By Lynn R. Mitchell
Dave Brat, challenging U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, has criticized the Congressman for allowing an increase in the debt ceiling and voting for a budget that didn’t defund Obamacare even though the House has repeatedly tried to repeal it.
Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and who served in the last three Republican administrations, responded to Brat’s criticisms of Cantor in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal with Eric Cantor, Tea-Party Posturing, and the GOP:
Eric Cantor is a conservative by any reasonable standard. But that’s not enough. Some on the right insist that conservatives also be aggressively stupid; that they embrace tactics that might make them and their cause more unpopular. In politics, there have always been people who thrive on relentless confrontations, who want to go over the cliff with all flags flying, and who seem oddly enamored with the auto-da-fe. Such people can be amusing in small doses, but in large doses they can harm a party and a movement. [emphasis added]
He went on to add:
The good news for the GOP is twofold: First, Mr. Brat’s challenge will fail, probably miserably. Second, conservatives seem increasingly aware of the downsides posed by some elements within the tea party.
Thank goodness many are realizing the people they were willing to welcome into the party actually have plans to take over and kick them out.
Eric Cantor is conservative. Period. As I noted after the rude behavior of some attending Saturday’s 7th Congressional District convention (see Will tea party glee be short-lived?), the tea party may find they have awakened a sleeping giant when voters go to the polls to vote in the June 10 Republican primary.