Cantor loses, and Washington goes ape
Shortly after eight on Tuesday night, Twitter went a little nuts, and so, presumably, did Eric Cantor, the second-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives. The Associated Press, CNN, and other news organizations had just called the Republican primary race in Virginia’s Seventh District for David Brat, a hitherto little-known economics professor who is associated with the Tea Party wing of the GOP. Cantor had become the first House Majority Leader to lose a primary renomination. All over Washington, commentators were called out of dinner; Fox News broke into the O’Reilly Factor; and political reporters struggled to come up with a correct historical analogy. Since virtually no one—or, at least, no one in the world of political forecasting and punditry—had predicted Brat’s victory in the primary, it would be presumptuous, at this stage, to say anything definitive about its causes or its consequences. But here are a few things that can’t easily be contested. John Cassidy, New Yorker, 6-11-14.