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icanthearyou

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How big a deal is the surprise primary defeat of Representative Eric Cantor, the House majority leader? Very. Movement conservatism, which dominated American politics from the election of Ronald Reagan to the election of Barack Obama — and which many pundits thought could make a comeback this year — is unraveling before our eyes.

I don’t mean that conservatism in general is dying. But what I and others mean by “movement conservatism,” a term I think I learned from the historian Rick Perlstein, is something more specific: an interlocking set of institutions and alliances that won elections by stoking cultural and racial anxiety but used these victories mainly to push an elitist economic agenda, meanwhile providing a support network for political and ideological loyalists.

By rejecting Mr. Cantor, the Republican base showed that it has gotten wise to the electoral bait and switch, and, by his fall, Mr. Cantor showed that the support network can no longer guarantee job security. For around three decades, the conservative fix was in; but no more.

To see what I mean by bait and switch, think about what happened in 2004. George W. Bush won re-election by posing as a champion of national security and traditional values — as I like to say, he ran as America’s defender against gay married terrorists — then turned immediately to his real priority: privatizing Social Security. It was the perfect illustration of the strategy famously described in Thomas Frank’s book “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” in which Republicans would mobilize voters with social issues, but invariably turn postelection to serving the interests of corporations and the 1 percent.

In return for this service, businesses and the wealthy provided both lavish financial support for right-minded (in both senses) politicians and a safety net — “wing-nut welfare” — for loyalists. In particular, there were always comfortable berths waiting for those who left office, voluntarily or otherwise. There were lobbying jobs; there were commentator spots at Fox News and elsewhere (two former Bush speechwriters are now Washington Post columnists); there were “research” positions (after losing his Senate seat, Rick Santorum became director of the “America’s Enemies” program at a think tank supported by the Koch brothers, among others).

The combination of a successful electoral strategy and the safety net made being a conservative loyalist a seemingly low-risk professional path. The cause was radical, but the people it recruited tended increasingly to be apparatchiks, motivated more by careerism than by conviction.

That’s certainly the impression Mr. Cantor conveyed. I’ve never heard him described as inspiring. His political rhetoric was nasty but low-energy, and often amazingly tone-deaf. You may recall, for example, that in 2012 he chose to celebrate Labor Day with a Twitter post honoring business owners. But he was evidently very good at playing the inside game.

It turns out, however, that this is no longer enough. We don’t know exactly why he lost his primary, but it seems clear that Republican base voters didn’t trust him to serve their priorities as opposed to those of corporate interests (and they were probably right). And the specific issue that loomed largest, immigration, also happens to be one on which the divergence between the base and the party elite is wide. It’s not just that the elite believes that it must find a way to reach Hispanics, whom the base loathes. There’s also an inherent conflict between the base’s nativism and the corporate desire for abundant, cheap labor.

And while Mr. Cantor won’t go hungry — he’ll surely find a comfortable niche on K Street — the humiliation of his fall is a warning that becoming a conservative apparatchik isn’t the safe career choice it once seemed.

So whither movement conservatism? Before the Virginia upset, there was a widespread media narrative to the effect that the Republican establishment was regaining control from the Tea Party, which was really a claim that good old-fashioned movement conservatism was on its way back. In reality, however, establishment figures who won primaries did so only by reinventing themselves as extremists. And Mr. Cantor’s defeat shows that lip service to extremism isn’t enough; the base needs to believe that you really mean it.

In the long run — which probably begins in 2016 — this will be bad news for the G.O.P., because the party is moving right on social issues at a time when the country at large is moving left. (Think about how quickly the ground has shifted on gay marriage.) Meanwhile, however, what we’re looking at is a party that will be even more extreme, even less interested in participating in normal governance, than it has been since 2008. An ugly political scene is about to get even uglier.

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I think the Dems should be more worried about the Obama machine unraveling. According to the latest Gallup poll 51% don't think he is trustworthy or honest.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/gallup-majority-says-obama-not-honest-and-trustworthy

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How big a deal is the surprise primary defeat of Representative Eric Cantor, the House majority leader? Very. Movement conservatism, which dominated American politics from the election of Ronald Reagan to the election of Barack Obama — and which many pundits thought could make a comeback this year — is unraveling before our eyes.

I don’t mean that conservatism in general is dying. But what I and others mean by “movement conservatism,” a term I think I learned from the historian Rick Perlstein, is something more specific: an interlocking set of institutions and alliances that won elections by stoking cultural and racial anxiety but used these victories mainly to push an elitist economic agenda, meanwhile providing a support network for political and ideological loyalists.

