Democrats help tea party take down Eric Cantor

By Lynn R. Mitchell

It has been a lingering question some have asked for a couple of years: could the Democrats have infiltrated the tea party and libertarian ranks to drive the internal takeover of the Republican Party and defeat Republican elected officials?

An interesting article in Friday’s Washington Post (see I’m a Democrat and I helped the tea party unseat Eric Cantor) seems to confirm those suspicions.  Democrat Brian Umana wrote:

The truth is that Cantor’s electoral demise did not occur overnight. It was the culmination of more than four years of grass-roots organizing, from both the right and the left, to unseat him. Behind the scenes, Cantor opponents who otherwise had little ideological common ground cooperated in his demise. I know, because I helped engineer it.

After running the campaign of the Congressman’s 2010 opponent, Umana and other Democrats met with tea party members to form a campaign against Cantor:

After Cantor’s 2010 victory, a group of anti-Cantor activists from both left and right met in person to discuss campaigning against the man who would soon be majority leader. We met several times over two weeks at coffee shops and pubs in strip malls throughout the Richmond suburbs. At first, we were suspicious that one side was trying manipulate the other, but soon we developed a sense of trust over our shared frustrations with Cantor.

Naming names, he goes on to add:

Then we started discussing tactics. The tea partiers already knew how to mobilize the folks who showed up at tea party meetings: what they needed was a way to find supporters or potential supporters who were unlikely to bother with regular meetings. Stevens and I thought that a more organized attack from the right could help Democrats, too—either by prompting a future three-candidate race (which might give the Democrat a fighting chance) or by inducing a competitive Republican primary challenge that would force Cantor to burn cash protecting up his flank that might otherwise be spent on competitive races elsewhere.

He discussed how the Democrats were able to use public data to pull together a base of voter names. Tea partiers took over Republican positions of leadership and gained access to Republican voter rolls. Working together, they had a data base of targeted names that would be contacted to take out the Congressman, and the Democrats would benefit by removing a powerful Republican, making room for their own candidate in November.

Be sure to read the entire article because, if true, this guy confirmed the rumors. It is a lesson for the Republican Party. Learn it now or it will happen again.

See the related Red vs Blu political cartoon from Kurt Michael (Red va Blu: Taking a dip in the pool).

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8 thoughts on “Democrats help tea party take down Eric Cantor

  1. Mike Thompson says:

    We’ll know hoe accurate this is when the voter lists are available in six weeks. This issue is solved by party registration and then nominate by primaries. Party officials can still be elected at conventions.

    • Mike, I actually ran on voter registration by party when I was elected to the State Central Committee about 10 years ago. Then-Chairman of the 6th CD Fred Anderson and I took it to SCC but electeds didn’t want it so it never went anywhere. I know others have tried, too.

  2. Voter Registration is the best possible option but not too likely in the near term and rules
    regarding switching parties would have to be carefully considered. The greatest single issue by far is “Rank and File” (RNF) Republicans that don’t care to understand our organization or learn Roberts Rules (in other words, normal people with normal lives) that simply expect responsible governance and expect the Republican elected to deliver. There are more than enough of those to compensate for any Democrat or Libertarian crossover

    Voter Education is our only weapon. The Libertarian message is one everyone can identify with until they examine the other side of the coin. They have a party and 90% of voters are certainly smart enough to know the down side doesn’t compensate for what they agree with.

    The Campaign for Liberty (C4L) is a libertarian splinter organization that is pro-life but as socially liberal as libertarians in every other way that I am aware of. It is impossible to generalize all their members, especially since their web presence has been so well sanitized. If one really wants to know their history and what their senior leadership believes, one needs to follow the von Mises institute and Lew Rockwell. The nostalgia for what never was, the unachievable anarchist utopia and hatred for the military (and I mean soldiers, not the politicians that decide) would change a lot of minds.

  3. Lovettsville Lady says:

    Members of the Tea Party insist this young man is wrong. Much of what he says never happened.

  4. Karen Duncan says:

    I read that article and thought the kid was a self-serving self-promoter. The key point for me is that he did not simply provide the data analysis for this group, he taught them how to do it, so any advantage he might have given to the tea partiers who took down Cantor will now be turned against the Democrats too. As somebody on Facebook put it, “he taught them how to fish and now they can defeat Dems and Republicans for life.”

    Nobody smart claims to be a Democrat and brags about that.

    On another note, on the Democratic side of the aisle, I agree with you on having party registration and closed primaries. FWIW, most of my party doesn’t agree with me either. But I believe that selecting a candidate should be the prerogative of the party. That’s a nominating process. Selecting the officeholder should be open to everybody. Nominating a candidate is not the same thing as electing an official. Now, I wish I can get more people to see it my way 🙂

  5. […] In a recent poll, Dave Brat lost among Republicans 51 percent to 49 percent but won among “other” voters 71 percent to 29 percent. Those non-Republican voters flipped the race and proved true a Washington Post piece written by a Democratic operative claiming to have coordinated with the tea party to defeat Eric Cantor (see Democrats help take down Eric Cantor). […]

  6. […] While the Congressman won past Republican primaries with a comfortable margin, he was beaten by a large turnout of first-time primary voters, Independents, and Democrats. The findings by McLaughlin and Associates help to confirm a Washington Post story by Democrat Brian Umana who claimed to work with tea party leaders to cultivate outside voters to defeat the Majority Leader (see Democrats help tea party down Eric Cantor). […]

  7. […] While the Congressman won past Republican primaries with a comfortable margin, he was beaten by a large turnout of first-time primary voters, Independents, and Democrats. The findings by McLaughlin and Associates help to confirm a Washington Post story by Democrat Brian Umana who claimed to work with tea party leaders to cultivate outside voters to defeat the Majority Leader (see Democrats help tea party down Eric Cantor). […]

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