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So where's the Democratic David Brat to overthrow the Democratic Eric Cantor?

And there are plenty of Democratic Eric Cantors! From John MacArthur in Harpers:

Nevertheless, a straightforward, nationwide electoral strategy is required if the left wants to reverse the rightward trend of both parties over the past three decades. The Tea Party has had much success moving the Republican Party to the right through primary challenges that should be the envy of frustrated Democrats, even though liberals of the Nation magazine–Rachel Maddow persuasion appear blind to the lessons of Tea Party tactics. One wouldn’t want to weaken Democratic incumbents with insurgencies lest “we” lose “our” Senate majority.

Yet political logic cries out for just such a strategy. Ask a mainstream “progressive” to list the most calamitous events in recent times. At or near the top would be the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case, which opened wide the floodgates to plutocratic and corporate influence in election campaigns — in effect, an overthrow of the democratic ideal of one man/woman, one vote.

Citizens United was stage-managed by Chief Justice John Roberts, who leapfrogged to the top of the court without pausing to serve as an associate justice. Well, to a large extent you can blame Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) for Roberts’s ascension. As ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2005, Leahy broke with fellow liberals to support Roberts’s nomination, calling him a “man of integrity.” We might wonder at Leahy’s definition of integrity, but worse was his declaration that “I take [Roberts] at his word that he does not have an ideological agenda.”

We’ll be paying for Roberts’s “integrity” — and Leahy’s foolishness — for a long time. True, the Republican majority on the committee, including the chairman at the time, Arlen Specter, voted unanimously for Roberts’s confirmation. But a determined, unified front led by Leahy could have blocked Roberts from becoming chief justice. Five years later, in the wake of Citizens United, Specter, by now a Democrat, denounced the decision, saying it “affects the legitimacy of elections everywhere,” and suggested that Congress consider a constitutional amendment to override the Supreme Court ruling. Had Leahy put up a fight in 2005, the moderate Specter might well have thought better of his vote for Roberts.

Why did Leahy get off scot-free? Because, as he said at the time, he voted his “conscience”? Why didn’t Vermonters smarter than Leahy run a candidate against him in the 2010 primary? He certainly deserved punishment from liberals. Leahy is just one example of a Democrat who should have been overthrown, or at least chastened, by electoral retribution.

Yes indeed! But the headline?

The Left Must Derail Hillary Clinton in the Primaries

Have at it, say I! There's only one way to teach the Democrat to know fear, and that's to make sure they lose elections, whether primaries or the general, and the left has to do that and "be seen to," as Ian Welsh has said. Of course, Elizabeth Warren is probably going to be seen as being on "the left," so there's that, but I'd rather vote Green against Warren then I would against Clinton, if you see what I mean.

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Andre's picture
Submitted by Andre on

What doyou mean by that, Lambert? I voted for Warren, and you were absolutely right. I think she has to be made aware that she has shown her colors with that vote, and we see what those colors are. The observation I make is that if I had voted for Scott Brown and he won, he would have voted against Baron. But maybe I'm wrong about that.

Submitted by flora on

Brat won the primary and Cantor will not run an independent spoiler campaign. On the left?
In 2006 Lamont beat Lieberman in the Connecticut primary and Lieberman ran a spoiler campaign supported buy the Dem DLC establishment.
In 2010 Ark Lt.Gov Halter challenged Sen Blanche Lincoln in the Dem primary and almost won. Obama and the DLC machine campaigned for Lincoln in the primary.
Say what you will about the GOP (and I've said plenty), they accept the primary vote and let in new blood.
The DLC?

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

and did a robocall, as I understand it, from a quick Google. (I knew that I remembered that FP Clinton campaigned for her, because it caused a bit of a ruckus with organizations supporting Halter, at the time.)

Bill Clinton To Campaign For Blanche Lincoln In Arkansas

Obama Sees the Inevitable; Leaves Blanche Lincoln Hanging Dry

Apparently, PBO also didn't campaign much for Arlen Specter for the same reason.

(Which is not the same as saying that PBO didn't support both under the table, as the article alludes to.)

Bottom line, DLC/corporatist Democrats do everything that they can to thwart any primary challenge--a fact of life.

Agree 100% with MacArthur--but it's not gonna happen.

What I can't figure out, is if it's a result of learned helplessness, or an inability to think critically--or both.

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

I read a couple more articles by this Mac Arthur. Don't think I'll put him on my list of interesting thinkers. His "fundraiser" article was good about the bull crap that goes on in do gooder fund raising. But then he ends up admitting, he goes to all of them naively not realizing who the scumbag speakers are until he's there. So he schmoozes and then complains, schmoozes and then complains. At least one of them he actually walked out on. Also his blind support of the shock group "Pussy Riot" makes me suspicious that he is just another journalist for the elite. Who decides what to cover and who are "activists?" I'm with Arthur Silber when he announced over 10 years ago that "everything I knew is wrong." Check out the Saker on "Pussy Riot". Interesting take.

As to the topic, I'm with Russell Brand. There is no point in voting. The Democratic Party is a roach motel.
I read somewhere that Eric Cantor was defeated because nobody liked him and he also must have crossed somebody. Just like Bobby Rush crossed Daley.

Submitted by lambert on

... like lets's IVCS. Until then, I'll vote Green.

And I'm not so sure I agree with Brand; DCBlogger was rather caustic about him (can't quite remember the wording).

Because if the electoral system completely distintegrates.... Ask yourself what institution is the most respected in American life? The military. So if there's a power vacuum, who moves in?

NOTE On Saker, Pussy Riot looks a lot like project of American-style identity politics onto Russia. OTOH, Saker on the "homo lobby"... Dunno about that, eh? Seems like a bad reaction.

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

Yeh, well, I'm going to keep reading Saker as his blog has real time kind of reporting on Ukraine. He's raw. Maybe he'll "evolve" like the Democratic leadership on LBGT issues. Moon of Alabama commenters can get pretty crazy but there are small strands of stories that beg for further study.

I put my energy now into battling, in a fairly non confrontational quizzical kind of way, conventional wisdom which I hear every day whether it's at a water aerobics class or Democratic radio shows or blogs. Last week's was "Competition is always good" in reference to a Dollar Store opening up in our town of 1500. "Well, I'm always in favor of higher wages. What would you rather have? more money or a Dollar Store?"

Submitted by lambert on

... and had no work and no money and all my utilities were cut off, dollar stores saved me.... Just saying. I suppose it's going to lay waste to a number of local stores, though? I'd fight it too.

jo6pac's picture
Submitted by jo6pac on

agree on Saker, I'm not worried about his views on religion or lbgt and MofA