I see two reactions to the defeat of Eric Cantor, the first House Majority leader to lose his local election while in office.
There are the analysts, like this one, who say, “There is rebellion inside the Republican party, and in one respect is the Republicans eating their young.”
…eating their young!
And then, there’s the rest of the country saying, who’s Eric Cantor?
But I think there’s a lesson all sides can embrace: When an unknown has a message that appeals to voters, he can beat a powerful incumbent. Even if he’s massively outspent. Money doesn’t always buy elections.
Another message – in an election in the middle of June where the voter turnout is all of 14 percent, you can’t be sitting in Washington playing Mr. Important, you need to be in the district knocking on doors.
“You go door to door and knock and the American people know the country is heading in the wrong the direction,” says the man who beat Cantor, David Brat.
And a couple of other things to note: Brat is a college professor. A conservative college professor. I thought they were all liberals!
He’s also a Christian who believes God helped him win. “I’m a believer, so I’m humbled that God gave us this win.”
But he’s a Christian who refuses to crusade against abortion or gay marriage. In fact, he says it’s hypocritical for conservatives to claim they believe in individual liberty and at the same time try to restrict abortion, gay marriage and gambling.
So we’ve seen in Virginia a demonstration of how an unknown, hard-to-pigeonhole academic can bring down a powerful well-financed incumbent – a reminder that when 86 percent of the voters stay home, anything can happen.