A little voice in the back of my head is screaming oh Jesus Christ, August, no, you’re blogging about politics. This is the abyss. You brought this on yourself; just remember that. The next sentence of this post is supposed to be the usual “…but I was just as shocked as everyone last night to hear that Eric Cantor lost his primary against, well, some dude who reads Ayn Rand a lot and promised to do even less in government than the guy he just defeated, who I will remind you, was actually the person in charge of orchestrating the House’s agenda of not doing anything.”
Except a reader reminded me of a cartoon I drew seven (yes, seven, good god) years ago, alerting me that I had sort of been predicting this all along:
There’s much to be said about the irony that Eric Cantor appears to be the only thing the Republican Party has now successfully repealed and replaced (this joke copyright half of Twitter), but the bigger issue is how this lunacy is all coming to a head.
The Tea Party is the primal scream of the conservative white male slowly losing power. With the black president re-elected and being incredibly irritating with this pesky habit of not actually committing impeachable offenses, combined with the rapidly-spreading ActuallyDontCareAboutGaysGettingMarriedCauseItDontAffectMeInAnyWay virus now infecting well over half the country, Supreme Court included, Cantor found his foot caught in the rockslide as the anti-immigrant stampede rumbled across him. There’s going to be this resentment in the future, with its requisite victims, but it’s dying–dying because of demographics and because of public opinion.
Cantor lost because of less than a 15% turnout in a state notorious for low voter turnout and an enormous disparity of motivated and unmotivated constituents. This was, significant as it was, the equivalent of a town council being taken over because a very large family brought all its members to one usually-unattended meeting and demanded a vote for Uncle Cletus to be the new chairman. Cantor won re-election last cycle with over 200,000 votes. He lost last night with nearly 10% of that turnout. Angry, angry right-wingers came out for Brat and no one else came out. That’s the primal scream right there. The demographics of Virginia’s Seventh last night was about as accurate a cross-section of the nation as a DNA test is in the Westboro Baptist Church.
And that’s the problem for the Teabaggers–this just can’t, and won’t, work on a national level, and only gets harder demographically with each year. Hating the gays is gone, done, bye-bye. ObamaCare isn’t going anywhere. Republicans have maybe 8-10 years left of hating Mexicans before that simply doesn’t fly in Texas anymore.
Odds are strong that 2014 is going to be a rout for Democrats, possibly losing them 7 seats and the Senate, but… then what? Well, then it flips to 2016, where Republicans have twice as many seats to defend as Democrats, many in blue states, in an election year where the GOP has absolutely no one feasible on the bench against, very likely, the 90’s-movie-asteriod of corporatist centrism and new-wave electoral demographics barreling at them with literally all the money, ever backing her.
If the Tea Party was a coke lord movie, 2014 is basically the awesome montage scene in the middle of the film before it all starts going to shit.