They Keep Getting Worse in the Republican Party in Virginia

Recently, newly elected Congressman David Bratt held a meeting with supporters in Richmond.  According to press reports, Bratt continued to emphasize the issue of immigration that led to his surprise primary victory over Eric Cantor.  His only other qualification is that he is a PhD economist.  In fact, Mr. Bratt’s hatred of “the other” recently compelled him to refuse to fund the government department whose task it is to fight “real” terrorist group, i.e. ISIS.

Bratt’s fervent hostility to immigrants brings into question his qualification as an economist.  In the 1980’s,  Japan was considered the “miracle economic engine” of the world.  For over two decades now, growth has stagnated and shows no sign of recovering its former vigor.  Many economists who have examined the end of the post-war economic miracle site Japan’s program that virtually eliminates immigration as a retardant to achieving its economic potential.

America’s economic history is full of industries started by immigrants from the Sarnoffs who started NBC to Andy Grove whose family left Hungary during the revolution of 1956 who started Intel.

Unfortunately, the history of immigration in the United States has a dark side. The 19th century saw much anti-Irish, anti-Italian, and anti-Catholic politics that birthed the No-Nothing Party that is an early ancestor of today’s G.O.P. Congress also passed a Chinese Exclusion Act in the early 20th Century and in a prelude to World War II refused to hike quotas that would have provided a haven to some European Jews.  The tragic fate of the S.S. St Louis demonstrates where a hatred of “the other” that Bratt embraces might lead.

Rumor has it that this Bratt is planning another rally at a rural location to be determined later.  Attendees are responsible for bringing their own sheets and hoods, and Dave might provide the fiery cross and an ample supply of matches.

— Les Schreiber

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32 responses to “They Keep Getting Worse in the Republican Party in Virginia”

  1. What strikes me is the hypocrisy of being a free market economist yet adhering to bueacratic restrictions of labor. One would think the market to be more efficient in allocating labor than the ship of fools in Congress.

    1. well he’ simply not a free-market economist – he’s a govt employee (how ironic) who teaches economics… and who obviously doesn’t know real free market economics in the real economy from the back side of a horse.

      Conservatives these days are not about honest positions anyhow. They’re catering to a wacko base.. and really at war with their own moderate GOP – which is exactly how Brat got elected – the wacko birds got control of the nominating process and knew the heavily RED district would vote for whoever the GOP nominee was.

      and you have to give the RPV and the National GOP full credit. They have figured out how to get their wacko guys elected and to “govern” and I use that word advisedly because they fancy themselves as modern day Sons of Liberty, God help us all – we’re in for a long unpleasant ride until enough of the clueless independent middle voters see the awful reality of their election handiwork.

  2. Blackbird Fly Avatar
    Blackbird Fly

    I think he’s exactly the man that gerrymandered district deserves.

  3. Excuse me, Les, what grounds do you have for accusing Brat of “hatred” of immigrants? This post is way over the top.

    Brat opposes *illegal* immigration, not immigration. That seems to be a distinction that eludes most liberal commentators. I could just as well accuse you of “hatred” of the rule of law because of your willingness to overlook the illegal nature of how millions of immigrants enter the country. Do you hate the rule of law?

  4. TooManyTaxes Avatar

    Les, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed in 1882, with the GOP controlling the House and the Senate split 37-37, with one independent and one readjuster.

    According to, the Senate votes were as follows: The final vote, after eight days of debate in the Senate, was 29 senators in favor, 15 senators against, and 32 senators absent. 8 Republicans and 21 Democrats were in favor and 13 Republicans 1 Democrat, and 1 Independent voted against. The Chinese Exclusion Act then went to the House of Representatives for consideration.

    Republican President Chester A Arthur signed the bill into law.

    Today’s Democrats have generally given up on the rule of law period. Their president believes the Administrative Procedure Act (1946) is inapplicable to agency rules. No notice and comment rulemaking for Obama’s immigration rules. They remain opposed to the operation of law when it interferes with trolling for votes.

  5. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Les is on the mark here. Brat ran on a made-up issue of immigration in the 7th district which has very, very few immigrants. He lied about and misrepresented Cantor’s position on immigration. And, believe it or not, a Republican, George W., actually had a fairly reasonable proposal on reform, but then the GOP got high-jacked by the whackoes, Randians and tea baggers.

