Tea Party’s Defeat Of Eric Cantor Could Eventually Spell Doom For The Republican Party

eric cantor


House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) lost in the Republican primary Tuesday night to Tea Party upstart David Brat. Even though Cantor had far more money in his campaign coffers than Brat, and recent polls showed that Cantor was comfortably ahead of his primary challenger, Cantor was handily defeated by Brat, 56% – 44%. Yes, the sitting House Majority Leader, whose campaign spent more money on steak dinners than his challenger did on his entire campaign, lost to a little-known, far-right economics professor by 12 points.

The early consensus among the political punditry is that Brat was able to pull off this amazing come-from-behind victory by painting Cantor as being for immigration reform and pro-amnesty. Brat also found himself a somewhat powerful ally in the conservative media in Laura Ingraham, who used her radio show to stump for Brat against Cantor. Brat, being underfunded in comparison to Cantor, was able to get some free press via Ingraham and get his name known. Ingraham, being a zealous opponent of immigration reform, gladly hyped up Brat’s campaign for him. At a campaign event for Brat, she even said President Obama should have sent Cantor to the Taliban in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl.

With Cantor’s loss and Brat’s vehement opposition to immigration reform, it seems likely that we will see the Tea Party and far-right members of the GOP push the party even farther to the right than it already is. The 2nd-most powerful person in the House will no longer have a seat, so there will be a mad scramble for power among House Republicans. At the same time, Tea Partiers will claim that Cantor’s defeat shows that the party needs to promote ‘true conservatives’ from deep red states into leadership positions, rather than placing more moderate Representatives from swing and blue states to lead the House. They will state that the party’s platform and agenda needs to veer towards the extreme. Any thoughts towards moderation and compromise need to be nixed.

Milquetoast Republicans, worried about being labeled non-conservative and perhaps targeted for future primaries, will likely toe the extremist line. Far-right ideologues are going to jockey for position and make themselves a constant presence on cable news and talk radio, blathering on about about the need for more personal liberty and that Obama is making all of us ‘debt slaves.’ The obstruction and obstinance that we’ve seen from the Republican Party since they took control of the House of Representatives after the 2010 midterms will continue, and perhaps become even worse. That is, assuming they maintain their majority after this year’s midterms.

The thing is, if the GOP looks at this Cantor defeat as further proof that they need to swing even more to the right, then that decision will inevitably doom the party. If Republicans believe that Cantor was beat solely because of his stance on immigration reform, and therefore, they need to continue to block any progress on this issue, then they may as well tell Hispanic voters to never vote for the GOP. Considering that Hispanics are the largest growing ethnic segments of the American population, the Republican Party better get used to being a regional party with little to no chance of ever getting a President elected.

No matter how the GOP tries to frame it, Hispanic voters see through the racist sentiments behind Republican opposition to immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship. Usually, the Representatives and Senators who show the most resistance to immigration reform come from districts and states with the least diverse populations, where their constituents are largely white, and live in rural or suburban areas. Even though the vast majority of Americans, even Republicans, support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, many of these far-right lawmakers represent areas where that isn’t the case.

The GOP already knows it has to write off the entire black vote for generations, if not forever, due to the decision to embrace the Southern Strategy, utilize offensive rhetoric and support policies that African Americans felt damaged their community. Therefore, if you already have over 10% of the population not voting for you under any circumstances, it would seem imperative not to alienate other segments of the population. However, it appears that the GOP thinks they can get by with an all-white vote moving forward and still win elections on a regular basis.

Instead of considering the very real possibility that Cantor might have lost due to him just coming across as unlikable, opportunistic and unconcerned with his district, Republicans and the media are convinced it has to do with his stance on one issue. The Republican Party, by overemphasizing immigration as the key issue in Cantor’s loss and re-embracing the Tea Party, will absolutely lose the Presidential election in 2016 and possibly the House and Senate. Sure, they might be able to gain some short-term gains in 2014 by energizing the fringe and playing on Republican voters’ emotions. However, in the end, they will end up repulsing the nation at large with their continued shift to the right.

40 Replies to “Tea Party’s Defeat Of Eric Cantor Could Eventually Spell Doom For The Republican Party”

  1. Have you heard the guy that beat Cantor? I didn’t know whether he was giving a speech or a sermon. I hope this gives Trammel a chance at winning this election. The Dems need to pour some serious cash and attention to this race.

  2. Please Virginia: Richard Mourdock this tea Partier. When the Indiana primary overthrew Richard Lugar for Tea Partier Richard Mourdock, all Mourdock had to do was open up his stupid mouth.

    He said that if a woman is raped and she gets pregnant, it’s ‘God’s will” even THAT was too much for the people of Indiana and they voted for Democrat Joe Donnelly.

