The Man Who Toppled Eric Cantor
It is kind of interesting that the people most outraged by Eric Cantor losing to his primary challenger, David Brat, are Democrats. Who'd have thought the average liberal would bemoan the man many of them thought was the "Devil incarnate" for so long.
Virginia's 7th District was recently redrawn making it, and one has to use the term loosely, more Conservative. What actually happened was that the district, 76% white, 17% black, 3.9% Asian, 4.9% Hispanic, and 2.1% other, has become more of a hot bed for the far right and very anti- immigration. Cantor's recent overtures in support of immigration reform did not endear him to the GOP's Tea Party wing, who chose, in a surprise upset, a little known professor of low level economics classes: a detail he boasts about as if on the level of a John Kenneth Galbraith. Running on the strict dogma of the Virginia Republican Party, Mr. Brat will now face a fellow professor who, as he, teaches at Randolph Macon College, Jack Trammel in the general election.
Mr. Brat has recently been criticized for his Randian viewpoints which challenge the Christian community on capitalism and usury, arguments that another Hitler could arise even in the modern world, and mixes it with a clever spin arguing for a departure of the GOP from it's advocacy of "Wall Street", returning to "Main Street".
His platitudes would almost be impressive if it weren't for the fact that Mr Brat one, isn't an economist; he is a professor of low level economics classes, which isn't exactly a qualification of expertise. His major in business management, nor is his masters in divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, or really his PhD in economics from American University, a university more known for releasing mid-level entertainers and corporate hacks than intellectuals of note really only establishes him as someone with knowledge of economics.
Reading his paper, written while at Princeton studying to be a witchdoctor of the cloth, Brat lays out a humorous plan of divorcing Judeo-Christianity from Judeo-Christianity and remarrying the name with Hayek-esque free market capitalism. There, to wit, the Christian, arguably, already there, should embrace loaning money at usurious rates of interest, that the poor will always be among us "so why worry", and that we should render under Caesar enough to pay for the military and give tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations who make all the jobs and so all the innovating. It is yet another inarticulate expression that "greed is good" and that the rich need not worry about the eye of the needle as Jesus only meant that figuratively.
In Mr. Brat's world Main Street is the trailer park and the gated community, the stripmall and the big box retailer, the megachurch and lynchbee, and the bumpkin with his overlord that warns him that the only thing he has to fear is the Mexican after his job and gun. To put substance behind his words, he teaches classes funded by major corporations, such as BB&T Bank, to teach corporatist apologetics, spreading the word that the leash around the neck of American life in this horrible age as benevolent: a gulag is better if it is privately owned rather than owned by a government. It is a message not any different than his predecessor, only he didn't make the mistake trying to champion amnesty for undocumented immigrants. In short, David Brat yet another fraud headed to Washington.
What does Mr. Brat have to offer his constituents in Virginia's 7th District? Pretty much exactly what they're looking for in a predominantly white voting district that largely identifies as "Republican"; a person willing to speak their language and tell them the important things they want to hear. The fact that he will do that will be enough to push him over a general election against a, yet another, weak Democratic Party challenger and a Libertarian, James Carr, who pretty much tows the dogmatic line of his party and has, perhaps, a little less charisma. It appears that the race for "The Man Who Toppled a House Majority Leader" is in the bag in a district that has voted Republican consistently since 1971.
As for the Democrats, and their complaints about how the Tea Party is sending yet another far right candidate to Washington, there is an important lesson to be learned from this election: real platforms, no matter how idiotic they are in reality, sell if that is what the people want. Those of us opposed to the Tea Party can say what we will, but they are doing what the people that vote them in want. Their candidates are not just giving them the words during the campaign, and then doing what they want once they get elected. They don't get slogans talking about "hope", they get what they ask for.
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