    1. TooManyTaxes Avatar

      Couple immigration amnesty with tax amnesty and everyone’s happy. Why cannot I decide how much FIT I pay? If I paid less, my family would be better off.

      Unless the United States enforces its immigration laws, the newly protected and formerly illegal immigrants will see their economic status eroded by the next round of illegal immigrants. Why won’t the lefties admit this?

      Here’s a compromise plan. We should provide a path to legal residency, but not citizenship, for otherwise illegal immigrants who have been here for five years or more, paid taxes, and not been convicted of a misdemeanor or worse. We should require use of E-verify for employment and for any contract workers who are hired for any period or periods that equal or exceed 30 days in any 12 month period . We should allow any legal resident to sue employers who knowingly or carelessly hire someone who does not have citizenship or work authorization with statutory damages of $50,000 and attorney fees. Any employer who fails to follow the labor laws or withholds money due any worker can also be sued with minimum statutory damages of $50,000 and attorney fees. Ditto for any employer who fires, lays off of cuts compensation when H1-B employees or contractors are used. Increase immigration limits for skilled workers, i.e, those with college degrees or appropriate post HS training. Allow any foreign student who graduates from college in the United States to remain in the US so long as there is no criminal record. Eliminate family reunification beyond a person’s spouse (including same sex spouses) and children under the age of 18. Make it a felony to be involved in causing non-citizens to vote. Allow businesses not able to find native labor to import workers, but on the condition the business that pays an annual, non-deductible fee to Social Security of $10,000 per person. And make violations subject to statutory damages and attorney fees.

      Five to one, Obama would oppose it.

      1. re: 5-1

        not if a bi-partisan majority , a veto-proof majority supported it and now you have the essence of the problem with the GOP on Immigration.

        It’s called hypocrisy.

        Canada has no problem reaching a governance compromise on this issue because they’re serious about illegal activities – both immigration as well as the businesses that operate illegally from it.

        Don’t blame this on the Dems nor Obama – put the blame where it really belongs – on a party of hypocrites who cannot agree among themselves on what to do much less reach a compromise with Dems to put together a veto-proof majority.

        put the blame where it really belongs -on the hypocrites.

        1. TooManyTaxes Avatar

          Obama would not accept no path to citizenship nor any automatically enforceable sanctions against bringing more illegals. He oppose the inability to drag in every shirttail relation as well. Obama is for open borders.

          1. No – it’s not about Obama at all – nor was it about George Bush

            you have to bring legislation to Obama’s desk for him to veto before you can blame him.

            and if you present him with a bill that has veto-proof majority – you take him out all together

            this is a bogus claim TMT – your guys refuse to agree among themselves as to what they will agree to – with each other – then you blame Obama.

            when you guys can come up with a plan you agree with among yourselves –
            THEN you can blame Obama.

            this is goofy. You fail to agree among yourselves and you then blame someone else as an excuse.

            this is totally irresponsible but it pretty much defines the GOP these days.

            they refuse to govern .. walk away without doing anything themselves then blame others.

            it’s like dealing with 6yr olds.

  6. Blackbird Fly Avatar
    Blackbird Fly

    If we don’t fix these gerrymandered districts our congressional spots will continue to be vulnerable to these radicals, not to mention their districts will champion their extreme views. It is because of representatives like Brat who would rather indulge in the delusion that we could get rid of our illegal immigrants instead of addressing the ones already here with citizenship and advancing efforts to secure the border in conjunction.

    1. we have to give the GOP credit. They “grow” their candidates from the local to the state level where they hold enough of a majority to pretty much gerrymander and it’s largely nationwide… with a few exceptions.

      that puts them in the catbird seat and I’m not sure how it gets fixed.

      1. The Virginia state senate districts were heavily gerrymandered by the Democrats. Janet Howell would not be in office today if she and dick Saslaw hadn’t worked hard to gerrymander her district.

        Gerrymandering is not a partisan issue.

        1. then how come across Virginia – it favors GOP and for that matter across the country?

