The Battle Rages On… But There Is Hope

So Jon Berkley is finally out as the chair of the Republican Party of Virginia’s 5th Congressional District, and none too soon. He presents the unvarnished “what are you gonna do about it anyway” face of consultants and political profiteers in RPV. While that’s a positive, his behavior is a symptom of their arrogance and ruthlessness, even after the leader of their faction within RPV was punked by Dave Brat.

They had a confab recently down in Richmond that you may have heard about. Unfortunately, many of the fears the grassroots had about Barbara Comstock appear to have been confirmed by her speech there, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention.

Even better, apparently Linwood Cobb, who got some medicine of his own before his boss did, is masquerading as some sort of political tough guy, now that he’s been relieved of his party office, just like his boss. Who does he think he is, Rob Catron?

It’s obvious that the defeat of their slating efforts, and of Cantor’s crew in the 7th, and now of Berkley in the 5th, hasn’t dissuaded them at all. The grassroots of the Republican Party of Virginia will unfortunately have to remain on a war footing with people like Frank Wagner and Robert Hurt for the foreseeable future.

But there is hope. At the same State Central Committee meeting that finally unwound the Berkley debacle (despite Cobb and others actually defending Berkley for some reason), John Whitbeck, the Chairman of RPV’s 10th Congressional District Committee, was elected the new Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia by acclamation. He reached out to me personally to talk about his candidacy and his ideas and his vision for the party, and he actually understands we have to unite our party if we want to win in Virginia. Having a guy like that as our leader can only be a good thing.

Corey Stewart Predictably Learns The Wrong Lesson From Eric Cantor’s Loss

How can you tell that you’re entering into an election cycle in Prince William County? Board Chairman Corey Stewart trots out the illegal immigration issue in an attempt to save his declining electoral prospects.

Just a month ago, we reported that Stewart was obviously gearing up for what promises to be a bruising Republican primary driven by his support for tax increases and the lack of quality jobs created in the county under his watch. Now, the Washington Times reports that Stewart is seeking the deportation data on those illegal immigrants arrested in the county.

It certainly is no coincidence that this is being raised again not even a week after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his congressional primary amid claims that he supported amnesty for illegal aliens. This was totally predictable that Stewart would learn the wrong lesson from Cantor’s loss and rush headlong back to his go-to campaign issue. (In fact the only reason why I didn’t already write another post calling it in response to the Cantor loss was a lack of time on my part – and maybe a desire to see how fast he would fall into his own trap.)

The fact of the matter is, whatever Cantor did with regard to immigration was secondary to his problem of putting his Washington / congressional constituency and ambitions ahead of his duties to the 7th congressional district of Virginia.

In this sense, Stewart has the same problem that Cantor did. Stewart has the baggage of his failed 2013 campaign for Lt. Gov. as well as his 2009 bid for that office and his 2012 bid for U.S. Senate. It is clear to everyone that he can’t wait to get out of Prince William County government and Republican voters are ready to grant him his wish – just not in the way he would prefer.

Stewart can tell himself all that he wants that his tough stand on illegal immigration will differentiate him from Cantor. His real problem, though, is that he can’t undo these three campaigns for higher office that he has embarked upon over the past five years or his abysmal record on taxes, spending and quality job creation. That combination will ultimately lead to his downfall in just 51 weeks come the 2015 GOP primary.


Yet ANOTHER Reason Why Eric Cantor Lost

The Washington Post has an article up entitled, “Why Cantor’s loss is especially bad news for big business.”

But with Eric Cantor’s shocking defeat Tuesday night, things for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable just got a whole lot worse.

For one, they lost a major defender of their favored policies–from the beneficial tax treatment of private equity income to immigration reforms favored by the country’s biggest tech companies. But even worse for their prospects, Cantor lost to a challenger who specifically attacked him for his close ties to big business — going so far as to single out the BRT and the Chamber.

“The central theme of Brat’s campaign is that Cantor is beholden to business — specifically the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable,” wrote Politico in April.

“If you’re in big business, Eric’s been very good to you, and he gets a lot of donations because of that, right?” Brat said at a local meeting of Republicans in Virginia, according to Politico. “Very powerful. Very good at fundraising because he favors big business. But when you’re favoring artificially big business, someone’s paying the tab for that. Someone’s paying the price for that, and guess who that is? You.”