By rejecting Mr. Cantor, the Republican base showed that it has gotten wise to the electoral bait and switch, and, by his fall, Mr. Cantor showed that the support network can no longer guarantee job security. For around three decades, the conservative fix was in; but no more.

To see what I mean by bait and switch, think about what happened in 2004. George W. Bush won re-election by posing as a champion of national security and traditional values — as I like to say, he ran as America’s defender against gay married terrorists — then turned immediately to his real priority: privatizing Social Security. It was the perfect illustration of the strategy famously described in Thomas Frank’s book “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” in which Republicans would mobilize voters with social issues, but invariably turn postelection to serving the interests of corporations and the 1 percent.

In return for this service, businesses and the wealthy provided both lavish financial support for right-minded (in both senses) politicians and a safety net — “wing-nut welfare” — for loyalists. In particular, there were always comfortable berths waiting for those who left office, voluntarily or otherwise. There were lobbying jobs; there were commentator spots at Fox News and elsewhere (two former Bush speechwriters are now Washington Post columnists); there were “research” positions (after losing his Senate seat, Rick Santorum became director of the “America’s Enemies” program at a think tank supported by the Koch brothers, among others).

The combination of a successful electoral strategy and the safety net made being a conservative loyalist a seemingly low-risk professional path. The cause was radical, but the people it recruited tended increasingly to be apparatchiks, motivated more by careerism than by conviction.

That’s certainly the impression Mr. Cantor conveyed. I’ve never heard him described as inspiring. His political rhetoric was nasty but low-energy, and often amazingly tone-deaf. You may recall, for example, that in 2012 he chose to celebrate Labor Day with a Twitter post honoring business owners. But he was evidently very good at playing the inside game.

It turns out, however, that this is no longer enough. We don’t know exactly why he lost his primary, but it seems clear that Republican base voters didn’t trust him to serve their priorities as opposed to those of corporate interests (and they were probably right). And the specific issue that loomed largest, immigration, also happens to be one on which the divergence between the base and the party elite is wide. It’s not just that the elite believes that it must find a way to reach Hispanics, whom the base loathes. There’s also an inherent conflict between the base’s nativism and the corporate desire for abundant, cheap labor.

And while Mr. Cantor won’t go hungry — he’ll surely find a comfortable niche on K Street — the humiliation of his fall is a warning that becoming a conservative apparatchik isn’t the safe career choice it once seemed.

So whither movement conservatism? Before the Virginia upset, there was a widespread media narrative to the effect that the Republican establishment was regaining control from the Tea Party, which was really a claim that good old-fashioned movement conservatism was on its way back. In reality, however, establishment figures who won primaries did so only by reinventing themselves as extremists. And Mr. Cantor’s defeat shows that lip service to extremism isn’t enough; the base needs to believe that you really mean it.

In the long run — which probably begins in 2016 — this will be bad news for the G.O.P., because the party is moving right on social issues at a time when the country at large is moving left. (Think about how quickly the ground has shifted on gay marriage.) Meanwhile, however, what we’re looking at is a party that will be even more extreme, even less interested in participating in normal governance, than it has been since 2008. An ugly political scene is about to get even uglier.

While I read the political forum I usually do not post but I did want to make a couple of comments. While I think there are many true statements in ICHY OP, I do not know if I agree with all the whys. Sorry, but I have not heard the term movement conservatism before, but I agree with what he says it means. I think it has long been a part of politics; say one thing to get elected and govern in a different manner. If ICHY is inferring that Reagan was a "movement conservative" I disagree with that premise. For the most part Reagen implemented the things he said he would.

The conservative populace has long been frustrated with those that they elect not living up to their promises. They get elected on one set of rhetoric and then govern in another matter. Many are tired of it and the conservative wing of the party now has a somewhat method to channel their displeasure through the Tea Party. I am not Tea Party "member". Never been to a meeting or even know anyone in a Tea Party, but I will never vote for the likes of a John McCain, Mitt Romney, or Chris Christie again. I will sit out. I agree with ICHY, conservatives want a man/women with conviction and principle to govern as they run. Not to worry about their career.

While I do think too much time is spent on social issues, I do not particularly believe the country is moving left on these issues. The percentage of people for/against abortion has remained the same over the years, and many states have passed marriage resolutions for mam/women that federal courts are ruling on. So I think the jury is out on whether the country is shifting. ICHY uses the word extremism a lot. That would indicate a fringe or small portion of the population. I would suggest that by evidence of these candidates winning, it is not extremism. I do not believe conservatism is going anywhere.