          I submit that, yes, both sides do it when they are in power but that the GOP
          has been much more effective at growing GOP candidates from the local level then because they have become well known a local faces – they run for State and win. Most non-GOP folks at the local level are usually running as independents against a State party supported GOP.

          this is an msn website (full disclosure) but look at the difference between the popular vote and the districts representation.

          if – it is true that both sides do it – why does it seem the GOP has far more success at it? why not a nation where some states are Dem from gerrymandering and some GOP from gerrymandering?

  7. Darrell Avatar

    This is why I want to leave this country. I’m pretty much done working my ass off and playing the game when it seems no one else is interested in doing the same. I know people in other countries that have been WAITING TEN YEARS to come to America. But because of people like the ones commenting here who would let others jump the line, THEY CAN”T! It’s not republicans causing this problem, it’s you.

  8. Blackbird Fly Avatar
    Blackbird Fly

    I don’t like illegal immigration, but try to go into Southern California and forcibly deport them and you will have a civil war. I’m not some Cumbia-singing liberal who preaches world peace ideology; I am a realist and I just want progress on these issues. The only plan, grounded in reality, moving forward is to grant citizenship to the people who are here while also securing the border. Conservatives have been pandering to their constituents with this deportation bullshit. The way I see it (realist) liberals are the people who organize clean up groups when they are sick of looking at trash on their street, while conservatives argue that it never should have been their and that the burden of picking it up should lie with the litterers (meanwhile the trash stays on the street).

    1. Darrell Avatar

      Yeah well we tried the citizenship route. I personally knew several families that went through the amnesty process and became citizens. They were part of the few who did it the way the law intended. All the rest bought their residency by paying forgers to make them look legal. This is why repeating that idea is BS. If the people who are here illegally want to become members of our society they can apply from their home country just like all the rest of the world has to do. That’s the reality of the situation.

      1. Blackbird Fly Avatar
        Blackbird Fly

        “they can apply from their home country just like all the rest of the world has to do”

        This is a perfect example of pie in the sky ideology that conservatives toil in, while people continue to pour over the border. We need to quit wasting time trying preaching principles and try to directly address the problem.

        1. I tend to side with blackbird. practical solutions .. deal with the realities with real solutions not ideology.

          you want to truly stop illegal immigration – do what the Canadians have done and go after the employers.. not the folks wanting jobs.

          that’s the problem with the Conservatives -they can’t and won’t make the hard choices. they want the cheap labor and refuse to do what is necessary.. and play games with the public – i.e. no solution coming from them – just demonetization of immigrants and “liberals”.

          it’s a totally bogus approach … talk-the-talk then walk-the-walk and do the deed.

          the GOP has no backbone.. so they deflect .

          the solution is a true Guest worker program and put the employers of illegals – out of business.

          this is a problem with the GOP these days on a wide variety of issues . they cannot and will not actually follow their principles yet they are successful at blaming the Dems who have held the same position on immigration from the get go…not changed.

  9. You gotta give the GOP full credit. They’ve been spectacularly successful about doing absolutely nothing about illegal immigration much less the obvious solution of going after the employers – and at the same time convince folks that it’s the Dems that are at fault – and then they blame the POTUS for doing something – while the GOP continues to do nothing.

    when are the GOP supporters going to see that the GOP is playing them for rubes?

    they vote the GOP into office. The GOP blames the Dems, then does nothing.

    if you want to blame someone – at least get the blame assigned correctly.

    somewhere between Ronald Reagan and now – the adults in the GOP – were pushed out and now what we have are the tantrum throwers and scammers.

  10. Darrell Avatar

    “you want to truly stop illegal immigration – do what the Canadians have done and go after the employers.. not the folks wanting jobs.”

    How about we do both?

    You say the conservatives don’t want to make the hard choices. And then when they advocate exactly what you are, you call them Teabaggers. I wish you guys would make up your friggin mind.

    1. Nope. Where is the legislation they have passed since they are a majority?

      they’ve sent 40 repeals to the POTUS on health care – and not one replacement and not one immigration bill.

      they cannot even agree among themselves something they would then propose to the Dems…

      the hard right of the party has made “proposals” -yes – but they don’t even pass muster with the rest of the party.

      you cannot govern with a minority – and especially so of one party.
      the Tea Baggers do not constitute the majority views of all Americans.

