What Eric Cantor’s Loss Really Tells Us About the State of the Republican Party

sad-cantorFor the first time since 1899 when the position of House Majority Leader was created, a sitting House Majority Leader didn’t even win their primary election.  Whether or not you like Eric Cantor, we all just witnessed American history.

And while the tea party is as giddy as a small child on Christmas Eve, the GOP should be very concerned.

You see, while the tea party is very popular in strongly Republican areas of the country, or among conservative voters, in general elections where voters are much more moderate – they don’t tend to do well at all.

In fact, the more national attention many of these tea party politicians or candidates get, the less voters actually support them.

Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin are two great examples of this.  Remember when Cruz was the leading person behind shutting down our government?  Since then he’s been marginalized so much by the Republican party that for the first time in a very long time we had a clean vote to raise the debt ceiling despite him essentially throwing a hissy fit in the senate.  And nowadays Sarah Palin is essentially nothing more than a failed reality TV personality.

As a Democrat, I’m absolutely thrilled with Cantor’s loss.  Not just because I dislike Cantor, but to see a big named Republican incumbent go down in his own party’s primary to a far-right tea party radical is great news for liberals.

Especially one that apparently couldn’t raise money very well and by all accounts is extremely disorganized.

But let’s go ahead and take a look at a few comments David Brat has on his website:

  • Dave has spent a life time learning and educating others about these fundamental rights and values. Dave respects and values every person he meets because he truly sees them as Children of God. Our Rights come from God and not from Government. Government is instituted to protect these rights.
  • As our congressman, Dave Brat will oppose any efforts to allow those who entered this country illegally to cut in line, violate the rule of law and take jobs and tax dollars away from hard working Americans who have played by the rules.
  • A strong military is essential to the success of our nation. We must secure our borders, support the Armed Forces, both at home and abroad, and maintain a strong national defense in order to secure our country’s future. In addition, I support a full investigation into the Benghazi attacks. (side note: I found this one hilarious as he just had to get a Benghazi reference in there somewhere.)
  • Our fundamental rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness precede the existence of government and come from God, the Author of Nature.

I think you get the picture.

Oh, and he’s really anti-immigration.

It’s ironic – if you visit his website he mentions “Constitutional values” often, yet quotes the Declaration of Independence (not our Constitution) when claiming that our rights as Americans come from God.

Maybe he needs to read my article that explains the differences between the two.  Because our Constitution is what gives us our rights, not the Declaration of Independence, and our Constitution doesn’t have a single mention of “Christianity” anywhere in it.

But this loss by Eric Cantor gives the American people a chance to see yet another one of these radical tea party candidates on the national stage to make not only themselves look like a fool, but the entire Republican party as well.

The Republican party just selected a candidate who’s extremely anti-immigration (when Americans overwhelmingly favor immigration reform), who’s very pro-gun (when the majority of Americans favor some kind of sensible gun regulations) and who believes that our rights as Americans come from the Bible.

And he ran on the basic premise that Eric Cantor was “too liberal.”

Just let that sink in for a moment.

While this doesn’t guarantee any kind of victory in that district for liberals this November, it does continue to prove that the tea party is pushing the entire Republican party so far right that they’re going to end up destroying their own party.

Jack Trammell is the Democrat who will be running against tea partier Dave Brat in Virginia’s 7th district. You can check out and “like” his page on Facebook here, and tell him we sent you.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Now that Cantor has been dethroned, the next step will be to suppress the liberal vote by any means necessary. This will definitely include intimidation. It would be no surprise to anyone if the open carry movement spreads to the state of Virginia and accelerates around election day to frighten voters away from the polls. Every time anyone invokes Hitler or alludes to the NAZI party he or she is accused of employing hyperbole or exaggeration but one must remember that this started as a minority movement until Hitler’s brown shirts enacted a campaign of violence against any opposition. “All that is required for the triumph of evil is for enough good men to do nothing” (Edmond Burke).

    • Guest

      Think you need to see who turned up at the polls…..it may surprise you (wasnt the nazis)

  • Gary Menten

    If Americans rights were given to them by God, then how come Americans had to fight for them? Why does government have to protect what God allegedly gave Americans? In he not omnipotent then, or does he simply make promises he can’t keep?

    • gian keysTOOEASY flat mom

      if GOD made man in “his(own) image and likeness”……
      that means GOD drinks and messes up waaaay too much?
      and,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, which GOD? there are so many on this planet and thru its history!!!

    • Charles Vincent

      All men are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights…. That seems to indicate that It’s all people not just Americans. The passage says creator not God(straw-man argument). The passage also indicates that these rights aren’t granted by man or government and that man not government is responsible for protecting his individual rights.


    I generally agree with this commentary, but one point needs to be addressed. Our Constitution did not create or grant our human rights. The philosophy behind both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution (in particular the Bill of Rights) was grounded on the philosophy of John Lock–: that civil government is instituted as a part of a social compact to protect rights that he have because we are human, not to grant them to us.

    • DGThometz

      While that is true, it is equally true that the Constitution DOES grant us

      PROTECTION of those rights. Really, we can claim any number of rights we wish, and say they are “God-given,” but unless those rights are protected by force of law, it is, in all practicality, a meaningless claim. It is the PROTECTION of rights, not merely the claim or recognition of them, that matters.


    John Locke, that is.

  • Ankynan

    My friend in his district assures me that she is not the only Dem who crossed party lines in this open primary in order to vote Cantor out. She’s quite miffed that the MSM has been ignoring this factor, instead, focusing on Cantor’s apparent lack of calculating coldness.

    • Bine646

      Other side certainly turned out for this vote

    • Pipercat

      Perhaps she should consider that staying under the radar has its advantages.

  • gian keysTOOEASY flat mom

    he will join joe walsh and alan west as a 2 yr waste of time

  • TrollBaby

    “A strong military is essential to the success of our nation. We must secure our borders”

    It sounds like this fool wants to use the military to enforce border security. Some one should inform him about the Posse Comitatus Act which prevents the use of the military to enforce our laws.

    • strayaway

      The Posse Comitatus Act limits the powers of Federal government in using federal military personnel to enforce the state laws. That isn’t relevant here.

      The military however can be used to repeal invasions.

      “The Congress shall have the Power To…provide for the common Defense (and) provide for the calling forth the Militia…and repeal invasions.” Article 1, Section 8

      Congress just doesn’t seem interested in using these powers at the present time. Doing so would cut off campaign money from the US Chamber of Commerce’s stakeholders. I think that the border patrol could be made sufficient for this purpose but Obama has pretty well tied its hands. If he won’t let the border patrol do its job, there is no sense in imagining that he would allow the military to protect our Country from millions of foreign job seekers either.

      • Charles Vincent

        The national guard is the loop hole IMHO since they are considered the organized militia under current federal law.

  • Captain Jack Gunder

    What was the deciding factor in Cantors loss?
    Tea Party wingnuts led by Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin? OR the open election that allowed many Democrats to cross over and vote for David whatshisname? I cant believe Tea Party or any conservative voter would throw out a man with immense power in Congress , for an unknown, zero experience college professor.
    If you want to advance your agenda, Republican or Democrat you have to have a seat at the table. Politics 101, something the Tea Party Destroyers have yet to grasp.

  • Matthew Reece

    Rights are not given to us by God or the Constitution. Rights are valid because it is logically impossible to argue against them without committing a performative contradiction.