Friday, June 13, 2014

The Best Explanation

Media talking heads have had a hard time explaining Eric Cantor's loss in last Tuesday's primary election contest to an unknown economics professor named David Brat.

Ann Coulter takes a look at the sundry hypotheses being floated out by the media and superbly sinks each one. In the end there's only one explanation that makes sense, and it's one that a lot of people don't want to acknowledge. Coulter convincingly and deftly makes the case that Brat's upset victory was due to Cantor's desire to grant amnesty to illegal aliens.

Here are some excerpts:
Economics professor Dave Brat crushed House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Republican primary Tuesday night, in a campaign that was mostly about Cantor's supporting amnesty for 11 million illegal aliens. This marks the first time a U.S. House majority leader has ever lost a primary election. His crushing defeat reinforces a central point: Whenever the voters know an election is about immigration, they will always vote against more immigration -- especially amnesty.

Cantor spent more than $5 million on his campaign. Brat spent less than $150,000. But Brat made the election about Cantor's support for amnesty, so he won. The pro-amnesty crowd -- i.e., everyone except the American people -- promptly lost its collective mind. The amnesty shills went on the attack, insisting that Cantor's historic defeat had nothing to do amnesty. Brat's triumph was touted as simply a victory for the "tea party."

In fact, however, the tea party had nothing to do with Brat's victory. Only the small, local tea party groups stand for anything anymore, but they're as different from the media-recognized "tea party" as lay Catholics are from the Catholic bishops. National tea party groups did not contribute dime one to Brat. Not Freedom Works, not Club for Growth, not the Tea Party Express, not Tea Party Patriots. They were too busy denouncing Sen. Mitch McConnell -- who has consistently voted against amnesty.

Nonetheless, the claim that Brat's victory was a win for the tea party is everywhere -- pushed with suspicious insistence by people who do not usually wish the Republican Party well. Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schulz, for example, said: "Tonight's result in Virginia settles the debate once and for all -- the tea party has taken control of the Republican Party. Period."

On Fox News, Mark Thiessen assured viewers that Brat's victory was not about amnesty at all, but was an expression of the same anti-establishment sentiment we've seen elsewhere this year. He specifically cited Ben Sasse's victory in the Nebraska Senate GOP primary, and Chris McDaniel's forcing incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran into a run-off in Mississippi.

Let's take those:

(1) Ben Sasse was running for an open seat -- there was no "establishment" Republican to defeat.

(2) McDaniel has made his opposition to amnesty the centerpiece of his campaign.

We're 0 for 2, so far. What else you got?

There were, in fact, a couple of tea party challenges this year to so-called "establishment" Republican incumbents such as McConnell and John Cornyn. They both voted against the Schumer-Rubio amnesty. They both won.

That's 0 for 4.

Sen. Lindsey Graham's win last night is hardly a counter-example. His $8 million war chest discouraged serious challengers, he ended up with six opponents and, as a result, that race attracted no national anti-amnesty attention. Graham sure didn't stress his support for amnesty during the campaign. (He's saving that as a surprise!)
There's more of Coulter's incisive reasoning on this issue at the link.

Among the more contemptible and ridiculous attempts to explain Brat's win were the persistent innuendos and outright assertions that the Republican voters in Virginia's 7th district are anti-semites who couldn't bring themselves to vote for a Jew (Cantor). Never mind that Cantor won the district seven times since 2000 and won his previous primary with 58% of the vote. Some commentators apparently think that the voters of Cantor's district suddenly, within the last two years, realized that a man with his name who attends synagogue and who talks about Judaism must be Jewish and deemed that fact dispositive in deciding their vote.

The allegation is especially ironic when one considers that the locus of most of the anti-semitism in this country today and in the past has been among liberal progressives, but facts don't much matter when you're a journalist determined to find an explanation that discredits conservatives.

Anyway, Molly Hemmingway has a great piece on this and other examples of journalists putting their ignorance on display as they try to find something insidious about Dave Brat who is, after all, a conservative, a Christian, and a Catholic and must therefore, in their minds, be a very evil man. Hemmingway takes these adolescent opiners to the rhetorical woodshed and gives them a condign spanking. If it weren't so amusing one might almost feel sorry for them.