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June 13, 2014

Eric Cantor Loses!

Roy Meachum

The very sad thing about Eric Cantor’s loss was how much did he have in the bank? Economics professor David Brat won, but at what cost to the political base?


We’re assured this, his defeat, according to AP, isn’t “a harbinger of a new Tea Party wave crashing over a primary season that, so far has been dominated by the Republican establishment.”


The same day incumbent Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham dismissed challengers. “South Carolina on whether or not you be a conservative you at least try,” Senator Graham said. The big issue was the nation’s immigration. Voters felt Representative Cantor has not been strict enough.


“Did you see what happened in Virginia,” Mississippi Senate candidate Chris McDaniel said to uproarious cheers at a Republican women luncheon. The next test in that tug-of-war comes in that state where Mr. McDaniel is conniving to unseat six-term Sen. Thad Cochran in a June 24 runoff. The 41-year-old state senator led Mr. Cochran, 76, in the June primary, but fell short of majority needed.


Onto Colorado: three of the Republican candidate celebrated Mr. Cantor’s defeat in public statements or press releases, dominated by their position on immigration. “I do not support amnesty of any kind,” said four-term GOP Rep. Doug Lamborn, elected by the conservative Colorado Springs district.


Louisiana Senate hopeful Rob Maness, a retired Air Force colonel, also used immigration to hit at Rep. Bill Cassidy. He is a GOP favorite to compete this fall against Democratic incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu. In the wake of Tuesday’s top story, a statement issued by Mr. Maness called her a “Cantor clone on immigration and amnesty.”


In Tennessee, Joe Carr, a Tea Party-styled state representative, pointed to Mr. Brat’s victory; he insisted his own bid to defeat incumbent GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander was alive and kicking. “All the money and position in the world doesn’t resonate with an electorate that is fed up with a Washington establishment that has abandoned conservative principles,” Mr. Carr said.


Several months ago I got it wrong, as illustrated in Eric Cantor’s defeat; I thought when politics went too far, certainly, it would retreat.


The Tea Party caused me to reconsider.


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