Exactly. To boil this down to its essence, Eric Cantor was pro-business, NOT pro-free market. Anyone who thinks this is a difference without a distinction is sadly mistaken. Being pro-free market means supporting policies that will allow businesses to succeed or fail on their own merits and decisions while being pro-business means instituting policies specifically crafted to favor certain industries or companies, giving them an unfair advantage over competitors and stifling innovation.

This is one of those weird points of agreement between the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street that generally falls under the header of “crony capitalism.” The GOP needs to return to being known as the party of the free market and convince business that this is what’s best for them, not corporate welfare.

BREAKING: Cantor Gets Crushed By Brat

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has lost his primary to challenger Dave Brat, a college economics professor by 11 points, 56-44.

More to come!

UPDATE 1: The shockwaves from this are rippling across the country. I’d say those GOPers in Virginia who have been in office for too long and lost touch with their voters are suddenly very nervous if they are facing prospective primary challenges in the next year or two.

UPDATE 2: Dennis Miller has coined a new term:

cant·er noun \ˈkan-tər\-to leave town at a high rate of speed.

Nordvig Indicts Tea Party, Brat Judgment at Brat Rally

There are a number of reasons why a sizable group of conservatives in the Virginia Republican Party are uncomfortable with those who raise the tea party banner high and identify themselves as such primarily. Sometimes proudly. ‘I’m not a Republican’ they will say, ‘I’m a member of the tea party.’

Yet these same folks show up to Republican meetings and Republican conventions — not usually to Republican fundraisers — and seemingly want to participate in the GOP. Fantastic. Welcome. We certainly agree on some issues.

Still the discomfort exists.

Ultimately, many of those anecdotal reasons boil down to judgment. Good judgment. Sound judgment.

That’s where Larry Nordvig head of the Richmond Tea Party and Vice Chairman of the Powhatan Republican Committee comes in.

At Dave Brat’s rally on Tuesday, Nordvig told the following joke:

“A politician, a Muslim and an illegal alien walk into a bar, and you know what the bartender said? Good evening, Mr. President.”

Here are the questions that immediately come to mind:
1) Is this an appropriate joke to tell?
2) If so, in front of what groups?
3) Did Dave Brat find this joke funny?
4) How do you expect this joke to attract people to the Republican party?
5) Does this joke help us win elections?
6) Do you have a filter between your brain and your mouth?
7) Could we have adjusted the joke to insult other groups of people besides immigrants and Muslims and people of fair mind?

This is an unfortunate example of why some so-called tea party leaders cannot be trusted to do the right thing.

And it is why no matter how hard Dave Brat runs, he will hit a ceiling of support.

This is not something to be proud of.

House. Republicans. Don’t. Get. It.

The moment I saw the headline of this Corner post (House GOP Strikes Food Stamps Pact), my heart sank. After reading said post, it’s still “underwater.”

Now, to be fair, the “pact” – which is in fact a policy idea that hasn’t yet been run through the entire caucus – isn’t bad. Essentially, it restores the 1990s welfare-reform requirements on food stamps for able-bodied adults without children (work 20 hours a week, or be limited to three months of aid every three years). The numbers folks say it could save about $20 billion (although I think that’s over multiple years).

However, and I can’t say this enough, any attempt to deal with the recent explosion in food stamps without addressing the market-distorting farm policies is merely treating the symptoms while the disease runs unchecked. So long as the government continues with policies that drive up the price of sugar, milk, corn, and everything fed on corn (i.e., meat), more people will need government assistance than would be the case in a true free market for food.

Whatever one thinks of the particular policy change (and, again, I think it has some merit), any farm/food-stamp bill that doesn’t get rid of Pitchfork Corporatism still says the same thing to suburban and urban consumers: Drop Dead.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

Eric Cantor makes his move for Speaker, votes against the Fiscal Cliff Deal

Later tonight, or very early Wednesday morning, Congress will vote on the bill passed last night by the Senate to end the fiscal cliff mess.  Currently there are two republicans groups in the House, those who support the bill, lead by Speaker Boehner, and those republicans who oppose it, lead by Majority Leader Eric Cantor.   Earlier today,”I do not support the bill,” Cantor said walking out of a conference meeting in which House Republicans discussed the “fiscal cliff” deal.

More here, here, here, and here.

At 10:30 Tuesday night it was not clear who had the votes.   But this appears to be a move on Cantor’s part to push for the Speakership when Congress votes on Thursday for the new leadership positions.  If Boehner is re-elected, Cantor must wait another two years.  It’s no secret that Eric Cantor wants to be Speaker of the House.