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How big a deal is the surprise primary defeat of Representative Eric Cantor, the House majority leader? Very. Movement conservatism, which dominated American politics from the election of Ronald Reagan to the election of Barack Obama — and which many pundits thought could make a comeback this year — is unraveling before our eyes.

I don’t mean that conservatism in general is dying. But what I and others mean by “movement conservatism,” a term I think I learned from the historian Rick Perlstein, is something more specific: an interlocking set of institutions and alliances that won elections by stoking cultural and racial anxiety but used these victories mainly to push an elitist economic agenda, meanwhile providing a support network for political and ideological loyalists.

By rejecting Mr. Cantor, the Republican base showed that it has gotten wise to the electoral bait and switch, and, by his fall, Mr. Cantor showed that the support network can no longer guarantee job security. For around three decades, the conservative fix was in; but no more.

To see what I mean by bait and switch, think about what happened in 2004. George W. Bush won re-election by posing as a champion of national security and traditional values — as I like to say, he ran as America’s defender against gay married terrorists — then turned immediately to his real priority: privatizing Social Security. It was the perfect illustration of the strategy famously described in Thomas Frank’s book “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” in which Republicans would mobilize voters with social issues, but invariably turn postelection to serving the interests of corporations and the 1 percent.

In return for this service, businesses and the wealthy provided both lavish financial support for right-minded (in both senses) politicians and a safety net — “wing-nut welfare” — for loyalists. In particular, there were always comfortable berths waiting for those who left office, voluntarily or otherwise. There were lobbying jobs; there were commentator spots at Fox News and elsewhere (two former Bush speechwriters are now Washington Post columnists); there were “research” positions (after losing his Senate seat, Rick Santorum became director of the “America’s Enemies” program at a think tank supported by the Koch brothers, among others).

The combination of a successful electoral strategy and the safety net made being a conservative loyalist a seemingly low-risk professional path. The cause was radical, but the people it recruited tended increasingly to be apparatchiks, motivated more by careerism than by conviction.

That’s certainly the impression Mr. Cantor conveyed. I’ve never heard him described as inspiring. His political rhetoric was nasty but low-energy, and often amazingly tone-deaf. You may recall, for example, that in 2012 he chose to celebrate Labor Day with a Twitter post honoring business owners. But he was evidently very good at playing the inside game.

It turns out, however, that this is no longer enough. We don’t know exactly why he lost his primary, but it seems clear that Republican base voters didn’t trust him to serve their priorities as opposed to those of corporate interests (and they were probably right). And the specific issue that loomed largest, immigration, also happens to be one on which the divergence between the base and the party elite is wide. It’s not just that the elite believes that it must find a way to reach Hispanics, whom the base loathes. There’s also an inherent conflict between the base’s nativism and the corporate desire for abundant, cheap labor.

And while Mr. Cantor won’t go hungry — he’ll surely find a comfortable niche on K Street — the humiliation of his fall is a warning that becoming a conservative apparatchik isn’t the safe career choice it once seemed.

So whither movement conservatism? Before the Virginia upset, there was a widespread media narrative to the effect that the Republican establishment was regaining control from the Tea Party, which was really a claim that good old-fashioned movement conservatism was on its way back. In reality, however, establishment figures who won primaries did so only by reinventing themselves as extremists. And Mr. Cantor’s defeat shows that lip service to extremism isn’t enough; the base needs to believe that you really mean it.

In the long run — which probably begins in 2016 — this will be bad news for the G.O.P., because the party is moving right on social issues at a time when the country at large is moving left. (Think about how quickly the ground has shifted on gay marriage.) Meanwhile, however, what we’re looking at is a party that will be even more extreme, even less interested in participating in normal governance, than it has been since 2008. An ugly political scene is about to get even uglier.

Definitely maybe.
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How big a deal is the surprise primary defeat of Representative Eric Cantor, the House majority leader? Very. Movement conservatism, which dominated American politics from the election of Ronald Reagan to the election of Barack Obama — and which many pundits thought could make a comeback this year — is unraveling before our eyes.

I don’t mean that conservatism in general is dying. But what I and others mean by “movement conservatism,” a term I think I learned from the historian Rick Perlstein, is something more specific: an interlocking set of institutions and alliances that won elections by stoking cultural and racial anxiety but used these victories mainly to push an elitist economic agenda, meanwhile providing a support network for political and ideological loyalists.

