Have We Learned?

An earthquake hit the Republican Party last night.  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) was defeated  by a Tea Party challenger.  This will fuel Tea Party types with the real impact hitting in 2015 and 2016 as battle for the Republican nomination moves into full gear.

I just hope this is realized by all Republicans not just insiders.  The consequence will be significant as we enter the contest to select a 2016 Republican presidential nominee.

Every day Republicans not active in the party must get involved immediately if we are to nominate a presidential candidate who can get elected.  Otherwise, let’s just crown Hillary Clinton.

This cannot wait until the excitement of a campaign.  Anyone who follows politics will recall the movement to nominate Barry Goldwater in 1964 started well before that year.  F. Clifton White was organizing, recruiting and taking control of Republican Party machinery at the local level.  This is well document in his book Suite 3505.

That year regular Republicans waited too long and the battle ensured.  Throughout the spring and summer of 1964 there was blood on the floor everywhere you looked.  At the last minute even former President Dwight Eisenhower got involved trying to save the Republican Party from itself.  We all know how 1964 turned out!

In West Virginia control of the party has been underway for some time by Tea Party believers.   Our representatives to the Republican National Committee are Tea Party in their heart.  The State Chairman is a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”.   Following the May election when new county GOP committee members were elected the same is taking place as committees reorganize.

This take over extends even to selecting a Congressman to replace Shelley Moore Captio in the 2nd District.  Not only has the Tea Party prevailed there but it was done with a Maryland resident coming across our state line.

Eric Cantor is a conservative Republican but not obviously to the extent liked by the extremists.

Extremism cannot win in 2016 get involved now – don’t wait until it’s too late.


You’re encouraged to comment.  Just go to bottom of the post…look for Comment or No Comment and click.


16 Responses to “Have We Learned?”

  1. Jack Canfield says:

    Hey, Bill. Personally, I thought 1964 was a very good year! :-) Weird in Virginia. Cantor was done in by “them who brung him to the party.” And I thought we Democrats were strange. By the way, the Diane Sawyer interview of she-who-is-to-be-crowned (your phrase) was atrocious. I call it a “Yeahbit” interview. No matter what the question or answer is, the interviewee is interrupted and the interviews says, “Yeah, but….”

  2. I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!

    Unlike true elephants, RINOs never learn.

    Definition: RINO: A jackass in a loose-fitting elephant suit.

    David Michael Myers —- Constitutional Extremist

  3. Richard Dulee says:

    I think you have your answer (i.e. see previous post).

  4. Get Real says:

    Yes, let’s nominate another RINO for President. Those work so well… You do that and you guarantee Hillary wins. Maybe you should wake up. What is so bad about the TEA Party? If you don’t agree with them, you are really showing that you aren’t a conservative. Maybe you should change your registration and join the party that you seem to like the best.

  5. Richard Dulee says:


    You play with fire, you get burned. The socalled Tea Party was initially a small ‘l’ libertarian movement. It attracted a fringe group, mostly from the big ‘L’ Libertarian party with Ron Paul, a one time presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party, and a nominal Republican. He mustered a nice following in his quizotic run for the GOP nomination in the last two cycles. Mainstream GOP operatives saw an opportunity to capitalize on that and they invented and funded the Tea Party. Now you all are stuck with the beast you created. Your remarks are solid from an analytical standpoint, but they are sour grapes from a historic one. The traditional conservative elements in the GOP, the big business conservatives that is, have been tripped up again on the same ideological cross as was the case in ’64. You built it, you carried it, you used it, and you attracted quite a crowd, now you shouldnt be surprised you’re on it. That’s the way revolutions work.

    Take care and BTW I very much appreciate your continuing reports. Thanks.


