Tea party rebels easily succeeded in ridding the House of Eric Cantor for the coming term. Cantor was squashed in the Virginia primary by little-known tea party-backed college professor David Brat. Let’s hope the tea party can be equally successful this fall in grabbing the House leadership role from corporate crony lackey John Boehner. The immigration “give in” Boehner and Cantor have been plugging is a non-starter for tea party rebels and a loser for America. Illegals must not be given any track toward citizenship. Gerald Seib reports in The Wall Street Journal:
The reverberations will spread far beyond Mr. Cantor’s home district in Virginia. The loss is a blow to House Speaker John Boehner, who has struggled since taking command of the House to control the tea-party contingent within his own caucus. Tea-party aligned lawmakers in the House, who have unhappily accepted a series of legislative compromises in recent months, now are likely to feel reinvigorated.
The loss by Mr. Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House, also deals a heavy blow—almost certainly a fatal one for this year—to Mr. Boehner’s hope to revive immigration reform legislation.
The speaker and other leading Republicans have been pushing since the 2012 election for their party to swing behind an immigration overhaul, in the belief that such an effort would improve the party’s standing among the growing population of Hispanic voters.
But in his campaign, Mr. Brat accused Mr. Cantor of supporting an immigration reform plan that would amount to “amnesty” for illegal immigrants by offering a path to legalization for some. The success of those attacks figures to make rank-and-file Republicans in the House even more skittish about heeding Mr. Boehner’s call to back immigration-reform legislation this summer.
And party leaders will worry anew about the political implications of a failure to move on immigration.
The upset also creates new questions about who will lead Republicans in Congress, now and in the future. Mr. Cantor was considered the most logical successor to Mr. Boehner if the speaker chose to step down in the next few years. Now that idea not only is off the boards, but it is more likely that the tea-party caucus will feel emboldened to offer its own alternative leader.
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