    So, Virginia, don’t elect this nutjob Brat.

  3. Republicans may have a worse problem than Dave Brat defeating Eric Cantor. With a little support and organization, Jack Trammell has a shot at stealing Cantor’s VA-07 seat. Stranger, less likely things have happened.

  4. So one of two things will happen: either the general voter population will be so disgusted with radical teabillies that Democrats will win, or the voters in red districts won’t care how crazy a Republican is, and will vote for any Republican, no matter what. That’s what keeps psychos like Bachmann and Gohmert in office.

  5. Eric C antor lose because he is an arrogant, self serving conservative that is in it for himself. He would do anything and everything to make financial gains for himself even if that means destroying this country. People are tire of people in Congress saying NO to everything just to make this President look bad. It is time to work together or the American voters will vote you all out of office. Cantor is the first one to go…watch out, more to come. If you don’t want to work for the good of this country we will remove you from office. I am sure that arrogant, smirkie smile has been wiped off his face!

  6. There’s also the factor of Virginia being an open primary state, and many Dems voted for the Brat, boosting his apparent support from the right. If the Dem numbers were significant, then this upset isn’t quite what the TP thinks it is……..

  7. “Stranger, less likely things have happened.”

    Like Cantor getting beat. Ayup! Who thought, when they got up yesterday morning, we’d be blessed with such a wonderful end to the day?

    I also think it bears waiting to see how many Dems crossed over to vote against Cantor, just to oust the oily snake salesman. It may not have been as large a TP victory as they think it is.

  8. I heard Mr. Brat on TV this morning. He ducked the “national minimum wage” question. Clearly he does not support it. He’s a “free market Reagan” Libertarian.

    I’ll be interested to see what kind of effect the cross-over had as well. When only 20% of the voters show up, that number matters a great deal.

    Even if Brat is elected, his power is nil. He’ll be a very junior Representative, barely a pimple on the butt of his caucus.

  9. It really doesn’t matter how he is defeated because he is defeated. As a Florida Jew I want to take this time to thank God and I hope that if there are any more congressional Jews violating God’s laws they will be defeated also. Too bad God left the Christians in his sons hands because we would be able to get rid of them for violation of Christ’s laws. If there are any.

  10. Who are the Nazi’s now, Rtards? (Hint – it’s the folks you let into your party who will be completely in charge of it by 2016.)

  11. You’re right, DJ, I should have said “imagines”, or ” fantasizes”, or “wishes’, or “hopes”, or………

  12. “he is an arrogant, self serving conservative that is in it for himself.”

    Is there any other kind? Is that not the definition of a contemporary so-called conservative?

  13. A bit off-topic . . . . This passage struck an immediate resonance in my mind.

    “Milquetoast Republicans, worried about being labeled non-conservative and perhaps targeted for future primaries, will likely toe the extremist line.”

    “Milquetoast Democrats, worried about being labeled Liberal and perhaps targeted for future primaries, will likely toe the conservative line.”


  14. This polling is very interesting
    72% of voters in Cantor’s district support the bipartisan immigration reform legislation on the table in Washington right now to only 23% who are opposed. And this is an issue voters want to see action on. 84% think it’s important for the US to fix its immigration system this year, including 57% who say it’s ‘very’ important. Even among Republicans 58% say it’s ‘very’ important, suggesting that some of the backlash against Cantor could be for a lack of action on the issue.

    Maybe with Cantor being so unpopular and with Democratic help this victory by the baggers may not be what the conventional wisdom is trying to push

  15. Now interest should rise in the general and Mr.Orange should lose to a Democrat.In the meantime I certainly hope the tea party and this candidate keeps talking and keep spouting their garbage..one can only hope.I firmly believe that the answer is too vote.

  16. god must have a terrible sense of humor that he only talks to republicans who then make it their business to destroy this country

  17. The pre-FDR Republican Party died long ago. Since then it’s gradually turned into a monster in wolf’s clothing. If the neo-GOP gains power it will be a disaster beyond our imagination.

  18. I don’t think Cantor’s loss had much to do with his stance on immigration.

    I believe Cantor lost because people are sick of his arrogance, his cluelesses regarding the people he was elected to represent that he knows nothing about (and cares to know nothing about), his obstructionism, his poor work ethic and the stunt he pulled last October when helped orchestrate the govt shutdown just to name a few. In other words it was Cantor’s emmense unlikeability that caused his defeat.

    It’s classic GOP behavior to focus on Eric Cantor’s stance on immigration as the reason for his loss rather than look at the countless policies this career politician has “flip flopped” over as well as the emmense damage Cantor has caused the people of Virginia during his tenure in congress.

    If the GOP was really interested in understanding what caused Cantor’s loss they’d have to become intellectually honest which is far too sophisticated a thought process for the GOP.

