If your reading of local newspapers extends beyond the Central Virginian, you may appreciate a recent letter in the Fredericksburg Free Lance Star from A. Beecher Sutherland, now a former member of the Orange County Republican Committee. Where he states that “The Republican Party or, more specifically, the tea party Republicans, have just slit their throats in the 7th District of Virginia,” and when you “… mix enthusiasm with stupidity … you soon have … what Vladimir Lenin once referred to as “useful idiots.”
These enthusiastic tea party supporters certainly did their part in ridding our district of Eric Cantor. My first thought was that they did us all a great service, but now I’m having second thoughts. Especially when you ask any of them why they worked so hard to get rid of him, they are hard pressed to give any coherent answers.
Since most of these folks were the same people responding so enthusiastically to Cantors dog whistles for these past seven elections, one has to ask, what happened to change their minds?
Was it really because Eric’s dog whistles were sounding shriller and shriller, and less “real” as the years went by?
Or was it because they needed something else to focus on, something that could give all their fears and prejudices a new relevancy? Much of conservative’s cultural identity is based on being opposed to everything liberal, despising anything associated with it, such as empiricism and reason.
To be a “conservative” increasingly means taking a contemptuous view of reality. And so the proudly ignorant grow more belligerent, day after day.
Into this void, comes Professor Dave Brat, a proud participant in the BB&T Moral Foundations of Capitalism Program funded by John Allison, head of the Koch funded Cato Institute. According to Allison, this is just one of 68 programs around the country “at most of the major universities in our operating area.” Boasting that “many [students] indicate the program is the first time they have heard capitalism defended from an ethical perspective .”
Dave Brat is nothing more than a bought-and-paid-for shill, part of a coordinated effort to steer the next generation of young people into their brand of libertarian economics. But the connections between Brat and his libertarian supporters doesn’t stop there. He is just one of many Manchurian candidates from the Koch-backed stable.
Over the past few months, right-wing radio hosts like Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin have pushed Brat non-stop on their radio shows. Politico recently reported on a fast growing and influential network of conservative radio talk show hosts who are driving the countries conservative movement.
“Filings with the Internal Revenue Service and Federal Election Commission, as well as interviews and reviews of radio shows, found that conservative groups (such as the Koch Brothers sponsored group Americans for Prosperity) spent nearly $22 million to broker and pay for sponsorships with a handful of influential talkers… Since then, the sponsorship deals have grown more lucrative and tea party-oriented.”
David Brat isn’t just some college professor, he’s a foot soldier of the libertarian billionaire class and its army of talk radio hosts. This is the brave new world of dark money politics, a raving-loon industrial complex of radio shows financed by a vast lagoon of plutocratic payola.
Now Dave Brat’s may pretend to be just another Republican carrying his anti-immigration message to the people of the 7th District, when in fact his sole purpose is to carry his master’s message .
Some may recall how he ran against Cantor by attacking his brand of “crony capitalism” and the incestuous relationship that exists between big money and politics. Like all good misrepresentations; it worked because it has a grain of inescapable truth, that our political system has been captured by the interests of folks like the Koch Brothers, and is personified by Eric Cantors unbridled greed.
Shortly after winning the primary, Brat replaced his 23 year old campaign manager who helped engineer his historic upset with Amanda Chase who worked on Eric Cantor’s 2010 campaign, only to replace her three weeks later with Phil Rapp, a former aide to state Sen. William M. Stanley, who like Chase has never run a congressional campaign.
Not to mention that his new communications director, Brian Gottstein, used to be Ken Cuccinelli’s communications director when he was Virginia’s Attorney General.
Or that he has hired Tim Edson to be a general consultant on his campaign. Mr. Edson managed Rep. Allen B. West’s frothing-at-the-mouth, batshit-crazy and unsuccessful reelection campaign in 2012.
Brat also worked along side Chase in Susan Stimpson’s bid for Virginia’s GOP’ lieutenant governor where they lost out in 4 ballots to the pumpkin smashing E.W. Jackson.
If any of his press conferences where he speaks for a few minutes, and takes no questions from the press are any indication of things to come, then nothing has changed in Virginia’ 7th Congressional District except for who is running on the Republican ticket.
With such a cast of usual suspects surrounding Dave Brat, perhaps this is why Mr. Sutherland decided to leave the party. Let’s hope more Republicans come to their senses and follow suite, because it’s obvious that Dave Brat’s campaign is being run by paid shills and is being supported by the willfully ignorant.