There are three ways to look at House Majority Leader Eric Cantor‘s (R) stunning primary defeat Tuesday in VA-07: short-term, medium-term, and long-term. We’ve tried them all in the last few hours.
— In the short run, Republican incumbents are going to get jumpy. There just isn’t as much safety in “safe seats” anymore. Cantor may be just the second incumbent to go down, but as we’ve noted earlier, members are finishing below 60% in their primaries with increasing frequency. (While everyone was watching Mississippi last week, for example, Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) quietly won his primary by just 8 points.) Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) is one of several incumbents in upcoming primaries who’ve had past primary struggles; look for an uptick in activity from them to avoid becoming the next big surprise as Cantor gets their attention.
— In the medium term, nervous incumbents probably means legislating will probably be a quiet business the rest of the year, and maybe beyond for the House GOP majority. Especially given Dave Brat‘s (R) focus on immigration, any movement on that issue looks especially unlikely (even though Senate “Gang of 8” co-author Lindsey Graham (R) breezed through his SC primary Tuesday).
— It’s difficult to ascribe potential long-term effects to a single House primary, though the first-ever primary defeat for a House majority leader will ripple the pond more than most. The situation points to a disconnect between true “tea party” grassroots energy and the national “tea party” groups that didn’t glance twice at this race (but will probably raise lots of money off Brat’s victory). And the punishment doled out to Cantor for not remaining in touch with his grassroots base highlights a looming issue for 2016 presidential candidates who are already spending a lot of energy wooing big-money donors.
This doesn’t even get into the internal politics of replacing Cantor (and possibly others) in House GOP leadership. But his defeat has implications throughout national politics.
— Scott Bland
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Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:
- Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
- Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
- They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
- One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”
Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
The New Covenant. The Third Way. The Democratic Leadership Council style. Call it what you will, but whatever centrist triangulation Bill Clinton embraced in 1992, Hillary Clinton wants no part of it in 2016. Writing for Bloomberg, Sasha Issenberg and Margaret Talev explore how Hillary’s campaign has “diverged pointedly” from what made Bill so successful: “For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die.” Bill’s positions in 1992—from capital punishment to free trade—“represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade.” But in New Hampshire, Hillary “worked to juggle nostalgia for past Clinton primary campaigns in the state with the fact that the Bill of 1992 or the Hillary of 2008 would likely be a marginal figure within today’s Democratic politics.”
At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”