      I get amused where I hear them talking about what’s in the Constitution.

      What’s in the Constitution is how an elective government passes laws and it’s clear that that a majority of votes are necessary to pass laws and govern.

      what the Tea Baggers have not learned is this:

    2. re” why not do both”?

      why not do what a majority agrees to do?

      that’s how you move forward.

      you find the things you can agree on – then do them

      and then continue to work on the things you have not yet reached agreement on .. repeat the process.. rinse, move forward on what you can and continue to work on the stuff not yet resolved.

      this has worked for us for 200 years…

      virtually every piece of legislation that has ever passed Congress and signed by the POTUS in over 200 years has required compromises and acceptance of less than what some wanted.

      why is 200 year old process no longer acceptable?

      right now we have a process that says : do everything we want or we will gridlock everything.

      sounds like a 3rd world banana Republic

  11. Darrell – until the GOP has a veto-proof majority – they will have to put together a true bipartisan coalition that has compromised enough to gain that majority.

    But at this point – I don’t even think if we had a GOP POTUS that a hard right idea would pass.

    what’s happened in my view is that the hard right demands “purity” on issues and compromise is viewed as caving in on one’s principles.

    The founding fathers never intended governance to be achieved through “purity” of positions. From the get go – they designed the country to be governed by a majority – which almost always requires compromise.

    I think the Dems have NOT laid down a litmus test of things that must be in the legislation or they will vote against it. People within the GOP itself are doing that.

    When I see actual legislation pass the House of Representatives – like we’ve seen with 40 repeal votes – and then pass the Senate and get vetoed by the POTUS – I’ll move over to your view. Until then – the onus is on the GOP to actually produce legislation that passes Congress and stop blaming others.

    As I said – they’ve passed no legislation but they’ve convinced those that voted for them – that it’s someone else’s fault.

  12. Darrell Avatar

    Right, of course. What the Tea Baggers and much of the American public is becoming aware of is that there are three parties in the legislative branch. Two and a half of those parties are on the take. The rest have no power to influence anything, including all the stuff you claim is their fault. The only difference between our government and parliamentary Europe is our guys make too much money from crooks to actually close the government down. And we will continue playing this game until one day there is a constitutional crisis the citizens can’t ignore. But by then…

    Who will be left to care?

    1. Darrell – ANY law that gets to be a law – has to go through this process.

      we’ve have hundreds of laws – passed – by this Congress and signed by this POTUS when there was agreement.

      when there is not enough agreement – you must compromise.

      that’s the way the Constitution was written by the forefathers.

      if you are in a minority – you will not get your way unless and until you are willing to compromise with enough others to get legislation approved.

  13. just for the record – I will accept any legislation that passes both houses and is signed or overridden veto.

    I do this no matter if I agree or not – even strenuously – because this is the
    way the country was designed and I believe it’s it’s probably one of the best governing methods in the world.

    second – I would readily accept a law that works like the Canadian law works on immigration – strict guest worker standards and a law that put businesses out of business that hire illegals. No if, ands, or buts.

    As far as the ones already here – a question – why make that the reason why you’d not agree to ANY legislation that would stop future illegal immigration?

    The reality is that a huge majority of people in the US are not going to agree to deport – all illegals.

    you can’t blame that on Dems.. it’s the country – it’s citizens that won’t agree to do that.

    Anyone who thinks – the country is going to elect a majority of Congress and a POTUS who will do that – is not connected to reality. It’s like one is denying the reality and again – it’s like talking to 6yr olds who refuse to accept realities.

    At some point – folks need to grow up -do things they don’t like , fix the laws, and move forward.

    Just name the GOP candidate that is going to carry the “deport them” message – and get elected.

    it ain’t going to happen.

  14. I believe that the economic theory which holds that a growing GDP is dependent on a growing population will be discredited over the next 5 years for developed economies.

    The level of automation is replacing labor at an alarming rate. In my opinion, this is why the GDP can grow while the workforce participation rate falls. Also, in my opinion, contrasting today’s US economy to the Japanese economy of the late 1970s and early 1980s is folly. Even those armies of uniform-wearing Japanese auto workers who did calisthenics and sang company songs before work every morning have been replaced by robots.