Watch the vote tonight, if Cantor’s group leads in defeating the Senate’s bill, he’ll push to win the Speakership on Thursday.  If he joins Boehner in voting for the bill, he most likely doesn’t have the votes to win the Speakership on Thursday.

UPDATE:   At 10:57 tonight, the House voted to accept the Senate’s fiscal cliff deal, by a vote of 257 to 167.   Speaker Boehner voted for the bill, Majority leader Cantor voted against it, as did all Virginia republicans and Jim Moran.   Full vote here. 

Eric Cantor knew about the Petraeus affair in October, Eric Holder knew even earlier

The saga continues……….

According to this story, Majority leader Congressman Eric Cantor knew of the Petraeus affair back in October.  News sources say that Cantor was contacted by a whistleblower at the FBI informing the Congressman that there was an investigation into the Petraeus affair.   Congressman Cantor contacted Robert Mueller, Director of the FBI to inform him of the investigation.  My question, wouldn’t the FBI already have known if the FBI was conducting the investigation?

So much of this story doesn’t yet make sense.

UPDATE:  I just learned that Mueller had kicked it upstairs to Attorney General Eric Holder in August.  Mueller informed Holder that there may be a security problem with the Petraeus affair.   Holder chose to keep it a secret until election day.  Why am I NOT surprised?!

More later tonight.

Tim Kaine endorses dangerous rhetoric in 2012 race

In June, the Wayne Powell campaign used some dangerous words when talking about the kind of campaign they’d be running against Eric Cantor:

Eric Cantor is a “bought-and-paid-for bastard,” the Powell campaign told the Roanoke Times. And, “We cannot win this campaign, cannot tell the story on Eric Cantor, if we don’t have bullets,” they said in the Daily Caller.

Today, Tim Kaine endorsed this kind of hateful rhetoric, claiming Powell “will work to find common ground in Washington to put people over politics.”

Now, this may have a lot more to do with Tim Kaine doing Mudcat Saunders a favor, especially since it seems that this race is all about Mudcat and Cantor and not much about Powell.

But the Powell campaign has used divisive, dangerous rhetoric when attacking Eric Cantor and Tim Kaine thinks this is the “bipartisan approach required to help move our Commonwealth and our country forward”?

Yikes, Timmy. Just yikes.

Congrats to Eric Cantor

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has made a great new hire for his Deputy Chief of Staff in Doug Heye.  Doug was a spokesman for the Republican National Committee and has worked for a number of notable members of Congress over the years.  I’ve known Doug since we worked together on the Forbes ’96 campaign and he will be a great asset to Congressman Cantor.

Eric Cantor’s Advisory Council meeting

Just returned from Midlothian, where Leader Cantor’s meeting was interrupted several times by protestors. First outside, where a shadowy group called “DC Jobs” was protesting for MORE Federal jobs “created” through increased spending. Yeah, right- that’s worked so well for us thus far. Why these people think they have a right to a Federal job is beyond me- but if, instead of chanting and yelling, they had all shown up cleanly dressed with resumes, there were probably enough business owners in attendance that most could have walked away with private sector jobs that would have paid more and not bankrupted the nation. Just a thought.

Then, while Cantor was answering questions from the audience inside- something he did for more than 45 minutes- he was repeatedly interrupted by liberal, pro-Obamacare advocates in attendance. Hey, ask whatever questions you want- this is America- but at least let the guy finish.

Overall, this little attempt by the Left to pull a TEA Party-like “town hall” ambush failed and made them look weak and classless. Extraordinary job by Cantor and his team to answer questions, let people have their say and still address some important issues.

Little Known Reason for Budget Talk Collapse

“Forced to Read the Bill”

Budget talks between the White House and Congressional Republicans broke down on July 22 due to a “different vision” of the pending legislation. More importantly, President Obama was angered not only by the Republican “cut, cap, and balance” debt reduction plan, but also by the insistence by Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) that the President actually read the legislation.

“This is perfectly unfair,” the President was heard to storm at aides behind closed doors. “My old pastor Jeremiah Wright used to call these kinds of demands ‘chutzpah!’ We managed perfectly well for two years without having to read any laws. Now these Republicans want me to read what they write? For that matter, read what I write? I never had to read a thing at Occidental, Columbia, or at Harvard Law School. Good thing, too, because I never understood that sh*t.

