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Roger L. Simon

What Cantor’s Defeat Means

June 10th, 2014 - 8:00 pm

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After 24 years and 12 congressional terms, Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s dreams of being speaker of the House exploded Tuesday in a matter of hours in a stunning defeat by political novice Dave Brat.

Riding a wave of anti-amnesty sentiment, the Randolph-Macon economics professor managed to win even in Richmond neighborhoods historically friendly to Cantor.  He was clearly helped by recent reports of massive numbers of illegal aliens, including children, crossing our Southern border as well as a relatively puny turnout.  Nevertheless, it was a huge and convincing win for Brat.

As Brit Hume noted on Fox, the conventional wisdom immediately permeating Washington was that this election was bad news for Republican prospects in 2016.  At this point few if any Republicans will go near immigration reform as an issue, supposedly alienating the Hispanic vote beyond repair. Meanwhile, Democrats will have a field day branding Republicans as Tea Party crazies.  Debbie Wasserman Schultz was already at it minutes after the Brat victory. Talk about projection!

But is this primary such a disaster?  I am not so sure — and I was the one defending Cantor not long ago in these pages.  To put it mildly, politics as usual has obviously been failing.  That of course means Obama and the rest of the tawdry “progressive” crew but it also inevitably means his loyal (actually too loyal) opposition.  The old pas de deux must go. Now maybe it will — or more of it anyway.

Listening to Brat being interviewed by Sean Hannity after the primary, I was encouraged. The professor seemed a bright man, refreshingly direct and honest, addressing ideas and issues in a, well, professorial manner rarely heard in politics these days.  It almost made me sad he was leaving academia, such men having become as extinct in universities as they are in politics.

Top Rated Comments   
I don't understand anyone thinking Republicans voting for amnesty would give them Hispanic voters. Republicans can never out-promise Dems so why vote for the Dem Lites?
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
The old ways have us buried in debt with no prospect of ever getting out of it voluntarily. The old ways have us heading for a train wreck which will impoverish millions and pit parents & grandparents against their children & grandchildren.

We're at a point where we simply cannot continue to ignore this foolishness. Minds are being changed because it is becoming more & more clear the old ways have nothing to offer.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good riddance to Cantor. Nothing wrong with a breath of fresh air from a true citizen legislator. That's what they were supposed to be in the first place. Much of our country's problems are the result of career politicians. Term limits would do wonders for the growth and prosperity of this great country.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (83)
All Comments   (83)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Roger Simon begins with: "After 24 years and 12 congressional terms…" Eric Cantor became a representative in 2001. He served 7 terms in Congress.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Last time anyone dared report a poll on immigration, hispanics were evenly divided on the issue. And it's not near the top of their list of concerns.

Democrats favor amnesty so they can replace the eletorate with one they believe will more reliably vote for them. This makes voting for amnesty suicidal for Republicans.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Whether Cantor deserved a break or not is immaterial. Someone had to be sacked in order for Washington Republicans to realize that they were on the wrong track.

Uncontrolled immigration is an existential threat to first the Republicans, and ultimately our way of life and our country. It's time for a take no prisoners stance on this issue: Republicans on the wrong side need to shift fast, or get thrown out on their ears.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is sad to contemplate the GOP leadership and how they follow the Liberal script. If they think Hispanics living in the US are going to vote for someone who allows free immigration they are sadly mistaken. Many Hispanic-Americans were living in Texas, New Mexico, California even before the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts. They are not thrilled when they're thrown in the same basket with criminals and freeloaders. Texas, for example, has a broad and growing base of Conservative Hispanics. The current leadership of the GOP is simply too lazy or careless to learn about this issue. Since they do not learn they cannot realize the political gains that understanding would bring. That's why change has to come and out-of-control immigration must be stopped.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Like the author of this article, I was also inclined to give Cantor a break. But I was tremendously impressed by Brat when I saw his post election interviews on Fox, he is a breath of fresh air, honesty, civility, and thoughtfulness. I think this was not just a loss for Cantor, but I think Brat was a much better candidate than any of us gave him crediit for, and the local voters who actually listened to him saw that before any of us did.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't you think that your opinion of Brat is how the Democrats viewed Obama?
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
If they did, they had to be incredibly dumb.

