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View Diary: How the 2012 presidential results informs the 2014 House target list (31 comments)

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  •  A knowledgeable friend (7+ / 0-)

    whose family has been involved in Mid-Atlantic politics since before Washington DC was built, gave me this advice about House politics.  First, he quoted Jerry Ford as saying at a family party many years ago, that "everything's a smokescreen -- even the smokescreens."  Second, he acknowledged that the prime interest of all Congressional Representatives is to remain in Congress.  Within these parameters, he noted that often the price of a Democratic vote to support Republican legislation is for the Republican party in that district to deliberately shoot itself in the foot come the next election.  One means of doing this is to permit the nomination of a batshit crazy teabagger who can't pull out a win in even a red district as the annointed opposition.  This, he says, explains some of the really wild and hopeless candidates that have been appearing recently.  His take is that Republicans have been clinging to a lead in Congress that was bought with the political capital of the Reagan years by hook, crook, and subterranean machinations that would be startling if they ever came entirely to light.   Like an aristocratic family that is able to maintain its prestige for several generations after the family fortune has cratered, the Republicans are living on the proceeds of their successes in the 1980's, carefully doling out political expenditures in order to maintain the appearance of control.

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