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11 June 2014


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William R. Cumming

The obits of former Judge and Congressman William Poff provide insights into the Republican use of racial antagonisms in gaining elective positions in Virginia. Perhaps the judgment of history will be reflective of Poff's own thoughtful reflections on the tragedy of that political expediency.


I subsribe to your "can't stand the idea of voting for a Democrat" analysis.

As for the man himself, it's something of an accomplishment that he's to the right of the Speaker. To me he is symtomatic of all that's wrong with the Republicans. The only thing he really stands for is perpetuation of his own privilege, and a certain country in the Middle East with whom we have a "special relationship."

Patrick Lang


Hey! That's not fair! You can ask just about anyone among the intelligentsia in DC or NYC about me. they will all tell you that I am a remarkably unsophisticated instinctive redneck. pl

Patrick Lang


I concur on Richmond. They tend to be very clannish and filled with a deep sense of their superiority. It was always thus. The general opinion in Richmond during THE war was that Varina Davis was a "common western woman." pl


Why do 'right-wingers' have such short memories? Remember Jim Baker in Iran on the eve of Reagan's inauguration? Oh so coincidentally hostages were released the same day? Lets not forget Ollie North and Elliot Abrams selling arms for hostages via Israeli intermediaries, all in violation of law? Let's not forget the Laffer curve, which was such a disaster that the Reagan tax cuts were overridden within a year or so to restore federal revenue?

R Whitman

Pat Lang:

Re"original sin"

One of the great hallmarks of the USA is the acceptance of Supreme Court decisions as the law of the land. "Massive Resistance" and noncompliance ran counter to that long standing custom.

Patrick Lang


Since the Consitution did not give the power of constitutional review to SCOTUS I have a problem with that. As you know, John Marshall simply seized that power in "Marbury vs. Madison" and Jefferson was so weak willed as to let him get away with it. TJ's motivation seems to have been reluctance to "engage" in this matter because the "stakes " (a deputy sherriff's appointment in DC)seemed so trivial. Jefferson's own view was that each of the three co-equal branches of the federal government has the power to define the constitution. pl


"Jefferson's own view was that each of the three co-equal branches of the federal government has the power to define the constitution." This is an important point and one the members of the court should remember when they start chastising the legilative and executive branches.


You can ask just about anyone among the intelligentsia in DC or NYC about me. they will all tell you that I am a remarkably unsophisticated instinctive redneck. pl

Fair enough, when you have that crowd of jerks again ye, you must be doing something right. You are awarded honorary if not out right status as a back country redneck/celt.

Nancy K

Is a back country redneck/celt sort of like a costal elite reversed? Labels can be so confusing.


I wish our so-called leaders would get together to to manage our debt problem - everyone should be part of the effort - our nation is at stake, not just a political party. by the way, if the Republicans hold out and we falter, we will end up finding out how they are no better able to handle the problem with their ideological focus - we need to cooperate and graduate in a fair, balanced manner.


If Eric Cantor is the exemplar of Virginia's Richmond based patrician society, the clear inference is that we should look to less hallowed states for our leadership. (Texas and Alaska excluded). There are of course a few transplanted, self described rednecks on the Virginia side of the Potomac who still exhibit the virtues of their native state.

Pegram Johnson

Two responses:
Cantor ia a graduate of the W&M Law School and also was given an honorary degree not too long ago.
The writer who described the Fan District in Richmond (where I live) as racist must be talking about another planet. Racist, moi? Surely not. Some of my best friends are conservatives.


Col. Lang, as you can deduce, I am from that region. I grew up here, have a large extended familial ties with the region.

I'd say we need to take into account Christian Dispensationalism and Christian Zionism when considering Eric Cantor. It has a firm hold in these parts, across denominational lines.

But it is more than just Israel. Cantor is a movement conservative and mainstream GOP'er. Independents have tried to run in the area and been soundly defeated in the past. The authoritarian culture of the region precludes thinking outside the box. Even if a candidate, like Ron Paul, espouses many of the views of the population, he will be dismissed by said population because the powers that be have termed him a radical. The Tea Party is popular in these parts, but it is the Tea Party in its partisan guise. There are no genuine philosophical or ideological reasons behind recent local infatuation with the Tea Party. If there were, one would hear more condemnation of the events of 2000-2008 and equal disgust directed at Bush and Obama.


Patience there is a candidate that can take on Eric Cantor straight on, he is considering it as I write this.


Are they test marketing the Romney-Cantor concept?

karen anderson

You Rock!


Very well said! I live in his district and would gladly support another candidate!!


Eric is in real life a really nice guy



how does that matter? pl

David Habakkuk

Colonel Lang,

'In my opinion, an independent should seek to be elected to this seat. A well to do conservative farmer or a businessman from one of the towns, someone with solid Virginia credentials, U.VA, Virginia Tech, William and Mary, millitary service in his or her background, someone like that could take the seat.'

Is there any chance of such a figure standing? If now, why not?



Yes, you were prescient. "Is that what the people of the Seventh District want in their representative?"

That question is the one thing Eric, the press and all the political 'scientists' have failed to understand.


David Habakkuk

I forgot to mention that Cantor was defeated in yesterday's republican primary. He lost by 12% of the vote to an economics professor at a small (but well thought of)college (Randolph Macon)that is located within the 7th District. The winner is David Brat. He ran an insurgent campaign against Cantor's well financed machine. I expect that he will be elected in the autumn. Could such a thing happen in England? Brat is not an independent, but he will do. pl



Yes, Cantor and the pundits failed to understand that the people of the district just didn't care what Cantor's national destiny might have been. pl


Cantor is reported to have spent $5.4 million on the race; $170K on steak-houses alone. Brat spent only $200K on the race. Also, this is truly historic, the first time such a senior party leader (#2) of any party has been defeated in a primary. And he wasn't just beaten- he was hammered 56-44. Cantor thought he had a 30% lead going in. Some political operatives have some 'splainin' to do.

And the Democratic primary winner for the same district is also a professor at Randolph-Macon. You cannot make this stuff up!

On more urgent matters, any thoughts on the fall of Mosul to the ISIS and the reported disintigration of the Iraqi Army through desertion and casulties?

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