Tom Dougherty headlines with, “Eric Cantor Lost Because He Lost Touch with His District, and Never Asked the Most Important Question.”
That’s exactly right, and I’d like to add a little something more to that.
It is possible, even for a congressman during an election year, to get out in front of his constituents on a vital issue. He can even, if only sometimes, operate completely contrary to their views.
But it must — must — be part of a discussion, of a give-and-take. A politician must listen, must keep trust with his constituents, and only then may he break ranks with them as completely as Eric Cantor did on immigration.
Cantor however did something even worse than not listen — he appeared to condescend, to treat his constituents’ views as beneath contempt. To compound the insult, Cantor seemed determined to cut a behind-the-scenes deal with an untrustworthy president. Certainly, Obama is untrusted by the GOP voters of VA07.
Even if I were a VA07 voter who agreed with Cantor on immigration, I’d have voted for Brat just to stop him from making a backroom deal with a President who can’t be trusted to uphold any kind of deal.
That’s what killed Cantor; he broke trust and never even tried to win it back.