By rejecting Mr. Cantor, the Republican base showed that it has gotten wise to the electoral bait and switch, and, by his fall, Mr. Cantor showed that the support network can no longer guarantee job security. For around three decades, the conservative fix was in; but no more.

To see what I mean by bait and switch, think about what happened in 2004. George W. Bush won re-election by posing as a champion of national security and traditional values — as I like to say, he ran as America’s defender against gay married terrorists — then turned immediately to his real priority: privatizing Social Security. It was the perfect illustration of the strategy famously described in Thomas Frank’s book “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” in which Republicans would mobilize voters with social issues, but invariably turn postelection to serving the interests of corporations and the 1 percent.

In return for this service, businesses and the wealthy provided both lavish financial support for right-minded (in both senses) politicians and a safety net — “wing-nut welfare” — for loyalists. In particular, there were always comfortable berths waiting for those who left office, voluntarily or otherwise. There were lobbying jobs; there were commentator spots at Fox News and elsewhere (two former Bush speechwriters are now Washington Post columnists); there were “research” positions (after losing his Senate seat, Rick Santorum became director of the “America’s Enemies” program at a think tank supported by the Koch brothers, among others).

The combination of a successful electoral strategy and the safety net made being a conservative loyalist a seemingly low-risk professional path. The cause was radical, but the people it recruited tended increasingly to be apparatchiks, motivated more by careerism than by conviction.

That’s certainly the impression Mr. Cantor conveyed. I’ve never heard him described as inspiring. His political rhetoric was nasty but low-energy, and often amazingly tone-deaf. You may recall, for example, that in 2012 he chose to celebrate Labor Day with a Twitter post honoring business owners. But he was evidently very good at playing the inside game.

It turns out, however, that this is no longer enough. We don’t know exactly why he lost his primary, but it seems clear that Republican base voters didn’t trust him to serve their priorities as opposed to those of corporate interests (and they were probably right). And the specific issue that loomed largest, immigration, also happens to be one on which the divergence between the base and the party elite is wide. It’s not just that the elite believes that it must find a way to reach Hispanics, whom the base loathes. There’s also an inherent conflict between the base’s nativism and the corporate desire for abundant, cheap labor.

And while Mr. Cantor won’t go hungry — he’ll surely find a comfortable niche on K Street — the humiliation of his fall is a warning that becoming a conservative apparatchik isn’t the safe career choice it once seemed.

So whither movement conservatism? Before the Virginia upset, there was a widespread media narrative to the effect that the Republican establishment was regaining control from the Tea Party, which was really a claim that good old-fashioned movement conservatism was on its way back. In reality, however, establishment figures who won primaries did so only by reinventing themselves as extremists. And Mr. Cantor’s defeat shows that lip service to extremism isn’t enough; the base needs to believe that you really mean it.

In the long run — which probably begins in 2016 — this will be bad news for the G.O.P., because the party is moving right on social issues at a time when the country at large is moving left. (Think about how quickly the ground has shifted on gay marriage.) Meanwhile, however, what we’re looking at is a party that will be even more extreme, even less interested in participating in normal governance, than it has been since 2008. An ugly political scene is about to get even uglier.

While I read the political forum I usually do not post but I did want to make a couple of comments. While I think there are many true statements in ICHY OP, I do not know if I agree with all the whys. Sorry, but I have not heard the term movement conservatism before, but I agree with what he says it means. I think it has long been a part of politics; say one thing to get elected and govern in a different manner. If ICHY is inferring that Reagan was a "movement conservative" I disagree with that premise. For the most part Reagen implemented the things he said he would.

The conservative populace has long been frustrated with those that they elect not living up to their promises. They get elected on one set of rhetoric and then govern in another matter. Many are tired of it and the conservative wing of the party now has a somewhat method to channel their displeasure through the Tea Party. I am not Tea Party "member". Never been to a meeting or even know anyone in a Tea Party, but I will never vote for the likes of a John McCain, Mitt Romney, or Chris Christie again. I will sit out. I agree with ICHY, conservatives want a man/women with conviction and principle to govern as they run. Not to worry about their career.

While I do think too much time is spent on social issues, I do not particularly believe the country is moving left on these issues. The percentage of people for/against abortion has remained the same over the years, and many states have passed marriage resolutions for mam/women that federal courts are ruling on. So I think the jury is out on whether the country is shifting. ICHY uses the word extremism a lot. That would indicate a fringe or small portion of the population. I would suggest that by evidence of these candidates winning, it is not extremism. I do not believe conservatism is going anywhere.

