November 18, 2018


Ocasio-Cortez backs campaign to primary fellow Democrats (ALEX THOMPSON, 11/17/2018, Politico)

The 29-year-old Ocasio-Cortez and Justice Democrats want her victory over Crowley to be the beginning of a movement rather than just a one-off upset. "We recruited and supported Ocasio-Cortez all the way to a historic victory and now we're going to repeat the playbook," Justice Democrats Executive Director Alexandra Rojas said in a statement.

Tlaib, a fellow Democratic socialist who had the support of Justice Democrats in her own competitive primary for Rep. John Conyers Jr.'s old seat, threw her support behind the new campaign as well.

"Help uplift women like us at all levels of government. We still need more of you to run with us. So get your squad together. We are waiting for you," Tlaib said in a statement.

The grass-roots group expects to focus more on safe Democratic seats -- as Crowley's was -- than on the swing districts, largely centered in the suburbs, that the party won en route to the House majority. That's a slight shift in strategy after all of the group's candidates, such as Kara Eastman in Nebraska, came up short in Republican-held congressional districts in 2018. Replacing safe Democratic incumbents with more progressives and diverse leaders, the thinking goes, could move the Overton window of what is and is not acceptable in the Democratic Party.

This is what the Tea Party types did and then discovered that moving the window just closes it to any legislative achievements.  You end up with a faction that can't compromise to improve things because they're wedded to nihilism as they particularly demonstrated with Obamacare.

Far from Washington, tea party activists cheer McCarthy's fall (David Weigel, October 8, 2015, Washington Post)

After the prayer, before the lengthy and worrisome report on a local school board's wasteful spending, the Greenville Tea Party enjoyed a little joke about Kevin McCarthy.

"On November 12, [state] Rep. Wendy Nanney will be our guest speaker, and I think I'm gonna ask her to address the Syrian refugee situation," said Ron Tamacchio, 72. "On December 11, Speaker Gowdy will be here."

Two dozen Tea Party activists chuckled quietly at the mention of their congressman, Rep. Trey Gowdy. Just hours after McCarthy abandoned his bid for speaker of the House of Representatives, the California Republican was an afterthought, a punchline. Five years after he helped the Republican Party take over Congress, the ambitious McCarthy was another scalp.

According to the Greenville Tea Party, McCarthy did it to himself. It was bad enough that the would-be speaker undercut Gowdy, a figure who commanded real trust, with a damaging gaffe last week implying that the Benghazi Select Committee was created to hurt Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign. His sins went beyond that and encompassed all sorts of threats to conservatism.

"If you go to the Heritage Foundation Web site," said Don Rogers, 76, "McCarthy's score is something like 63 percent."

That contrasted poorly with Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who as Rogers immediately remembered scored 80 percent.

"I've heard good things about Chaffetz, and the other one -- Webster," said Rogers's wife Pat, 64, referring to Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida. "The local radio was talking him up. They weren't talking up McCarthy."

Jan Williams, 69, said that he'd seen even more rough ratings for McCarthy -- and not just from Heritage. "The freedom groups have been sending out e-mails, telling us he's wrong for the job," he said. "I can't remember what the reasons were exactly, but I agreed with them. Plus, he's from California, and they're all RINOs [Republicans in Name Only] out there."

The retirement of House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) had been celebrated by the tea party, and by the many conservative groups that either grew out of or latched onto that movement. McCarthy's failure to replace Boehner was a kind of aftershock -- and more proof, for a Republican Party hardly in need of it, of how little trust it commands from its base. As majority whip then majority leader, McCarthy gave his party's insurgents so much room to act that they frequently stymied him. His loose-leash approach had, for a while, prevented him from becoming a figure of right-wing derision like Boehner or one-time majority leader Eric Cantor of Virginia.

The new minority leader is one of the more effective legislators on the Hill; his opponent was very nearly the least.

Posted by at November 18, 2018 7:54 AM