Skip to comments.Eric Cantor & the Politics of Smug Incumbency
Posted on 06/12/2014 12:21:09 PM PDT by dignitasnews
After Eric Cantors stunning defeat to political neophyte and economics college professor Dave Brat in Virginias 7th Congressional District, the political and media elite are beside themselves trying to understand how this could happen. How could they, in their all knowledge and insight, not see this coming? How could a nobody, a man who spend less than 200,000 on his campaign, and had zero name recognition or political experience, beat the House Majority Leader, the great (and smug) one himself, incumbent Mr. Cantor?
First of all, Eric Cantor is not a conservative, he simply isnt. It is also fair to say, however, he isnt the worst squishy moderate out there either. If you take a look at Boehner, McConnell, McCain, and Graham, Eric Cantor is a slight improvement. Of course, that doesnt say much, but it means something when you have very little to work with. The main problem with Cantor, in fact, is that he wasnt comfortable being neither a RINO nor a conservative. He tried to play it both ways.
Theres something to be said for someone like McCain, who, proudly admits to being a go along to get along moderate, as he advocates for pragmatism over principle. Conservatives strongly disagree with this sentiment, but at least theres a consistency in McCain that we can count on him to be terrible. We know where McCain stands. We know that he will side with the Democrats and trash conservatives. We can at least anticipate it and prepare for it. On the other hand, Cantor is a little bit trickier to figure out. Cantor is a consummate chameleon.
The biggest way that Eric Cantor proved this was in his schizophrenic position on comprehensive immigration reform, aka, amnesty. When Cantor started to panic slightly about his reelection, he sent out questionable campaign materials to his constituents that talked about how he was trying to stop the Obama-Reid amnesty plan. The reason he did this is because Brat was pointing out, correctly, that Cantor had advocated for the Kid Act, or a watered-down version of the Dream Act amnesty plan. It didnt help that Cantor said the bill was biblical, and that we shouldnt punish children for mistakes their parents made, especially when we are now seeing the lawlessness with the flooding of the Southern border by refugees from Central America, thanks to rhetoric by Obama and other amnesty advocates.
As much as the liberal media would have you believe, conservatives are not simple-minded, emotional folk. Most are highly intellectual, thinking beings that can see whats going on in front of their faces. We cant be bought by hope and change, and we cant be bought by illogical arguments. As Mark Levin, notable radio host and author stated the other night on Hannitys television show, People want a new Republican Party with fresh faces, with vigorous leadership, and theyre not getting it, and they want it because the Republican Party is the only organization that can challenge Obama and Schumer and all the others and start to defeat them. Hes right. The only opposition force against Obama that is highly funded and a major political force is, in fact, the Republican Party. And when the Party mimics liberalism, and pretends to be something they arent, as Cantor often does, conservatives become angry, frustrated, and tired of these worthless, cowardly incumbents.
That said, Cantor did not lose entirely due to his stance on amnesty, as many pundits have claimed. While this was a certainly a factor, Cantor lost mainly because he forgot why he was in Washington in the first place. Call it romantic, call it ideological, but is it too much to ask that the members who serve us actually do what we put them there to do, aka, stop Obama and Progressive-liberalism? This country was not founded on the principle that politicians should pursue incumbency as a career choice. The founders believed that politicians should go to Washington to serve the constituents, who elected them, then go home and pursue their actual career once they were finished. In other words, a political career was not an end in itself.
Woe be the politician who forgets why the voters put him in office.
Perhaps Eric Cantor forgot that he was there to serve his constituents, and that he wasnt entitled to stay in office forever. After all, he didnt frequently engage with his constituents, he refused to debate Dave Brat, and didnt ask for help from the Chamber of Commerce regarding his primary for last-minute assistance. He didnt even go to his district until later in the week because he was too busy in Washington. In other words, he didnt take this election seriously and paid the price for it. Bad pollsters were responsible for this, but he also didnt understand the legitimate, real anger behind the vote that ousted him. As one local residential storeowner said Eric went to Washington and drank the Kool-Aid.
Cantors inconsistent positions on crucial issues like amnesty, coupled with his smug sense of entitlement and lack of engagement with his constituents ultimately led to his demise. Perhaps this will be a wake up call to incumbents everywhere, regardless of how long theyve been in Washington. As the notable Ted Cruz stated the other day after Cantors loss, This election should be a reminder to all in Congress Republicans and Democrats alike that the conservative base is alive and well, and the American people will hold us all accountable. Each of us needs to do what we said we would do and tell the truth, Cruz said.
Ted Cruz is correct. The smug power of incumbency is no longer enough to contain the anger and frustration that We, the People, have towards these entrenched politicians on both sides of the political aisle.
By Lauren Thomas Dignitas News Service Correspondent
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