Are more heads going to be put on a roll by voters because of our dysfunctional Congress? The defeat in a primary of the second-most powerful man in the House of Representatives, Republican Eric Cantor, in a primary election may be a warning sign. A conservative, Cantor was not conservative enough to satisfy some voters, according to political observers.
Cantor was defeated by an economics professor, David Brat, who was underfunded and a darling of the tea party. It may be that voters just wanted change due to the unsettled conditions in Congress, which is considered a “do nothing” body by many people, rather than being devotees of the tea party.
Immigration has been mentioned as one reason for Majority Leader Cantor’s defeat. Brat said Cantor was the top cheerleader for amnesty for immigrants who are living in the U.S. illegally. Cantor responded by denying he was an advocate of amnesty. However, Cantor had voiced support for giving citizenship to certain immigrants brought illegally to this country as children. Cantor and other House Republicans have advocated a step-by-step approach, rather than the comprehensive bill backed by the Senate.
It is interesting to note that Cantor’s general election Democratic opponent is Jack Trammell, who teaches at the same college in Virginia where Brat is a member of the faculty.
The defeat of Cantor has thrown Republican leadership roles wide open for those who have ambitions to lead.