|Twenty-four hours have now passed since House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s surprise primary defeat. Oceans of pixelated ink have already been spilled interpreting its meaning. Cantor’s defeat has certainly put an end to the conventional wisdom that “establishment Republicans” were beating back the tea party this year (although only in today’s Bizarro World political universe could Eric Cantor have been considered an “establishment Republican”). […]
The victor in Tuesday’s primary, David Brat, is a professor whose college chair is endowed with libertarian money and who writes papers on topics like “God and Advanced Mammon–Can Theological Types Handle Usury and Capitalism?” He ran a campaign that the left could fairly characterize as extreme and nativist. But, pace Digby, left-populists can take encouragement from Brat’s victory without embracing him as a hero.
Unlike Cantor, who was a party apparatchik first and foremost, Brat is an ideologue. But is that bad? Ideology has gotten a bad name from members of both parties who would rather push a Washington/corporate consensus that have a real debate on the issues. Ideological differences are an part of the political process in a democracy.
That’s why it’s important not to minimize the significance of Cantor’s defeat. That effort is already underway. It’s understandable that Hillary Clinton, for example, would attempt to characterize the outcome as solely the result of Brat’s immigration position. That deflects attention from the populist aspect of his campaign, thereby minimizing a movement which presents a potential threat to Clinton and her allies as well.
But to do that is to miss an important aspect of this story.
To be sure, it’s possible to draw too many inferences from a primary in which less than 50,000 people voted. But there are legitimate conclusions to be drawn from Cantor’s defeat. Some are self-evident—like don’t have incompetent pollsters, don’t be inauthentic, and try not to be personally unlikable. But there are also some useful insights to be gained from David Brat’s upset victory, especially for the left.
Here are eight of them:
1. Don’t let them tell you what’s impossible.[…]
2. Money is not always destiny. […]
3. Populism wins. […]
4. Partisan media matter. […]
5. Discipline matters, too. […]
6. Politics is still a retail business. […]
7. Don’t go “Potomac” on your constituents. […]
8. Don’t be afraid to fight populism with populism. […]
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2013— Women's pay gap looks better because men's average pay has gotten worse:
|As my colleague Laura Clawson wroteearlier this week, 50 years after the Equal Pay Act, 97 percent of women working full-time still earn less than their male counterparts. A number of reasons have been offered for this, but one of them is still, half a century after corrective measures were taken, outright discrimination.
Another round of proof came last October in a study by the American Association of University Women, Graduating to a Pay Gap. It showed, just one year after they obtained their diplomas, college-educated women were on average already making $7,600 less each year than their male counterparts. And that wasn't because they were having babies or because they all chose fields that were less lucrative. The reason for the lower pay was simply because they were female.
Over the past three decades, there has been improvement, a narrowing of the gap. As Heidi Shierholz at the Economic Policy Institute points out, the median hourly wage for women in 1979 was 62.7 of the median for men. In 2012, it was 82.8 percent:
On today's Kagro in the Morning show: Eric Cantor is out as Majority Leader, setting off multiple leadership races. Greg Dworkin's segment went into double overtime. Christie's still toast, for new and different reasons. How Obamacare met its enrollment goal. Fascinating stuff out of the latest Pew poll. Fournier gets a positive review for his look at populism, and two different looks at what's fueling Tea Party resiliency. Ari Berman writes Cantor's loss is bad news for the Voting Rights Act. Ruben Bolling's "How to recognize an open-carry patriot." From Goldman Sachs to hedge funds to... trailer parks? Yet more ways private equity leeches wealth from everybody else.