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Category: Politics

Voice of America interview

Democrats Grapple With ‘Bernie or Bust’ Movement

On May 31st, I was interviewed by reporter Michael Bowman about the tensions between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Comstock brings Congressional fear-mongering to a new level

The latest message from Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA) is something I’d expect from one of those right-wing outfits like NewsMax, or from a more extreme Congressperson like Steve King (R-IA).  But coming from a supposed moderate in a diverse, well-educated district in Northern Virginia, this is a unprecedented.  Barbara Comstock is a very clever politician so she should know better.  If I was one of her supporters, I’d be insulted.

Comstock either believes that federal maximum security prisons are so insecure that terrorists could end up on the loose, or she thinks her supporters are dumb enough to believe it.  Either way, not good.   The truth is that nobody has ever escaped from such a prison, as confirmed by Politifact.

Will Comstock walk this one back?  Of course not.  This is just another cynical ploy to dupe her supporters into giving her money.

Republicans fail to nominate an opponent to challenge Congressman Gerry Connolly

cross-posted at Blue Virginia


I’m very disappointed in the Republicans of Virginia’s 11th Congressional District.  As it turns out,  they couldn’t get it together to nominate a candidate to lose to Congressman Gerry Connolly.  The ultra-conservative site Fairfax Free Citizen reports on their convention that took place over the weekend:

One Republican candidate, John Michael Wolfe, from the 11th District filed to run against incumbent Democrat Gerry Connolly for Representative to Congress from the District. Delegate balloting chose no nominee over his candidacy because he failed to show up at the convention and had previously run as an independent.

You might think that I’d be ecstatic that my Congressman is going to have an easy ride to re-election this year. But actually, I wish the GOP could come up with a candidate so we’d have a competitive race. When you don’t have an opponent, your campaign organization can atrophy. It’s important to have a strong team of volunteers and more so the campaign can sustain itself.

Ever since we reclaimed this Congressional seat in 2008, the quality of the Republican candidates has decreased. Keith Fimian, Chris Perkins, Suzanne Scholte, and now… nobody. The district has been in existence for 24 years and this is the first time this has happened. Understandably, since the district was redrawn after 2010, you’d have to be crazier and crazier to take on Gerry. I can only imagine Tom Davis fuming at the local GOP today.  Maybe there’s still time to install a candidate but I doubt they’ll get it done.  Perhaps it’s best for them to circle the wagons and focus on other races, seeing as how their conservative standard-bearer in the 8th district is imploding right now .

The myth of the Republican Renewal in the event of another loss

Some analysts are predicting serious soul-searching in the Republican Party in the event that Trump is the nominee and if he loses in November.  I don’t buy it.  And it’s not just because theirs is not a party accustomed to reflection.

The first reason is that there is not a monolithic party (on either side).  What we consider the Republican Party is just a loosely affiliated network of national, state and local Republican units, campaigns and third party organizations.  It’s clear to any casual observer that they are not marching in lockstep with each other.  The only thing they have in common is that they vote Republican every time.  (Don’t buy the talk about droves of Republicans staying home this year if Trump’s the nominee; some will, but most would still vote Trump because they hate Hillary Clinton more than Donald Trump.  They may not volunteer, but they will vote.)

If there is no such thing as a unified Republican Party, how could there be a unified Republican response to another loss in 2016?  Take a look back at 2012 and the GOP’s “Autopsy” report.  The prevailing elements of the party’s adherents learned nothing from that election.  I think it’s time for the Autopsy to have its own autopsy.

The other major contributing factor is the theory of the True Conservative candidate.  “If only we had had a True Conservative, then we might have won,” say the proponents of this theory.  They lost with McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012.  Even George W. Bush, some believe, didn’t govern as a True Conservative and that is what led to the rise of Barack Obama.

If Ted Cruz is nominated, and he loses this November, then that theory can finally be put to rest.  It’s hard to see Cruz winning any more states than Romney won in 2012, but don’t bother bringing up the electoral math when it comes to these folks.  They currently believe there’s a huge “silent majority” of evangelical and conservative voters who were just waiting for the Right candidate before they could finally come out and totally sway the outcome of an election.  Unfortunately for Cruz, the Trump campaign has already capitalized on the silent majority and has designed rally signs for them to wave at his events (“the Silent Majority stands with Trump”).  Never mind that they are anything but silent.

However, if Trump is nominated and he loses in November, then roughly half of the Republican/conservative electorate will blame it on the fact that they once again didn’t nominate a true conservative.  In this case, you can expect no soul-searching and zero significant changes in the platform.  After all, they won big in 2014 (albeit with the lowest turnout since WWII).  It would be considered just another bump in the road.






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