Wednesday, June 11, 2014

In Virginia, Cantor Turned into Bratwurst

In G.O.P., Far Right Is Too Moderate

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD, NYT
JUNE 11, 2014

The forces of political nihilism not only remain alive and well within the Republican Party, but they are on the rise. Witness the way they shook Washington on Tuesday by removing from power Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, who had been one of the most implacable opponents to the reform of immigration, health care and taxation. His crime (in addition to complacent campaigning)? He was occasionally obliged, as a leader, to take a few minimalist steps toward governing, like raising the debt ceiling and ending a ruinous shutdown.

For that he was pilloried in his Virginia district by a little-known resident of the distant extremes, David Brat, whose most effective campaign tool was a photo showing Mr. Cantor standing next to President Obama. By falsely portraying the seven-term incumbent as just another compromiser, just another accommodationist to the power of big government, Mr. Brat managed the unimaginable feat of bringing down a majority leader in a primary, and by double digits.

“Cantor is the No. 1 cheerleader in Congress for amnesty,” Mr. Brat wrote in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Friday. This is utter nonsense. More than anyone else in the House, including Speaker John Boehner, Mr. Cantor was responsible for the chamber’s refusal to vote on the Senate’s immigration bill. He personally refused to allow a vote on an amendment to give legal status to undocumented immigrants who serve in the military.

(More here.)

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