|First and foremost, this is historic. The first time in history that a member of House leadership of either party was ousted by his own party in a primary. You might think this was because Cantor was a bad rep for his people, but that’s not it. He actually was a bad rep: in 2011 the epicenter of the East Coast earthquake was in his district, causing a lot of damage, and he voted against money for his area. He brought home little in the way of pork over his career. He consistently showed hubris in his dealings with his constituency.
But this is a ruby red portion of Virginia, and so, they’re getting what they elected.
Over the next few days, we’ll find out if he lost on Republican votes, or on Democratic and Independent votes. It was an open primary, and Ben Jones, a former Congressman also known as “Cooter” from the Dukes of Hazzard, penned an open letter telling everyone to vote for Brat against Cantor. By way of history, while Jones represented a Georgia CD, he later moved to Virginia and lost to Cantor back in 2002. Turnout for a primary was actually high, comparatively.
The real question is whether Cantor’s loss changes things in DC. Will it make the elected GOP more intransigent? Is that even possible? Could it make them more reasonable in terms of actually passing a piece of legislation that is NOT the repeal of the ACA?
It’s unlikely that Brat’s win will lead to the Democrats taking the seat in November, but you never know. The two candidates are not only unknown non-politicians, but they’re both professors at the same local college. Another historical first.
Onward and upward. Next up of interest are the run-offs in Georgia and Mississippi in their respective Senate races. In both of those cases, if the crazier Republican wins, the Democrats have a decent shot of winning. It always warms the cockles of my heart when the Teabaggers screw over the somewhat less loonier Republicans. Think “I am not a witch”. Think “When a woman is raped the body has a way of shutting the whole thing down”. The list is seemingly endless.
And yes kids, we hold the Senate. I’ve been saying it for years. Perhaps Cantor’s loss will put us on a path to retaking the House.