the best we can do is work to get the one with the best chance to get elected who will not make things worse.

    And everything in politics and culture is long term. Learn to work in that scale.

  • Pzatchok

    “Find some that you don’t think will make things worse and is electable and back them against her.”

    Should be
    Find someone that you don’t think will ……

    Wish we had an edit button.

  • Edward

    “Second we can change the antiquated law that is used to make all children born in the US legal citizens.”

    The law is not antiquated, it is the Fourteenth Amendment, and the words “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” already in the law of the land, is the fix. Those words, like many ignored laws (such as the Constitution itself), just have to be enforced.

    Cotour, below, is correct. As long as this administration ignores and breaks any and every law that they find inconvenient and as long as no one who has sworn to uphold the Constitution and the laws is willing to do anything about it, we really are stuck in this lawless dictatorship.

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