Tom Schantz: Explainable, not seismic

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While in Steamboat for a softball tournament, I saw the letter from Joe Meglen in which he celebrated the triumph of the Tea Party candidate in the Virginia primary, calling it a “seismic event.” Now, as a Democrat, I enjoy seeing Republicans knock each other out, but I can’t help but be amused when people call this a shocking or seismic event.

This was not a case of the people rising up in mass and throwing the bum out. It was simply a case of a badly run campaign. Eric Cantor’s polls showed him with an overwhelming lead, and his team forgot the cardinal rule of running a campaign: get your people to the polls. It was an extremely small turnout, and Cantor’s supporters obviously figured it was an easy win and stayed home. He’d probably clobber Dave Brat in a general election.

Look at other parts of the country where Tea Party candidates went down to defeat. The winning Republicans got their people to the polls, Eric Cantor did not. It is that simple. And that is the only meaning behind Brat’s victory.

In a small turnout, angry voters turn out, and they can steal a victory, ensuring the tyranny of the minority. But take heart, Joe, most of the media, eager for a shocking, breaking news story, felt into the same trap.

Tom Schantz

Lyons

Comments

Ken Mauldin 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Sorry, Tom. It's difficult to come to a thoughtful conclusion when all of your facts are wrong.

Your description of Dave Brat as a "Tea Party candidate" is false. No Tea Party organizations either endorsed Brat or contributed any funds to his campaign.

http://www.salon.com/2014/06/11/david_brats_shameless_new_friends_tea_party_groups_that_ignored_him_now_declare_victory/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/06/10/how-national-tea-party-groups-missed-the-david-brat-boat/

You're premise that "It was an extremely small turnout" is also false. Here are the relevant stats from the State of Virginia, 7th District Republican Primary Election totals: "In 2012, 47,037 votes were cast compared to 65,008 votes in the June 10, 2014, primary, an increase of 38.2 percent."

http://ballotpedia.org/Virginia%27s_7th_Congressional_District_elections,_2014

Opinion pieces are one thing, but the Pilot should do a better job of vetting the facts that support these conclusions before publishing such misinformation. If I submitted an opinion piece that claimed I was upset that Intrawest was replacing the gondola with a chair lift would the Pilot publish that without first checking the basic facts that support the opinion? Apparently so.

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Ken Collins 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Hey Ken. Read my comment to Joe's letter. I give many stats on the voting and the turn out. Then you can conclude whatever you want, but it will have some more facts.

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Ken Mauldin 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Ken: I've followed that thread and I'm aware of what you've presented there. In your response, you presented facts as facts and then added your opinion, which is reasonable. In this piece, conclusions have been drawn from two main, misrepresented facts; that Brat was a "Tea Party candidate" and that the election results were the result of a 'small turnout of angry voters' in the District.

In fact, Joe Meglen's original piece refers to Dave Brat as a "grassroots, outsider economics Professor" and nowhere is there any mention or reference to the "Tea Party" or any Tea Party affiliated organizations. Not only does Joe expressly not reference the Tea Party, he states "As we approach the November elections, it is important that we don’t get bogged down with the “Democrat versus Republican, “left versus right” paradigm."

How Mr. Schantz perceived Joe's thoughts in that editorial to be a "celebration" of the Tea Party is as much of a mystery as why it was published in the first place. An unforced error that many liberals are prone to commit is to put words into other people's mouths and then proudly denounce what had never been said in an attempt to appear superior. That's what Mr. Schantz has done here and the Pilot published it. Maybe they should have ran this under "Our View" instead ;)

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