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by
J. Christian Adams

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June 10, 2014 - 7:33 pm
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So Majority Leader Eric Cantor has lost to a Tea Party candidate.  Correction, Majority Leader Eric Cantor was crushed by a Tea Party candidate.

In some ways, Cantor’s exit is a political tragedy.  It shows that flirting with the existential enemies of the Constitution, of liberty,  and of core Republican principles can bear a very heavy price.  I’m convinced that had Cantor resisted the siren calls of the left on two key issues — immigration and giving Eric Holder renewed power over state elections — he would have won tonight.

The moral of the story tonight is that when a Republican flirts with the left, that Republican risks it all.  This isn’t 1995 anymore.  Party insiders are less equipped to drive a narrative than they used to be. Now, talk radio, conservative media and grassroots organizing can drive an outcome better than a party apparatus.  Big Money doesn’t produce the big results it used to. Insurgents, in the right battlespace, can beat the most powerful incumbents if they battle smart.

Back to the two issues that undermined Cantor — immigration and reempowering Eric Holder to control state elections.

Immigration was by far the more dominant of the two issues in the Cantor loss.  Others have covered it better than I will here.  But something odd happened over the weekend.

Capture

First, I, along with other conservative leaders like former Attorney General Ed Meese and Ken Blackwell, sent Mr. Cantor a letter.  The letter addressed a bill sponsored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wi) that would reverse a Supreme Court decision and give Eric Holder renewed powers over state elections, including the power to block photo voter ID and citizenship verification procedures. It was a power wickedly abused by the Holder Justice Department (where I used to work) and is regularly used to help Democrats in the name of civil rights.  The bill sponsored by Rep. Sensenbrenner explicitly removes white voters from the protection of the law and unleashes all sorts of other mischief and federal mandates on state election officials. The letter to Mr. Cantor stated:

This bill will fundamentally and intentionally change American elections into race-reliant battlefields where, for the first time in our history, the United States, as a legal matter, would EXCLUDE a majority of Americans as a class from the full protection of the law – based solely on the color of their skin. As House Majority Leader you alone have the authority to bring this bill to a vote. Therefore, your continued ambiguity on a bill that is so clearly and deeply flawed is troubling to say the least. On behalf of our organizations, and of the millions we collectively represent, we are compelled to reach out to you directly and ask for a meeting to address the issue and your intentions.

There it is. The election in Virginia tonight can be explained by two words: continued ambiguity.  The continued ambiguity undermined Cantor’s brand as a fighter for limited government.  Cantor went to Selma, Alabama, and marched with some of the most bitter racialists in American politics.  It was all part of an effort to cozy up with the NAACP and ethic interest group crowd.  Instead of snuffing out the effort to give Eric Holder more power over state elections, the majority leader may have tried to build a bridge with the left.

Now, other Republicans who might have flirted with the idea of moving a bill to give Eric Holder renewed power over state elections can gaze at Cantor’s wipeout.  Who would dare to now?  Republicans who want to become speaker in the future best not offend delegations from Texas, Mississippi, Georgia and South Carolina.

Top Rated Comments   
The corruption that the huge federal expenditures have had on northern Virginia -- making the counties around Washington, D.C. the wealthiest per capita in the nation -- also seemed to have a corrupting influence of Eric Cantor, as far as the direction he saw his state going.

It's an axiom that to get elected as a Republican in, say, New York City or New Jersey, you're going to have to be more liberal than a Republican running for office, say, in Texas. But Obama's wins in Virginia in 2008 and 2012 and McAuliffe's narrow win last year for governor seemed to convince Cantor that his state was no longer part of the generally defined 'flyover country' but was now part of the longtime Washington-New York-Boston East Coast conventional wisdom nexus, and the way to get along was to go along with that thinking.

So he operated not so much to please the voters of his district, but to satisfy the people in the northeastern part of his state -- including the big business lobbyists -- that are tied to the success of the Washington area via the rest of the country's tax dollars. Cantor thought simply tossing an occasional rhetorical bone to Central Virginia Republicans would be enough to keep them quiet, while he governed 100 miles to the north as if he were Peter King out on Long Island. His district's voters showed on Tuesday they're not yet ready to declare the entire state of Virginia simply as a captive suburb of D.C.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hopefully all the rest of the rino lying scumbags who flirt with these leftists will get the message. The other reason Cantor lost is because he is a stupid person. How he thinks being democrat light is a winning strategy is beyond me. So now our Army bases are being turned into South American children's refugee camps! This is directly due to our lawless president and his stooge lying scumbag attorney general Holder who needs to be thrown in jail--for not just high crimes but intentional felonies. If the voters of this great country cannot see what Btards are running this country today then shame on them. Maybe this republic has puffed one too many joints but by God this is high noon in the republic and we need to be ready to vote these leftist scum out of office. First the senate, clean up the house, and then block every freaking thing this president does or impeach the tryant if necessary.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (17)
All Comments   (17)
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The Sensenbrenner bill is a bad bill. It will not see the light of day as long as the GOP controls at least one House of Congress.

Cantor is defeated now, and it may well be because of a perception that he was too "ambiguous" on the Sensenbrenner bill, but if so that would be unfortunate. The VRA 2014 bill is a bad bill like hundreds of bad bills that never go anywhere. There is merit in quietly allowing bills to sink of their own weight rather than coming out foursquare against them, especially when the bill deals with an extremely sensitive issue such as race and voting rights.

