On Tuesday, David Brat ousted House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Republican primary for Virginia's 7th Congressional District. And by a significant margin, too.TPM:
Given that Cantor's internal polling reportedly had him up 34 points last week, we cannot blame you if you aren't familiar with Brat's candidacy. So here's an overview of the man who may be the next member of Congress from Virginia's 7th district.
We'll start with the basics.
Tea Partiers Dance On Eric Cantor's Grave With Celebratory TweetsChris Cillizza:
"People don't know how to respond because it's never been contemplated," said one Virginia Republican strategist, granted anonymity to speak candidly about Cantor's loss. (Worth noting: Cantor didn't just lose. He got walloped; David Brat, his challenger, won 56 percent to 44 percent.)Nate Cohn:
In conversations with a handful of GOP operatives in the aftermath of Cantor's loss -- a loss blamed largely on an inept campaign consulting team that misread the level of vitriol directed at the candidate due to his place in Republican leadership and the perception he supported so-called "amnesty" for illegal immigrants -- there were several common threads about what it means for politics inside and outside the House.
Regardless of the exact reason for Mr. Cantor’s defeat, the news media’s focus on immigration is likely to deter Republicans from supporting comprehensive immigration reform. It could even discourage Republican presidential candidates in 2016, when the party will need to broaden its appeal to Hispanic voters in states like Florida.More politics and policy below the fold.
One Virginia Republican familiar with the race suggested that Cantor's loss was due to "a perfect storm" brought about by the fact that Cantor seemed to be schooled in "the George Armstrong Custer school of tactics as opposed to Sung Tzu school." The Republican suggested that while immigration was a factor, the bigger issues were internal party politics. As opposed to other Virginia Republicans in Congress, Cantor didn't show the most basic respect to Tea Partiers in his district. It wasn't about Cantor's votes but rather that he didn't even show up to explain himself and get yelled at. If the Majority Leader, who was the only Jewish Republican on Capitol Hill, had paid more attention to the words of Woody Allen, who said "80 percent of life is showing up," he would be in much better political shape.Robert Costa and David Farenhold:
But Cantor also exacerbated things by failing at attempts to play internal politics within the Republican Party of Virginia.
“This is an earthquake,” said former Minnesota congressman Vin Weber, a friend of Cantor’s. “No one thought he’d lose.” But Brat, tapping into conservative anger over Cantor’s role in supporting efforts to reform federal immigration laws, found a way to combat Cantor’s significant financial edge.In other news, there was a shooting in Oregon. Politico:
“Eric Cantor’s loss tonight is an apocalyptic moment for the GOP establishment,” said L. Brent Bozell, chairman of ForAmerica, a conservative group that targeted Cantor throughout the primary. “The grassroots is in revolt and marching.”
Others had a different take. Longtime Virginia Republican strategist Chris LaCivita said Cantor’s work to build the Republican majority had taken him away from his home district. “He spent days, weeks and months traveling the country, raising money to add to the Republican majority. What can be attributed to Eric in doing so is unquestionable. Unfortunately, it had a price.”
President Barack Obama said Tuesday that it was “stunning to me” that Congress did not take real action to tighten gun laws following the late 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.Samer Kalaf:
“My biggest frustration so far is that this society has not been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do just unbelievable damage,” Obama said during a question-and-answer session hosted by microblogging platform Tumblr that came hours after a school shooting in Oregon.
Today, after yet another school shooting, some gun nuts with access to Twitter barfed out one of their three or four defensive responses in these situations by channeling Charlton Heston and daring the vast expanse of the internet to take their guns away. One guy on Twitter found these people—some who had tweeted these sentiments before today—and told them that he was going to take their guns. It was so simple, yet so funny.