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What Eric Cantor’s Loss Really Tells Us About the State of the Republican Party

sad-cantorFor the first time since 1899 when the position of House Majority Leader was created, a sitting House Majority Leader didn’t even win their primary election.  Whether or not you like Eric Cantor, we all just witnessed American history.

And while the tea party is as giddy as a small child on Christmas Eve, the GOP should be very concerned.

You see, while the tea party is very popular in strongly Republican areas of the country, or among conservative voters, in general elections where voters are much more moderate – they don’t tend to do well at all.

In fact, the more national attention many of these tea party politicians or candidates get, the less voters actually support them.

Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin are two great examples of this.  Remember when Cruz was the leading person behind shutting down our government?  Since then he’s been marginalized so much by the Republican party that for the first time in a very long time we had a clean vote to raise the debt ceiling despite him essentially throwing a hissy fit in the senate.  And nowadays Sarah Palin is essentially nothing more than a failed reality TV personality.

As a Democrat, I’m absolutely thrilled with Cantor’s loss.  Not just because I dislike Cantor, but to see a big named Republican incumbent go down in his own party’s primary to a far-right tea party radical is great news for liberals.

Especially one that apparently couldn’t raise money very well and by all accounts is extremely disorganized.

But let’s go ahead and take a look at a few comments David Brat has on his website:

  • Dave has spent a life time learning and educating others about these fundamental rights and values. Dave respects and values every person he meets because he truly sees them as Children of God. Our Rights come from God and not from Government. Government is instituted to protect these rights.
  • As our congressman, Dave Brat will oppose any efforts to allow those who entered this country illegally to cut in line, violate the rule of law and take jobs and tax dollars away from hard working Americans who have played by the rules.
  • A strong military is essential to the success of our nation. We must secure our borders, support the Armed Forces, both at home and abroad, and maintain a strong national defense in order to secure our country’s future. In addition, I support a full investigation into the Benghazi attacks. (side note: I found this one hilarious as he just had to get a Benghazi reference in there somewhere.)
  • Our fundamental rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness precede the existence of government and come from God, the Author of Nature.

I think you get the picture.

Oh, and he’s really anti-immigration.

It’s ironic – if you visit his website he mentions “Constitutional values” often, yet quotes the Declaration of Independence (not our Constitution) when claiming that our rights as Americans come from God.

Maybe he needs to read my article that explains the differences between the two.  Because our Constitution is what gives us our rights, not the Declaration of Independence, and our Constitution doesn’t have a single mention of “Christianity” anywhere in it.

But this loss by Eric Cantor gives the American people a chance to see yet another one of these radical tea party candidates on the national stage to make not only themselves look like a fool, but the entire Republican party as well.

The Republican party just selected a candidate who’s extremely anti-immigration (when Americans overwhelmingly favor immigration reform), who’s very pro-gun (when the majority of Americans favor some kind of sensible gun regulations) and who believes that our rights as Americans come from the Bible.

And he ran on the basic premise that Eric Cantor was “too liberal.”

Just let that sink in for a moment.

While this doesn’t guarantee any kind of victory in that district for liberals this November, it does continue to prove that the tea party is pushing the entire Republican party so far right that they’re going to end up destroying their own party.

Jack Trammell is the Democrat who will be running against tea partier Dave Brat in Virginia’s 7th district. You can check out and “like” his page on Facebook here, and tell him we sent you.


About Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and has a degree in Political Science. He is a co-founder of Forward Progressives, and author of the popular Right Off A Cliff column. He is also the founder of the Right Off A Cliff facebook page, on which he routinely voices his opinions and stirs the pot for the Progressive movement. Follow Allen on Twitter as well, @Allen_Clifton.

  • gian keysTOOEASY flat mom

    he will join joe walsh and alan west as a 2 yr waste of time

  • TrollBaby

    “A strong military is essential to the success of our nation. We must secure our borders”

    It sounds like this fool wants to use the military to enforce border security. Some one should inform him about the Posse Comitatus Act which prevents the use of the military to enforce our laws.

    • strayaway

      The Posse Comitatus Act limits the powers of Federal government in using federal military personnel to enforce the state laws. That isn’t relevant here.

      The military however can be used to repeal invasions.

      “The Congress shall have the Power To…provide for the common Defense (and) provide for the calling forth the Militia…and repeal invasions.” Article 1, Section 8

      Congress just doesn’t seem interested in using these powers at the present time. Doing so would cut off campaign money from the US Chamber of Commerce’s stakeholders. I think that the border patrol could be made sufficient for this purpose but Obama has pretty well tied its hands. If he won’t let the border patrol do its job, there is no sense in imagining that he would allow the military to protect our Country from millions of foreign job seekers either.

      • Charles Vincent

        The national guard is the loop hole IMHO since they are considered the organized militia under current federal law.

  • Captain Jack Gunder

    What was the deciding factor in Cantors loss?
    Tea Party wingnuts led by Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin? OR the open election that allowed many Democrats to cross over and vote for David whatshisname? I cant believe Tea Party or any conservative voter would throw out a man with immense power in Congress , for an unknown, zero experience college professor.
    If you want to advance your agenda, Republican or Democrat you have to have a seat at the table. Politics 101, something the Tea Party Destroyers have yet to grasp.

  • Matthew Reece

    Rights are not given to us by God or the Constitution. Rights are valid because it is logically impossible to argue against them without committing a performative contradiction.