There were many contributors to Romney being defeated, but one was the block of true fundamental hardline conservatives that sat out. Until the GOP can bring them all to the party in mass, to include Tea Party, hard liners and movement conservatives, i suspect they will continue to lose elections.
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NOT TRYING TO BE CONTENTIOUS, I'm asking a serious question.....if what you say it is true UPPERCASE, how do you explain, the very few tea party victories in primary elections, that take place in highly gerrymandered solidly repub districts....if what you say is true about the tea party, why aren't more elected in the most highly favorable conditions they will ever see?

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Cantor was too much DC and not enough district, that was a factor. He was too much about spending some bizarre $158k ish amount of money at steakhouses. He spent his cash flying to fund raise and campaign for other repub primary contestants. He was the perfect storm. At the same time, an open primary was not his friend, either. Though, imo, that was a small percentage of his many issues.

Had he not been in his position, been where he is in terms of party hierarchy, this wouldn't even be a news story. 65k votes, less than some smaller medium sized city mayoral races. The house represents every microcosm. For better or worse.

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ICHY.....The Tea Party guy won. As Miss Hillary would say "what difference does it make " why?

That would be Ms. Hillary except when she needs the support of Bill friends, then it's Mrs Clinton.

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Was Cantor's loss merely the result of an open primary?

Possibly, but I think it has more to do with your OP than the open primary. I could be totally wrong.

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Was Cantor's loss merely the result of an open primary?

Cantor's loss was a great victory for grass roots republicans. Pundits will spin this as a huge set back and/or loss for the republican party long term but, I disagree completely with that. I just wish we could have also gotten rid of John Boehner. Im sure some democrats voted for Brat thinking he will be easier to beat but Brat would have won w/o their votes. It was an amazingly decisive margin of victory for a guy that got outspent 50 to 1 but democrats were not the difference.

In respnse ot the question about why didn't more TEA Party candidates win, its very hard to beat incumbents. Other than that, they have done better than most would have given them a chance of doing given their opponents. This is far from over and I expect a few more grass roots type candidate wins.

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NOT TRYING TO BE CONTENTIOUS, I'm asking a serious question.....if what you say it is true UPPERCASE, how do you explain, the very few tea party victories in primary elections, that take place in highly gerrymandered solidly repub districts....if what you say is true about the tea party, why aren't more elected in the most highly favorable conditions they will ever see?

My post was regarding Romney's loss, not the Tea Party losses. I was specifically responding to a previous post that mentioned factions of the GOP "sitting out" elections. I stated many hardliners stayed home thus contributing to Mitt's fall. I also mentioned I felt all GOP factions would have to unite to succeed in future presidential elections. Hope that clears it up.
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It does, question still stands. My old district in Al....Spencer Bachus and his having retired. No incumbent, one with name recognition in Demarco and tea party candidate finishes a distant 3rd and almost 4th. Shelby County, Al.....99.9% repub.....what happened?

I'm not asking for your specific experience. I'm asking your opinion..

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It does, question still stands. My old district in Al....Spencer Bachus and his having retired. No incumbent, one with name recognition in Demarco and tea party candidate finishes a distant 3rd and almost 4th. Shelby County, Al.....99.9% repub.....what happened?

I'm not asking for your specific experience. I'm asking your opinion.

Who was the tea party candidate?
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Chad Mathis.

Demarco won? Who was 2nd?
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Chad Mathis.

Demarco won? Who was 2nd?

Regardless, I would have to research the candidates further to give an honest answer. I have heard of Demarco and believe he has served in the State of Alabama previously, so name recognition could have been a contributor. What about endorsements? Any big time politicians or organizations back one of these guys?
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Demarco won? Who was 2nd?

Gary Palmer

Not familiar with him either. What is Palmer and Mathis claim to fame?
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Frankly, such a safe R seat in the past it hasn't needed much to maintain it, from an endorsement. POV

Palmer would be the 3rd choice of the tea party, but it is also not my area anymore and do not have and do not want access to its media.

Palmer is head of the Alabama Policy Institute and Mathis is a surgeon, ortho IIRC.

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...Palmer is head of the Alabama Policy Institute and Mathis is a surgeon, ortho IIRC.

Palmer came up during the lottery hoo rah rah when Siegelman was governor.

Looking at his endorsements, Mathis was the popular tea party pick.

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IMHO whether Tea Partier, movement conservative, hard liner, etc. you have to have the trust of the people. Ask Cantor. I guess ask Mathis.

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I think the left and the NYTimes would like to think Cantor's defeat was "the death of an ideological movement", the death of conservatism.

I would say don't drink too much koolade.

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