Tea Party post five: Our downward spiral

It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Eric Cantor was defeated in yesterday’s House primary. Oh, the cliches bouncing around my brain…

“Be careful what you wish for”

I have never liked Eric Cantor. Not that I know the man. All I know is what I read or see on TV. He seems like a sincerely douchebaggy person. He has a snarky demeanor that gives me the creeps. Like our former president, he grins inappropriately in a way that mocks everything.

And I disagree with his politics.

That should be enough, but his personality is too icky for words. Yes. I said “too icky.” I had dinner with a friend last night, who told me he wishes Cantor wasn’t Jewish because it makes all of them look bad.

I’m somewhat satisfied to know I am not the only one who dislikes Cantor. I’m surprised at how many of them are members of his own party.

Cantor was defeated by a Tea Party puppet named “Brat.”

“Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t”

Congratulations, Virginia Republicans. Your Congressman won’t be taking over as Speaker of the House, a real option with so many opposing current Speaker John Boehner. I’m not a fan of Boehner, either, but I’m kind of ok with him continuing as speaker. At least I know the b.s. he spouts tomorrow will be pretty much the same as the b.s. he spouted yesterday. He’s the devil I know.

The role of House Speaker is important. The Speaker presides over House sessions and acts as a spokesperson for the entire body. The Speaker of the House is also second in line to succeed the president in the occasion he or she is unable to serve.

You want to be really frightened? If our democratically elected president and his or her vice president are unable to serve, the job goes to the Speaker: A man or woman elected by a single district in a single state and chosen to be Speaker by his or her peers in a completely partisan process.

“If it looks like a duck”

What we won’t know until November is whether this was a ploy by Virginia Democrats to oust Cantor. Virginia has an open primary, so any number of Democrats could have voted for Dave Brat just to tip the scales.

Media reports show Brat winning with largely grassroots support and no money from Tea Party PACs. I would bet money the Tea Party PACs are writing checks right about now. They won’t want a Democrat taking Cantor’s place in the House, and, who knows, maybe a few million well-placed dollars could convince Brat to become the Koch brothers’ new best friend.

What happens in Virginia politics affects all of us. The U.S. House and Senate are fashioned from men and women throughout the country. Virginia isn’t the only state with a Tea Party candidate heading into the mid-term election. The existing caucus shows no inclination to vote with the rank-and-file GOP. As the caucus grows, we will see even less agreement between legislators than we have today. That’s actually kind of hard to fathom, but I believe it is our fate.

Technically, we continue to have a two-party system. Until the fractured party heals, we will see nothing but gridlock in the legislature. And it will heal, but we are going to have a helluva bumpy ride.

Sources consulted: Real Clear Politics, Politico, Fox News, The New York Times, NBC News, Wall Street Journal

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