Cooter Just Might Have Done Us a Solid


One of the things that I love the most about blogging [writing and reading] is the freedom that bloggers have to think outside of the box and fully engage with The Weird.

And, so it is that, while professional journalists and pundits, who are paid in real cash and expected to produce relatively rational analysis, wrestle with the odd conundrum of Eric Cantor’s primary defeat, last night, they are bound to overlook one of the more likely causes because it doesn’t fit their paradigm.

Let’s just take a look at the facts going in to this race:

Eric Cantor was the second most powerful Republican in the US House of Representatives.  He has won re-election every time, since 2001, mostly by hefty margins—last time around it was 80%-20%.

Eric Cantor raised $5 million for his campaign as compared to his opponent’s $122,000 “war chest.”  No surprises there.

Going into primary election day all polls - the good, the bad and the ugly—had Cantor well ahead of his opponent.

Congressional primary elections do not swamp the polls.  No long lines.  However, this time around, for a “gimme” of an election, some 30% more voters showed up over the last mid-term primary in VA07. [app. 65K this time to 44K last time.]

Cantor’s virtually unknown TEA Party opponent inexplicably won by carrying bluer precincts.

Trying to make sense of this very odd—so odd it’s historic—election result has every political reporter and pundit in the land twisting themselves into a pretzel trying to explain it all:

Was Cantor too RINO? was he too much of an insider/conniver?  Did immigration sink him? Was his campaign’s late flurry of negative TV ads that created name recognition and sympathy for his opponent a fatal tactical error?  Was he a secret Obamabot?

Was he too Jewish?

Or was it much simpler than that?  Was it? could it be? Just Cooter?

I remember chuckling as I read a HuffPo article Saturday morning about the upcoming primary in Virginia.  It was titled:  Cooter Has A Plan To Unseat Eric Cantor. It’s So Crazy It Just Might Work.

Some of you are probably too young to remember The Dukes of Hazzard television series.  Former congressman Ben Jones (D-GA) played a character named Cooter in that series.  Cooter ran against Eric Cantor in 2002 . . . and lost.  But apparently, he didn’t forget.

Cooter decided to write a call-to-arms [see Jones’ letter] to the Democratic Party in his former Virginia district to encourage them to “cross-over” and vote for Cantor’s TEA Party opponent and thereby sink the USS Young Gun:

Every 7th District voter, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian and Independent can take an historic action on Tuesday, June 10th. A vote for David Brat will be heard not just throughout Washington, D.C. but around the world.

Such a move is possible because Virginia has “open primaries” which means anyone, of any party affiliation, can vote in a primary.  Most Republicans in Cantor’s district were probably pretty complacent about his win and may not have bothered going to the polls; conversely, if the Democratic Party could rally a small percentage of highly-motivated Democrats to vote, that well-concerted effort could have very surprising results.

Even as surprising as last night’s results in VA07.

What’s in it for Democrats? 

Their candidate in VA07, aside from ideology, is a carbon copy of Dave Brat.  They are both college professors at the same local university.  They are both relatively unknown.  The difference is that the Democrat, Jack Trammell will be solidly supported by his party and Dave Brat will almost certainly not be supported by the Republican establishment in the general election.  And, if the primary is any indication, Dave Brat has severely limited resources and fundraising apparatus.

The prospect of losing Cantor in the House leadership scheme is already creating chaos there.  This event has knocked the stuffings out of the GOP’s campaign strategy of keeping Benghazi and Bergdahl and Hillary Clinton’s frailties on the front page.  If there’s an active shadow campaign for House leadership positions, as there surely will be, that might be very distracting to Republicans on special committees and such who need to keep up a full court press on their mini-scandals to have anything to run on in November.

This should be a far more interesting mid-term election than most.

Thanks, Cooter, for reminding us that anything is possible.

Posted by Bette Noir on 06/11/14 at 10:08 AM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsElection '14NuttersTeabaggery

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So, while the Cooter factor may be a significant contributor to Cantor’s defeat, his remoteness from his constituency and relatively less craziness (though still a real weasel) are still likely more important.  But the pundit narrative has already set in that it was about anti-immigration and this may have legs. Which is not the Bergdahl, Benghazi, IRS, scandals, scandals, scandals narrative the Goopers were hoping to run on. Hah!

Of course Brat will be supported by the GOP establishment.  Where did you come up with any notion that they won’t?  A win is a win and a seat is a seat.  No way they stand by and potentially hand the seat to the Dems.  Remember, when push came to shove, after Akin refused to drop out in time, the GOP still funded his final push before he lost to McCaskill.

@southend I guess time will tell . . . which one of us is right.  Akin was merely an embarrassing bad choice, not a party insurrectionist.  The party bosses will support nut-jobs as long as their nuttiness appeals to the base, but not nut-jobs who thumb their noses at their power.  They like to do the picking—they picked Akin long before he got himself into trouble.

Okay, if this was the tactic and it worked, well!  Cooter got game!  It raises a bunch of questions though.

Outside of the pundits, the actual party think tanks on both sides will have taken note of the results.  A tactic that might have been less effective or more prone to blowing up in their face at any other time has worked.  Would it work again?  How many other states have open primaries for either side still to come?

I can see things getting very messy verrrrry quickly.

The Tea Party has become quite polarizing in the US, and polls show they have a lot less support than they’ve ever had, including the non-political junkies out there who never pay attention until a few days before voting, if even and if they even vote.  I suppose its because the non-political-junkies out there are starting to notice a few more of the crazy TP antics and associated ammosexual violence.  This is a good thing. If you aren’t a committed ammosexual, then the sight of someone exercising their open carry fetish at your corner grocery is scary, period. This is the vision the Tea Party has for ‘Murika - guns, guns, and more guns. 

As for the guy who defeated that rat bastard Cantor, he’s got so many skeletons in his marital closet and snakes in his brain that he should be defeated quite handily by a fellow professor who doesn’t have a recorded history of writing and saying truly insane things, or a list of restraining orders from his estranged wife.

Outside of the pundits, the actual party think tanks on both sides will have taken note of the results.  A tactic that might have been less effective or more prone to blowing up in their face at any other time has worked.  Would it work again?  How many other states have open primaries for either side still to come?

Back in 2008, Limbaugh tried this to mobilize Republican voters to vote for Hilary Clinton in open primaries, calling the tactic “Operation Chaos.”  We all know how that turned out.

I wonder if Cantor’s loss can be chalked up to his refusal to bring funds into his district.  When all is said and done, even the ‘baggers want stuff paid for.

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