By Frank B. Glenn — Despite the fact that Eric Cantor spent 10 million on his house race and David Brat spent less than $100,000, Cantor got soundly whipped in his Virginia Congressional race — and was quite surprised by the fact, apparently. That Cantor lost was pretty surprising, because he had promenaded himself around town as a Tea Party advocate, champion, and cheerleader. The truth of the matter was more that he pretended to be an authentic “tea partier”, but all he actually was in reality was a tireless advocate for the interests of the wealthy — wall street, big business, and corporations, in general.
Either he thought that by cozying up to business working as a tireless “tool” for their interests, he could use their substantial political contributions to overcome any trivial grass-roots protests, or he thought that because he was the Republican majority leader in Congress he was an untouchable — money and connections didn’t matter — and therefore he just couldn’t lose. The “punditocracy” tirelessly beat the “immigration” drum, saying that Cantor had gotten out of step with his constituents on immigration and that that was what did him in. They quoted showed video of, or quoted David Brat railing on Eric Cantor’s views on immigration almost exclusively — but the reality was that David Brat’s entire campaign was based on the fact that Eric Cantor was out of touch — or didn’t care about the everyday people in his district — that all he was was an over-acheiving and predictable advocate for the interests of “big business” and not ordinary Americans.
In fact, surveys taken in Cantor’s district immediately before and immediately after the election showed that more than half of everybody — including Republicans — favored some kind of sensible immigration reform. The only thing immigration related that they objected to with regard to Eric Cantor was that the way he talked about immigration was in the same way that big business and corporations talked about immigration — and that he was simply representing business’s position on immigration, not his the people in his Congressional district in Virginia.
Then, of course, there was the on going insult and disrespect evidenced by Cantor toward his district –– in that as time went on he spent less and less time in his district communicating with voters about their concerns — ones that he might have spoken out for — or represented them about in Congress.
In short, I think Eric Cantor had served as a faithful “tool” or money and power — and obviously thought that with “money and power” his side, he didn’t have to worry much about the pointy headed professor running against him. In fact, Cantor actually mocked David Brat for being an elitist college “professor” type — and implied that therefore Professor Brat could not be taken seriously by the voters. It appears, Mr. Cantor, that you were wrong on that one.
In an interesting political twist, however, we suddenly see the potential for “real” political change emerging as the anti-corporate tea party views and the liberal progressive views coalesce around the ideas of reigning in the power of business in politics and trying to create an economy in which their is a more level playing ground and more income equality.