Politically, it is probably better for the GOP to just let the bill die silently than to take to the ramparts Why? Well, maybe the last thing we want to do is re-motivate legions of black voters to come out, as they did in the 2008 and 2012 Presidential elections to vote for Obama, for the purpose of preventing a GOP takeover of the Senate.

Better to let some sleeping dogs lay, as they say



7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
By the way, that's exactly what happened to the Senate-passed gang of 8 immigration bill in the House. The House leadership never allowed the bill to come up for a floor debate, or even a committee debate ... because the bill was never going to pass anyway, and why go out of your way to debate and vote against it, with the main effect being to alienate and offend Hispanic voters, when it was destined to fail anyway? So the House wisely just deep sixed the gang of 8 bill.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks for that, Mr. Adams. Letter to my Rep and Senators to follow today.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Racialists? No, those are Demoncrat "Racists!" Why are you hesitating on calling Demoncrat racists, racist?
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
You forgot enabling Tyrant Obama the Liar's destruction of our country through wasting trillions of dollars and massively increasing the debt.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sooner or later all of the States must insist on the Rights and Duties of the State as noted in the Constitution.... The Federal Government has systematically slowly strangled the power from the individual States and this must stop or there is going to be a Revolution in this Nation.
Cantor decided to join the Federal Crowd and now Cantor is out of office, and rightly so..... He was a turncoat to his very office and he no longer worked for those who elected him.... Next you will see Boehner on the street and he too will deserve the door....
Hopefully, we will take the Senate and have the power to remove O from office...... God Willing....
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was a Cantor supporter UNTIL two years ago when he started turning into a lib and join Bonehead Boehner in skrewing the Repubs, I mean ALL the Repubs. This goes from immigration/border protection, states' rights, ACA, race-baiting, and refusing to "recognize", in the House, certain members of the Repub party (Tea sound familiar?). I hope Brat has taken notes on Cruz as to how business is run.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Do you realize that Cantor has a 95+% lifetime score from the American Conservative Union, including an 84% rating in 2013 and 95% rating in 2012? Even his 84% rating last year still put Eric Cantor 8 points higher than the average House GOP member (76%). The average Dem ACU score in the House in 2013 was 14%.

So much for your "Cantor lately turned into a lib" meme.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
The corruption that the huge federal expenditures have had on northern Virginia -- making the counties around Washington, D.C. the wealthiest per capita in the nation -- also seemed to have a corrupting influence of Eric Cantor, as far as the direction he saw his state going.

It's an axiom that to get elected as a Republican in, say, New York City or New Jersey, you're going to have to be more liberal than a Republican running for office, say, in Texas. But Obama's wins in Virginia in 2008 and 2012 and McAuliffe's narrow win last year for governor seemed to convince Cantor that his state was no longer part of the generally defined 'flyover country' but was now part of the longtime Washington-New York-Boston East Coast conventional wisdom nexus, and the way to get along was to go along with that thinking.

So he operated not so much to please the voters of his district, but to satisfy the people in the northeastern part of his state -- including the big business lobbyists -- that are tied to the success of the Washington area via the rest of the country's tax dollars. Cantor thought simply tossing an occasional rhetorical bone to Central Virginia Republicans would be enough to keep them quiet, while he governed 100 miles to the north as if he were Peter King out on Long Island. His district's voters showed on Tuesday they're not yet ready to declare the entire state of Virginia simply as a captive suburb of D.C.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Spot on, Jon.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hopefully all the rest of the rino lying scumbags who flirt with these leftists will get the message. The other reason Cantor lost is because he is a stupid person. How he thinks being democrat light is a winning strategy is beyond me. So now our Army bases are being turned into South American children's refugee camps! This is directly due to our lawless president and his stooge lying scumbag attorney general Holder who needs to be thrown in jail--for not just high crimes but intentional felonies. If the voters of this great country cannot see what Btards are running this country today then shame on them. Maybe this republic has puffed one too many joints but by God this is high noon in the republic and we need to be ready to vote these leftist scum out of office. First the senate, clean up the house, and then block every freaking thing this president does or impeach the tryant if necessary.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
This all sounds great, but does it reflect what the voters in his district actually knew, thought, did? Or was the "tea party" opponent elected by Democrat crossovers?
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Crossovers, if there were any of significant numbers, had zero effect.

Read Chris Stirewalt's "Fox New First" piece today on that and other canards.

As far as Tea Party $ this is the first I've heard of it. Other than that, *no* TP $ was given nor spent on Brat's campaign.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Phony Narrative: Democrat crossover voting cost Cantor the election - http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/06/11/phony-narrative-cantor-lost-because-of-democrat-crossover/
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wonder how many people don't follow electoral politics closely enough to know that Democrats can cross over in Virgina.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
Who is the nutcase that allowed open primaries? Why should the opposing party have a say in any primary?
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
They are citizens exercising their say.

Every system has pros and cons. The open primary allows for more/true competition in gerrymandered districts. It was passed by referendum here in California so that we actually have a choice rather than the one pushed on us by the party apparatus. The top 2 vote getters square off in the General Election. In liberal districts that means two democrats square off, and in conservative districts that means two republican candidates, or a repub and a libertarian, square off.
7 weeks ago
7 weeks ago Link To Comment
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