  6. Angie Adams says:

    I have to respectfully disagree with you. I believe that the reason we have Barack Obama as president is because McCain and Romney were not passionately conservative. For the general election, people need two distinctly different choices. Republicans try to blur the lines too much. I am 100% behind Shelley, and I don’t think she will have the slightest problem in the primary (or even in the general) for that matter. However, I do believe that the hope of the Republican party lies in the hearts of “those Tea Partiers”….and I think we, as a party, need to start embracing their idealism, instead of trying to marginalize them. Passion goes along way toward winning elections….and the Tea Partiers have it!

  7. smokey joe says:

    Cantor supported amnesty. His constituency was very clear that they did not. It really is not any more complicated than that.

  8. Chris Phillips says:

    I sadly doubt we have learned, and the opportunity to profit from any lessons are dwindling rapidly. There are certainly lessons to be learned from the likes of O’Donnell and Akin, but the most moderate GOP candidate conceivable didn’t talk the electorate out of two terms of the most radical leftist in the history of the nation.

    Vetted and capable candidates are an obvious requirement for widespread electoral success, but so is a party apparatus and candidates that are reflective of, and reactive to, the base.

    Blaming the TEA Party (whatever the definition of the day is for that) for the woes of the GOP doesn’t do anything to address the disconnect between the concerns of the base and the apathetic attitude of the upper echelons of the party toward them. Ronald Reagan was labeled a rabble-rousing bomb thrower too, but if we can’t find someone cut from the same cloth that can unite the country club and country music wings of the party, while attracting the remaining conservative Democrats, we are looking at the Republican party going the way of the Whigs in a similarly stunning short time.

  9. Jim Ruland says:

    Bill, Maybe you should have titled this post: “Have I Learned”. The answer to which would be a resounding NO!

  10. Melody Potter says:

    First of all, I’m deeply saddend that someone who I’ve considered a friend Bill, would write about me on their blog in a demeaning way and make personal attacks on our chairman, who is doing an outstanding job. Great things are happening in West Virginia and this November we will see the results.

    You can label me anyway you want, a person with a Tea Party heart, an ultra conservative, but I can say this…I am going to stand for what is right regardless. There is only One who is my judge. I try to live my life this way and I do not care about being politically correct. I also believe in treating those around me with kindness and with grace. I am not in the position that I am for a title, but to make a difference. I’ve always worked hard when I was county chairman, as an officer on the WVGOP State Excutive Committee, and now on the Republican National Committee. I will continue to stand if it is my last breath and if that bothers some people, I make no apology. Blessings, Melody Potter,Republican National Committeewoman for WV.

  11. Stephen McElroy says:

    The Tea Party is all about a Constitutionally limited government. So called Republicans that are against that are in the wrong party.

  12. John Cobb says:

    Cantor was true to the type, the type being ambitious aspiring Washington politician, he thought compromise would win friends and influence people. And it does in Congress and within party political factions behind Congress, but it appears that Virginia’s voters were unwilling to compromise on immigration.

    Reagan and Bush1 are the quintessential opposites. Reagan had principles which he would not compromise, Bush1 played politics with the NRA, lost their support. He assumed the pro-gun voters either would forget, forgive, or at the least view him as the least anti-gun candidate. Ross Perot came in as a third party candidate, stole some of his conservative thunder, and Bush1 lost to Clinton by about 1/2 of 1% of the votes.

    I would add one suspicion. I have long suspected that Republican politics in Virginia are infiltrated with closet Democrats, “sleeper agents” who help a little when they can’t hurt, but hurt a lot when they can. Many examples, but probably the best was Chuck Robb’s 1/2 of 1% victory over Oliver North.

    North had terrific popularity and Robb had missed being indicted and convicted of illegally intercepting Doug Wilder’s mobile phone calls only because there was enough influence in Washington to send a high ranking employee of the USDOJ Criminal Division to get him off with the grand jury.

    However, a faction in the VA Republican party was so incensed that North had been scapegoat for Reagan, as the Washington Post trumpeted repeatedly, that they did not merely stay home, but ran Marshall Coleman as a third party candidate to siphon off votes.

    One of the sad aspects of what American politics has become, you campaign on certain issues popular with the people/voters. but once elected, you forget those issues and do what the party tells you. Or suffer consequences.