  19. The Dems have already said they won’t give much help to the VA candidate because Cantor is not going to run as a write in candidate. They must of thought if Brat and Cantor ran it would split the repub vote and give the Dem a chance. They see no chance now since the district is so heavily repub.

  20. Steve Israel do your job and throw him a few bones. You can go without wine and cheese dinners that you go to in safe districts.

  21. Oh goody intrigue at the insane asylum. Cantor is stepping down and one of the wingers is making his move.

    The current chief whip Kevin McCarthy, the third-ranking Republican in the House, is expected to run to replace Cantor. But Republican sources said that Texan rightwinger Pete Sessions had already made it clear he is considering a rival bid.

    If McCarthy vacates his chief whip role to run for majority leader, that will open up another powerful position in the party’s leadership. Another member from the right of the GOP, Steve Scalise, is eyeing the chief whip role, according to the same Republican sources.

    This will go down as night of the teabags 2 lumpheads hold the sugar

  22. Let’s give Jack Trammell our support: morally, financially, by encouraging voters, and by 7th district voters actually voting in November.

    Aren’t there many enlightened young people, psychologically/physically wounded women, offended disenfranchised African-Americans, insulted ill-used Latinos, people who would like Medicaid expansion, needy people who would appreciate a bit of help, fed-up Republicans, dedicated Democrats…, who will go to the polls in the 7th District who will trump the right-wing bigoted old biddies who will vote for the Tea Party interloper (the “Brat”), in this tightly gerrymandered district?

  23. Believe me, there are a lot of people of Virginia who will work to defeat “The Brat”. We are a hell of a lot of people from outside of the 7th district, and from outside of the state, at work for Jack (morally and financially already).

  24. About Eric Can’tor’s ousting in the GOP primary last night:

    Actually: as it turns out, Can’tor was ousted by the “Cooter” plan…
    Ben Jones, who played “Crazy Cooter” in “The Dukes of Hazzard”, hatched a plan whereby Democrats would change their party affiliation for the primaries and vote for Can’tor’s opponent, then, change back to being Democrats for the general election.
    This means that my analysis that less than 20% of the registered Republicans in Can’tor’s district voted in the primary was correct. However, my analysis that many GOP Progressives and Moderates stayed home because they intend on voting for the Democrat, Jack Trammell, may be a bit off. While it may be true that GOP Progressives and Moderates are taking a “meh” approach to Mr. Brat, a Tea Partier, whether they actually show up at the polls to vote for Trammell just to spite the Tea Party is still up for discussion.
    All of that above isn’t even the weirdest part about all this: as it turns o…

  25. I think it’s a good thing that this Brat fellow is so far right wing and won his primary. He’s bound to eventually have to state his stances on a variety of subjects and by doing so, alienate broad swaths of the voters in his district. Far Right Tea Party wins only make the people of this country loath the Tea Party/Republican Party more, and will push many into the arms of the Democrats, who will eventually be able to break congressional gridlock.

  26. I believe Democrats are baiting Cantor. By saying they won’t back Trammell. Cantor might jump in and think he will win and split the vote, or, he will sit out and the reasonable Republicans that are Cantor supporters that is for immigration and minimum wage might sit it out and give Trammell a reasonable shot. I personally think Democrats voted for Brat myself to set this scenario up. We just need to get behind Trammel, after all, Cantor spent $5,126,000 bucks to Brat’s $122,000.

  27. Repubs throw away the votes of Blacks, Hispanics,Women,Gays,and on and on. Just how the hell do they keep getting elected??????????????????

  28. Brat got off to a terrible start in an interview with Chuck Todd today. Todd asked what he thought about raising the minimum wage, and Brat responded with a comment that mentioned the free market, Obamacare, regulations, and he mentioned the Cato Institute. He took the long route to indicate that he wouldn’t vote to raise the minimum wage. Todd asked him about arming the Syrian rebels, and Brat responded with:”Hey, Chuck, I thought we were just going to chat today about the celebratory aspects,” Brat said.” Imho, Brat is not as prepared to serve in Congress as he should be if he’s already spouting BS and dodging answering questions he’ll definitely have to grapple with should he win in Nov.

    “Cantor Conquerer Caught Off Guard By Policy Questions In Interview”

  29. then what heppens more often than not when these right wing maniacs face the real electrate they get done like dinners . far right wingers in a republican pirmary are not the mainstream electrate .

  30. This is just ROSS PEROT all over again except now we have a whole (tea) Party of Perot’s that the Demo-commie-socialists will use to put Hillary (or something even worse) in the White House.

    Only GOD can help us now and I don’t think he listens to the disciples of Ayn Rand.

  31. And sadly, there is no god. Or, sadly which of the 2000 gods are you speaking about? All of them are socialist commies

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