Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Cantor: a person who sings solo verses or passages to which the choir or congregation responds — NOT!

The seismic political consequences of Eric Cantor’s stunning loss

By Chris Cillizza, WashPost, Updated: June 10 at 9:40 pm

Eric Cantor just lost.

The defeat of the second-ranking Republican in the House by an ill-funded, little-known tea party-backed candidate ranks as the biggest Congressional upset in modern memory and will immediately generate a series of political and policy-related shockwaves in Washington and the Richmond-area 7th district.

"People don't know how to respond because it's never been contemplated," said one Virginia Republican strategist, granted anonymity to speak candidly about Cantor's loss. (Worth noting: Cantor didn't just lose. He got walloped; David Brat, his challenger, won 56 percent to 44 percent.)

In conversations with a handful of GOP operatives in the aftermath of Cantor's loss -- a loss blamed largely on an inept campaign consulting team that misread the level of vitriol directed at the candidate due to his place in Republican leadership and the perception he supported so-called "amnesty" for illegal immigrants -- there were several common threads about what it means for politics inside and outside the House.

1. Immigration reform is dead. I'm not sure it was ever really alive in the House -- we've written plenty about how the average House Republican has zero incentive to support any immigration reform -- but Cantor's loss ensures that even chatter about making minor changes will disappear. Anytime an incumbent -- and particularly a well-funded incumbent like Cantor -- loses there are lots of reasons for the defeat, but this one will be cast as a rebuke of any moderation on immigration. Brat savaged Cantor as "100% all-in" on amnesty and accused him of "bobbing and weaving" on the issue. Any Republican member of Congress who was even contemplating going a step or two out on a political limb to vote for some elements of immigration reform will stop thinking that way immediately. Not only is immigration reform a no-go for Republicans in this election but it may well be off the table -- assuming Republicans control the House -- for the next several years.

(More here.)

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