Obama is an obvious fraud.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Cantor defeat is a bright spot for the voters. The Pubs need to rethink their strategy of business as usual. I think that many see the Tea Party as the more conservative wing of the now moderate Pubs. The crazies, as you put them, are the Dems. They need to wake up and come back to their senses. There is plenty of political ammo for the Conservative parties to run on. I think that the rise of the Tea Party is reason for the Republicans to wake up and go back to their roots as well. What this means is that the voters can still affect change, if they want to.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is a misguided concept in the GOP upper levels that lead them to believe that the "Hispanic vote" -- whatever that is -- coincides with unrestricted access to all Mexicans to the US pretty much in the manner that there is unrestricted access for all those born in Puerto Rico since the Spanish War. There is also a completely erroneous concept in the GOP base that all Hispanics are liberal, welfare loving, etc. There are MANY Hispanics and that includes many, many Mexicans who are natural Conservatives and can be perfectly at ease -- in fact they have been perfectly at ease -- living within the confines of American traditions, being productive, patriotic, English-speaking and law abiding citizens. Where do you think Ted Cruz comes from?

In fact the collective we call "Hispanics" is a liberal construct born of trying to place in one single basket the complexity of social and racial groups south of the Border. It is simply ridiculous to list Herr Gunther Eckhart born of German parents in Villa Gessell (Argentina) as "Hispanic." In fact, it is downright ridiculous. Then to assume that he thinks exactly as Cautemoc Galarza from Jalisco just because some Lyndon Johnson operative put them in the same basket in 1967 is absolute nonsense. But somehow the GOP leadership and base have accepted all that krapp as something to base serious political calculations on.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Where do you think Ted Cruz comes from?"

It wasn't Mexico.

Ted Cruz was born in Canada of American parents. His mother was American, and his father, originally Cuban, was a naturalized American citizen.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Exactly sir. He has a "Hispanic" last name. Naturalization did not make his father Anglo-Saxon, he made him American and to be naturalized he had to comply with certain rules (learn English, basic American history, etc) More so he had to "want" to be American. I was not implying Cruz comes from Mexico, only that he comes from one of the many groups that the Liberal intelligentsia classifies as Hispanic. Excuse me if I was not clear. There is a dot and not a comma between the two sentences.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
most democrats and some republicans have been trying to ditch the constitution since hoover and fdr with the help of the members and followers of the frankfurt school and the entertainment and main stream media. its time to show all of them the door. one woud do well to read the road to serfdom by hayek, righteous indignation by breitbart and the secret knowledge by david mamet in order to understand the disastrous political and social pathology that has affected all of us.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
One day all of our elected pols will have to realize that agreeing with your liberal communist mate is a formula for disaster.... When a man comes up to rob you -- do you think you should barter about how much of your wealth he should take..... this is exactly what the democrats do! They make deals to rob the working people of this nation so they can buy votes from the slugs who are on some form of welfare.. All in the name of 'Fairness'. This is all horse pucky, read the Constitution there is not one word that even implies that the government has the power to tax the citizen for redistribution of his wealth to those who do not earn it....
This is Obama and his crowd of thugs with their populism ideas.... It is time to Impeach this fool and put him in prison for his crimes.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
our elected representatives no longer hold office to represent the will of the people. they hold office to further their own agendas and to make themselves weathy.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
No idea what it means, but PJM in all its finite wisdom should not drop Barry Rubin to the bottom of its contributors' list. Too bad.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Barry Rubin died. I think they leave him on the list as a form of respect and memorial.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
There are always new visitors to the site as well who have the opportunity to read Rubin's fabulous output, maybe for the first time.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ditto
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
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