As Christopher told you earlier, Dave Brat unseated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Republican primary tonight. And who the hell is Dave Brat? Like everyone else, I just finished frantically Googling his name and maybe the most telling paragraph about Brat comes from this January profile in the conservative National Review:
Brat’s background should make him especially appealing to conservative organizations. He chairs the department of economics and business at Randolph-Macon College and heads its BB&T Moral Foundations of Capitalism program. The funding for the program came from John Allison, the former CEO of BB&T (a financial-services company) who now heads the Cato Institute. The two share an affinity for Ayn Rand: Allison is a major supporter of the Ayn Rand Institute, and Brat co-authored a paper titled “An Analysis of the Moral Foundations in Ayn Rand.” Brat says that while he isn’t a Randian, he has been influenced by Atlas Shrugged and appreciates Rand’s case for human freedom and free markets.
Yes, Brat is another one of those Christian conservatives who somehow manages to simultaneously love Rand while completely ignoring Rand's strident atheism. Get a load of this line from the same profile:
And he says his religious background informs his views on economics. “I’ve always found it amazing how we have the grand swath of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and we lost moral arguments on the major issue of our day,” he says, referring to fiscal-policy issues.
If you want to read more about Brat, Betsy Woodruff at the Washington Examiner wrote a profile on Brat tonight. Here's an interesting bit from that one:
Brat's acquaintances and supporters describe him as very affable. Zachary Werrell, his campaign manager — who turned 23 in May, interviewed with Brat for the job in a Panera Bread restaurant and got into politics because of his admiration for Ron Paul — said his boss's attitude played a big role in his win.
Tonight and tomorrow, you're going to read a lot of pieces trying to explain what Brat's win means. Does this signify that the midterm elections are going to be a total disaster for Democrats? Does the Brat campaign's Ayn Rand and Ron Paul name-dropping mean that the Republican Party is ready for a Rand Paul presidential run in 2016? Is the Republican Party about to enter into a civil war? Should Democrats be scared? Should Republicans be scared? Should everyone be scared? Or is it impossible to take an entire nation's political temperature based on one low-turnout primary in one state on one night? Are we overstating or understating the importance of these primary results? I don't have the answers for you; nobody does.
I do know I'm enjoying the fact that Eric Cantor lost tonight. I'm sure he'll be back in some capacity; the real slimeballs never really get out of politics. But my enjoyment at watching a gun-loving, homophobic, woman-hating shill for Big Oil like Cantor lose a primary quickly fades when I remember that Cantor lost because a majority of voters thought that he was too liberal.