They are Very Concerned about the extremists taking over or something. Here’s the NY Times Editorial Board
The forces of political nihilism not only remain alive and well within the Republican Party, but they are on the rise. Witness the way they shook Washington on Tuesday by removing from power Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, who had been one of the most implacable opponents to the reform of immigration, health care and taxation. His crime (in addition to complacent campaigning)? He was occasionally obliged, as a leader, to take a few minimalist steps toward governing, like raising the debt ceiling and ending a ruinous shutdown.
For that he was pilloried in his Virginia district by a little-known resident of the distant extremes, David Brat, whose most effective campaign tool was a photo showing Mr. Cantor standing next to President Obama. By falsely portraying the seven-term incumbent as just another compromiser, just another accommodationist to the power of big government, Mr. Brat managed the unimaginable feat of bringing down a majority leader in a primary, and by double digits.
And here’s Charles Blow
While the beltway chatter grows over the political death of Eric Cantor, the first House leader to be unseated in a primary, it would be easy to lose sight of just how unsettling his demise is for our politics in general.
On one level, it is a glaring example — and condemnation — of the staggering levels of voter apathy that exist the further an election race is from presidential politics. (WT note: that would be a good reason to repeal the 17th amendment, which would cause citizens to pay way more attention State politics and politics closer to home. That’s different post on its own)
Blow goes on to show that he is Very Concerned with redistricting, which he claims to be a cause, and goes on to whine about Democrats being under-represented. Hey, elections have consequences.
We already have a deadlocked political system in Washington where doing nothing is viewed by many small-government — and some anti-government — conservatives as a victory. Stacking the deck against politicians who deign to compromise with their Democratic counterparts in general, and this president in particular, does not bode well for us as a nation.
In reality, a Republican compromise is usually an overwhelming Democrat win, because of moderates like Cantor.
Cantor’s defeat on Tuesday may now be the subject of schadenfreude and chops licking, but it may also be a terrible omen.
Yeah, it would be a real shame if non-squishy Republicans took over to push their agenda of limited government, reduced spending, reduced federal government interference in, well, everything, increased economic freedom, increased domestic energy production, protecting our borders, increased personal freedom, limited government spying on citizens, and following the Constitution. I wonder where Blow’s concern regarding hardcore, extremist Progressives taking over the Democrat Party is?
Here’s E.J. Dionne, who calls this a “purge”
Republicans who simply want to keep tacking right to maintain their power should also note that if the tea party helped mobilize support for them in 2010, it now threatens to reduce the party to a right-wing sect. (snip)
Appeasing the tea party could create a vicious cycle: The more the party is defined by a hard core, the easier it will be for the most conservative voters to dominate it in primaries involving only the most ardent. (snip)
What the tea party giveth, the tea party taketh away. Its energy in 2010 was directed against President Obama and helped Cantor become House majority leader. Now its sights are set on purifying and purging the Republican Party. But purges, as Cantor has learned, are painful. They can also be dangerous to a party’s long-term well-being.
He’s right about one thing: what we giveth, we can taketh away. And when our Representatives, which we donated to, campaigned for, supported, and voted for fail to follow through on the Conservative agenda, we should vote them out. Another NY Times article notes, as many others have, that Cantor forgot his roots, and was ignoring his constituents in his district in favor of everything else. This isn’t a problem for just Cantor, but a good chunk of Republicans and Democrats. Elected officials too often forget why they were elected, and dismiss the concerns of their constituents, often in favor of national politics.
After carefully considering Cantor’s loss Tuesday, I’m not going to say that it was an “earthquake”, as many have noted. I’d bet that half who voted in the primary had no idea that he was the #2 in the GOP House. This isn’t a purge, this may or many not mean a populist revolution, there may or may not be national implications. What this did show is that Representatives should represent, not think they can say one thing to their constituents then do something else in Washington. That their constituents do not exist to simply re-elected said representative again and again. That Citizens matter. That the middle matters.
The middle? Yes, the middle. At the end of the day, fiscal conservatives/libertarians/Tea Party folks are in the middle of the political spectrum (I’m not including Social Conservatives, who are more towards the Classical Conservative spectrum). Political theory regarding the Democratic model has Socialism on the left, which features heavy control and ownership of the means of production as its primary focus. Classical Conservatism is on the right, which features no government involvement in the economy, along with heavy government involvement in social issues. Classical Liberalism is in the center, and lives by the phrase “the government that governs least governs best”. We believe that government should only get involved in the Moral (this relates to our private lives) and Economic cores when necessary. We are the Radical Middle. In terms of American politics and our Republic, we want more power returned back to the States, where it belongs. We are the Radical Middle, and are tired of the true extremists, both in the Democrat Party and the GOP establishment, taking the country off the cliff.
Anyhow, Cantor and the GOP establishment learned a valuable lesson: stop ignoring constituents.