Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Huelskamp Defeat Big Loss for the Freedom Caucus

You wonder if there's a message here to the recalcitrant Tea Party?

"The House Freedom Caucus is blaming its own party's leaders in part for the defeat of their colleague, Rep. Tim Huelskamp, in a Kansas primary on Tuesday — an accusation that is sure to escalate tensions between the conservative firebrands and top decision makers."

"Some members of the caucus are furious that Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) did not do more to help Huelskamp, a prominent member of the group of conservatives who helped drive John Boehner out of the speakership last year. Huelskamp lost to obstetrician and political novice Roger Marshall in a 13-point landslide."

“Republicans need to be unified behind conservative principles to stop the Obama/Clinton agenda,” Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said in a statement. “The House Republican leadership’s opposition to Tim Huelskamp significantly damaged the ability of House Republicans to do that.”

"House Republican leaders don’t control outside spending and had nothing to do with the nearly $2 million in anti-Huelskamp ads that poured into his district from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Ricketts family’s Ending Spending political group."

"But that’s not the crux of the caucus’ anger. Huelskamp approached Ryan seeking a public assurance that he could reclaim his seat on the House Agriculture Committee next year, a critical position for his farm-heavy district. Boehner (R-Ohio) backed an effort to remove Huelskamp from the panel three years ago as punishment for repeatedly defying leadership in big votes, something Ryan promised he would never do."

"The loss of his committee seat was likely Huelskamp’s undoing: Marshall attacked him relentlessly for being ineffective and putting “rigid” conservative values over the needs of his constituents."

Read more:

You think John Boehner isn't enjoying it?

"Turns out Speaker Boehner is indeed enjoying Kansas primary night. Just received this from former staffer!"

"Lesson from Huelskamp race: at some point your constituents want things from the government."

Time will tell what this means when we can judge it in a larger context. For now, though, it might suggest that voters in some districts at least are tired of just saying no to any kind of actual governing.

In other news:

"GOP reaches ‘new level of panic’ over Trump’s candidacy."

"The Republican Party was in turmoil again Wednesday as party leaders, strategists and donors voiced increasing alarm about the flailing state of Donald Trump’s candidacy and fears that the presidential nominee was damaging the party with an extraordinary week of self-inflicted mistakes, gratuitous attacks and missed opportunities."

"Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was described as “very frustrated” and stressed by Trump’s behavior over the past week, having run out of excuses to make on the nominee’s behalf with donors and other party leaders, according to multiple people familiar with the events."

"Meanwhile, Trump’s top campaign advisers are failing to instill discipline on their candidate, who has spent the past days lunging from one controversy to another while seemingly skipping chances to go on the offensive against his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton."

"Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich-who Trump really wanted as his VP-wants to make the case that Hillary is worse than Trump. but admits that you can't make that case right now."

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, one of Trump’s most loyal defenders, warned that his friend was in danger of throwing away the election and helping to make Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton president unless he quickly changes course.

“The current race is which of these two is the more unacceptable, because right now neither of them is acceptable,” Gingrich said in a Wednesday morning telephone interview. “Trump is helping her to win by proving he is more unacceptable than she is.”

"Gingrich said Trump has only a matter of weeks to reverse course. “Anybody who is horrified by Hillary should hope that Trump will take a deep breath and learn some new skills,” he said. “He cannot win the presidency operating the way he is now. She can’t be bad enough to elect him if he’s determined to make this many mistakes.”

Like David Axelrod said, Hillary should visit some national parks over the next two months:

"If I were @HillaryClinton, I might embark on summer tour of America's splendid national parks & cede the stage entirely to @realDonaldTrump."


  1. O/T: In case you didn't see it, Scott Sumner's response to commenter dtoh's tantrum-like exclamation that "I'll probably vote for Trump... because mean lefties made me feel bad [for being a bigot?] at a dinner party!":

    dtoh, You said:

    “I’ll probably vote for Trump. Of course you can’t say that in public. If I said I supported Trump at a dinner party at my sister’s house (who, BTW Scott, lives in your neighborhood), she’d lose all her friends.”

    Sorry, but I can’t respect that. I would never hold back from expressing my views at a dinner party just because some people might object. I’ve sat at faculty tables full of Marxists, and told them I thought Marxism was idiotic. I used to defend Reagan. You should be proud of your views—tell them why Trump is the right choice, why they too should vote for Trump. Be loud and proud of your views!!!

    As far as agreeing with 90% of Trump’s views, is that his call for massive spending increases in lots of programs, combined with massive tax cuts, which would bankrupt the country? Or is it his wavering on NATO promises? How about his gross protectionism? How about the wall on the border that won’t do anything? How about deporting 11 million hard working people? Or is it the 38% jump in the minimum wage you support? How about his wanting to make it easier to sue people who criticize Donald Trump? How about the War on Drugs he promises? How about his promise to start telling CEOs where they can and cannot open new factories? How about banning Muslims? How about his claim that the yuan is undervalued? How about his call to considering defaulting on the national debt?

    Are those all in the 10% you don’t support?

    I’d like to know the specifics about what you love about Trump.

  2. Sumner and DTOH go at it. I'm loving it.

  3. Erick Erickson reaches his limit with Trump:

    I must apologize, but I have reached that point with this news and it now pushes me beyond contempt into outright hatred and moral indignation against those of you continuing to defend this monster.