June 10, 2014

#Cantor — out of Congress; Democratic chance?

Boy, if this isn't a shocker. (Note: this post has been edited extensively, as I try to figure out the official, and unofficial Democratic candidates.)

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who is to the right of Speaker John Boehner, just got Teabagged.

That said, I don't know who the Democrats have running but the district, while it leans Republican, per Wikipedia, isn't bloody red, either. Mitt Romney took less than 60 percent of the vote in the 2012 presidential election. Cantor's sometimes run below 60 percent himself.

Per his vita at Randolph Macon, upset? winner Dave Brat's got the "right" stuff. B.A. from Hope College, a conservative Calvinist school. M.Div. from Princeton, so he appeals to the Religious Right.

Update: I misread Ballotpedia for the district.

The regular Democrat, Jack Trammel, who is a colleague of Brat, may have a chance ... but, the guy who I originally identified as the unofficial Democrat, Mike Dickinson, is running as a write-in, not officially certified by Virginia Democrats.

And, there's good reason for that. In short, he comes off as a serious-acting version of semi-joking edgy Alan Greyson on steroids.  Unfortunately, because of this the answer to  my rhetorical question may be no.

There's other concern. While Trammell seems like the better, and suaver, candidate, a nominee for Congress by one of the two major parties who doesn't even have his own website, just a Facebook page? Uhh, not a good sign.

OK, scratch that. Trammell does have a website, but it did NOT show up in a Google search of his name; I only found it via Democratic Underground. That is is "not good" enough, to have your website not show up on the first page of Google search when you're running for Congress.

Update, June 11: It gets worse yet. Trammell has an entirely new website, more glitzy than the old one. But, it has no "issues" page. Don't worry; here's the cached version of his issues page from the old website.

And, interestingly, he went to Grove City College, touchstone of a bit of Reaganism, losing a federal suit over Title IX funding? He says he was a Dem when he went there, but that's still interesting. He also says he worked for Dukakis and both Clinton campaigns. As for his other positions on issues, what I can discern? He's a neoliberal technocrat, and probably a pretty boring one, from what I read. Education is a nice neoliberal issue. Special education is a nice personal issue that has zero political traction. Click that cached "Issues" link ... apparently he's already been seeing criticism like this.

And, per Think Progress, which gave me the heads up on Trammell scrubbing his old website, he only got in the race last week.

So, I don't know what's up in Virginia-7 on the Democratic side. Other than it's not going to produce a new Dem in the House.

Other than the Twitter rants, I can't tell much of anything about Dickinson.

And, while there is an official Democratic candidate, based on all of the above, I stand by what I originally said when I thought Dickinson was the only challenger from the left. This sounds like it could be a blown opportunity. 

If Dickinson stays in the race, Dems have ZERO chance, if he draws any votes at all.

Folks, Congressional general elections are "first past the pole." Period. There's no way a Dem wins this race if two are running.

And, as for the two that are in? One disliked, and the other, bland as oatmeal, recruited because of that?

This is why you never assume that you shouldn't have a legitimate challenger for an election.


 There's been speculation that short-term Congresscritter Cooter Jones of "Dukes of Hazard" fame, one-time opponent of Cantor, did a Democratic version of Rush Limbaugh's Operation Chaos from 2008.

First, if so, it had little effect, at least according to political pros.

Second, if so, it was a dumb race to do it in, per the relative Democratic disarray I note above.

Third, and kind of related, if the dominoes all fall right, or wrong, Texas may have its first Speaker of the House since Jim Wright. Rumor has been, for some time, that John Boehner didn't want the seat again. Cantor, of course, was next in line. (That said, when Cantor didn't challenge Boehner in 2012, I figured he was lacking some huevos and would be susceptible to a challenge himself.)

And, with Cantor out, Texas' Jeb Hensarling is a current favorite to replace Boehner. 

Update on that: Cantor is stepping down as majority leader effective July 31. It means little in terms of House business as Congress will be focused on electioneering after that, but it may have impact on that electioneering.


PDiddie said...

The Democrat is a fellow prof at Randolph-Macon College, Jack Trammel. And this post from a week ago reveals the Democratic plot to cross over and take out Cantor by Ben Jones (D-Ga.), who is best known for his role as Cooter on 'The Dukes of Hazard'.

Gadfly said...

Thanks for the correction ... in my hurry to post something, I misread Ballotpedia and saw only Dickinson, not Trammel as well.

That said, this is still problematic ... could cause "splitting." And Dickinson sounds like he's not the type to drop out.