By Lynn R. Mitchell
The headline says it all. People are scratching their heads at the challenge by a frenzied anti-Cantor group in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District. Reporter Matt Bai is baffled (see The tea party is after Cantor. Seriously.):
In a lot of ways, Dave Brat is your typical tea party-style insurgent running in a Republican primary this year. He’s an economics professor at a tiny college, a striped-tie, free market enthusiast who decries debt and immigration. He has the backing of the crankiest conservative bloggers and radio hosts, one of whom, Laura Ingraham, appeared with him at a rally this week.
But Brat isn’t running to unseat some mush-ball moderate or no-name state legislator backed by the local chamber of commerce. No, Brat’s opponent in next Tuesday’s primary is Eric Cantor, the congressman from Virginia’s 7th District and the second most powerful Republican in the House. Which highlights a question that’s becoming more germane as this season of Republican disunion drags on:
Just how conservative do you have to be before these conservative activists will leave you alone?