    From the linked article:

    “Another aspect of the current situation that doesn’t resemble that of the late nineties is what’s happening to the American workforce. At the start of 1996, sixty-four out of every hundred American civilians aged sixteen to sixty-four were working or looking for work. Economists refer to this figure as the labor-force participation rate, and the precise figure in 1996 was 66.4 per cent. Five years later, at the start of 2001, the rate had risen by almost a percentage point, to 67.2 per cent.

    Fast-forward to the current recovery, and things look pretty different. At the start of 2010, when the Great Recession had led to a sharp rise in unemployment, the participation rate was 64.8 per cent, already down quite a bit from the 2001 figure. Despite the subsequent economic recovery, which has now lasted for more than five years, the rate has continued to fall. Last month, it stood at just 62.7 per cent, a tie for the lowest level since 1978 (a time when more women stayed at home and did domestic labor rather than join the official workforce).

    Why the participation rate hasn’t picked up as the recovery has strengthened is the biggest economic mystery of our time, and the new job figures only deepen it. Common sense and economic theory both suggest that as the pace of hiring rises people who have dropped out of the labor force during the recession and its aftermath would start looking for work. But that doesn’t appear to be happening, or not on a large scale, anyway.”

    1. not in vociferous disagreement but what about this:

      Good news for some of us: More people quitting jobs

      WASHINGTON (AP) — Quitting your job — all but unheard of during and after the Great Recession — is becoming more common again. That could mean pay raises are coming for more Americans.

      The trend has already emerged in the restaurant and retail industries, where quits and pay are rising faster than in the overall economy. Workers in those industries appear to be taking advantage of rising consumer demand to seek better pay elsewhere.

      Workers who quit typically do so to take higher-paying jobs. That’s why rising numbers of quits typically signal confidence in the economy and the job market. As the trend takes hold, employers are often forced to offer higher pay to hold on to their staffers or attract new ones.

      The Labor Department said Tuesday that the number of people who quit jobs rose 3 percent from December to January to 2.8 million — the most in more than six years. Quits have jumped 17 percent over the past 12 months.
      Since the Great Recession ended, the figure has soared. Just 1.6 million people quit their jobs in August 2009, two months after the recession officially ended. That was the fewest for any month in the 14 years that the figures have been tracked.

      Quits tend to open up more jobs for the unemployed. One barrier for the jobless in a weak economy is that few workers risk quitting their jobs to take a different one, in part because new hires are often most likely to be laid off.
      So most workers stay put, leaving fewer options for college graduates, people recently laid off and others seeking work.

      so what about that?

  15. Oh – and while I’m at it. How much of this do you attribute to Obama and what specific things has he done to hurt the recovery or help it or is he irrelevant?


  16. Some of the noise about the participation rate seems to come from those who think of it as one big slice of humanity. In our Sunday treks to Hardee’s for the biscuit the employees are so numerous they are literally bumping into one another – there’s no unemployment or lack of participation. Where there is IMHO a participation issue lies with the ever increasing demand for the more up-to-date skills-wise employee. This is not just the “knowledge workers” per se but even in the jobs like auto repair, welding, construction, office work, medical, law enforcement. If you don’t have some even very basic STEM-type skills you are not a participation candidate. Surveyors and road constructors for example now use GPS, laser-based equipment, laptops. How long has it been since you saw rodman at the side of the road winding up his chain? Even the lowly bulldozer’s blade is now GPS directed.

    1. I’m totally in agreement and this points out issues with our education system which has been pretty much tailored for either a 4 year degree or a general diploma and onto the street with minimum 21st century skills.

      This is why I think we are doing a disservice to the non-4yr college-bound including our economically disadvantaged and that we should be targeting those kids to a 2yr community college for a vocation certificate or similar. Our schools should be supporting that 2nd track – to post-K12 job training.

      Europe has two tracks – a college track and a non-college – “technical” track and that technical track is just as challenging in many ways to the math/English that our 4yr kids are supposed to be proficient in.

      The fast food jobs are jobs for teens and retired but not for Moms or Dads trying to support a family.

      A lot of modern jobs now days take significant additional education – from health care to autos to surveying… and much more.

      but our schools are atrocious 20th century dinosaurs that do a tremendous disservice to the non-4yr kids.

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