It's now two days past the shocking defeat of Eric Cantor. In the last 36 hours, I have read some of the world's dumbest analysis on any political topic, all straining to make some kind of sense of how this unthinkable thing could have happened. An incumbent member of the House got beat in a primary. One who had spent more of his campaign war chest on fine dining than the total budget of his opponent. He was among the most powerful members of his party in the lower chamber of congress, and represented a Congressional District that is R + 10. In terms of whether his conservative bona fides were in order is a matter of debate, which probably did contribute to his loss. The polling data, as reliable as we all know that is, showed him with a comfortable lead, as recently as the day prior to the election. He got thumped, and by thumped, read beaten like the red headed step child who just stole Granny's prescription money.
Among the more moronic theories I've seen, Virginia - 7 is tired of gridlock, and now wants to see Congress come together and work on passing Obama's agenda. This was all about immigration, and not one single other issue mattered to the Republicans in Cantor's home district. Some how, the good people living in Virginia - 7 have suddenly realized that they now, and for no good reason didn't before, hate Jewish people. After all, they had 6 times previously elected Cantor to the very Congressional seat that they'd taken from him. The Libertarians have finally flexed their formidable muscle, which by the way represents a necessarily opposite argument to the, "this is all about immigration," meme. I've read that this somehow ends the entire effort to repeal Obamacare, as if Brat, the Economics PHD and Professor wouldn't be 100% on board with that effort once sworn into office.
Listen closely my fellow inhabitants of the formerly free land which served as a home for the brave. First and foremost, the primary election in Virginia - 7 represents the attitudes and beliefs of the Republicans who live and vote in Virginia - 7. Don't read too much into Brat's victory there. While some lessons for the Republican establishment can be gleaned from the a** kicking their man received, by and large it does not necessarily reflect the mood of the electorate on a national level. Mostly, the, "Tea Party," candidates have not won against the establishment guys in enough places to consider this victory complete. On the flip side however, they have won enough to send a message back to the establishment. That message is, our voices better matter to you, because we vote.
The Republican Party has been at war with its voting base for multiple decades now. Over the last week, as with every other week, I received no fewer than a dozen pleas for money from various RNC apparatchiks imploring me to help them fight, "Barack Obama's Radical Agenda." Upon receiving each one, I'll consider for just one moment actually making a donation, and then someone like John McCain or Susan Collins will state that perhaps repeal of Obamacare won't be possible after all, and now our efforts should be placed within the construct of fixing the broken law. Eric Cantor was sent to Washington by the people of his district expressly based upon his fiscal bona fides. His getting behind and leading the charge on the multiple fiscally irresponsible deals over the years that saw our debt limit increased without concession from the other side, the ever increasing budgets inflicted upon American Taxpayers without concession from the other side, and his agreement on every penny of pork barrel spending without concession from the other side convinced his constituents that he would never live up to the rhetoric he promised while campaigning for his seat. Taking us down the path of national suicide at a slower velocity than that promised by the other major political party was not enough for his constituents, and that message was sent this past Tuesday.
That is a fairly simple message to understand, and it was delivered with clarity. Whether or not that message extends itself to other locations outside of Virginia is up for debate. Certainly every incumbent has a choice to make, whether to heed that warning or not. Watching this year however has shown me that the grass roots movement, and by the way not at all organized in any political sense, known as the Tea Party has been wildly successful. Candidates who are surviving primary challenges are doing so by shifting further to the right. The others of course have had their time at the plate and struck out, at least according to the people who vote.