With an almost 100 percent string of victories over Tea Party insurgents so far in the 2014 political season, Establishment Republicans looked at the Virginia and South Carolina primaries for more success. Senator Lindsey Graham easily won in South Carolina.
A few hundred miles away, however, Establishment Republicans suffered a huge defeat in Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederacy during the American Civil War. It has become the capital of the Tea Party insurgency against the Republican Establishment; that is so because a college economics professor named David Brat defeated Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Speaker John Boehner’s top man in the GOP House leadership.
What happened? Brat won with 35,787 votes to Cantor’s 28,631 (with 99 percent of votes counted) or 55.6 percent to 44.4 percent.
Unfortunately for Cantor, current events intervened in the past few days with revelations that thousands of unaccompanied Central American children were flooding across the Rio Grande in South Texas.
- Raoul Lowery Contreras
Considering that Cantor had not even had any Republican opponents since he won his seat in 2000, this was a huge shock to the political system. Interestingly, he defeated fellow freshman Darrel Issa (CA) for a lowly first-step leadership position in the House GOP way back in 2002. Cantor’s rise in House leadership was nothing short of phenomenal until this vote count, however.
Brat says that he was blessed and is “thankful” to God for this victory as well as people who believed like he does that Washington D.C. must be curbed. That may or may not be the case. His free market philosophy seems to this writer to be more important in this victory than Tea Party support or anti-immigration feelings.
Cantor was blamed for the overwhelming American support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform even among Republicans; just hours before Virginia voters went to the polls survey results were announced that reiterated that support for a “path to citizenship” is over 60 percent.
Brat thinks otherwise. He is against any work permit program for Mexicans because he says it will cause Americans to lose jobs. His thinking, however, falls short of his alleged free market philosophy. If he were a true Free Marketer, he would be enthusiastic for a work permit program because that would reflect the reality of a free labor market. An employer should be the one who decides who to hire and what to pay for that labor.
Brat wants a “secure border” above anything else in order to stop people from coming to America, even legally.
A free market depends on immigration when the native population isn’t having enough babies to replace itself.
Of course, Brat is not alone, obviously. Pushing him hard from the right are commentators like Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin and Ann Coulter and others who are hung up on what they call “AMNESTY.” They are dead set against any immigration reform and, in fact, are against any immigration. They can try to deny that but it is true.
Unfortunately for Cantor, current events intervened in the past few days with revelations that thousands of unaccompanied Central American children were flooding across the Rio Grande in South Texas. Being children, the vaunted 20,000 Border Patrol agents were able to capture many of them but then threw up their hands because they didn’t know what to do with the kids except to lock them up in warehouses with port-a-potties and plastic bottles of water.
The Border Agents through their union officers made sure that the press was informed of these newly apprehended being transferred to other Border Patrol Sectors such as Phoenix and San Diego for processing as Refugees by other federal departments.
Union agent hysteria about this situation helped draw out hyper-anti-immigrant voters in Richmond. They have failed miserably elsewhere but thanks to bad publicity, succeeded in the 7th Congressional District of Virginia by defeating a bright young man whose vision of America was American to the core. No true American is anti-immigrant.
His defeat may frighten Congress on immigration reform, or it may allow John Boehner to pass some immigration reform in December after the election. The simple political fact is that if he allows the shortsighted hysterics and their “grass-roots” insurrection to take control of the GOP, there will be no Republican Party left, it will go the way of the Whigs who could not find it among themselves to limit or oppose slavery.
Immigration is today’s slavery-like issue; it is black and white with little grey. Ask Eric Cantor.
The “far-sighted” Brat wants to “close the border” over immigration, legal and illegal. He thinks that will solve illegal immigration and unemployment. He is wrong.
He, a PhD in economics, obviously does not understand that Mexico is our third largest trading partner buying billions of dollars in goods and services from and in the United States. Those dollars cause millions of Americans to work in jobs that wouldn’t exist without trade with our next door neighbor. A PhD should know that.
Raoul Lowery Contreras is a political consultant. He was formerly with the New American News Service of the New York Times Syndicate. Contreras's books are available at Amazon.com