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What the Brat Victor Really Means

Posted by on June 11, 2014
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If you listen to the talking heads on the Left they are claiming that Tea Party member David Brat’s surprise win yesterday over incumbent Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor is a sure sign that Republican’s are moving to the extreme right.  Never mind that they can’t point out a single part of Brat’s platform that would qualify as “extreme”.  Conversely, if you listen to the talking heads from the Right they are claiming that Brat’s victory is a sure sign that all hope is lost in Republicans ever gaining majorities on anything ever again simply because in their mind being a true conservative is an unwinnable position in a general election.  Apparently establishment republicans have REALLY short memories about recent presidential elections.  Personally, I think both sides are completely misreading what just happened. 

Several months ago I attended a candidate’s forum where I got to ask each of the candidates what they felt was most important for a politician to focus on; party, politics, or policy?  What happened last night was that the voters of Virginia’s 7th Congressional District gave their own response to that question and got it right.  David Brat was hardly the party pick.  After all, he was competing against one of the establishment republican’s favorite sons when he went head to head against Eric Cantor, so party obviously wasn’t important to the voters.  Brat also didn’t waste time preaching the establishment’s populist mantra of “let’s all just go along to get along”, so politics also wasn’t that important either.  The one thing Brat did do in his campaign and on his website was state emphatically what things he believed in and why.  In other words, Brat bet it all on policy and in doing so pulled off one of the biggest political upsets in history. 

Being a democratic politician is easy.  It’s all about providing a populist mantra that everyone wants to hear.  Democratic politicians are like the bad parent who is perfectly fine with telling kids that eating candy for dinner is OK just as long it means they remain the ‘favorite parent” on election day.  As for establishment republican’s they are no better at playing the adult in the room, instead preferring to bury their head in the evening paper rather than risk the wrath of an unruly child by speaking up about what is actually good for them fearing that doing so might cost them votes.  However, at some point when the child is sick from too much of the sweet stuff and spewing the consequences of such over-indulgence from every orifice the best most mainstream politicians can offer is more political promises to get the bad taste out of their mouth.  Heck, at some point even Hansel and Gretel became smart enough to figure out that the witch’s candy was nothing more than a cheap trick meant solely to get them to cooperate. 

What the headline from last night’s victory should be reading is that the voters in Virginia simply got tired of being sick from being fed too much political candy.  If the politicians from neither mainstream party were going to look after their well being the voters would find someone else willing to play the adult role model they desperately needed.  That adult came in the form of an economics professor who also happened to be from the Tea Party.  I’m certain that between now and November Democrats have every intention of attacking Brat over his policies the same way a spoiled child throws a tantrum to a parent that won’t give in.  However, what the voters of Virginia have already declared after suffering for so long is that they’ve decided to go on a diet and live a politically healthy lifestyle for a change.        

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