While this is an amusing anecdote, I believe it has implications for the next election.
Staffers have now coined the term “Cantored”, meaning to lose in what is otherwise considered to be a safe, Republican-controlled seat.
“Anyone who is in leadership or chairs a committee knows now that getting Cantored is a real possibility,” said one senior staffer of a House Republican committee chairman who is up for reelection.
Although Eric Cantor, as the former majority leader, did as much or more as anyone to obstruct the president’s agenda, he was successfully challenged and defeated from his right. Because Cantor wasn’t conservative enough for his constituents even though he personally prevented Speaker of the House John Boehner from cutting deals to avoid gridlock on multiple occasions.
While they’re primarily focused on the current election, If Republican campaign staffers are seriously concerned about getting “Cantored,” I infer that they will also be worried losing primaries to conservative challengers.
During the next election cycle, Republican incumbents may not wait for a challenger to emerge before they track hard right and the next session of Congress will likely be even more uncooperative than the current session because of Cantor’s loss.
Anyone who floats the idea that a “divided house” can encourage cooperation clearly hasn’t been paying attention.