While following the social media reaction to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary defeat Tuesday night, I couldn’t help but wonder why anyone outside of the tea party was celebrating this bizarre turn of events. By any measure, David Brat’s victory was really, really bad news for just about everyone, especially and specifically Normals in both parties. I hate to be Debbie Downer, but here’s why Cantor’s loss is everyone’s loss.
1) David Brat is a hardcore, extreme-right-wing John Calvin-admiring Christian Reconstructionist, which, among other things, endorses theocratic government. And we totally need more of those people voting on laws that impact the entire nation.
2) Brat is an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA. He once co-published a paper titled, “An Analysis of the Moral Foundations in Ayn Rand.” Yep, another tea party libertarian on his way to enrolling in a government-run healthcare plan while collecting a government paycheck drawn from redistributed tax revenue.
3) Even though the GOP would do well to jettison the crazies, Brat’s surprise victory will force the party further to its right, making it even more unwilling to bargain with the Democrats or even moderate Republicans. It doesn’t seem possible the GOP could be less amenable to compromise, but any remaining wiggle room will be dashed away as more tea party candidates like Brat are sworn in.
4) Cantor has been in lockstep against the White House every step of the way, having voted with his party 95 percent of the time, outpacing the most radical members of the caucus, such as Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-WI) and Rep. Steve King (R-IA). And yet Cantor wasn’t hardline enough for his district.
5) The Republicans have a serious polling problem. Maybe this is the only ray of sunshine for the Democrats. Ever since the GOP was totally flummoxed by polling in 2012, it clearly hasn’t ironed out its math skills two years later. Going into Tuesday’s primary, one poll showed Cantor up by 13 points, while an internal Cantor poll showed the incumbent leading by 34 points. You could say Brat [cough] unskewed the polls… READ MORE