What does Cantor loss tell us?

Lee's Summit JournalJune 13, 2014 

When the No. 2 Republican in the U.S. House losses on primary day, you better believe the party is going to take notice.

Sure, Virginia is one of those odd states that lets anyone in on that day to vote, no matter what the party affiliation.

And yes, his opponent, a political rookie named Dave Brat, ran an effective campaign with much support from the Tea Party.

Still, Eric Cantor’s 10-point loss June 10 was a shot heard around the political world, one that will continue to resonate through the other fall primaries and into the General Election Nov. 4.

Republican leadership will now jostle roles, trying to figure out who will become the new No. 2. Cantor was, by all accounts, in line to take over as Speaker of the House.

So what does his loss tell us?

Locally, it probably doesn’t mean much.

Republicans are likely to still roll through the ranks this November in a mid-term election that is thick with government distrust, healthcare fiascos and other Washington, D.C. shenanigans that usually lead to turnover in these elections.

But more and more, Republicans are doing the unthinkable – running against those in their own party during primary elections, most often to further an agenda.

The Republicans and so-called Tea Party members are only on the same page for so much. Sure, they own some of the same ideology. And they are certainly united against thinking from the Democratic Party.

But in a lot of ways, they are as different as Republicans and Democrats.

Some in the Tea Party feel like the political machine in the Republican camp has lost its way, forgoing some of the staunch conservativeness that accompanied the likes of Ronald Reagan.

Heck, George W. Bush spent like a Democrat. It’s hard to really drill down on any differences between the two parties in today’s political environment.

With a book coming out soon and loads of speaking engagements ahead of her (because, you know, she’s broke…) Hillary Clinton is looking more and more like the Democratic favorite to run in 2016.

The Republicans have been down this road before, the road of indecision, in-fighting and partisanship among its own party.

While that is going on, the Clintons are moving ahead full force.

The Cantor loss shows us the party isn’t ready to address what’s really wrong. Problem is, they are running out of time.


John Beaudoin is the publisher of the Lee’s Summit Journal. To comment, call 816-282-7001 or e-mail jbeaudoin@lsjournal.com.

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