    For at least 20 years two issues have dominated electoral politics, illegal immigration and mounting debt. And elections are run on, and won or lost on those two issues. Then they go back to Washington and do “business as usual.”

    I also Learned that Cantor was waffling on gun right with Obama as well.

    Thanks Bill for you email

    John Cobb

    Let’s hope we can get Shelly and Alex Mooney in office…John

  13. Dave Hines says:

    Some history of 1964 is obviously being ignored. The Rockefeller wing of the party abandoned its candidate during the campaign.

    If the GOP is determined to be elitist and to dismiss its base as irrelevant, it is sure to lose a lot more elections.

  14. Jesse's girl says:

    As a sophomore at WVU and one year too young to vote for Goldwater, I learned what it was to be savaged for wearing a tiny “Goldwater” button. It was a good lesson which has served me well in dealing with RINOs. I proudly supported and voted for Reagan twice. Now, still a Conservative Republican AND a Tea Party member, nothing has changed. The establishment fears those who dare to question them and name-calling is the easiest knife in the drawer to grab.

    As a school child, I was fascinated to learn about Magna Charta and the effect it had on our Founding Fathers and our Constitution. I am now a Dame of Magna Charta. Several years ago I was amazed and delighted to learn that an ancestor of mine, Sir Roger Bigod, was one of the 25 Surety Barons who stood at Runnymede on June 15, 1215 and forced King John to sign a document declaring, among other things, that we did not “belong” to government. I plan to be at Runnymede on June 15, 2015 for the 800th Anniversary of Magna Charta. I feel that I can do no less than stand up to out-of-control government. I fully support the United States Constitution and adherence to it. All Federal officials including the President swear to uphold it and then give it the proverbial finger. Enough.

    Sir Roger’s daughter, Mary, married Robert FitzRandolph. Edward FitzRandolph came to MA on the Winthrop Fleet in 1630. My 4-g grandfather, Robert FitzRandolph served in the American Revolution from both NJ and PA. Likely you and others of your ilk would call Sir Roger Bigod and Robert FitzRandolph extremist whackos along with me. Rale away. I learned to deal with it from the high school clique and being a conservative student at WVU in the 1960′s. To quote the singer, Shania Twain, “you don’t impress me much.”

  15. The Senator says:

    Bill, thanks for the blog. It is a new era. The Repulicans who were accepted by the Dems when they were not a threat to Democrat control of the state must understand that the new Republicans don’t want to pick up the crumbs thrown to them. We want control. We want power. We want to effectively change and improve the economy, quality of life, education, employment opportunities for our people. I’m proud to be a Republlican and I need no other mantra to describe myself. The Tea Party movement is an energetic, synergistic group who fundamentally wants the best for our country. Do you really fear the takeover of local committees by the Tea Party? I’ve been through 5 elections now and have found the local committees to have been little (mostly none) assistance, some members even working for my Democrat opponent. However, I have a message for those who consider themselves “Tea Party.” Be team players (my 25 years of coaching coming through). Accept me as a friend and ally…I’m not your enemy (I was fighting for the basic principles of conservative Repulican policies long before you guys came along). Stick to your roots of taxation, smaller government, fiscal responsiblity. Can someone who claims to be a member of another party actually determine that I’m not really a Republican because I don’t adhere to the soundbite of the day by Rush or Hannity? I think not. I welcome you to our Party with your energy and idealism. Respect me for my service (both military and to my state). Adhere to common courtesy which, I’m sure, was handed down by your ancestors. I respect you and your ideas and I ask God to bless those activities which are rooted in truth and good intent.

  16. Charlie says:

    Bill, For you to scold the owner of California Chrome for being a sore loser and then turn around and continue your attacks on the WVGOP because you lost a seat on the state executive committee is just about the most hypocritical thing I’ve ever seen. Look in the mirror. You are an old man now and should know better. Stop acting like a child and get over yourself!

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