Shake-up in Virginia Open Thread

david-bratUnless 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?

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  • Jose

    I was pleased to see Brat beat Cantor.  I agree that a shakeup sends a good message to the Republican party at large.  I haven’t followed Cantor’s position on immigration reform, but I haven’t heard anything from him on securing the border, and that is what needs to happen first, and foremost.
    Along the lines of immigration, anyone who isn’t following the serialized true adventures of the Diplomad is missing out on a treat.  Be sure to start at Part 1.  Riveting stuff.  
    And thanks, BW, for bringing the Diplomad to our attention a couple months back.  I really enjoy his blog.

  • JKB

    Not an issue in the election apparently but goes to character.  J. Christian Adams has a post at PJ Media about how Cantor couldn’t bring himself to oppose a bill to return control of elections to Eric Holder and for good measure to remove a disfavored racial group from being protected by election law.  Hmm.
    Cantor’s Loss and the Sensenbrenner Bill to Empower Eric Holder 
    “The bill sponsored by Rep. Sensenbrenner explicitly removes white voters from the protection of the law and unleashes all sorts of other mischief and federal mandates on state election officials. “

  • Earl

    There’s an old saying: Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.
    I just got a fund-raising e-mail from Gun Owners of America, an organization I support in a modest way, explaining how THEY were the cause of Cantor’s defeat. I’m sure they helped….apparently there was a recent vote about gun control on which Cantor sided with the grabbers, rather than the Second Amendment.  My guess is that other groups will also claim some credit for this big win, and good on ’em.
    If ANY Republican House (or Senate) member votes for ANY kind of amnesty in the lame duck session now underway, they should be defeated in the fall.  Nothing else will get the message across to these weasels!!

  • Ymarsakar

    The problem really isn’t immigration, if it was was they would be dismantling ICE.
    The Left in this country is doing with mexicans what Leftists in Europe did with Islamic workers. It’s to prop up their economy so they can print more money and redistribute wealth to their own scions. Neither the Mexicans nor the Islamos will be having “integration” or future prospects, except being on welfare.

  • JKB

    The MSM is out in force today.   Apparently, Cantor, seven times elected to his current office, was thrown out because he’s a Jew.  Oh, and the guy who beat him, once mentioned a Hitler could come again in an article in a theology journal.  
    But, if you get past the “implications” of guy how mentioned Hitler beat Jew, for nefarious reasons, and read the linked excerpt from Brat’s article, you see a far different view.  And I think it is one that resonates.  If Brat’s campaign was imbued with this view, no wonder he got the vote.
    Do you want to ask how Cantor went wrong or do you want to listen to the Professor?

    • lee

      I read that Althouse entry earlier. Elsewhere on the internet, someone had accused Brat of Godwin’s Law-ing it, referencing those three paragraphs. Of course, they neither word nor linked the paragraph, making it easier to believe them.

  • lee

    I posted at another group the following about all the kids getting dumped at border:
    I say we consider any unaccompanied minors as abandoned and that all parental rights are severed, therefore, the children are available for adoption. This would mean a gazillion middle-class and working class couples who can’t afford the overseas adoptions would be able to adopt. It also means that parents might stop dumping the it kids at the border since: A) They’d get adopted by someone else; and B) The whole family reunification thing wouldn’t fly since the kids now have new parents.
    Unfortunately, we have had the adoption system taken over by people who believe blood ties transcend all, and also that only people of the same ethnicity as a child can adopt that child….
    Other than that, my idea is a good one!

  • Jose

    Lee, I like it.

  • jj

    Why would republicans get any message?  Cantor lost, okay – but we couldn’t even generate a primary opponent for Boehner.  In the senate we got a half-assed sort of a challenge to McConnell, which he brushed aside so we’re stuck with Turtle; Graham, who should have been had won his primary, so we’re going to continue to have to look at him – what, exactly, is the message republicans should be receiving? 

    • lee

      I live in South Carolina. Graham ran good ads: Told his “poor boy makes good” (which is a pretty good story), and he ran on the handful of conservative things he actually did. He didn’t run any negative ads. His most vociferous challenge came across as a bit of a button on his ads. I really, REALLY had to research who to vote for. If you didn’t do that–didn’t care enough to or didn’t know enough to–Graham was the easy way to go. I don’t think Graham winning really megabytes anything about Cantor losing. Has Graham has better opposition–better sounding, better organized–he might have gotten torpedoed, too.

      • lee

        “Came across as a bit of a nut job” not “button.” Darn autocorrect!

    • Mike Devx

      well, JJ, a fire has too start *somewhere*.  Maybe it should have started with Boehner, or with McConnell, or with Graham.
      Maybe this defeat is one that lights a fire.  No one expected the groundswell that was 2010 when it started with that Rick guy on the floor of the Exchange.   The defeat of Cantor was a political historical first ever:  First Republican Majority Leader to lose in a primary.
      Perhaps this is the start of something much bigger.  People need to know that it’s possuible, and yes, you CAN do it.  People often need a flashpoint to rally round.

  • Caped Crusader

    Gee Whiz, Bookworm !!
    Perceptions and old ideas die hard, or not all all, so from your favorite red neck Southern racist hick, may I remind you of a few real facts. Jews have never had a problem getting elected here; it’s not that you are a Jew, it’s the kind of Jew you are; that determines electability here or anywhere else, and the beliefs of that electorate.  Cantor decided he no longer needed to dance with those that “brung him to the dance”. Nothing to do with religion! Pure and simple! I previously commented on a life long Jewish friend, now deceased, who had a career in politics who always won every race he entered by huge margins (going back 50 years) in a city with a small percentage of Jewish voters. As of late last night Tim Scott was running 60,000 votes ahead of Lindsey Graham’s total in the Republican primary; haven’t seen that reported because it does not fit the template. Not bad for a party of racist ignorant hicks. And the governor of that state is an Indian woman., as is the male governor of Louisiana.  A med school friend of 50 years ago was the perpetual mayor of a town in Arkansas where they were the only Chinese family. Well, I’ll fold up my white sheet and hide it away til my next rant!

  • Ymarsakar

    About 70% of Jews are Democrat voters. Being Jewish isn’t the issue. Being an American traitor that sells out their country so that Democrats benefit personally… that’s something else.

    • Caped Crusader

      More like 80%+ from statistics.