Unless you took a quick trip to Mars overnight, you already know that Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader, lost to David Brat, an economics professor and a Tea Party candidate, in the Virginia primary. Not only did Brat win, he won big. This race was not a squeaker.
There is no question but that the Cantor-Brat battle was a referendum on amnesty. Right up until it looked as if Brat’s anti-amnesty message was resonating with voters, Cantor was cozying up to the Chamber of Commerce pro-amnesty party. It didn’t help Cantor that, in the days leading up to the primary, news broke about tens of thousands of Latin American kids pouring over the border, many bringing nasty cases of pre-immunization infections with them.
(And yes, I am paranoid about potential disease epidemics. We tend to forget that, as frightening and humiliating as Ellis Island was, it did have the virtue of standing as something of a bulwark against infectious diseases finding their way to America. Don’t forget that the Black Plague arrived in Europe via a ship with sick sailors.)
One of the stunning things about the election was the fact that Cantor had an enormous war chest, while Brat had chump change . . . but Brat still won. It turns out that there’s a certain point beyond which money won’t help.
Of course, this was a low-attended primary, so the voters were the people actually paying attention. You get a lot more for your buck in a November election, when flashy ads can effectively woo low-information voters. (That’s how Obama does it.) What made the difference in this election were people like my friend Tom White, who provided huge amounts of sweat equity on Brat’s behalf. (Tom’s website, incidentally, has some of the best conservative coverage about the election that you’ll find.)
One of the things that initially charmed me about Eric Cantor was that he was a Jew who won in the South. That’s a big deal. Still, ethnic identity cannot trump principle and the principle was that Cantor was espousing immigration ideas that I strongly oppose. I don’t have to agree with a politician all the time, but I do have to agree with him on issues that have the potential to turn America into a permanent Democrat country or, stated more accurately, a European socialist economy with an open door policy that eventually entices in every two-bit Islamist nut case, as happened through socialist Eurabia.
I’m therefore happy Cantor lost, and that’s regardless of the fact that he was Jewish. I wish that more black voters would feel that way about Obama and other politicians with whom they feel a racial affinity. At the end of the day, shared skin color isn’t going to get you a real job (as opposed to make-work or welfare), make your neighborhoods safer and healthier, or protect you from Islamists.
According to Tom White, Brat’s November victory is a foregone conclusion: the district was gerrymandered to ensure that Republicans (i.e., Cantor) would win.
The big question now is whether Republicans in the House will get the message that the all-important base really, really hates amnesty. After all, Cantor’s not gone yet, so House Republicans can still try to hustle an amnesty bill through. It would be better if House Republicans would look at which way the wind blew in purple Virginia, albeit in a Republican-gerrymandered district, and conclude that, if they ever want to be an insider in the Capitol again (as opposed to a tourist), they’d better forget about amnesty for good.
When it comes to immigration in America, I suspect that most voters think that the problem with immigration isn’t the laws, it’s the way in which those laws are enforced. Beginning under Clinton, enforcement became something practiced as much in the breach as in the observance. Under Obama, there’s no longer even a pretense of applying the law. The problem, then, isn’t the law; it’s management. And if management is the problem, you don’t re-write the rule book. Instead, you throw the bums out!
My approach to immigration would be as follows: Enforce the law!!! Then, decide whether to tweak it or replace it.
I like legal immigration. I’m a product of legal immigration. But I continue to believe strongly that a country should be able to make its own decisions about the type and number of immigrants it wishes to invite into its country. If it makes bad decisions, it becomes weak or Islamic (or both). If it makes good decisions, it becomes a robust, pluralist country, with a strong core culture, and a population continuously revitalized by in-comers from throughout the world.
And I did promise in the post title that this is an Open Thread so, please, what do you think?