“It’s bad enough what has been happening to my eyesight since I took office. My golf game is going to hell. If I have to read hundreds of pages of laws that I sign, I’ll have to get new glasses. Michelle says that I will look like a black version of Eric Cantor, and she’s taking away the cigarettes and milk shakes!”

Asked by reporters about the disagreement over the budget, White House spokesman Jay Carney said that “The President shows leadership by not reading. If you want to read, go join some tea party!”

A bipartisan group of Senators , led by Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Richard Lugar (R-IN), also including Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has pitched in to help. This “Gang of Sick,” representing the oldest members of the U.S. Senate, indicated their willingness to help President Obama with his reading problems. “We remember when Strom Thurmond and Robert Byrd were alive,” said Lautenberg, 87. It was tough for those old coots to read just about anything, and let’s just say that our bladders don’t give us a lot of room for endurance. It’s damn hard dragging six-inch thick draft bills to the toilet, especially when you have a walker. Now where was I again . . .?”

Talks may resume this weekend or early next week. “Sasha and Malia have volunteered to help,” said Obama. “I trust their perspective more than anyone’s. Not only can they read stuff for me, but maybe they can help me with my negotiating skills. Former President Carter called me and told me to enlist my girls to help, and I think that is excellent advice.”

The Worst Editorial Board in Virginia Strikes Again

The good folks at the Free Lance Star editorial board have struck again today, allowing 5- count ’em, 5- leftist letters to the editor to appear today, with nary a conservative. As someone who has had his submissions ignored because they “are GOP talking points”, I find the hypocrisy appalling.

One particular truth-challenged submission challenges conservative opposition to the Spotsylvania Urban Development Area proposal. This proposal went down in flames before the Board of Supervisors (no conservative lot, they) last week- for a host of reasons, and in the face of intense public opposition over more than a month and two separate public hearings. It was a horrible proposal, planting thousands more rooftops in the county while rezoning industrial land to residential all over the place. So basically, it was great if you thought there were not enough rooftops and too many jobs in the county. Turns out, building thousands of high-density Arlington-style condos 60 miles from the nearest place any of these people would have to work is not such a good idea after all.

Problem is, the local leftist front group, the Committee of 500, backed it to the hilt. If it were not an election year, it might have slipped through. But the writer of the submission (part of that condescending leftist front group supported by the FLS Editorial staff) claims the plan was “reasonable and in need of a few tweaks”. Yeah, like Obama’s fiscal policy.

One other egregious LTE attacks Eric Cantor for having the audacity  to demand that the Federal Government live within its means and not raise taxes on employers during a recession. This LTE reminds me of the time-tested adage: Democrats love employment but hate employers. They will recklessly bash any company that brashly dares to turn a profit in the Obama economy (no small feat, mind you) while resisting cuts to Federal programs the same way my 2 year old resists taking a bath. Problem with both is, if you don’t force the issue, something stinks. And kudos for Congressman Cantor for forcing the issue with this President.

House Releases Cong. Dist. Map — Yup, It’s That Stupid Incumbent Protection Plan

The House of Delegates has unleashed HB5004 authored by Del. Janis and it is just as bad as the previously leaked “incumbent protection” version that it closely mirrors.  Gov. McDonnell should reject this map out of hand.  (Map available here.)

One insider tells us the following:

a quick read of [the bill] shows that the GOP has essentially thrown in to keep [Gerry Connolly] in a safe seat.  This is too bad as it could be made competitive, but not when you load up to make other districts safe.  I think [Prince William County] folks are being badly treated in this.  Sad…

This map, while seeking to preserve the current 8-3 split, may not ensure that the current 8 Republicans and 3 Democrats are the same ones who will return.  For example, stretching the 1st Cong. Dist. all the way up to Route 29 in northern Pr. Wm. Co. near Gainesville and to the Occoquan River near Lake Ridge practically guarantees that Cong. Wittman will get a primary challenge from someone he has never represented before.  At least in terms of land mass, the 1st Dist. has gone from 3rd to 1st in Pr. Wm. Co. — quite a dangerous prospect with a population as large as the county has and the solid R nature of the district being so tempting to so many stifled for years by Wolf and Davis.  They might have as well called this the “Let’s Screw Rob Wittman Redistricting Map.”

Other items of note — Cong. Cantor’s district still extends north to take in all of Culpepper and Orange Counties but now almost all of Spotsylvania County will be in his district, stopping just south of the City of Fredericksburg and using Route 3 to its west as the northern border for the county (just to the east of there and due south of the city it reaches up to include Lee Hill precinct.)  Cong. Hurt’s 5th Dist. stretches from the NC border and picks up some of Cantor’s old holdings in the north to bring it all the way up to Fauquier County, just shy of Loudoun County.

