Was this a repudiation of immigration reform? Was it the Tea Party, which has been losing race after race, breathing life anew into its threat to life as we know it? Is it the door opening for the Tea Party to take over leadership of the House of Representatives? I don’t think so. This was a multi-term congressman taking his re-election for granted and, thus, taking victory in his primary for granted.
On the day of the primary, he was clinking Chardonnay glasses at a fund raising lunch in Washington, not shaking hands at the polls in this district. And, me thinks, therein lies the problem.
He poured a million bucks or so into ads to dump on his opponent. Money that likely worked to his opponent’s advantage and boosted his opponent’s name recognition and his image as an insurgent taking on the folks in DC who everybody loves to hate because no one likes the way the country is going. The voters took it out on Cantor. Is he “right” enough for the Tea Party? And on top of it, he was visibly reaching out to the Tea Party’s hated opponent, the “establishment.” A guy (Cantor) who was perceived as a right wing nut in DC but who back home was considered part of the problem in DC. Poof, gone.
Is it the end of immigration reform? Probably, for this year. And, that’s because 36,110 voters voted for Cantor’s opponent, David Brat. 36,110 voters are deciding immigration reform? The mind boggles how some in the media are saying that. A self-fulfilling prophecy. I get it, I know that other Republicans will be afraid to take action because of those 36,110 voters, who don’t vote in their districts.
And that’s what we call political strength these days. Oy.