- Congressman Eric Cantor's Official Flickr Photostream
- Eric Cantor: "Oh I'm so sorry I would love to help you, lady, but I'm going to get my ass handed to me in a couple weeks and I don't even realize it yet."
Thousands of Reporters, Editors, and TV Journalists Run to Their Thesauruses to Find Synonyms for "Shocking," "Surprising," "Upset," "No One Saw This Coming," "Holy Shit," Etc. The Washington Post called House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's unexpected defeat in the primary last night an "operatic fall from power, swift and deep and utterly surprising," and quoted a former Republican congressman calling it an "earthquake." The New York Times called it "one of the most stunning primary election upsets in congressional history," and quoted congressman Patrick T. McHenry saying "I'm in shock." They got ahold of Nancy Pelosi during a dinner party, who said, "I can't even believe it." Rachel Maddow on TV last night called it "the biggest thing that has ever happened in modern times," which may have been a slight exaggeration.
But It's Not That Much of an Exaggeration, This Is a Big Fucking Deal: "Cantor was not an enemy of the Tea Party. He was in fact the Tea Party’s guy in the leadership for much of the Barack Obama era. He carried the tea into the speaker’s office. And still he got creamed. Creamed! Has a party leader ever lost a primary like this?" Michael Tomasky writes in the Daily Beast. "Stop and take this in. Like any political journalist, I’m a little bit of a historian of this sort of thing, although I readily admit my knowledge isn’t encyclopedic. But I sure can’t think of anything. Tom Foley, the Democratic House speaker in the early 1990s, lost reelection while he was speaker, but that was in the general, to a Republican, which is a whole different ballgame. And he was the first sitting speaker to lose an election since…get this…1862! But a primary? The No. 2 man in the House, losing a primary?"
Cantor Lost to a Bible-Quoting, Immigrant-Despising Tea Party Nut Named Dave Brat: Yes, that is literally his name. He's an economics professor no one's ever heard of at a college no one's ever heard of. HuffPo frantically did some research on him last night and dumbed it way down. Here's the Brat's victory speech:
So What Was It About Cantor's Immigration Stance that Was So Repellent and Horrible and Made Him So Vulnerable? Here, listen to Cantor's view on the one thing he agrees with immigration-reform advocates about—what a monster!!!!!
By the Way, Cantor Outspent Brat More than 25 to 1: "Cantor's campaign spent more at steakhouses than his challenger, economics professor Dave Brat, spent on his entire campaign, a mind-boggling stat that was first noted by the New York Times," says Business Insider. "The Cantor campaign's expenditures, as recorded by the Center for Responsive Politics, show it spent $168,637 at Bobby Van's and BLT Steak as of May 21. Brat's campaign spent just $122,793 overall through that date."
Reached for Comment, Hillary Clinton Said, "I Just Shot a Fucking Firework Out My Hotel Room Window! Dave Brat for President!" Asked to clarify her remark, she said, "America deserves a three-party presidential race for 2016. We need the Tea Party at the table. I just encouraged Dave Brat to launch a presidential exploratory committee and pledged a donation of $500 billion. Now I must get off the phone to go swimming in a pool of Prosecco."
There Are Probably Other Stories in the News Today But I Can't Stop Reading about Brat and Cantor: So does this change everything? Well, sorta, yeah, arguably. Not only is the Tea Party emboldened again after almost sorta fading out there for a sec, and not only is Boehner's speakership up for grabs now, but there are ramifications for the 2016 presidential election. Sahil Kapur writes today in Talking Points Memo: "Republicans may be toast in 2016. Without passage of immigration reform, most Hispanic voters won't consider voting for a Republican candidate."
I Looked and There Are No Other Stories in the World This Morning: What do you want, this story from the PI about a woman who fell off a cliff while she was on the phone with her mom? Well, okay, but she only fell 30 feet and she was fine. Or this story about how there was a traffic accident yesterday? Or this story about zoning in Mount Baker? (Go Jin Lee! I'm on your side!) Or this story about Starbucks something something taxes something something Europe? There you go.
If You Missed It on Slog Earlier Today: You should also read the president's response to all the recent shootings.
I Keep Refreshing Eric Cantor's Website: It's full of press releases about news of the day but curiously no one's done the "Cantor Gets His Ass Handed to Him" press release yet. Not a word about yesterday's news. Huh. Meanwhile, I've been looking at the congressman's Flickr photostream all morning and just noticed that there's only one photo filed under "favorites." So I guess this is his favorite photo of himself. Have a heart and go check out his favorite photo of himself. It's the least you could do!
This Isn't News, It's Days Old, But It Gives Me an Idea for The Stranger's Next Regrets Issue: Scientists are now saying that rats can feel regret.
Kinda Sorta (But Not Really) Related to Dave Brat Reading from the Bible at His Victory Speech Last Night: On this day in 1865, Nietzche wrote a letter to his sister. As Tom Nissley notes in A Reader's Book of Days:
Friedrich Nietzsche was hardly the only twenty-year-old to lose his faith in God, but few have done it with such eloquent finality, or such lasting influence. Having announced his apostasy to the distress of his family, he replied (in a joking and affectionate letter otherwise full of news of a music festival) to his sister's defense of the Christian faith she thought they had shared, "Is it the most important thing to arrive at that particular view of God, world and reconciliation that makes us feel most comfortable? ... Here the ways of men divide: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and happiness, then believe; if you wish to be a disciple of truth, then inquire."