That web site “State Senate District or Rorschach Test?” could just as easily apply to these abominations drawn for U.S. House seats in Virginia.

Republicans Vote Unanimously on Leaders

Hat tip:  BVBL

The Republican Caucus in the House of Representatives not only elected John Boehner (R-OH) as the new Speaker on a unanimous vote, but also, in a spirit of bipartisanship, voted for Nancy Pelosi as Minority Leader.  “We have been accused of being uncooperative and partisan,” said new Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA).  “However, this is our first step to reach out to the new minority party to help keep them in that lovable situation for a very long time.”

While local Democrat Gerry Connolly (D-VA) did not reveal how he voted, his recent opponent offered words of encouragement.  “I definitely support having Nancy Pelosi as Democratic Leader,” said Keith Fimian.  “Her presence in such a position will ensure long-term employment for any house inspection business.”

Nancy Pelosi herself was initially receptive to the Republican gesture.  However, she became angered when she read the fine print and found out that Republicans were going to require her to fly coach.  “So much for having to pass a bill to find out what is in it,” quipped a Republican aide.

Cross posted at Isophorone.

Eric Cantor Has Got It Right

Majority Leader-In-Waiting Eric Cantor has issued a 22 page plan on how to change the way that the House of Representatives operates.  He has got it exactly right.

Among the reforms that he wants to institute —

  • Scheduling committee hearings so they are not interrupted by floor votes.
  • Eliminating legislation that honors  “individuals, groups, events and institutions.”
  • Setting aside time only once a month to name post offices.
  • Increasing oversight by committees and individual members of Congress of their areas of jurisdiction, including the issuance of quarterly committee oversight reports.
  • Force Congress to “explicitly” state how spending will be paid for.
  • Force Congress to cite constitutional authority for its actions.
  • End earmarks by “not consider[ing] House legislation that includes” the member directed spending.

These are all long overdue institutional reforms that will allow Congress to better allocate their time to the priorities they need to be focused on such as economic growth and job creation.  Maybe now Congress can get a budget done on time by April 15th and complete the appropriations process before the new fiscal year starts each Oct. 1st.

George Allen, Others Prepare For 2012 Senate Race

Politico reports that Fmr. Sen. / Fmr. Gov. George Allen is preparing to run in 2012 to recapture his old Senate seat for the Republicans.

Allen . . . recently huddled with National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn to discuss a prospective bid. He is also burnishing his profile through a series of public events, spreading cash through his political action committee and has even launched a Facebook page.

Allen isn’t the only one on Facebook, though. A new group, Republicans AGAINST a George Allen “comeback”, has sprung-up there as well.

So, the question is, if not Allen, then who?

Well, Politico takes a few stabs in the dark:

Among those mentioned as potential primary opponents are House Minority Whip Eric Cantor and state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Allen’s entry into the race would complicate any statewide ambitions for Cantor, who is also in line to become majority leader in the event of a Republican takeover of the House on Election Day. Cantor is unlikely to challenge Allen in a head-to-head matchup, said sources close to the GOP lawmaker.

Obviously, the authors of this article are not dialed in to Virginia Republican politics at all.  (One has to wonder who they hear doing the “mentioning” — people around the offices of the Politico?)  If Eric Cantor has his choice between being Majority Leader (possibly Speaker of the House at some point) and being one of 100 U.S. Senators, I’d bet he’d rather be in line to be Speaker.  As for Cuccinelli, he is maintaining that he plans to run for reelection as Attorney General in 2013.  That leaves him plenty of options for the future whether it be a gubernatorial run in 2017 or a run for the other Senate seat in 2014.

We know Politico staff reads Virtucon (even if they spell it wrong when they write about us — seriously, Vertucon?)  If they paid attention to something other than smutty pictures on the internet, they’d note that other people ARE being mentioned:

U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman
U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes
U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte
Del. Bob Marshall
PWC Chairman Corey Stewart
Frequent candidate Patrick Muldoon

Not included in Virtucon’s current sidebar poll is Liz Cheney who is also a possibility.  Of those, Marshall and Stewart are seen as the most likely to jump in.  The main question now is whether the nomination will be settled by convention or primary.  That will definitely be a factor in who gets into the race and who has a realistic shot at winning the nomination.  As Bob Marshall proved in 2008 in his race against Jim Gilmore, almost anything can happen at a convention.  However, this year has proven that primaries can be just as volatile given the results on the GOP side in Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, and Nevada.   That doesn’t even include Florida and Pennsylvania where the establishment Republican candidates were driven out of the primaries before they were even held.

