The Unmentioned Factor in Cantor’s Loss

Admittedly, there are probably stronerg forces at play in Eric Cantor’s stunning loss to David Brat, including losing touch with his constituents and general rightwing frustration with Congress, but I find it remarkable that this has not been remarked upon at all (boldface mine):

David Wasserman, a House political analyst at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, said another, more local factor has to be acknowledged: Mr. Cantor, who dreamed of becoming the first Jewish speaker of the House, was culturally out of step with a redrawn district that was more rural, more gun-oriented and more conservative.

Part of this plays into his religion,” Mr. Wasserman said. “You can’t ignore the elephant in the room.”

Representative Cantor himself has sort of noticed this elephant (boldface mine):

But the story got a little more fraught when it turned out that Manzullo once said Cantor would not be “saved” because he is Jewish.

Today, Cantor, the only Jewish House Republican, nearly affirmed that this was the reason he fought against Manzullo’s re-election, insinuating that anti-Semitism — and racism — are lingering problems among the House GOP generally. He was speaking at a breakfast event organized by Politico.

Calling it the “darker side,” Cantor responded to Politico’s Mike Allen’s question of whether there is anti-semitism in Congress by trying to avoid commenting. But eventually he let up: “I think that all of us know that in this country, we’ve not always gotten it right in terms of racial matters, religious matters, whatever. We continue to strive to provide equal treatment to everybody.”

“We’re talking about the House Republican Caucus, not America,” Allen pushed.

Cantor then sat in silence, grimmacing for several seconds

The Republican far-right definitely has a Jewish problem. In its most benign form, we’re good with money, in it’s ugly form, we’re the lost and the damned.

Faustian bargain, thy name is Cantor.

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3 Responses to The Unmentioned Factor in Cantor’s Loss

  1. Dave Dell says:

    That and his opponent, Brat, ran against the Chamber of Commerce. Talk about being “out of touch with your constituents”, the C of C has lost sight of anything that isn’t covered in money,

  2. I don’t know too much of the reality on the ground down south there. Right now, I haven’t heard that much talk of there being any sort of whisper campaign against Cantor’s ethnic and religious identity. I suspect Cenk Uygur got it right when he claimed it was mostly rank and file conservative fed up with Wall Street and connected interests voting for a rightwing populist rather than elite this time.

    I could, however, be utterly wrong. Again, don’t know the reality on the ground that far away.

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