Obama Donor Arrested For Threatening To Kill Eric Cantor

Norman Leboon, Sr., an Obama donor,  has been arrested for making death threats on YouTube against U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor and his family.

For all the Democrats’ hullabaloo about violence against them after they voted in favor of the health care bill (most of which remains unsubstantiated or has been disproved by video evidence), it is clear that their nutroots are geared up to take violent action against Republicans.  (Let’s not forget it was another left-wing nutjob that crashed his plane into the IRS building in Austin, TX not long ago.)

We previously condemned such political violence coming from any quarter and we do so again here.  It was wrong for the person to cut the gas line at the home of the brother of U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello and it was wrong for the person to throw bricks through the window of the Charlottesville GOP HQ.  The fact that Democrats are using alleged threats of violence against them to raise campaign contributions as well as to try and preemptively discredit their opposition (one of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” that they’ve been playing by for quite some time) is deplorable.

Everyone needs to take a deep breath, take a step back and remember that we live in the United States of America, not the Banana Republic States of America.  We settle our political differences via elections, not violence.

UPDATE: Seems that Leboon may have taken his cue (albeit literally instead of metaphorically) from Obama himself.

Just a week before Leboon made his contributions, Obama spoke in Leboon’s hometown of Philadelphia on June 13, where he urged his supporters to “bring a gun” to the political battles against their opponents:

” If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun. Because from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.”


Seems that this guy was a regular on the Huffington Post.


This guy was also a CNN iReporter

Health Care Summit Round-Up

President Obama whined that Congressman Eric Cantor dared to bring copies of both the Senate Democrats’ 2,400 page health care bill as well as the President’s 11 page proposal, saying that what Cantor did was a stunt. Uh, no, Mr. President. What Congressman Cantor did was have at his fingertips what you were proposing so it could be referred to and cited so the record could be set straight and not misrepresented as something it was not.

So, how did the GOP do in the morning session?

CNN’s WOLF BLITZER: “It looks like the Republicans certainly showed up ready to play.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

CNN’s GLORIA BORGER: “The Republicans have been very effective today. They really did come to play. They were very smart.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

  • BORGER: “They took on the substance of a very complex issue. … But they really stuck to the substance of this issue and tried to get to the heart of it and I think did a very good job.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)
  • BORGER: “They came in with a plan. They mapped it out.”  (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

CNN’s DAVID GERGEN: “The folks in the White House just must be kicking themselves right now. They thought that coming out of Baltimore when the President went in and was mesmerizing and commanding in front of the House Republicans that he could do that again here today. That would revive health care and would change the public opinion about their health care bill and they can go on to victory. Just the opposite has happened.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

  • GERGEN: “He doesn’t have a strong Democratic team behind him.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

THE HILL’S A.B. STODDARD: “I think we need to start out by acknowledging Republicans brought their ‘A Team.’ They had doctors knowledgeable about the system, they brought substance to the table, and they, I thought, expressed interest in the reform.  I thought in the lecture from Senator John McCain and on the issue of transparency, I thought today the Democrats were pretty much on their knees.” (Fox News’ “Live,” 2/25/10)

THE WEEKLY STANDARD’S STEVE HAYES: “I think to me the most important thing to come out of the morning so far is that Republicans have spent a great deal of time talking with great passion, and I think eagerness about their plans, detailing the plans that until this morning them democrats had been saying didn’t exist. Well, you now see, I think, in great detail that Republicans do have plans, that they care about the same issues and that they feel passionately about it.” (Fox News’ “Live,” 2/25/10)

And how did the Democrats do?  Apparently so badly that MSNBC cut away to Olympic Women’s Curling.  Curling.  Women’s Curling.  While the GOP has been talking about substantive proposals from Association Health Plans to tort reform, Democrats have been talking about sob stories such as the woman who was using her dead sister’s dentures because she couldn’t afford ones of her own.  (Never mind that this woman should have been able to obtain ones of her own through Medicaid and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter’s office should have helped her with getting the help she needed.)

Maybe the Democrats shouldn’t have taken a 2-1 advantage in time speaking.  It certainly didn’t make them come off as either informed on the subject or interested in substantive policy.